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Full text of "The experience of a slave in South Carolina"

*** 



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of the 

Ontoerisitp of s®ottb Carolina 




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This book must not 
be taken from the 
Library building. 




THE 



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• si 



EXPERIENCE OE A SLAVE 



SOUTH CAKOLIM. 




JOHN ANDREW JACKSON. 



itonifon : 

PRINTSD BT PASSMOBB & ALABASTRR, WILSON STREET, FINSBCRf. 

1862. 
ENTERED AT STATIONERS' HALL. 




EAC-SIMILE OE THE GIMLET WHICH I USED TO BORE A 
HOLE IN THE DECK OE THE VESSEL. (See page 27.) 






PREFACE. 



In aiming to arrest the attention of the reader, ere he 
proceeds to the unvarnished, but ower true tale of John 
Andrew Jackson, the escaped Carolinian slave, it might 
be fairly said that " truth was stranger than fiction/' and 
that the experience of slavery produces a full exhibition 
of all that is vile and devilish in human nature. 

Mrs. Stowe, as a virtuous woman, dared only allude to 
some of the hellish works of slavery — it was too foul to 
sully her pen ; but the time is come when iniquity should 
no longer be hid : and that evil which Wilberforce and 
Clarkson exposed, and of which Wesley said it was " the 
sum of all human villanies," must now be laid bare in 
all its hellish atrocities. The half has not yet been told ; 
but appalling as are the statements made, yet when the 
fiercest organized effort to extend the monster evil of 
North- American slavery is being made, every patriot is 
called on to sympathize over the woes and sufferings 
of human kind, and plead for freedom and liberty. 

Cowper long ago told his fellow-cDuntryman that 

" Skins may differ, but affection 
Dwells in white and black the same." 

Therefore, kind reader, we ask your sympathy, while you 
peruse some of the iniquities perpetrated upon a suffering 
race, and that too often by men and women calling them- 
selves Christians, and using a religious cloak to screen 
their monstrous, foul, and cruel acts. 

Shrink not, gentle reader, when those fearful atrocities 
are brought before your notice. Such narratives as 
Jackson's are wanted to arouse the people. The evil is 
afar off, and interested parties say, " Don't believe it ; it 
is false, or it is exaggerated." Not so ; the worst cannot 
a6 be told. Tou cannot speak out, or tell a fraction of the 



IV PBEFACE. 

horrid scenes enacted, where every child and feeble woman 
is at the brutal mercy of brutalised man ; where marriage 
is a fiction, and five millions of people live practically in 
a state of unrecognised whoredom and polygamy. 

Would that English mothers and English daughters 
could feel as they ought for those whose virtue and 
honour, whose life and liberty, may be purchased by any 
libertine wretch, who has the " almighty dollar" in plenty 
in his pocket. Let us but think of our sisters, our wives, 
our children, and thank Gfod with them, that 

"I was not born a little slave, 
To labour in the sun ; 
To wish I was but in my grave, 
And all my labour done." 

Many an English reader, knowing that every year we 
pay a million of money as interest for the twenty millions 
by which the freedom of "West Indian slaves was pur- 
chased, and spend nearly another million to keep down 
the slave trade of America, Cuba, and Brazil, are very 
earnest in declaring their abhorrence of American slavery, 
and, like the Times, finds fault with President Lincoln's 
government for not putting an end to slavery by pro- 
clamation, thinking that our British hands are quite clean. 
But they forget the share that England has had in the 
bondage of the human race. Liverpool and Bristol for 
years was the seat of the African slave trade ; and, once 
upon a time, Gr. E. Cooke, the actor, on the boards of a 
Liverpool theatre, when displeased with his audience for 
hissing him, turned fiercely on them, and told them that 
Liverpool was paved with the blood of the negro slaves ; 
and in 1862 it is not quite clear of the same, vide the 
Nightingale Slaver. 

Three hundred years ago Sir John Hawkins procured 
the first cargo of negroes from the coast of Guinea, and 
took them to Hispaniola, and so profitable was his trip 
that a new expedition was soon prepared, of which Queen 
Elizabeth shared the profits. This royal patronage of the 
slave trade was further extended under other reigns, and, 



*H 



PREFACE. 



on the 10th of December, 1770, our good King George 
issued a proclamation under his own hand, commanding 
the Governor of Virginia, « upon pain of the highest dis* 
pleasure, to assent to no law by which the importation of 
slaves shall be in any respect prohibited and obstructed " 
-Before we then heartily condemn the United States let 
us remember that when they would not have slavery it 
was forced upon them by the English Government. 

When in 1645 the ship of one Thomas Keyser and 
James Smith brought a cargo of negroes to Boston, they 
were heavily fined and compelled to return those negroes 
again to Africa. Noble men were they of Massachusetts ; 
and despite the Irish and rowdy element of Boston and 
i\>rtland, yet noble men are they at the present hour. 
Ihere the fugitive slave has liberty and protection. 

Virginia, long the battle ground of freedom during 
the old war, as well as the new one, often spoke out nobly 
against slavery. Her patriots, like Jefferson, though 
himself a slaveholder, yet steadily resented the influence 
of that growing evil. At that time, Franklin spoke 
through the press, and memorials from all the States 
were sent to King George. The king was inexorable- 
and while the English judges declared that when a slave 
set his foot on the soil of England he was free, yet the 
monarch stood in the path of humanity, and became the 
pillar oi the American Slave Trade. 

England gave America slavery. England by the use 
of her cotton, has mainly helped to continue it : and let 
but English sympathy be withdrawn from the South and 
soon slavery there must fall. It lies with Christian'men 
and women to expose its evils, denounce its cruelties lav 
open its horrors, and spare not its infamous immoralities 
Truly there is a God that judgeth the earth. There is 
wanted fact upon fact to enlighten the English public 

when its leadtng papers palliate and excuse the atrocities 
of th e South . Thej WQuld . gnore the ex . gtence Qf fo ^ 

millions out of the twenty who live and breathe beyond 



VI PREFACE. 

the Atlantic under the stars and stripes. Christian 
England should stand to a man opposed to those who 
would kill every slave found with arms in hand, or away 
from his master's plantation; who have no scruples in 
brutalizing, burning, flaying, flogging, scourging, and 
shooting the wives and daughters of their runaway 
slaves. 

Every sickening brutality is practised upon the hapless 
men and women, without hope of any redress ; surely 
these injustices cry to heaven for vengeance. How long, 
Lord, how long. Stonewall Jackson may, with the courage 
and piety of a Cromwell, but without his rightful cause, 
carry the war into Maryland, and Pope and M' Clellan be 
driven back to the Eree States ; but yet with one burst 
of freedom, even Dr. Mackay shall re-echo from Washing- 
ton to the " Times " of to-morrow, his favourite phrase : 

" There's a good time coming, boys, 
Wait a little longer." 

The day of escape from bondage will come to all, as it 
has to some ; and surely their cry will be heard, and the 
refrain so long sung by the negroes of the South : 
" let my people go," 

be answered from heaven, perhaps even with a slaughter 
as great as that of the "smart Egyptians," when they 
came onward with all the panoply of their chariots and 
horsemen to the Red Sea, there to sink amid the waters. 
Then sang Miriam : 

" Sound the loud timbrel o'er Egypt's dark sea, 
Jehovah hath triumph'd, his people are free." 

W. M. S. 

September 20, 1862. 



THE EXPERIENCE OE A SLAVE 

IN 

SOUTH CAROLINA. 



CHAPTER I. 

MY BIRTH AND TRAINING. 

I was born in South Carolina. My grandfather was 
stolen from Africa. My father learned the African method 
of curing snake bites, and was in consequence, called Dr. 
Clavern. My mother's name was Betty. I had five bro- 
thers and five sisters. Of these, two brothers and two 
sisters were dead when I left the plantation. My earliest 
recollection was of my mistress, whom I feared above all 
persons, as she used every means in her power to spite 
me. The reason for this was as follows : — When I was 
about ten years old, I and her son were digging for hickory 
root to amuse ourselves with, when he, seeing that I was 
obtaining mine quicker than he, kicked me on the nose, 
upon which I wiped the blood upon him. He ran and 
informed his mother, who whipped me on my naked back, 
to console her son, till the blood ran down. After that, 
she always hated not only me but my family, and would 
even stint my mother's allowance ; and since then, I had 
many whippings through her influenee. 

My mistress had four daughters, viz. : — Anne, Eliza, 
Jane, and Martha. Of Anne, the eldest, I knew but 
little, as she married when I was very young, and went to 
another plantation. Eliza, the next, was the worst of the 
three. She used to whip me almost as much as my mis- 
tress. Of Jane, the next, I also knew but little, as she 
married a minister named Brailly, when I was very young; 
but, as far as I know, she was the best of the three. 
Martha, the youngest, was very bad. I will give a speci- 



8 MY EXPERIENCE AS A SLATE. 

men of her abilities. One day, as she was returning from 
a walk in the garden, she saw my youngest "brother, 
William, walking in the yard, and, from pure mischief, 
she picked some horse nettles, and, coming up to him, (he 
was quite naked) began to sting him with them, and, as 
he ran away, she ran after him, and kept up with him, 
stinging him on the sides and back, till at last he fell 
down through pain ; nevertheless, she kept on stinging 
him, without any intermission; at last he got up and 
began running, and by that time I got up to him, (I was 
about ten years of age, and he being between five and 
six) and I cried out to him, " Run faster, William, run 
faster," whereupon she turned upon me, and I being able 
to run faster than she, I escaped her, and by that means 
my brother William effected his escape. When William 
got home, he was covered with large lumps all over his 
body. When she was married she had my sister whipped 
to death. The circumstances were as follows : — 

My sister was religious, and perhaps it stung her con- 
science, or it might have been for some other reason; but, 
at all events, she ordered my sister to leave off praying, 
and as she discovered my sister did not obey her com- 
mands, she asked her husband, Gamble M'Farden (a 
member of the Salem Brick Church, who was, if possible, 
worse than herself, and she was a member also) to give her 
a hundred lashes, and he took her and hung her up by the 
hands -to the beef gallows, (an apparatus on which they 
hang oxen when they slun them) and called his negro slave 
Toney, and ordered him to give her a hundred lashes, and 
he commenced beating her incessantly ; he then remon- 
strated with his master, because she fainted, and his brutal 
master, (who, though a member of a Christian church, was 
notwithstanding, equal to the devil himself) coolly ordered 
him to bring a pail of water and throw over her, to revive 
her ; and when she came to, he ordered him to continue, 
which Toney did ; but at length made a pause, and told 
his master that he had given her fifty lashes, but the 
brutal answer was, " Give me the whip, and I will give her 
the other fifty, which he did. She died at the end of 
three weeks, leaving two childre^^a boy and girl, who, 
with my father, I now hope to buy. My mistress also had 
four sons, James, Robert, Thomas, and Mack. James 
English, a member of Brick Church, was as bad as any of 
them ; he was married when I was little. I worked on his 



MY BIRTH AND TRAINING. 9 

plantation once, driving oxen, and I will relate what I saw 
there. A slave named Jack, was taken sick while working 
on the plantation, and he laid himself down in the fence 
corner. When his master came, he saw him lying down, 
and he told him to get up immediately and go on working. 
Jack replied, " massa, I'm so sick." " Get up imme- 
diately, you lazy varmint," replied his master, and he 
commenced whipping him till he got up ; but as soon as 
his master was off that field, he lay down again. The 
slaves, seeing his master returning, told him he had better 
get up, as master was coming, but he could not, and when 
the master returned he began to whip him again ; but 
seeing he could not get up, he went to the house and 
brought a tumblerful of castor oil, and forced him to drink 
it, and then said, " Now get up, you rascal, or I will whip 
you," and made him continue his work ; but his conscience 
smote him, and he sent for a doctor, and upon his certi- 
ficate allowed him to return home. I cannot leave off 
without relating another incident about him. On one 
occasion there were a hundred negroes to be sold, and James 
English went to buy. Among the negroes to be bought 
there was one named Willis ; when he was put on the 
block, and the bidding began, James English began to bid, 
and Willis, seeing him bidding, jumped down from the 
auction-block. The auctioneer said, " Why do you jump 
down, you rascal?" He replied, "Because that man, 
(pointing to James English) is bidding for me." " Why 
do you not want him to bid for you ? " " 'Cause he's the 
baddest massa 'tween this an' hell fire." This scene was 
repeated twice, but James English at length bought him ; 
and he went towards the plantation till within three miles 
of it, when the negroes of another plantatian again told 
him that there was not a worse master in the whole dis- 
trict. His fears returning afresh, he fled to the woods, but 
hunger compelled him to return. When he got back he 
was put into irons, and taken out next morning and hung up, 
and received a hundred lashes ; and when the stripes were 
partially healed, the^fcave him twenty-five lashes every 
other morning as long as they thought he could bear it. 

Afterwards, James English was taken ill, but such were 
his savage propensities, that he got out of bed and dressed 
himself, and took his whip and went into the cotton field, 
and commenced quarrelling with a slave named Old 
George, on the plea that he did not pick cotton fast 



10 MT EXPEBIEHCE AS A SLAYE. 

enough. I will repeat his words : " Never mind, you old 
rascal, when I get better I'll give you sixty lashes, — never 
mind, you old rascal you." But from that time he began 
to get worse, and went home and sent for the doctor, Mr. 
Miller. The following conversation then took place : — 
" Doctor, I am very sick, can you help me?" The doctor, 
after feeling his pulse, replied, " I can't save you." " Why, 
doctor ? " " You have mortification in the head." He did 
not believe this, and sent for Dr. Hainsworth. When Dr. 
Hainsworth came, he said also, " I can't save you, you 
will die in a few days." His terror on hearing this an- 
nouncement was extreme. He prayed the doctors to save 
his life, but in vain. In five days that terrible hour drew 
nigh, and his agony and death struggles were such that he 
required to be held down. Thus ended the life of a mem- 
ber of a Christian Church. When the tidings of his death 
reached the negroes, they were overjoyed, and especially 
Willis, who went round to every hut, and shook hands 
with every negro, saying, " How d'ye do, brudder, de devil 
is dead an' gon' to hell, an' Old George got clear of his 
sixty lashes." Of Robert, the next brother, I knew 
nothing, as he died when very young. Thomas, the next, 
was, if possible, worse than James. He was also a mem- 
ber of Mount Zion Chapel. He was articled to a lawyer. 
While studying the law, he used to whip the negroes on the 
plantation exceedingly. I will give you an instance of it. 
He had just bought a new whip, and wished to try it, and, 
seeing me go by, he called me and told me to bring him 
some water to wash his hands in. I went and got it 
as quickly as possible. When I brought it to him, he 
said, " You have been too slow, now pull off your jacket," 
and he then commenced whipping me, having first shut 
both doors, but I pushed open one of them and ran. I 
was then between ten und twelve years of age. He ran 
after me, and soon caught me, and whipped me again till 
the blood ran. When a young man, he went to Tenessee, 
and married. The lady's name was Livinia. At his mar- 
riage his father gave him twelve negroes. He had then a 
son named West, and after ten years he returned to South 
Carolina. His father bought him a plantation five miles 
from his own, and gave him another slave girl as a nurse 
for his boy. The boy was very cross, and his mother 
asserted that the girl pinched the baby, which was not 
true. This girl was continually being whipped upon that 



MY BIRTH AND TRAINING. 11 

false accusation, so that at length she ran away and went 
back to her old plantation. But the master tied a rope 
round her neck and sent her back to his son, who imme- 
diately ordered two flat irons to be put on the fire, and had 
her laid down on a log, and made three negroes, by the 
names of Frank, Save, and Peter, hold her down. He 
then took the first iron and pressed it to her body on one 
side ; and when he removed it the skin stuck to it. He 
repeated the same with the other iron, on the other side 
of the body. She then left him, and started that night 
for the old plantation : her pain was so great that she 
was all night going that little distance. The old master, 
on seeing the burns, declared she should not go back any 
more. The following conversation took place when Thomas 
came to see his father : " Thomas, did you burn this girl 
so ? " " Yes, pa, I did, because she ran away." " Well. 
you shan't have her any more." But, in this case, Thomas 
was a true son of his father, and the old proverb remained 
unshaken, viz., " The chip off the old block don't fall far 
from the stump." About this time he became a minister. 
He preached his first sermon in Mount Zion Chapel, and 
the negroes flocked to hear him, and were so overjoyed to 
think that now he had experienced true religion, he would 
be more merciful to them, but he was the same devil still. 
He owned a slave whose name was January, who could 
not pick cotton as fast as the other negroes. For this 
reason, this minister of religion gave him from twenty-five 
to one hundred lashes, and fifty blows with the paddle, 
which so frightened the negro that he ran away into the 
woods ; but was caught, and again whipped, and put into 
the stocks, and was taken out every other morning, and 
received twenty-five lashes for a time, and then put to 
work with a lock and chain round his neck. At that time, 
his son West was overseer and whipping the negroes for 
his father. At the time I left slavery he often whipped 
the slaves severely.* In the Southern States of America, 
any negro found out at night after nine o'clock, without a 
pass, is liable to be taken up and receive thirty-nine 
lashes ; and it is a common amusement for young men to 
go out at night in parties patrolling. This minister, 
Thomas English, one night joined a party, and they came 
upon a slave named Isaac, on Dr. Grag's plantation, and 
they gave chase, but he outran them, and this minister 
was leading them on, shouting at the top of his voice, 



12 MY EXPERIENCE A3 A SLAVE. 

with horrid oaths, " Catch the rascal." We will now 
pass on to Mack, the youngest brother, he was worsa- 
than either of the others, and was the one who kicked 
me when I was digging for hickory root. He had not 
finished his schooling, before he was put to oversee his 
father's plantation. He used to whip the slaves more 
than his father. Among the atrocities which he com- 
mitted, he knocked my mother down with the butt of his 
whip, while I stood by feeling as if I had been struck 
myself, when he suddenly turned round and said, " Go on 

with your work, you rascal." His whip spared 

neither old nor young. This youth ordered every negro 
to pick one cwt. of cotton each day — which was almost im- 
possible for them to do — and on their not presenting that 
amount of cotton at the machine, he gave them from 
twenty-five to fifty lashes each ; so that during the cotton- 
picking season, the place was filled with screams of agony 
every evening. There was a sh ve named Isaac, who 
could not pick cotton so fast as the others, and the conse- 
quence was, that he was flogged every night by this youth. 
This tyrant was going to give him fifty lashes again one 
evening, on the scaffold where they weigh the cotton, 
about ten feet high ; and Isaac jumped down in the dark 
on a snaggy stump and ruined his feet, and could not work 
for more than a month. He used often to call the negroes 
up at midnight to screw cotton, and to move fences in the 
sweet potatoe fields. 

The time of killing hogs is the negroes' feast, as it is 
the only time that the negroes can get meat, for they are 
then allowed the chitterlings and feet ; then they do not 
see any more till next hog-killing time. Their food is a 
dry peck of corn that they have to grind at the hand-mill 
after a hard day's work, and a pint of salt, which they 
receive every week. They are only allowed to eat twice 
a-day. Mack English once tied down a slave named Old 
Prince, and gave him one hundred lashes with the whip, 
and fifty blows with the paddle, because he could not work 
fast enough to please him. A slaveholder named Mr. 
Wilson, having died in debt, my master bought two of his 
slave girls, named Rose and Jenny. Jenny was forced 
to have Adam, who was already married ; also her 
sister Rose was married to March, before she came on 
our plantation. Mack English, having turned a wishful 
eye on Rose, wrapped himself up in his big cloak, 
and went to the nigger-house in the night, and called a 



MY BIETH AND TEAINING. 13 

slave named Esau, and told him to tell Rose to come to 
him as he wanted her. She sent back to say, " I'm 
nursing my baby and can't come." " Go and teil her I 
don't care about her baby, she must come," answered 
Mack, "and if she does not come, I'll give her twenty-five 
lashes to-morrow morning." " Go and tell him, Esau, my 
husband will be coming, and I can't come," answered 
she. The next morning he tied her up and cut her naked 
back all over ; the further particulars are too revolting to 
tell. 

We will now relate his death. He went with liis father 
one summer to the White Sulphur Springs. There he 
was taken ill, and death took place in five days. His 
death-bed was a scene of heartrending agony. He swore, 
and he cursed, he shrieked " Murder ! Murder ! ! Mur- 
der ! ! ! Pa, you stand here and see all these doctors 
hunching and punching me. Murder! Murder!!" Then, 
as he expired, he shrieked with fearful agony, " God to 
blast." This I heard from Old Bob, the carriage driver, 
who was his nurse till his death. The following conver- 
sation I overheard when his father returned : — " Wife, our 
son is dead and gone to hell." " Hush ! hush ! talking 
so before the niggers." " Well, he is, he died cursing and 
swearing." Just then, Mack's playmate, named Davey 
Wilson, entered and inquired for him. " Your playmate 
is dead and gone to hell," was the answer he received. 
His wife immediately replied, " Hush ! hush ! shut your 
mouth, you old fool, what are you telling him that for." 
Davey Wilson went and told his mother, who told the 
minister, Mr. Reed, of Mount Zion Church, who preached 
a sermon to the young about his death After that, none 
of the English's family attended Mount Zion Chapel. 
When he went to the White Sulphur Springs, I prayed 
that I might never see him again, and thus was my prayer 
signally answered. I remembered when he and his father 
both whipped me at the same time, about sunrise, on my 
naked back, and then made me work till twelve o'clock 
without eating anything. I also remember that when he 
was going to the Springs, he said, " When I get back, my 
father will give me the Creek Swamp plantation and fifty 
niggers, and then I will buy a cowhide whip, well corded, 
five feet long, and I'll make all the niggers take Ephraim 
by force, and tie him to an oak tree, and I'll make Adam 
give him one of the hardest hundred lashes that ever man 
put on nigger." I, myself, was willed to that tyrant, but God 



14 MY EXPERIENCE AS A SLATE. 

had willed me to myself. Surely the words of the Psalmist 
came true in this case : " Th y search out iniquities ; they 
accomplish a diligent search ; both the inward thought of 
every one of them, and the heart, is deep. But God shall 
shoot at them with an arrow ; suddenly shall they be 
wounded." 



CHAPTER II. 

REMINISCENCES OP MY OLD MASTER. 

We will now speak about my old master, the father of 
those whom I have spoken of in the above chapter. He 
was originally a Quaker in North Carolina, United States, 
but he came to South Carolina and married a lady who 
had a few slaves. He then set up a liquor store on the 
Creek Swamp plantation, where he sold to the white 
people in the daytime, and at night traded with the slaves. 
He told the slaves round about to steal cotton and bring 
it to him, and he would give them whisky for it ; but if 
their masters caught them, they were not to say that they 
were bringing it to him. The consequence was, that some 
slaves brought one cwt. to him, for which he gave them one 
gallon of whiskey. The cwt. of cotton was worth four- 
teen dollars, or about £2 18s. 4d. in English money, and 
the gallon of whisky was worth one dollar, or about 4s. 2d. ; 
but the slaves did not know this, and so they were cheated. 
Others who brought a half-cwt., received half- a- gallon, and 
so on. This he continued for along time, until for fear of 
being betrayed, he put a stop to it. This method of getting 
rich is very common among the slaveholders of South 
Carolina. He afterwards became very rich, and owned 
two plantations, where he hired different overseers to whip 
his niggers, and he himself whipped them too. He used 
to work them till nine o'clock at night, and in the winter 
season he blew the horn at midnight, and put them to 
killing hogs, and cutting down pine trees, and threshing 
wheat and oats. He also had a mill on a " branch," and 
on the other side there is a Church called the Rock 
Church ; he and other masters, made their slaves go to 
hear the Rev. Mr. Glen preach on such texts as " Servants 
obey your masters," — " Thou shalt not steal," — " He that 
knew his master's will and did it not, shall be beaten with 
many stripes." But, after a while, Mr. Glen did not in- 
sist sufficiently on that doctrine, and therefore, they drove 



EEMINISOENCES OF MT OLD MASTEE. 15 

him away, and different " circuit riders " took his place. 
These circuit riders are a rascally set. The following is 
an instance of their wickedness : one of them, as he was 
riding along the road by the cotton fields where the slaves 
were working, saw a female slave named Matilda, who 
pleased him, and he told her to meet him at such a place. 
She did so ; and when he had accomplished his vile pur- 
pose, he gave her a dollar, which turned out to be a bad 
one. He often preached at St. Luke's Church on Lynch's 
Creek. If the pastors do such things, what will the mas- 
ters and their sons do ? But, to return to my master ; he 
could not bear any one of the negroes to finish his task 
before sunset ; if any did, he would set them such a heavy 
task next day, that it would be impossible for him to finish 
it, and then he would give him fifty lashes, which some- 
times would cause him to fly to the woods ; and when he 
returned, he would receive one hundred lashes, and fifty 
blows with the paddle. 

A negro woman of the plantation, called my mother 
names, and thereupon my mother and this woman went 
to fighting ; and when my master heard of it, he tied my 
mother up and gave her ninety lashes, but did not touch, 
the other woman, (called Nancy) as she was his favourite ; 
and there was my mistress looking on and saying, " That's 
right, put it to her, cut her all to pieces." Among other 
things, the mule I had to plough with was a very vicious 
one, and used sometimes to kick the plough out of my 
hands. Once, as the mule was kicking, my master came 
into the field, and said that I spoiled the mule ; he then 
at once tied me up arid gave me fifty lashes. One morning, 
as he was going to whip me again, I started off for the 
swamp, and he set five dogs after me, and said, " Suboy ! 
suboy ! catch him ! " "When the dogs came level with me, 
I clapped my hands also, and said, " Suboy ! suboy ! catch 
him ! " as if both my master and I were in chase of a fox 
or hare ahead of us, and, upon that, the dogs went before 
me and were soon out of sight, and so I got away. About 
this time, my master went to the White Sulphur Springs, 
and hired a man named Burl Quiney, to oversee the plant- 
ation during his absence. There was a nigger-driver named 
Old Peter. Mrs. English told Burl Quiney that he should 
give the first slave that he took up to whip, a pretty good 
hiding to scare the whole plantation, for that they were a 
set of niggers never conquered by any overseer that had 



16 MY EXPERIENCE AS A SLATE. 

ever been there. She said so, supposing that I or another 
slave named Isaac — whom she hated as much as she did 
me — would be the first to be made an example of. But it 
turned out differently. The task of Old Peter, the nigger- 
driver, was to see that all the negroes had their proper tasks. 
When Burl Quiney rode along, he noticed one of the fe- 
males and said, " Peggy, you shall not do so much work 
as the rest of the girls to-day." So he moved the stake 
back, so that she should do only three tasks instead of 
four — the allotted quantity to each slave. This was done that 
she should have time to meet him in the evening. After a 
time, Old Peter coming along and seeing the stake moved, 
enquired, " Who moved that stake ? " " Massa Burl 
Quiney," said Peggy, " because I have the cows to milk." 
Old Peter answered, " Massa makes" you do as much as 
the rest, so I'll move the stake back." When Burl Quiney 
came that way and found the stake moved back again, he 
asked Peggy who moved it ? " Uncle Peter," said Peggy. 
" How dare he move a stake from where a white man put 
it ? Where is he ? " said Burl Quiney. " At the other end 
of the field," replied Peggy. He then rode up to him and 
said, " Peter, haul off your jacket, sir ! how dare you 
move that stake ? " " Massa always makes that girl do as 
much as the rest," replied Old Peter. Now, the example 
was to be made of Old Peter, the favourite slave of' my 
mistress. He cut his back with a lash in which wire was 
interwoven. That evening, old Peter went to the house, 
and told his mistress that Burl Quiney had cut his back 
to pieces, because he told Peggy to do as much as the 
other slaves. " Did he want her to do less ? " enquired 
Mrs. English. " Yes, ma'am." " What for ? " "I don't 
know," said he. But still, old Peter did know, but dared 
not tell his mistress. When Burl Quiney went to supper, 
Mrs. English said to him, " Mr. Quiney, I did not mean 
that you should whip Old Peter ! " " You made no dis- 
tinction, madam, but told me that the first one I took up 
to whip 1 was to make an example of, to frighten the 
whole plantation." Next morning, when the horn was 
blown, Burl Quiney looked anxiously for Old Peter, in- 
tending to give him another whipping for telling his mis- 
tress what he did ; but he did not make his appearance. 
So Burl Quiney hastened down to the nigger-house, and 
there found Old Peter lying sick from the effects of the 
whipping of the previous day. Burl Quiney then said, 



REMINISCENCES OE MY OLD MASTER. 17 

"Peter, did you not hear the horn hlow?" Yes, sir, 
but I am sick ! " " Out with you, sir, or I'll make you 
sicker than that before I have done -with you." So he 
hauled him out, and kicked and beat him all the way to 
the field. When he got him there, he said, " Now, sir, 
haul off your jacket, I am going to give you one hundred 
lashes ! " The old man would not. He then kicked him 
in the stomach several times, and knocked him down with 
the butt end of his whip, and said, " Now, cross your hands, 
sir." And he kicked him, and he cried out to the slaves, 
" Run here, this man is going to kill me ! " The slaves im- 
mediately surrounded him; but Burl Quiney seeing them do 
so, said, "Why do you come round me ? go off to your work! " 
And he ran off a short distance ; but we all surrounded 
him again like blackbirds, and would not go away, because 
we thought we should frighten him from the old man. Old 
Peter's daughter went to her mistress, and told her to come 
and stop Burl Quiney from beating papa ; and as she was 
coming, the slaves cried out to her, " Come on quickly, 
missus ; Burl Quiney is going to kill Uncle Peter ! " She 
answered, " What can I do ? go away from there, you 
niggers, that man will have you all hung and burnt ! " 
Then, Burl Quiney tied his hands and tied him to a tree, 
and gave him one hundred lashes ; he then ordered him to 
do his duty, but the poor old nigger-driver was unable. 
Two slaves, named Isaac and Prince, took him on a hand- 
barrow to the nigger-house ; but Burl Quiney went down 
and ordered him into the field. He was forced out by the 
cowhide. When he got to the field, he lay down, and 
Burl Quiney whipped him up, and again made him dis- 
charge his duties ; but he lay down again, and was again 
whipped up with a horrid oath. At twelve o'clock, the 
horn was again sounded for the negroes to go home to 
breakfast. But, to return to Old Peter ; he was carried 
home on a mule to the nigger-house, never again to come 
out of it. He died three days after. A coroner's inquest 
was held upon the body, and also a post mortem examina- 
tion, and Dr. Gray found that one of his bowels was rup- 
tured. The jury returned the following verdict : " Burl 
Quiney, overseer to Mr. English, did wilfully cause the 
death of the deceased by whipping with the cowhide." 
But Burl Quiney answered, "Yes, gentlemen, but Mrs. 
English was the cause of it." Mrs. English exclaimed, 
" You are a liar, sir ! " The Rev. Thomas English here 



18 MY EXPEBIENCE AS A SLAVE. 

said, " Sir, if you say that ma was the instigation of your 
killing that old nigger, you are a liar, and the truth is not 
in you ! " Burl Quiney was then committed to jail ; and 
on taking him to Sumpterville prison, all three mounted, 
Burl Quiney having a much better horse than either of 
the other two. When, therefore, Quiney bade the others 
" Good night," he put spurs to his horse and was soon out 
of sight. During the inquest, Thomas English said, "Let 
this be an example to you niggers ; " but I (Jackson) said 
in my mind, " No, let it be an example to you and your 
mother." 



CHAPTER III. 

MY MISTKESS. 

My mistress was a native of South Carolina; she was 
mean to everybody but her own family ; she used to say 
that the bran flour was too good for the slaves to eat. The 
sight which most delighted her eyes, was to see a slave 
whipped. John Durant had a large plantation of slaves 
on Lynch's Creek, which he willed to John Ashmore, his 
nephew. The uncle was drunk one night, and it was 
understood that John Ashmore tied a silk handkerchief 
round his uncle's neck and strangled him, in order to take 
possession of the property, which he did. He took liberties 
among the female slaves. Three brothers of the deceased, 
Alex Durant, Davy Durant, and Dr. Durant, believed that 
John Ashmore had murdered their brother, and they sued 
him for the property. The lawsuit was progressing when 
I left, and some of the negroes were sold to carry it on ; 
but it is most likely John Ashmore won it, as he engaged 
the best lawyer in Sumpterville, named Lawyer Moses. 
I bought of one of the slaves, who was leaving, a little 
sow pig, for which I gave three yards of cloth, and took 
it to Wells' plantation, where my wife lived, and she raised 
it there and it increased to twenty pigs. My mistress 
found out that my wife had some hogs ; one of the 
slaves informed of me. " Is it Jackson's wife ? " said she, 
" they are his hogs then, and he feeds them on my plan- 
tation." She then called my mother : "Old Bet, where 
does Jackson get food for his hogs ? " " They live on the 
acorns, ma'am." " You are a liar, they feed on my corn," 
said she ; " I will order Ransom Player (the overseer) to 
give him one hundred lashes and kill all his hogs, the 



MY MISTBESS. 19 

unlawful rascal." He killed one, but I hid the others 
until I sold them, but I was forced to sell them against my 
will. A poor man named Daniels, determined to get these 
hogs by stratagem. He asked me what I would take for 
them, and he told me he would give me twenty dollars. 
We killed some out of the drove, and for those which were 
left he offered me thirteen dollars ; but I did not sell them 
for a long time because I knew he would not pay me. He 
told me if I did not sell them to him, the first time he 
caught me when patrolling, he would whip me ; but I did 
not mind that either ; but when my mistress kept tor- 
menting me about them, I told Daniel he might have 
them for thirteen dollars, to get rid of the fuss. He said, 
" Well, you must bring me a written permission to sell 
them, before I can buy them." I said, " My mistress hates 
the Daniels' family and won't give me a permission." 
" Well, Jack, get your wife Louisa to get an order from 
her owners." My wife got it, so I went one evening, as I 
was afraid he was not going to give me the money, and 
said, " Now, Mr. Daniels, if you have the thirteen dollars 
ready I have the order." He replied, " Well, let me see 
it." " No, you put the money in my hand first." Daniel 
replied, " No, I can't do that until I see the order." 
" Well, if you don't give me the thirteen dollars will you 
give me the order back ?" He said, "Yes." " But have 
you the money with you ? " " Oh ! Yes," replied Daniels. 
I then handed him the order. He then read it, and said, 
" Well, this is as good in my pocket as ten dollars. Now, 
Jackson, if you interfere with those hogs I'll prosecute 
you — they are my hogs now." " But you promised to 
give me the thirteen dollars." " Ah ! by George I havn't 
got it." "Why, you told me you had." "Well, so I 
have if you can change a one hundred dollar bill." " But 
I have no money, I thought you were going to give me 
some, and then fearing you would'nt I wanted the money 
first." Now, these Daniels were considered to be great 
liars. They were once had up before the magistrate for 
stealing Alex Durant's long-tailed sow ; they were tried and 
sentenced to be whipped in the same manner as a slave ; but 
Lawyer Moses got him out of it. But, to return to the 
hogs they were about to steal from me. Daniels told me 
to bring my wife Louisa, and he would pay her, which I 
did. He then put us off, telling us to come next week, 
and so on, week after week, till we found out it was no 



20 MT EXPEEIENCE AS A SLAVE. 

use, for he did not intend to pay us. The last time I went, 
on going to the gate, the dogs were barking furiously, and 
the old father came out, and said, with a horrid oath, 
"Who is that?" "It's me," said I. "What do you 
want ? " "I have brought Louisa for the money." " Well," 
said he, " my son ain't at home." I stood there in the 
dark, when the son came out and said, " Where is she ? " 
I said, " Here I am/' " Have you got your wife with 
you ? " " Yes." " Well, I ain't got the money yet." We 
went away sorrowfully ; he never paid us a cent of the 
money. 

My mistress's expressed opinion was this, "Never to 
give the niggers any meat ; for where she was brought up 
a dry peck of corn and a pint of salt was all that was 
allowed to niggers per week." My master, her husband, 
did as she said, so that we were often on the verge of 
starvation. Nevertheless, she had a favourite dog, which 
she called " Old Rip," of the mastiff breed, which she 
continually fed with meat that we would have given any- 
thing to possess. She would tie the female slaves, who 
did the domestic work, to trees or bedposts, whichever 
was handiest, and whip them severely with a dogwood or 
hickory switch, for the slightest offence, and often for no- 
thing at all apparently, but merely for the purpose of 
keeping up her practice. She would also make her 
daughters whip them, and thus she brought up her children 
in the way they should not go, and in consequence, when 
they were old they did not depart from it. Through her 
my mother got many a hundred lashes. Since my escape 
I heard of the death of my mother. My mistress had two 
household gods, viz., her bunch of keys, in which she 
manifested a peculiar interest, and her brandy bottle, 
which she consulted with a frequency which was most 
alarming, especially as when she was drunk it was her 
invariable practice to attack" the cook (one Ann Dolly) 
most unmercifully with the broomstick. 



CHAPTER IV. 

MY YOUTHFUL DAYS. 

My first employment was that of a scarecrow in the corn 
fields. I was driven into the field at the earliest dawn of 
day, and I did not leave the field till sunset. My food 
was a cake made by mixing Indian meal with water and 



MT YOUTHFUL DATS. 21 

a little salt, and which, was then haked in the ashes. This 
I had to take to the field to subsist on during the day. 
When I was older I had to manage the plough. Being 
young, I had not sufficient strength to hold the plough 
steadily ; in consequence of which, my master used to 
follow me from end to end of the field, beating me over 
the head with a cowhide. On our way across the field 
one of the leashes happening to tou«h the mule, it kicked 
the plough from my hands, for which my master stripped 
me totally naked, and beat me till my back was covered 
with blood. My brothers, and indeed, all of my age 
shared the same fate with me. The horses were usually 
turned out at night into the field, and it was my duty to 
bring them home before daylight. The horses, however, 
apparently anxious to escape the hard work imposed on 
man and beast alike, had hid themselves in a wood which 
abounded with rattlesnakes. This caused me great fear 
as I was barefooted. After a hard hunt I succeeded in 
finding them. However, on my arrival home, I was tied 
up and beaten severely by both my master and son at the 
same time. I was also ox-driver, and in that capacity, I 
was sent to Wilson's Steam Saw Mill for planks, on various 
occasions. When the account was rendered, my master 
was surprised at the number of planks he had used, and 
to escape paying for the whole, he declared that I had 
fetched the planks for myself, which was a diabolical 
falsehood. I wanted no planks, and had I wanted them, 
I should not have got them in that way, as I should have 
been sure to have been found out. Nevertheless, to carry 
conviction that his word was true, he took me before Mr. 
Wilson's house, and stripped me, and gave me fifty lashes. 
About this time, I fell in love with a slave girl named 
Louisa, who belonged to a Mrs. Wells, whose plantation 
was about a mile off. Mrs. Wells was a comparatively 
kind mistress. Shortly after, I married Louisa. Do not 
let the reader run away with the idea that there was any 
marriage ceremony, for the poor slaves are debarred that 
privilege by the cruel hand of their fellow-man. My 
master was exceedingly angry when he heard of my mar- 
riage, because my children would not belong to him, and 
whenever he discovered that I had visited my wife's plan- 
tation during the night, I was tied up and received fifty 
lashes. But no man can be prevented from visiting his wife, 
and the consequence was, that I was beaten on the average, 



22 MT EXPERIENCE AS A SLAVE. 

at least every week for that offence. I shall .carry these 
scars to my grave. My wife had two children, one of 
whom died. But we were soon separated, as her owner 
removed to Georgia, and we were parted for ever. 

Our clothes were rags, and we were all half naked, and 
the females were not sufficiently clothed to satisfy common 
decency. 

I will now refer to the " American Camp-Meeting," 
which is held in tents, and is a gathering of "both black 
and white Methodists for worship and prayer. It is con- 
tinued day by day for a week ; but the blacks can only 
attend during Saturday night and part of Sunday, having 
to he at work again early on Monday morning. These 
meetings are infested by a set of white people, who are 
libertine scoundrels, and attend for the purpose of seizing 
and carrying off by force, for their own vile purposes, the 
most beautiful slave girls they can see. On the father's 
interfering to save their daughters, they only receive a 
shower of blows on the head with hickory sticks. I often 
saw this with my own eyes, and not daring to say a word. 
One of these wretches, John Mulder by name, having 
seized a negro's wife, on their way to the camp-meeting, 
and threatening the hushand's life with a pistol, was 
knocked down senseless hy the enraged husband with a 
stick. In consequence of which, a Lynch law was made that 
no negro should carry a stick. It is no wonder that this is 
the case, for " if the blind lead the blind, they will both 
fall into the ditch ; " and the Methodist ministers there are 
notorious for their villany. As an instance of the truth of 
this, I may mention the case of the Rev. Thomas English, 
of whom we have already spoken, and indeed I could give 
many instances too vile to speak about. It was the custom 
among them when conducting the Lord's Supper, to have 
the white people partake first, and then say to the negroes 
— " Now, all you niggers that are humble and obedient 
servants to your masters, can come and partake." The 
negroes said among themselves " There is no back kitchen 
in heaven ; " but if they had been overheard, they would 
have been whipped severely. I fear this case will he an 
example of the truth of our Lord's saying, " The first shall 
be last and the last first." 

We were now put to picking cotton. This is not so 
pleasant a job as might he imagined. The whole field is 
covered with " stinging worms," a species of caterpillar. 



MY ESCAPE. 23 

At the setting of the sun each slave had to hring one 
hundred weight of cotton, which many of the weaker 
slaves could not do. In consequence of this, each night 
there were two hours' whipping at the " ginning house." 
The masters would not even allow them their usual night's 
rest. They made them pack cotton before daylight, and 
as soon as twenty bales were packed they were sent off to 
Charleston. The cotton plant is planted in April or May, 
and the cotton is picked out of the pods in August. The 
heat of that month raises large bumps on the slaves backs ; 
besides, the frequent infliction of the whip and the lash is 
almost intolerable. One slave, named " Old Prince," be- 
cause he could not do sufficient work, was continually 
being beaten. On one occasion, he received fifty lashes, 
and fifty blows with the paddle — a paddle is a board six 
inches broad, and eight inches long, with twelve 
gimlet holes in it; each of these holes raised a blister 
every time a blow was inflicted, which rendered it ex- 
tremely painful — in a few days the skin all peeled off his 
lacerated body. At this time we were under the control 
of Burl Quiney, who murdered Old Peter, as related before. 
He also murdered four negroes belonging to James Ram- 
bert. Wherever he was overseer, he succeeded in murder- 
ing one or more negroes. He used to make the negroes 
shuck corn till past midnight, and they had to rise with the 
sun next morning to their day's work. They are not 
allowed a change of clothes, but only one suit for summer, 
and the perspiration is so great that they smell rank ; thus 
they are robbed of comfort and cleanliness by the cruelty 
and avarice of their masters. They wear no shoes, and 
they had to work in " the New Ground," a place infested 
by snakes and scorpions, and they were often bitten by 
snakes, while 6,000,000 of lazy white men are riding about 
calling negroes lazy, whilst they are the laziest. 



CHAPTER V. 

MY ESCAPE. 

A slave on a neighbouring plantation had a pony; it 
being discovered by his mistress, she ordered the overseer, 
the Rev. P. Huggin, to kill it. Meanwhile, I went in the 
night and purchased it of the slave with some fowls. As 
my master had just then gone out of his mind I could 
keep it with greater impunity, so that at length I went to 



24 MT EXPEDIENCE AS A SLATE. 

a camp meeting on it. My mistress' grandson saw me on 
it, and told Ransom Player, the overseer, and my mistress 
ordered him to give me one hundred lashes, and to kill 
the pony. When he attempted to tie me I resisted and 
fled, and swam across a mill pond, which was full of alli- 
gators, and so escaped the whipping. I went to work 
next day, and kept a look out for them. My mistress 
hearing of it, said to the overseer, Mr. Player, " You can't 
whip that nigger yourself, wait till Rev. T. English, and 
Mr. M'Farden, and Mr. Cooper, are here, and then you can 
catch him in the barn." The last two were her sons-in-law. 
I kept the pony hid in the woods till Christmas. 

We all had three days' holiday at Christmas, and I, 
therefore, fixed upon that time as most appropriate for m 
escape. I may as well relate here, how I became acquainted 
with the fact of there being a Free State. The " Yankees," 
or Northerners, when they visited our plantations, used to 
tell the negroes that there was a country called England, 
where there were no slaves, and that the city of Boston was 
free ; and we used to wish we knew which way to travel to 
find those places. When we were picking cotton, we used 
to see the wild geese flying over our heads to some distant 
land, and we often used to say to each other, " O that we 
had wings like those geese, then we would fly over the 
heads of our masters to the 'Land of the free.' " I had 
often been to Charleston — which was 150 miles distant 
from our plantation — to drive my master's cattle to mar- 
ket, and it struck me that if I could hide in one of the 
vessels I saw lading at the wharfs, I should be able to get 
to the " Free country," wherever that was. I fixed, as I 
said before, on our three days' holiday at Christmas, as 
my best time for escape. The first day I devoted to bid- 
ding a sad, though silent farewell to my people ; for I did 
not even dare to tell my father or mother that I was going, 
lest for joy they should tell some one else. Early next 
morning, I left them playing their " fandango " play. I 
wept as I looked at them enjoying their innocent play, and 
thought it was the last time I should ever see them, for I 
was determined never to return alive. However, I hastened 
to the woods and started on my pony. I met many white 
persons, and was hailed, " You nigger, how far are you 
going ? " To which I would answer, " To the next plant- 
ation, mas're ; " but I took good care not to stop at the 
next plantation. The first night I stopped at G. Nelson's 



MY ESCAPE. 25 

plantation. I stopped with the negroes, who thought I 
had got leave during Christmas. Next morning, before 
day, I started on for the Sante River. The negro who 
kept that ferry, was allowed to keep for himself all the 
money he took on Christmas day, and as this was Christ- 
mas day, he was only too glad to get my money and ask 
no questions ; so I paid twenty cents, and he put me and 
my pony across the main gulf of the river, but he would 
not put me across to the " Bob Landing ; " so that I had 
to wade on my pony through a place called " Sandy Pond " 
and " Boat Creek." The current was so strong there, that 
I and my pony were nearly washed down the stream ; but 
after hard struggling, we succeeded in getting across. I 
went eight miles further, to Mr. Shipman's hotel, where 
one Jessie Brown, who hired me of my master, had often 
stopped. I stayed there until midnight, when I got my 
pony and prepared to start. This roused Mr. Shipman's 
suspicions, so he asked me where I belonged to. I was 
scared, but at length, I said, " Have you not seen me here 
with Jesse Brown, driving cattle?" He said, "Yes, I 
know Jesse Brown well. Where are you going ? " I 
answered, " I am going on my Christmas holiday." This 
satisfied him. I was going to take a longer holiday than 
he thought for. I reached Charleston by the next evening. 
There I met a negro, who allowed me to put my pony in 
his master's yard, his master being out of town at the time. 
It is the custom there, for the masters to send their slaves 
out in the morning to earn as rmich money as they can, 
how they like. So I joined a gang of negroes working on 
the wharfs, and received a dollar-and-a- quarter per day, 
without arousing any suspicion. Those negroes have to 
maintain themselves, and clothe themselves, and pay their 
masters two-and-a-half dollars per week out of this, which, 
if they fail to do, they receive a severe castigation with a 
cat-o' -nine-tails. One morning, as I was going to join a 
gang of negroes working on board a vessel, one of them 
asked me if I had my badge ? Every negro is expected to 
have a badge with his master's name and address inscribed 
on it. Every negro unable to produce such a badge when 
disked for, is liable to be put in jail. When I heard that, 
I was so frightened that I hid myself with my pony, which 
I sold that night for seven-and-a-half dollars, to a negro. 
I then bought a cloak from a Jewish lady, who cheated 
jae, and gave me a lady's cloak instead of a mark's, which. 



26 MY EXPEBIENCE AS A SLATE. 

however, answered my purpose equally well. I then got 
seven biscuit-loaves of bread, and a bottle of water which 
I put in my pocket, and I also bought a large gimlet and 
two knives. I then found I had over ten dollars left of 
what I had earned. I then went to the wharf early in the 
morning with my cloak on, and underneath all my rattle- 
traps. A few days previously, I had enquired of a mulatto 
negro, for a vessel bound for Boston. I then went on 
board and asked the cook, a free negro, if his vessel was 
bound for Boston ? To which he replied, " Yes." " Can't 
you stow me away ? " said I. " Yes," said he, " but don't 
you betray me I Did not some white man send you here 
to ask me this ? " " No/' " Well," answered he, " don't 
you betray me ! for we black men have been in jail ever 
since the vessel has been here ; the captain stood bond for 
us yesterday and took us out." " What did they put you 
in jail for?" said I. "They put every free negro in jail 
that comes here, to keep them from going among the 
slaves. Well, I will look out a place to stow you away, 
if you are sure no white man has sent you here." So I 
went the next morning to ask him to redeem his promise. 
I went on board, and saw him lighting a fire in his galley, 
so I said to him, " Now I am ready for you to stow me 
away." " Walk ashore, I will have nothing to do with 
you ; I am sure some white person sent you here." I said 
" No, no one knows it but me and you." " I don't believe 
it," said he, " so you walk ashore ; " which I did. But 
as I looked back, I saw him go into the galley again and 
shut the door, so I went on board the vessel again, and 
crept stealthily on tiptoe to the hatch. I stood there 
fearing and hoping — fearing lest the cook should come 
out of the galley, and hoping that the mate or captain 
would come from the cabin, and order me to take off the 
hatch. Presently the mate came out of the cabin, and I 
asked him if I should take off the hatch. He thinking 
that I was one of the gang coming to work there, told me 
I might. So I immediately took off the hatch, and des- 
cended. The gang soon came down ; they asked me, " Are 
you going to work here this morning ? " I said, "No." 
" Arn't you a stevedore ? " I said, " No." " I know bet- 
ter, I know by that cloak you wear. Who do you belong 
to? " I answered, "I belong to South Carolina." It was 
none of their business whom I belonged to ; I was trying 
to belong to myself. Just then they were all ordered on 



MY ESCAPE. 27 

deck, and as soon as I was left, I slipped myself between 
two bales of cotton, with the deck above me, in a space 
not large enough for a bale of cotton to go ; and just then 
a bale was placed at the mouth of my crevice, and shut 
me in a space about 4-ft. by 3-ft., or thereabouts. I then 
heard them gradually filling up the hold ; and at last the 
hatch was placed on, and I was left in total darkness, I 
should have, been stifled for want of air, but by the provi- 
dence of God, a board in the partition between the sailors 1 
sleeping place and the hold where I was, was broken out, 
so that the air came through there. Next morning, I heard 
the sailors singing their farewell songs, and soon after, the 
vessel began to rock from side to side. I then began to 
feel that I was indeed, now upon my journey from slavery 
to freedom, and that I soon should be able to call myself 
FREE, and I felt so happy, and rejoiced so in my heart ; 
but all these feelings were rudely stopped by a feeling of 
sickness, and the more the vessel went, the sicker I got, 
till I felt as miserable as I was happy before. I then be- 
gan to bore with my gimlet, and after a long time, I was 
able to bore two holes in the deck with great labour, 
through which I could see the sailors passing and repass- 
ing overhead. By this time I found that my water was 
exhausted, and I began to feel all the horrors of thirst. I 
felt that 1 could with pleasure have drank the filthiest 
water in my native swamps. I cast my eyes up through 
the gimlet holes and saw the stars, and I thought that 
God would provide for me, and the stars seemed to be put 
there by Him to tell me so ; and then I felt that He would 
care for me as He did for Jonah in the whale's belly, and 
I was refreshed. Next morning I saw through the holes, 
a man standing over them with his arms folded, apparently 
in deep thought, so I called out, " Pour me some water 
down, I am most dead for water." He, however, looked 
up instead, and persisted in examining the rigging, ap- 
parently thinking the voice came from there, so I cut a 
splinter and pushed it through the hole to attract his at- 
tention ; as soon as he caught sight of it, he ran away and 
called to the captain, " Run here, cap'n, there is a ghost 
aboard ! " The captain came and knelt down and ex- 
amined the holes, and asked me how I came there ? I 
said, " I got stowed away." He asked me if some white 
man did not stow him away to get him in trouble ? I as- 
sured him he was mistaken, as I stowed myself away. 



28 MT EXPEBIENCTE AS A SLAVE. 

The cook said, " Cap'n, there was one wanted me to stow 
him away at Charleston, but I would not." " Cook, you 
should have told me that," said the captain. " Boys, get 
the chisel and cut him out." As soon as I was out, I saw 
the cook preparing to wash his hands, and I seized upon 
the water and drained it to the last drop. It was nearly 
half-a-gallon. 

The vessel continued her journey to Boston. The cap- 
tain persisted that some white man had placed me there 
to get him into trouble ; and said he would put me into 
the first vessel he met, and send me back ; however, he 
met no vessel, and we gradually approached Boston. At 
last the pilot came on board, and I was sent into the fore- 
castle to prevent his seeing me, and we soon arrived at 
Boston. At nine o'clock on the evening of the 10th of 
February, 1847, I landed at Boston, and then indeed I 
thanked God that I had escaped from hell to heaven, for 
I felt as I had never felt before — that is, master of myself \ 
and in my joy I was as a bouncing sparrow. Three sailors 
named Jim Jones, Frank, and Dennis, took me to the 
sailor's boarding-house, kept by one Henry Fonnan, 
Richmond-street, and I became his servant, and worked 
for him, and received my board as payment. About June 
I left him, and went to Salem, and worked for James 
Brayton, Samuel Pittman, and many others, in the tan yards. 
I received a dollar-and-a-half per day, out of which I saved 
one hundred dollars in the course of a year, which I put 
in the savings' bank. I used often to work at sawing wood 
during the night, and it did not seem such a hardship as 
when I did the same in South Carolina. Why? Because 
I felt that I was free, and that I worked because I wished ; 
whilst in South Carolina I worked because my master 
compelled me. This fact is, in my mind, more satisfac- 
tory than twenty theories, as to the superiority of free 
labour over slave labour. When I was a slave we were 
employed the whole of the day in breaking and hauling 
home the corn, and then when night came on we were not 
allowed to snatch an instant's sleep until we had shucked 
the whole of the corn brought in during the day ; so that 
it was generally between one and two o'clock in the morn- 
ing before we were allowed to rest our wearied bodies. As 
soon as dawn appeared we were roused by the overseer's 
whip, for we were so exhausted that the horn failed to 
rouse us as usual ; and then we would discover that the 



MY ESCAPE. 29 

tats had actually eaten a part of our feet. As the slaves 
are not allowed boots or shoes (except for a short time in 
the winter), the combined action of the frost at night, and 
the heat during the day, harden the feet ; so that the out- 
side skin at last cracks, and is very painful to the negroes. 
This outside skin is called " dead skin," as the slaves can- 
not feel the rats eating it until their teeth touch the more 
tender part of the feet. During the day, that part of the 
foot which has been skinned by the rats is very tender and 
causes great pain. The presence of rats in our houses 
brought venemous snakes, who frequented them for the 
purpose of swallowing the rats, and who sometimes bit 
the negoes, and then my father's power of curing snake- 
bites was called into play. On one occasion there was a 
sale of slaves near, and a man came to the auction to pur- 
chase a slave girl. He fixed on one who pleased him, and 
took her into a neighbouring barn and stripped her start 
naked, for the purpose of examining her, as he would a 
horse, previous to buying ber. The father and mother of 
the girl were looking through the window and keyhole and 
various crevices, with many other slaves, who saw all 
that passed. He ultimately purchased her for his own 
vile purposes, and when he had had several children by 
her, sold both her and her children. Marriage in the slave 
States among the slaves is absolutely " Nil." There was 
■on one plantation, a slave about thirty years of age and six 
feet high, named Adam. He had a wife on a neighbouring 
plantation belonging to Mr. Hancock. My master bought 
a young slave girl afeout fourteen years old, named Jenny 
Wilson, and he then ordered Adam to leave his present 
wife and take Jenny. Adam, after having some hun- 
dreds of lashes for obstinately persisting in loving his 
wife, at last consented, but not so Jenny, who was,in love 
with me and I with her. But she was at last compelled 
to obey her master by the bloody cowhide. My master 
served nearly all his male slaves in a similar manner. One 
of his slaves, however, named Abraham, was unusually 
obstinate, and would not give up his wife. At last my 
master, in despair, sent him to his son-in-law's plantation, 
■Gamble M'Farden, who was an inveterate drunkard, and 
who murdered my sister Bella, as related elsewhere. He 
ordered Abraham not to go up to see his wife any more ; 
but Abraham loved his wife too much to be parted from 
her in that manner, so he went fifteen long miles once 



30 MY EXPERIENCE AS A SLAVE. 

every fortnight, on the Saturday night, for the pleasure of 
seeing his wife for a short time. He was found out, and 
whipped to death by that drunkard Mr. M'Farden. My 
brother'' Ephraim did not escape; he was compelled to 
leave his wife and marry the house girl. 

But I am wandering. While I was at Salem, I heard 
from Mr. Porman, that Anderson, my old slave-driver, had 
called for me. I will give some incidents that will illus- 
trate his character. He was brought up among the negroes, 
and was so familiar with negro habits, that he possessed 
unusual facilities for getting them into trouble. He was 
hired for the purpose of subduing me and another slave 
named Isaac, but fortunately my escape saved me from 
experiencing his tender mercies. 

In the adjacent swamp there was an abundance of wild 
turkeys, the sight of which greatly tantalized the negroes, 
as they had no gun to shoot them with. On one occasion 
my father, old Doctor Clavern', had made a pen to catch 
the wild turkeys with. This soon came to the ears of 
Anderson, and he immediately sought cut my father, and 
accosted him with "Old Doc. Clave., where is your turkey 
pen ?" " In the swamp, massa." " Tell me where it is ? 
turkeys are too good for niggers." "I can't exactly tell 
where it is, massa." " Then I will find out and destroy 
it; for turkeys are too good for niggers." He fully carried 
out his threat ; for soon afterwards he discovered the pen, 
and destroyed it. When he next met with my father, he 
said, "Old Doc. Clave., does you catch turkeys now?" 
" No, massa Anderson; somebody spoil my pen." " 'Twas 
I spoiled it, you rascal, so that you should not catch turkeys 
any more." This may serve to show his badness of dis- 
position. On another occasion, I had made a fish trap in 
the stream which ran through the swamp. Anderson 
heard of it, and organized a party to proceed to the swamp, 
and search for it. After a long search they succeeded in 
discovering it, and took all the fish out, and destroyed it, 
for the simple reason that " fish was too good for niggers." 
Owing to his having been brought up among negroes, he 
was perfectly familiar with their peculiarities of dialect, 
&c. If he suspected that any negroes had fresh meat, 
obtained as narrated above, he would sneak to the nigger 
houses in the dead of night, and say, in their peculiar man- 
ner, " Brudder, ope' t' door; I want to 'peak to you for a 
minnit." This would deceive the negroes, and they would 



MY ESCAPE. 31 

open the door, expecting to see another negro, when, to their 
amazement and confusion, it would be "Neddy Anderson," 
as he was called. " O you rascals ! " he would say, " you got 
fresh meat here ; you steal it ; " and next day they would have 
so many lashes for daring to eat meat, or whatever it might 
be. He was accustomed to be hired to whip negroes, and 
he used to revel in this (to him) delightful occupation. 
He would sneak about during the night, for the purpose 
of catching negroes wandering from their plantations, so 
that he might have the pleasure of whipping them. I 
heard since my escape, of my mother's death, and that she 
died under him. I therefore cannot but conclude that my 
mistress, who hated her, incited him to whip her in par- 
ticular, and that, horrible to think of, she must have died 
under his lash. I believe, also, that my youngest brother, 
Casey, must have fallen a victim to his cruelty; for I have 
heard of his death also, and that Anderson had given him 
some severe whippings. Had I sufficient space I could 
fill a volume with instances of his wickedness and cruelty. 
But, to proceed — he was so anxious to catch me that he 
followed me to Boston — at least, I believe, from the de- 
scription given by Mr. Forman, that it was he ; but fortun- 
ately I had gone to Salem, which is 15 miles from Boston. 
Mr. Forman did not tell Anderson where I was, but merely 
told him that there was no such person as Jackson there. 
Anderson said, " I know better, here is the letter he wrote 
home, wishing to know what he can buy his father and 
mother for, and I now want to see him." This incensed 
the sailors, who said, " Here are the slave-hunters, hunting 
for niggers," and drove them from the house. Mr. Forman 
wrote to me at Salem, to warn me not to come to Boston, 
as they were hunting for me there. I remained at Salem, 
and worked in the tan yard there, turning the splitting 
machine, until I had saved one hundred dollars. Since 
my escape I have saved about one thousand dollars of my 
own earnings, for the purpose of purchasing my relatives. 
1 was in correspondence with some gentlemen in America, 
through my friend the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon, for that pur- 
pose, when the present war interrupted and broke up my 
hopes and plans. If this war obviates the necessity of 
buying my people, by freeing the negroes, (as I hope and 
pray to God it will, and as I believe it will) I shall then, 
if God pleases, devote my money in building a Chapel in 
Canada, for escaped slaves ; or wherever my old fellow- 



32 MT EXPERIENCE AS A SLAVE. 

labourers are located. Though " absent in the body," my 
whole heart is with my fellow- sufferers in that horrible 
bondage ; and I will exert myself until the last of my 
relatives is released. On one occasion I saw my brother 
Ephraim tied up and blindfolded with his own shirt, and 
beaten with fifty lashes before his own wife and children, 
by a wretch named Sam Cooper, because he was falsely 
accused of having stolen a yard of bagging. Fathers ! 
think of being tied up and stripped before your wife and 
children, and beaten severely for nothing at all ; and then 
think that it is a daily, nay, hourly, occurrence in the Slave 
States of America, and you will begin to have some idea 
of what American slavery is. But to proceed with my 
life. Just as I was beginning to be settled at Salem, that 
most atrocious of all laws, the " Fugitive Slave Law," was 
passed, and I was compelled to flee in disguise from a 
comfortable home, a comfortable situation, and good wages, 
to take refuge in Canada. I may mention, that during my 
flight from Salem to Canada, I met with a very sincere 
friend and helper, who gave me a refuge during the night, 
and set me on my way. Her name was Mrs. Beecher 
Stowe. She took me in and fed me, and gave me some 
clothes and five dollars. She also inspected my back, 
which is covered with scars which I shall carry with me 
to the grave. She listened with great interest to my story, 
and sympathized with me when I told her how long I had 
been parted from my wife Louisa and my daughter Jenny, 
and perhaps, for ever. I was obliged to proceed, however, 
and finally arrived in safety at St. John's, where I met my 
present wife, to whom I was married lawfully, and who was 
also an escaped slave from North Carolina. I stayed there 
some time, and followed the trade of whitewashes and at 
last I embarked for England. When I arrived at Liverpool, 
I proceeded to Scotland, where I met with true friends of 
abolition. I lectured in most of the Free Churches there, 
including Dr. Candlish's, Dr. Guthrie's, and Mr. Alex- 
ander Wallis's. I lectured twice in Dr. Candlish's Church. 
1 then proceeded to Aberdeen, where I lectured to crowded 
audiences ; and I then fell in with more friends, until I 
met with the Rev. Mr. Barker, of Huddersfield, who 
directed me to the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon, who received me 
and my wife into his Church as members, and who has 
been my firm friend and adviser ever since. I am now 
only anxious for the war to end with freedom to the 



AMERICAN BUTTERFLY AND SLAVERY. 33 

oppressed, (for I firmly believe that will be its ultimate 
issue) and then I will revisit the old scenes of oppression, 
and read the Bible to those to whom it has long been a 
sealed Book. May God hasten this happy consummation, 



CHAPTER VI. 

AMERICAN BUTTERFLY AND SLAVERY. 

A bad man called Old Ben Calo, who was nearly seven 
feet high, used to go about ditching for different slave- 
holders, far too lazy to work on his own plantation in 
the Pine Woods. On one occasion, he wanted me to steal 
from my master a bushel of corn for him, which I refused 
to do. This annoyed him very much, and, in the course 
of time, he came to my white people and told them that 
he saw me the night before on a horse, and that he believed 
me to be trading with Tom Hancock. This he did to gain 
their favour. They then asked him how he knew it was 
me. " 1 know it was him, he replied." " It might have 
been a white man," said they. " No ; I am sure it was 
Jackson, for I waited some time for him to return on this 
side of the branch. After I had started to go home, I 
heard the noise of horses' feet coming behind. As he ap- 
proached, I gave him the road, and ordered him to stop ; 
he disregarded this and galloped by. I then pulled the 
trigger of my gun three times to shoot him, but it would 
not fire, because he bewitched it." Foolish man — if what 
he said was true — God alone preserved my life that night. 
Ben Calo is not the only man who acts so deceitfully ; 
there are scores whom I might mention. One more instance 
I will mention here of a man named Squire Sanders ; he 
lived in South Carolina, Sumpter District ; he had been in 
the habit for a long time of trading secretly with slaves, 
which trading he, of course, found very profitable ; and he 
encouraged them to steal cotton, corn, etc. He was at last 
suspected of having received stolen property. Thereupon, 
James Laws and another slaveholder, at once hit on the 
following plan to find him out : they placed a basket of 
cotton on the head of one of their own slaves, named Job. 
Previous to this, however, a negro from the same planta- 
tion, named Alex, ran ahead on purpose to inform Squire 
Sanders that his master was coming that night to test his 
honesty, and begged him not to purchase anything of any 
slave that might come to him. " Well, my boy," said the 



34 MY EXPERIENCE AS A SLAVE. 

Squire joyfully, " if I find this to be true, I will make you 
a present of five dollars." Between ten and eleven o'clock, 
Job arrived, followed at a distance by his master on horse- 
back. The dogs began to bark, and Squire Sanders came 
out to enquire what was the matter. " Who's tbat ? " he 
asked. " James Law's Job," was the answer. " What do 
you want?" "I have some cotton for you." "Have 
you got an order from your master to bring me cotton this 
time of night?" "No, sir," said Job. "How dare you 
bring me cotton here without an order ? go along back, 
and to-morrow I will see your master about this." James 
Law then returned, convinced in his own mind that the 
Squire was an honest man, and did not trade with slaves. 
And Alex received his five dollars. So the Squire went 
on trading as usual ; but he adopted the plan of having 
the cotton taken to one of the negro-houses, and received 
by Abraham, a negro. This I know to be the truth. 



THE AMERICAN BUTTERFLY. 

The character of the slaveholder, is to work his slaves 
very hard so that they may not get up in the night to raise 
an insurrection, or carry off cotton or corn to other masters 
who trade with slaves at night. "The harder we work 
them," say they, "the sounder they will sleep until we 
blow the horn to put them to work next day." The butter- 
fly, and bumble bee, and the mosquito-hawk, fly from 
blossom to blossom through the cotton fields, enjoying 
the glorious liberty which is denied to the slaves. A cir- 
cumstance occured in the cotton fields, during a very 
heavy thunderstorm, which I think is woithy of notice 
here. The thunder and lightning was terrific, frightening 
the most hardened. One old negro sinner named Munday, 
who was ploughing in the field, and who was swearing 
fearfully, was struck dead by the lightning. 

The lightning once burnt a space of ground in the cotton 
fields, and nothing afterwards ever grew on that spot. 

We will now turn to the hawk and the owl. The hawk 
snatches away chickens from the hen during the day, and 
the owl steals them at night, yet the slave is not allowed 
to have a gun to shoot them. I went one Sunday to see 
my old aunt, and I came back through my master's pas- 
ture, three miles in length and about the same in width, 
killing snakes and scorpions as I went along, until I came 



THE NEGRO SONGS. 35 

up to a region where the great storm — which we call a 
hurricane — had torn up the pine trees hy the roots. On 
one of these trees there was a large head, which frightened 
me ; it had large dreadful-looking eyes, which turned as 
I walked on. I afterwards discovered this to be an owl, 
not able to fly ; but the head was quite as large as a full- 
grown owl's. I succeeded in killing this, but not until I 
had had a sharp fight with the old ones, who were over- 
head, and who followed me quite half a mile, knowing I. 
had taken their young one. The slaveholders live upon 
their slaves just as the hawk and owl live upon the hen 
and chicken. 

The Methodists and Independents hold slaves, as also 
do the Baptists. 

CHAPTER VII. 

THE NEGRO SONGS. 

I fear that this chapter will prove to many rather unin- 
teresting; but at the same time, there are many who, I am 
quite sure, would wish to know what are the songs with 
which the negroes beguile their leisure hours. The fol- 
lowing is one of them, and a great favourite among the 
negroes. 

A SPIRITUAL HYMN. 

" Shepherd, wha' thou bin all day, 
O Shepherd, wha' thou bin all day, 
Shepherd, wha' thou bin all day, 

You promised my Jesus to mind these lambs, 
And he pays you at the coming day. 

O children, he pays you at the coming day, 
O children, he pays you at the coming day, 
O children, he pays you at the coming day. 

Shepherd, the lambs all gone astray, 
O Shepherd, the lambs all gone astray, 
Shepherd, the lambs all gone astray, 

You promised my Jesus to mind these lambs, 
And he pays you at the coming day. 

O children, he pays you at the coming day, 
O children, he pays you at the coming day, 
children, he pays you at the coming day. 

Did you ever see such a carriage roll, 

Did you ever see such a carriage roll, 

Did you ever see such a carriage roll, 

And it rolls like judgment day. 

O children, it rolls like judgment day, 

O children, it rolls like judgment day, 

children, it rolls like judgment day. 



36 MY EXPERIENCE AS A SLAVE. 

The fore-wheel roll by the grace of God, 

The fore-wheel roll by the grace of God, 

The fore-wheel roll by the grace of God, 
And the hind-wheel roll by faith. 

O children, the hind-wheel roll by faith, 
children, the hind-wheel roll by faith, 
children, the hind- wheel roll by faith. 

It roll for me and it roll for you, 

It roll for me and it roll for you, 

It roll for me and it roll for you, 

And it roll for the whole world round. 

children, it roll for the whole world round, 
O children, it roll for the whole world round, 
children, it roll for the whole world round. 

Did you ever hear such a trumpet ring, 
Did you ever hear such a trumpet ring, 
Did you ever hear such a trumpet ring, 
And it ring like judgment day. 

O children, it ring like judgment day, 

children, it ring like judgment day, 

O children, it ring like judgment day. 

It ring for me and it roll for you, 

It rint? for me and it roll for you, 

I , It ring for me and it roll for you, 

And it ring for the whole world round. 

children, it ring for the whole world round, 
children, it ring for the whole world round, 
children, it ring for the whole world round. 

My Jesus he put on the long white robe, 
My Jesus he put on the long white robe, 
My Jesus he put on the long white robe, 
And he sail thro' Galilee. 

children, he sail thro' Galilee, 

children, he sail thro' Galilee, 

O children, he sail thro' Galilee. 

He sail for me and he sail for you, 

He sail for me and he sail for you, 

He sail for me and he sail for you, 

And he sail for the whole world round. 

O children, he sail for the whole world round, 
O children, he sail for the whole world round, 
children, he sail for the whole world round." 

This hymn is a great favourite with the slaves, and is 
sung by them while they clap their hands to keep time. 
Probably the reason for the number of repeats, is because 
they have no books allowed them ; and indeed, they cannot 
read, and therefore, on hearing a single line sung by the 
white people, these poor slaves cannot prize it too much, 
as is shown by their singing it over and over. 



THE NEGE0 SONGS. 37 

The following is a favourite hymn of the poor negroes 
in the dusk of eventide, or on the dark night, after work : 

" We shall hear the trumpet sounding 

'Fore the break of day, 
We'll take the wings of th' morning, 

And fly away to my Canaan land, 
Bright angels shall come to bear my soul 

To my rosen, rosen* Lamb." 

This hymn was often to me a sweet solace after a hard 
day's work under the horrible tyranny of slavery. It 
used to refresh us to think that heaven was so near, and 
that soon we should be there. 

The following is perhaps, not quite so intelligible as the 
previous one : — 

" Oh, me an' my wife we'er hand in hand, 
And all our children in one band — 

They honour tbe Lamb. 
Oh, silver slippers on my feet, 
We'll slip and slide thro' paradise, 

And honour the Lamb." 

• It must be remembered that these hymns are composed 
of fragments of hymns, which we had heard sung at the 
meeting-houses and camp-meetings of the white men. 
Under these circumstances, it is indeed wonderful that 
they are as intelligible as they are. A few more may, per- 
haps, be acceptable to the reader. This one we used to 
"sing when in some such spirit as was David of old, when 
he indicted that interesting Psalm, beginning "Truly God 
is good to Israel." (lxxiii.) 

" Old Satan told me to my face 
He'd drag my kingdom down ; 
But Jesus whispered in my ears 
He'd build it up again. 
Chorus. 
Oh, we'll walk and talk 'bout Jesus, 

Glory, hallelujah ! 
Oh, we'll walk and talk 'bout Jesus, 
Glory to my soul." 

We used to sing this when we had seen the wicked in 
high places, and the servants of God suffering injustice. 
But when we had sung this we considered the end, and 
saw that they were set in slippery places. Our hymns 
were all we could get of real spiritual food, and yet they 
were blest by God to the conversion of many, and to the 

* rosen, probably a corruption ol risen. 



38 MY EXPERIENCE AS A SEAVE. 

building up of his saints. " Truly out of the mouths of 
babes and sucklings hath he perfected praise." 

After we had sung one of these songs, we would kneel 
down, and 'one of us would offer prayer, and then we 
would spring up and strike up a new song — one of joy 
and gladness : — 

" Oh, what a happy day 
When the Christian people meet, 
They shall meet to part no more. 

Tracks I see and I'll pursue 
The narrow way to heaven I view, 
Jesus, my all, to heaven is gone, 
He whom I fix my hopes upon. 
Chorus. 
Oh, what a happy day, &c, &c." 

It will be seen more particularly from the foregoing, 
that the negroes compose their songs chiefly from snatches 
of hymns which they hear sung by the white people, 
interpolated, it is true, with now and then a line of the 
original. Judge them not harshly, gentle reader, for their 
plagiarism, if such it may be called, for were you in their 
position, we doubt if you could do better. 

As perhaps these slave songs may be interesting to the 
reader, I Avill give two or three more, with which I will 
conclude : — 

" I want to go where Moses gone, 

Glory, hallelujah ! 
I want to go to the promised land, 

Glory, hallelujah ! 
Sweet milk and honey overflows, 

Glory, hallelujah ! " 

These lines would be repeated with great energy, the 
hallelujah being sometimes in the middle of the line, in- 
stead of in its legitimate position ; thus : — 

" I want to go, hallelu', hallelu', 
Where Moses gone, hallelu', hallelu', halleluV 

The following may show our feelings with regard to 

death : : — «■ 

" Death, death, O where are you going ? 
Oh hallelu', hallelu', hallelujah ! 
I'm coming for some of your souls, 
Oh hallelu', hallelu', hallelujah ! 

We feared not death, but would rather welcome it with 
songs, for we, ignorant as we are, felt that we should 
receive the " Crown of Life." 



THE NEGRO SONGS. 39 

It is remarkable to notice that, although the poor 
negroes are but very little acquainted with the Sacred 
Scriptures, yet the Almighty, apparently to show man the 
futility of attempting to keep the mind of his fellow-man 
in ignorance of Him, has imparted to the poor despised 
one a species of subtlety in acquiring religious know- 
ledge, which may appear to those who are not personally 
acquainted with the fact, extraordinary and impossible. 
If God so honour the negro, and if He works for his de- 
liverance from bondage as He has been doing, ought we to 
be idle? Surely if we stand calmly by, and see our 
brother murdered, shall not we be guilty of his blood ? 
Some have blamed "Abolitionists" for over-zealousness ; 
but surely no one could be too zealous for the destruction 
of a system which works, or can work, as described in 
these pages. " Let us be up and doing, for the night 
cometh when no man can work." 

" Oh, early in the morning, 
Early in the evening, 
Then we'll shout glory, glory, in my soul. 

Old fathers, can't you rise and tell ? 

Bless the Lord, we'll rise and tell, 

Then we'll shout glory, glory, in my soul." 

This the slaves sing to keep time while picking cotton in 
the fields under the burning sun ; soon after, the whip- 
lash falls on their backs by their drunken masters and 
overseers, till the blood runs down. And still they say 
that the slaves are better off than the working people in 
free countries, which is as big a lie as ever was told. 

A man by the name of Stevondecause, in South Carolina, 
kept a storehouse at the cross road, over the mill branch, 
where he sold liquor and other things to the white people 
at daytime ; he enticed the negroes to steal at night cotton 
and corn, and other things, for which he gave them liquor 
and one thing or another ; and he steals it from them by 
not giving them what it is worth, and tells them to go and 
steal more, and not let their masters see them. And when 
he got rich enough to buy niggers himself, he stopped 
trading with the others. He went across Black Kiver 
Swamp, where he bought a plantation, and was one of the 
worst masters that ever lived. He was afraid to let any of 
his niggers leave his plantation at night, and told them if 
they did he would whip them ; and why, because it takes a 
rough to catchy a rough, and he is afraid they will steal 



40 MY EXPERIENCE AS A SLAVE. 

his cotton, as he got other master's niggers to steal for 
him to make him rich. Mr. Neddy Anderson, and William 
Miles, and Stevondecause, are very bad men — more like 
beasts than men — they used to go about all the plantations 
on Sunday nights, and frighten the negroes that used to 
come together to hold prayer-meetings, chasing them here 
and there, and whipping as many as they could catch 
without a pass. Mr. Anderson spends a great deal 
of his time in plaiting whips to whip the negroes with ; 
my mistress hired him as overseer to come and flog all the 
negroes, and me in particular, after Christmas, because I 
had a black pony. But she gave us three days at Christ- 
mas, and I have not been home since ; for I and the pony 
gave them leg-bail for security, and thank God, got safe 
to a Free State. 

Two negroes were being taken away from their families 
in chains to the new countries, on the way there, the mas- 
ter stopped for dinner at one of the planter's houses, 
while the slaves were fastened to a tree. After dinner, he 
sent for his horse to be brought. The horse would not let 
the slave put the bridle on him, he bit at him. " Master," 
said the slave, "I can't catch your horse, he bites " " Oh, 
well, I'll go." He went, and said, " What are you about, 
sir ? " and rubbing him down behind, and lifting one of his 
hind feet, the horse kicked his brains out. The slaves were 
then let loose and sent back. 

The Rev. Mr. Reed, minister of Mount Zion Church, 
South Carolina, when his wife wanted him to whip her slave 
girl, he said, " I can't, I am a minister of the gospel." 
" Well, other ministers whip their niggers, and you can 
whip yours too." " No, I can't." " Well, I will send 
her to Mr. Sam. Wilson, and have her whipped." So she 
sat down and wrote a few lines, and she called her slave 
girl to her and said, " Here, Madam Manda, take this let- 
ter to Mr. Wilson." Which was five miles from her 
house. When he broke open the letter, he read, " Please 
give the bearer fifty lashes on the bare back, well put on." 
The girl looked astonished, and thought she had com- 
mitted some crime, and said, " Please massa, don't whip 
me, mistress give me this letter to give you." He said, " I 
don't care, I am going to give you fifty lashes." After she 
was flogged, she returned to her cruel mistress, who ex- 
amined her back, and said, "Kight good for you; I'm 
glad, I long wanted you whipped." A drunken slave- 



ANTI-SLA.VEKY SONGS. 41 

holder, by the name of Old Billy Dunn, whipped one of 
his negroes to death, and dug a hole in the field, and 
threw him in without coffin or anything of the kind, just as 
dogs are buried ; and in the course of time, the niggers 
ploughed up the bones, and said, "Brudder, this the place 
where Old Billy Dunn buried one of his slaves that was 
flogged to death." 

I, John Andrew Jackson, once a slave in the United 
States, have seen and heard all this, therefore I publish it. 

J. A. JACKSON. 



FLIGHT OF THE BONDMAN, 

DEDICATED TO WILLIAM W. BROWN, 

And Sung by the Hutchinsons. 

BT ELIAS SMITH. 

Aik — Silver Moon. 

From the crack of the rifle and baying of hound, 

Takes the poor panting bondman his flight ; 
His couch through the day is the cold damp ground, 

But northward he runs through the night. 

Chokus. 

God, speed the flight of the desolate slave, 

Let his heart never yield to despair ; 
There is room 'mong our hills for the true and the brave, 

Let his lungs breath© our free northern air ! 

Oh, sweet to the storm- driven sailor the light, 

Streaming far o'er the dark swelling wave ; 
But sweeter by far 'mong the lights of the night. 

Is the star of the north to the slave. 
O God, speed, &c. 

Cold and bleak are our mountains, and chilling our winds, 

But warm as the soft southern gales 
Be the hands and the hearts which the hunted one finds, 

TVIong our hills and our awn winter vales* 
O God, speed, &c. 

Then list to the 'plaint of the heart-broken thrall, 

Ye blood-hounds go back to. your lair ; 
May a free northern soil soon give freedom to a?J» 

Who shall breathe in its pure mountain air. 
God, speed, &c. 



42 MY EXPERIENCE AS A SLAVE. 

THE BEREAVED MOTHER. 

Aik — Kathleen O'More. 

Oh, deep was the anguish of the slave mother's heart, 
When called from her darling for ever to part ; 
So grieved that lone mother, that heart-broken mother, 
In sorrow and woe. 

The lash of the master her deep sorrows mock, 
While the child of her bosom is sold on the block ; 
Yet loud shrieked that mother, poor heart-broken mother, 
In sorrow and woe. 

The babe in return, for its fond mother cries, 
While the sound of their waitings together arise ; 
They shriek for each other, the child and the mother, 
In sorrow and woe. 

The harsh auctioneer, to sympathy cold, 
Tears the babe from its mother and sells it for gold ; 
While the infant and mother loud shriek for each other, 
In sorrow and woe. 

At last came the parting of mother and child, 
Her brain reeled with madness, that mother was wild ; 
Then the lash could not smother the shrieks of that mother, 
Of sorrow and woe. 

The child was borne off to a far distant clime, 
While the mother was left in anguish to pine ; 
But reason departed, and she sank broken-hearted, 
In sorrow and woe. 

That poor mourning mother of reason bereft, 
Soon ended her sorrows and sank cold in death ; 
Thus died that slave mother, poor heart-broken mother, 
In sorrow and woe. 

O list ye kind mothers, to the cries of the slave ; 
The parents and children implore you to save ; 
Go ! rescue the mothers, the sisters and brothers, 

From sorrow and woe. 



THE YANKEE GIRL. 

She sings by her wheel at that low cottage door, 
Which the long evening shadow is stretching before, 
With a music as sweet as the music which seems 
Breathed softly and faintly in the ear of our dreams. 

How brilliant and mirthful the light of her eye, 
Like a star glancing out from the blue of the sky 
And lightly and freely her dark tresses play 
O'er a brow and a bosom as lovely as they. 



ANTI-SLAVEBY SONGS. 43 

Who comes in his pride to that low cottage door — 
The haughty and rich to the humble and poor ? 
'Tis the great Southern planter — the master who waves 
His whip of dominion o'er hundreds of slaves. 

' Nay, Ellen, for shame ! Let those Yankee fools spin, 
Who would pass for our slaves with a change of their skin ; 
Let them toil as they will at the loom or the wheel, 
Too stupid for shame and too vulgar to feel. 

But thou art too lovely and precious a gem 
To be bound to their burdens and sullied by them — - 
For shame, Ellen, shame ! — cast thy bondage aside, 
And away to the South, as my blessing and pride. 

come where no winter thy footsteps can wrong, 
liut where flowers are blossoming all the year long ; 
Where the shade of the palm-tree is over my home, 
And the lemon and orange are white in their bloom, 

O come to my home, where my servants shall all 
Depart at thy bidding and come at thy call ; 
They shall heed thee as mistress with trembling and awe, 
And each wish of thy Tieart shall be felt as a law.' 

could ye have seen her — that pride of our girls — 
Arise and cast back the dark wealth of her curls, 
With scorn in her eye which the gazer could feel, 
And a glance like the sunshine that flashes on steel : 

"Go back, haughty Southron ! thy treasures o£ gold 
Are dim with the blood of the hearts thou hast sold ; 
Thy home may be lovely, but round it I hear 
The crack of the whip and the footsteps of fear ! 

And the sky of thy South may be brighter than ours, 
And greener thy landscapes, and fairer thy flowers ; 
But, dearer the blast round our mountains which raves, 
Than the sweet sunny zephyr which breathes over slaves 

Full low at thy bidding thy negroes may kneel, 
With the iron of bondage on spirit and heel ; 
Yet know that the Yankee girl sooner would be 
In fetters with them, than in freedom with thee /" 



THE SLAVE'S SONG. 

Air — Dearest May. 

ow, freemen, listen to my song, a story I'll relate, 
; happened in the valley of the old Carolina State : 
hey marched me to the cotton field, at early break of day, 
nd worked me there till late sunset, without a cent of pay. 
Chords.. 

They worked me all the day, 

Without a bit of pay, 

And believed me when I told them 

That I would not run away. 



44 MY EXPERIENCE AS A SLATE. 

Massa gave me a holiday, and said he'd give me more, 

I thanked him very kindly, and shoved my boat from shore ; 

I drifted down the river, my heart was light and free, 

I had my eye on the bright north star, and thought of liberty. 

They worked me all the day, 

Without a bit of pay, 

So I took my flight in the middle of the night, 

When the sun was gone away. 

I jumped out of my good old boat and shoved it from the shore, 

And travelled faster that night than I had ever done before ; 

I came up to a farmer's house, j ust at the break of day, 

And saw a white man standing there, said he, "You are run away." 

They worked me all the day, 

Without a bit of pay, 

So I took my flight in the middle of the night, 

When the sun was gone away. 

I told him I had left the whip, and baying of the hound, 

To find a place where man was man, if such there could be found, 

That I heard in Canada, all men were free 

And that I was going there in search of liberty. 

They worked me all the day, 

Without a bit of pay, 

So I took my flight in the middle of the night, 

When the sun was gone away. 



YE HERALDS OF FREEDOM. 

Ye heralds of freedom, ye noble and brave, 
Who dare to insist on the rights of the slave. 
Go onward, go onward, your cause is of God, 
And he will soon sever the oppressor's strong rod. 

The finger of slander may now at you point, 
That finger will soon lose the strength of its joint ; 
And those who now plead for the rights of the slave, 
Will soon be acknowledged the good and the brave. 

Though thrones and dominions, and kingdoms and powers, 
May now all oppose you, the victory is yours ; 
The banner of Jesus will soon be unfurled, 
And he will give freedom and peace to the world. 

Go under his standard, and fight by his side, 

O'er mountains and billows you'll then safely ride ; 

His gracious protection will be to you given, 

And bright crowns of glory he'll give you in heaven. 



TESTIMONIALS. 45 

TESTIMONIALS IX FAVOUR OF JOHN ANDREW 
JACKSON, A FUGITIVE SLAVE. 

" I am very happy to say that Mr. Jackson is a member 
of my Church, and is well worthy of all confidence and 
regard. 

April 12th, 1860. C. H. SPURGEON." 



" We, the undersigned, bear testimony to the truth of 
Mr. Jackson's statements, being satisfied regarding these 
either by personal investigation of his case, or by the evi- 
dence of those who have done so, and on whose veracity 
we can depend. The credentials he carries with him are 
attested by parties of the very highest respectability in 
Edinburgh. We therefore commend him to the kind 
sympathies of every friend of the slave, not only on ac- 
count of his exposure and denunciation of slavery in 
general, but his very laudable object of raising funds to 
procure the deliverance of his father and two children of 
a murdered sister from bondage. 

MEREAMLER WALLACE, Minister, East Campbell 
Street N. P. Church, Glasgow. 

WILLIAM BRUCE, Minister, U. P. Church, Edin- 
burgh. 

Wm. GRAHAM, Minister, Newhaven. 

Robt. NELSON, Deacon, St. John's Free Church. 

Thos. NELSON, Printer, etc. 

W. J. DUNCAN, Banker." 



" 18, Coates Crescent, 

Edinburgh, 7th May, 1857, 
Mr. Jackson, on producing what seemed to me sufficient 
testimonials, and particularly a strong one from Mrs. 
Beecher Stowe, was allowed to deliver two lectures in my 
Church. These lectures were, I have reason to know, 
very creditable to him. I have no doubt of his being en- 
titled to countenance and support in his laudable under- 
taking. 

Thos. CANDLISH, D.D., 

Minister of Free St. George's. 

JAMES GRANT, 7, Gilmore Place," 



46 MY EXPERIENCE AS A SLATE. 

" Resermere Presbyterian Manor, 

Loanhouse, Edinburgh, 18th May, 1857. 

From testimonials produced by Mr. Jackson, given by 
Mrs. Beecher Stowe and others, I was convinced of the 
truth of his case, gave him the use of my Church for 
public lectures on two occasions, and felt happy in afford- 
ing him hospitality for two nights. From all I have seen 
and heard, it gives me pleasure to testify my conviction 
that he is entitled to cordial sympathy and encouragement 
in the laudable object he has in view — the deliverance of 
some relations from that state of bondage from which 
he himself has in the good providence of God escaped. 

I can cordially unite with the above, from 

Wm. ANDERSON, Minister of the gospel. 

DAVID GUTHRIE, Minister of the Free 
Church, Tibetson." 



" Glasgow, October 15, 1857. 

At a meeting of the Joint Committees of the " Glasgow 
New Association for the Abolition of Slavery," the certi- 
ficates of John Andrew Jackson, a fugitive slave, having 
been examined and considered satisfactory, it was unani- 
mously agreed to vote him two guineas towards the object 
of his mission. 

JOHN SMITH, Treasurer." 



"J. A. Jackson having called on me and shown his 
testimonials, I took him to a lady, Miss Griffith, who was 
visiting this town on anti-slavery business, and who has 
resided several years in America. She examined him 
very closely, and was fully satisfied that his representa- 
tions of himself are correct. I believe implicit reliance 
may be placed in his truthfulness and honesty. 

Richd. SKINNER, 

Minister of Ramsden Street Chapel, 
March 25th, 1858. Huddersfield." 



TESTIMONIALS. 47 

Samuel Fessenden, a gentleman well known in the 
United States, with whom Mr. Jackson lived some time, 
gave him this character : — 

" This may certify that I have known Mr. John Andrew 
Jackson more than five years ; I believe him to be a reli- 
able man for integrity and truth. His history, which is 
very thrilling, may be relied on, as he relates it. He is 
anxious to redeem his father and two children of a sister 
in slavery. He has a claim on your sympathies. 

SAMUEL FESSENDEN." 



"Boston, April 30th, 1856 

Be it known that we know John Andrew Jackson, a 
coloured man, to be industrious and honest ; said Jackson 
worked in Salem, Mass., having worked for us at different 
times during the years of 1847-8-9, and 50. We further 
state that we believe said John Andrew Jackson was 
formerly a slave, and that his word may be relied upon, as 
we think him a man of integrity and truth. 

SAMUEL HIGBEE, North Street. 

JOHN GILMER." 



" Be it known to whom it may concern, that I went with 
the above John Andrew Jackson and saw Mrs. Foreman, 
in Richmond Street, Boston, and she fully corroborated 
his statement in reference to his being a slave ; also said 
her son had been on board the vessel, and seen the spot 
where the said John Andrew Jackson was cut out, accord- 
ing to his statement ; I would further add, that I know 
the above gentlemen, Samuel Higbee and John Gilmer, to 
be men of character and highly respectable, and that their 
statement may be fully relied upon. 

G. W. COCHRANE, 60 & 70, Read St." 



48 MY EXPERIENCE AS. A SLAVE. 

Mr. Jackson lectured twice in the Rev. Mr. Candlish's 
Church, Edinburgh, when the rev. gentleman took the 
chair ; he also lectured in almost all the Churches in 
Edinburgh and Glasgow, and he lectured all the way 
through to London, where he still continues to lecture on 
slavery, and endeavours to bring in the gospel of our 
Lord Jesus Christ; he is now waiting to see how the con- 
flict in America will end ; and if it please God that the 
slaves get their freedom, his intention is to go and preach 
the gospel among them as long as he lives. 



I am happy to say, that since writing the foregoing, 
President Lincoln has issued his proclamation, that " On 
January 1st, 1863, all slaves within any State, or part of a 
State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against 
the Federal Government, shall be then, thenceforward, and 
for ever free." — J. A. J. 



PA8SMOBE &, Alababthb, Printers, Wilson Street, Finsbtfrj.