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Full text of "A key to Uncle Tom's cabin : presenting the original facts and documents upon which the story is founded : together with corroborative statements verifying the truth of the work"


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UNCLE TOM'S CABIN 



PRESENTING THE ORIGINAL 



FACTS AND DOCUMENTS 



UPON WHICH THE STORT* IS FOUNDED. 



TOGETHER WITH 



CarrnljorHtibx Statcinnife 



VEKiFTiaa 



THE TRUTH OP THE WORK. 



BY HARRIET BEECHER STOWE, 

AUTHOB OF "UNCUS TOM'S CABIN." 



BOSTON: 

PUBLISHED BY JOHN P. JEWETT & CO. 

CLEVELAND, OHIO: 

JEWETT, PROCTOR & WORTHINGTON. * 

LONDON: LOW AND COMPANY. 

1853. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1853, by 

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE, 

In the Clerk's Office of the Distric', Court for the District of Massachnsetta. 



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%i 6^111 



STEREexTPKD BY 

nOBAIlT A ROBBINS, 

WBW ENGLAND TYPE AND STKBKOTYPB FOt'NDEBT, 
BOSTON. 

\ 

Dainrcll & Moore, Printers, 16 Devonshire St., Bostoo. 



PREFACE. 



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

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the element of slavery were withdrawn.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

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

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

The great object of the author in writing has been to bring this subject of 
slavery, as a moral and religious question, before the minds of all those who 



IV PREFACE. 

profess to be followers of Christ, in this country. A minute history has 
been given of the action of the various denominations on this subject. 

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

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



PART I. 



CHAPTER I. 

At different times, doubt has been ex- 
pressed Avhether the representations of 
•'Uncle Tom's Cabin" are a fair repre- 
sentation of slaver J as it at present exists. 
This work, more, perhaps, than any other 
work of fiction that ever was written, 
has been a collection and arrangement of 
real incidents, — of actions really per- 
formed, of words and expressions really 
uttered, — grouped together with reference 
to a general result, in the same manner 
that the mosaic artist groups his fragments 
of various stones into one general picture. 
His is a mosaic of gems, — this is a mosaic 
of facts. 

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

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

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



CHAPTER II. 



MR. HALEY. 



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

Several years ago, while one morning 
employed <in the duties of the nursery, a 
colored woman wa-s announced. She was 
ushered into the nursery, and the author 
thought, on first survey, that a more surly, 
unpromising face she had never seen. The 
woman was thoroughly black, thick-set, 
firmly built, and with strongly-marked Af- 
rican features. Those who haveljeen ac- 
customed to read the expressions of the 
African face know what a peculiar effect is 
produced by a lowering, desponding expres- 
sion upon its dark features. It is like the 
shadow of a thunder -cloud. Unlike her 
race generally, the woman did not smile 
when smiled upon, nor utter any pleasant 
remark in reply to such as were addressed 
to her. The youngest pet of the nursery, 
a boy about three years old, walked up, and 
laid his little hand on her knee, and seemed 
astonished not to meet the quick smile Avhich 
the negro almost always has in reserve for 
the little child. The writer thought her 
very cross and disagreeable, and, after a few 
moments' silence, asked, with perhaps a 
little impatience, "Do you vrant anything 
of me to-day 7 ' ' 

" Here are some papers," said the wo- 
man, pushing them towards her; "perhaps 
you would read them." 

The first paper opened was a letter from 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



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

"What sort of a man is this 7 " said the 
author to the woman, when she had done 
reading the letter. 

" Dunno, ma'am ; great Christian, I 
know, — member of the Methodist church, 
anyhow." 

The expression of sullen irony with which 
this was said was a thing to be remem- 
bered. 

" And how old is this child'?" said the 
author to her. 

The woman looked at the little boy who 
had been standing at her knee, with an ex- 
pressive glance, and 'said, " She will be 
three years old this summer." 

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

If the pul)lic would like a specimen of 
the correspondence which passes between 
these worthies, who are the principal reli- 
ance of the community for supporting acid 
extending the institution of slavery, the fol- 
lowing may be interesting as a matter of 
literary curiosity. It Wiis forwarded by 
Mr. M. J. Thomas, of Philadelphia, to the 
National Era, and stated by him to be "a 
copy taken verbatim from the original, 
found among the |>a[)crs of the person to 
whom it was addressed, at the time of his 
arrest and conviction, for passing a variety 
of counterfeit bank-notes." 

Poolsvilk, Montgomery Co., Md., 
March 24, 1831. 

Dear Sir : T arriviMl Ii Hne in safety with Lou- 
ifUi, Jylm having been rescued from me, out of a 



two-story winduw, at twelve o'clock at night. I 
offered a reward uf fifty dollars, and have him here 
safe in jail. The persons who took him brought 
him to Fredericktownjail. I wish you to ^vriteto 
no person in this state but myself. Kephart and 
myself are determined to go the wh^le hog for any 
negro you can find, and you must give me the ear- 
liest information, as soon as you do find any. En- 
closed you will receive a handbill, andl can make 
a good bargain, if yuu can find them. I will in 
all cases, as soon as a negro runs off, send you a 
handbill immediately, so that you may be on the 
look-out. Please tell the constable to go on witli 
the sale of John's property ; and, Avhen the money 
is made, 1 will send on an order to you for it. 
Please attend to tliis for me ; likewise write to me, 
and inform me of any negro you think has run away, 
— no matter where you think he has come' from, 
nor how far, — and I will try and find out his mas- 
ter. Let me know where you tliink he is from, 
with all particular marks, and if I don't find his 
master, Joe 's dead ! 

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

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

John C. Saunders. 

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

With regard to the Kephart named in 
this letter the community of Boston may 
have a special interest to know further par- 
ticulars, as he was one of the dignitaries 
sent from the South to assist the good citi- 
zens of that [)lace in the religious and pa- 
triotic enterprise of 1851, at the time that 
Shadrach was unfortunately rescued. It 
therefore may be well to introduce somewhat 
particularly John Kepuart, as sketched 
by RiciiAKi) H. Dana, Jr., one of the 
lawyers em})loycd in the defence of the per- 
petrators of the rescue. 

I shall never forget John Caphart. I have been 
eleven years at the bar, and in tliat time have seen 
many develo{iment8 of vice and liardness, but I 
never met with anything so cold-l)looded as the 
testimony of tliat man. John Caphnrt is a tall, 
sallow man, of al)out fifty, with jet-black hair, a 
restless, dark eye, and an anxious, care-w«rn 
look, which, had there been enough of moral ele- 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



ment in the expression, might be called melan- 
choly. His frame was strong, and in youth he 
had evidently been powerful, but he was not ro- 
bust. Yet there was a calm, cruel look, a power 
of will and a quickness of muscular action, which 
still render him a terror in his vocation. 

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

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

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

From the Examination of John Caphart, in the 

" Rescue Trials,'" at Boston, in June and Nov., 

1851, and October, 1852. 

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

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Q. What is dime with themi 

A. We put them in the lock-up, and in the 
morning they are brought into court and or- 
dered to be punished, — those that are to be 
punished. 

Q. What punishment do they get? 

A. Not exceeding thirty-nine lashes. 

Q. Who gives tliem these lashes ? 

A. Any of the officers. 1 do, sometimes. 

Q. Are you paid ixtra for this? How much? 

A. Fifty cents a he;id. It used to be sixty-two 
cents. Now it is fifty. Fifty cents for each one 
we arrest, and fifty more for each one we flog. 

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

A. Men, women, boys and girls, just as it hap- 
pens. 

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

Q. Is your Hoggijig confined to these cases ? 
Do you not flog slaves at the request of their 
masters ? 

A. Sometimes I do. Certainly, when I am 
called upon. 

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

A. No. I go r(mnd,a8 I am sent for. 

Q. Is this part of your duty as an officer ? 

A. No, sir. 

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

A. That 's none of my business. I do as I am 
tequt^sted. The master is responsible. 



Q. In these cases, too, I suppose you flog wo- 
men and girls, as well as men. 

A. Women and men. 

Q. Mr. Caphart, how long have you been en- 
gaged in this business? 

A. Ever since 1836 

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

A. [Looking calmly round the room.] I don't 
know how many niggers you have got here in Mas- 
chusetts, but I should think I had flogged as many 
as you 've got in the state. 

[The same man testifiea that he was often em- 
ployed to pursue fugitive slaves. His reply to 
the question was, " I never refuse a good job in 
that line."] 

Q. Don't they sometimes turn out bad jobs 1 

A. Never, iff can help it. 

Q. Are they not sometimes discharged after 
you get them ? 

A. Not often. I don't know that they ever are, 
except those Portuguese the counsel read about. 

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

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

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

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

Halifax, N. C, Nov. IG, 1839. 
Dear Sir : I have shipped in the brig Addison, 
— prices are below : 



No. 1. Caroline Ennis, 
" 2. Silvy Holland, 
" 3. Silvy Booth, . 
" 4. Maria Pollock, 
" 5. Emeline Pollock, 
" 6. Delia Averit, . 



$650 00 
G25.00 
487.50 
475.00 
475.00 
475.00 



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

G. W. Barnes. 
Mr. Theophilus Freeman, 
New Orleans. 

The above was a small but choice invoice of 
wives and mothers. Nine da}s before, namely, 
7th Nov., Mr. Barnes advised Mr. FrecMan of 
having shipped a lot of forty-three men and 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



women. Mi. Freeman, informing one of his cor- 
respondents of the state of the market, writes 
{Sundmj, 21st Sept., 1839), " I bought a boy yes- 
terday, sixteen years old, and likely, weighing 
one hundred and ten pounds, at $700. I sold a 
likely gu-1, twelve years old, at $500. I bought a 
man yesterday, twenty years old, sis feet high, at 
$820 ; one to-day, twenty-four years old, at $850, 
black and sleek as a mole." 

The writer has drawn in this work only 
one class of the negro-traders. There are 
all varieties of them, up to the great whole- 
sale purchasers, who keep their large trad- 
ing-houses ; who are gentlemanly in man- 
ners and courteous in address ; who, m many 
respects, often perform actions of real gen- 
erosity ; who consider slavery a very great 
evil, and hope the country will at some 
time be delivered from it, but who think 



pered by just discipline and religious instruc- 
tion, skilfully and judiciously imparted. 

The writer did not come to her task with- 
out reading much upon both sides of the 
question, and making a particular effort to 
collect all the most favorable representa- 
tions of slavery which she could ob- 
tain. And, as the reader may have a 
curiosity to examine some of the documents, 
the writer will present them quite at large. 
There is no kind of danger to the world iii 
letting the very fairest side of slavery be 
seen; in fact, the horrors and barbarities 
which are necessarily inherent in it are so 
terrible that one stands absolutely in need 
of all the comfort which can be gained from 
incidents like the subjoined, to save them 
from utter despair of human nature. The first 



that so long as clergyman and layman, saint j^account is from Mr. J. K. Paulding's Letters 
and sinner, are all agreed in the propriety 
and necessity of slave-holding, it is better 
that the necessary trade in the article be 
conducted by men of humanity and decency, 
than by swearing, brutal men, of the Tom 
Loker school. These men are exceedingly 
sensitive with regard to what they consider 
the injustice of the world in excluding them 
from good society, simply because they un- 
dertake to supply a demand in the com- 
munity which the bar, the press and the 
pulpit, all pronounce to be a proper one. In 
this respect, society certainly imitates the 
unreasonableness of the ancient Egyptians, 
Avho employed a certain class of men to 
prepare dead bodies for embalming, but 
flew at them with sticks and stones the mo- 
ment the operation was over, on account of 
the sacrilegious liberty which they had 
taken. If there is an ill-used class of men 
in the world, it is certainly the slave-trad- 
for," if there is no harm in the institu- 



ers ^ 

tion of slavery,— if it is a divinely-appointed 
and honorable one, like civil government 
and the fiimily state, and like other species of 
property relation. — then there is no earthly 
T-eason why a man may not as innocently 
be a slave-trader as any other kind of 
trader. 



CHAPTER m. 

MR. AND MRS. SHELBY. 

It was the design of the writer, in delin- 
eating the domestic arrangements of Mr. 
and Mrs. Shelby, to show a picture of the 
faii-csl side of slave-life, where easy indul- 
gence and good-natured forljoarunce are tem- 



on Slavery; and is a letter from a Virginia 
planter, whom we should judge, from his 
style, to be a very amiable, agreeable man, 
and who probably describes very fairly the 
state of things on his own domain. 

Dear Sir : As regards the first query, which . 
relates to the " rights and duties of the slave," I 
do not know how extensive a view of this branch 
of the subject is contemplated. In its simplest 
aspect, as understood and acted on in Virginia, I 
should say that the slave is entitled to an abun- 
dance of good plain food ; to coarse but comfortable 
apparel ; to a warm but humble dwelling ; to pro- 
tection when well, and to succor when sick ; and, 
in return, that it is his duty to render to his mas- 
ter all the service he can consistently with per- 
fect health, and to behave submissively and hon- 
estly. Other remarks suggest themselves, but 
they will be more appropriately introduced under 
different heads. 

2d. " The domestic relations of master and 
slave." — These relations are much misunderstood 
by many persons at the North, who regard the 
terms as synonymous with oppressor and op- 
pressed. Nothing can be further from the fact. 
The condition of the negroes in this state haa 
been greatly ameliorated. The proprietors were 
formerly fewer and richer than at present. Dis- 
tant «(uarters were ofteri kept up to support the 
aristocratic mansion. They were rai-ely visited 
by their owners ; and heartless overseers, fre- 
quently changed, were employed to manage them 
for a share of the crop. These men scourged the 
land, and sometimes the slaves. Their tenure 
was but for a year, and of course they made the 
most of their brief authority. Owing to the influ- 
ence of our institutions, property has become sub- 
divided, and most persons live on or near their 
estates. There are exceptions, to be sure, and 
particularly among Avealthy gentlemen in the 
towns ; but these last are almost all enlightened 
and humane, and alike liberal to the soil and to 
the slave who cultivates it. I could point out 
some noble instances of patriotic and spn-ited im- 
provement among them. But, to return to the 
resident proprietors : most of them have beea 
raiiiod on the estates ; from the older negroes 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



they hLve received in infancy numberless acts of 
kindness ; the younger ones have not unfrequently 
been their playmates (not the most suitable, I 
admit), and njuch good-will is thus generated on 
both sides. ^ In addition to this, most men feel 
attached to their property ; and this attachment 
is stronger in the case of persons than of things. 
I know it, and feel it. It is true, there are harsh 
masters ; but there are also bad husbands and 
bad fathers. They are all exceptions to the rule, 
not the rule itself. Shall we therefore condemn 
in the gross those relations, and the rights and 
authority they imply, from their occasional 
abuse 1 I could mention many instances of strong 
attachment on the part of the slave, but will only 
adduce one or two, of which I have been the ob- 
ject. It became a question whether a faithful 
servant, bred up with me from boyhood, should 
give up his muster or his wife and children, to 
whom he was affectionately attached, and most 
attentive and kind. The trial was a severe one, 
but he determined to break those tender ties and 
remain with me. I left it entirely to his discre- 
tion, though I would not, from considerations of < 
Interest, have taken for him quadruple the price I 
should probably have obtained. Fortunately, in 
the sequel, I was enabled to purchase his family, 
with the exception of a daughter, happily situ- 
ated ; and nothing but death shall henceforth part 
them. AYere it put to the test, I am convinced 
that many masters would receive this striking 
proof of devotion. A gentleman but a day or two 
since informed me of a similar, and even stronger 
case, afforded by one of his slaves. As the reward 
of assiduous and delicate attention to a venerated 
parent, in her last illness, I proposed to purchase 
and liberate a healthy and intelligent woman, 
about thirij- years of age, the best nurse, and, in 
all respects, one of the best servants in the state, 
of which I was only part owner ; but she declined 
to leave the family, and has been since rather 
better than free. I shall be excused for stating a 
ludicrous case I heard of some time ago : — A 
favorite and indulged servant requested his master 
to sell him to another gentleman. His master re- 
fused to do so, but told him he was at perfect 
liberty to go to the North , if he were not already 
free enough. After a while he repeated the re- 
quest ; and, on being urged to give an explanation 
of his singular conduct, told his master that he 
considered himself consumptive, and would soon 

die ; and ho thought ^Ir. B was better able 

to bear the loss than his master. He was sent to 
a medicinal spring and recovered his health, if, 
indeed, he had ever lost it, of which his master 
had been unapprized. It may not be amiss to 
describe my deportment towards my servants, 
whom I endeavor to i-ender happy while I make 
them, yirofitable. I never turn a deaf ear, but 
listen patiently to their communications. I chat 
familiarly with those who have passed service, or 
have not begun to render it. With the others I 
observe a more prudent reserve, but I encourage 
all to approach me without awe. I hardly ever 
go to town without having commissions to execute 
for some of them ; and think they prefer to em- 
ploy me, from a belief that, if their money should 
not quite liold out, I would add a little to it ; and 
I not unfrequently do, in order to get a better 
ai'ticle. The relation between myself and my 
slaves is decidedly friendly. I keep up pretty ex- 
act discipline, mingled with kindness, and hardly 
ever lose property by thievish, or labor by run- 



away slaves. I never lock the outer doors of mj 
house. It is done, but done by the servants ; and 
I rarely bestow a thought on the matter. I leave 
home periodically for two months, and commit the 
dwelling-house, plate, and other valuables, to the 
servants, without even an enumeration of the, 
articles. 

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

4th. " The liberty usually allowed the slave, — 
his holidaj^s and amusements, and the way in 
which they usually spend their evenings and holi- 
days." — They are prohibited from going off the 
estate without first obtainingJeave ; though they 
often transgress, and with impunity, except in 
flagrant cases. Those who have wives on other 
plantations visit them on certain specified nights, 
and have an allowance of time fjr going and re- 
turning, proportioned to the distance. My ne- 
groes are permitted, and, indeed, encouraged, to 
raise as many ducks and chickens as they can ; to 
cultivate vegetables for their own use, and a patch 
of corn for sale ; to exercise their trades, when 
they possess one, which many do ; to catch musk- 
rats and other animals for the fur or the flesh : to 
raise bees, and, in fine, to earn an honest penny 
in any way which chance or their own ingenuity 
may offer. The modes specified are, however, 
those most commonlj- resorted to, and enable prov- 
ident servants to make from five to thirty dollars • 
apiece. The corn is of a different sort from that 
which I cultivate, and is all ]}ought by me. A 
great many fcjwls are raised ; I have this year 
known ten dollars worth sold by one man at one 
time. One of the chief sources of profit is the 
fur of the muskrat ; for the purpose of catching 
which the marshes on the estate have been par- 
celled out and appropriated from time immemo- 
rial, and are held by a tenure little short of fee- 
simple. The negroes are indebted to Nat Turner * 
and Tappan for a curtailment of some of their 
privileges. As a sincere friend to tlic blacks, I 
have much regretted the reckless interference of 
these persons, on account of the restrictions it ha& 
become, or been thought, necessary to impose. 
Since the exploit of the former hero, they have 
been forbidden to preach, except to their fellow- 
slaves, the property of the same owner ; to have 
public funerals, unless a white person officiates ; 
or to be taught to read and write. Their funerals 
formerly gave them great satisfaction, and it was 
customary here to furnish the relations of the de- 
ceased with bacon, spirit, flour, sugar and butter,, 
with which a grand entertainment, in their way. 
was got up. Wewerepnce much amused by a 
hearty fellow requesting his mistress to let him 
have his funeral during his lifetime, when it would 
do him some good. The waggish request was 
granted ; and 1 venture to say there never was a 



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



10 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



funeral the suhject of which enjoyed it so much. 
When permitted, some of our negroes preached 
with great fluency. I was present, a few years 
since, when an Episcopal minister addressed the 
people, hy appointment. On the conclusion of an 
excellent sermon, a negro preacher rose and 
thanked the gentleman kindly for his discourse, 
but frankly told him the congregation "did not 
understand his lingo.'" He then proceeded him- 
self, with great vehemence and volubility, coining 
words where they had not been made to his hand, 
or ratlier his tongue, and impressing his hear- 
ers, douljtless, with a decided opinion of his supe- 
riority over his white co-laborer in the field of 
grace. JNIy brother and I, who own contiguous 
estates, have lately erected a chapel on the line 
between them, and have employed an acceptable 
minister of the Baptist persuasion, to which the 
negroes almost exclusively belong," to afford them 
religious instruction. Except as a preparatory 
step to emancipation, I consider it exceedingly 
impolitic, even as regards the slaves themselves, 
to permit them to read and write : " Where igno- 
rance is l)liss, "tis^oUy to be wise." And it is^^ 
certainly imprjlitic as regards their masters, on 
the principle that " knowledge is power." My 
servants have not as long holidays as those of 
most other persons. I allow three days at 
Christmas, and a day at each of three other pe- 
riods, besides a little time to work thc'r patches ; 
or, if very busy, I sometimes prefer to work them 
myself. Most of the ancient pastimes have been 
lost in this neighborhood, and religion, mock or 
real, has succeeded them. The banjo, their na- 
tional instrument, is known but in name, or in a 
few of the tunes which have survived. Some of 
the younger negroes sing and dance, but the 
■evenings and holidays are usually occupied in 
■working, in visiting, and in praying and singing 
hymns. Tlie primitive customs and sports are. I 
believe; better jn-eserved further south, where 
■slaves were brought from Africa long after they 
ceased to come here. 

6th. " Tlie provision usually made for their 
food and clothing, — for those who are too young 
or too old to labor." — My men receive twelve 
quarts of ln<lian meal (the abundant and uni- 
versal allnvvauce in tliis state), seven salted her- 
rings, and twi^ pounds of smoked bacon or three 
pounds of pork, a week ; the otlier liauds propor- 
tionally less. Fat, generally speaking, their food 
is issued daily, with t!ie exception of meal, and 
consists of lish or liacon fir breakfast, and meat, 
fresh or salted, with vegctaliles whenever we can 
provide tlifui, for dinner ; or, fqr a uinntli or two 
in the s[iring, fresh fisl: cooked with a little bacon. 
This mode is rather more expensive to me than 
that of wet;kly rations, hut more comfortal)le to 
the servaiiis. Su[u'rannuated or invalid slaves 
draw tlieir provi.siins regularly once a week ; and 
the inomi'ut a child ceases to be nourished hy its 
mother, it receives eight quarts of meal (more than 
it can cousmiie), and one half-pound of lard. Be- 
sides the fooJ furnished by me, nearly all tlu! 
servants are able to make some addition from 
their finvate stores ; and there is among the 
adults iiardly an instance of one so improvident 
-as not to do it. He must be an unthrifty fellow, 
indeed, who cannot realize the wish of the famous 
Henry IV. in regard to the French peasantry, and 
enjoy hia fo\.l on Sunday. I always ktu-p on 
ha!nd, for the use ol' the negroes, sugar, molasses, 
&o.,whieh. though not regularly issued, are applied 



for on the slightest pretexts, and frequently no 
pretext at all, and are never refused, except in 
cases of misconduct. In regard to clothing : — 
the men and boys receive a winter coat and trou- 
sers of strong cloth, three shirts, a stout pair of 
shoes and socks, and a pair of summer pantaloons, 
every year ; a hat about every second year, and a 
great-coat and blanket every third year. Instead 
of great-coats and hats, the women have large 
capes to protect the bust in bad weather, and 
handkerchiefs for the head. The articles fur- 
nished are good and serviceable ; and, with their 
own acquisitions, make their appearance decent 
and respectable. On Sunday they are even fine. 
The aged and invalid are clad as regulurly as the 
rest, but less substantially. Motliers receive a 
little raw cotton, in proportion to the number of 
children, with the privilege of having the yam, 
when- spun, woven at my expense. I provide 
them with blankets. Orphans are put with care- 
ful women, and treated with tenderness. I am 
attached to the little slaves, and encourage famil- 
iarity among them. Sometimes, when I ride 
near the quarters, they come running after me with 
the most whimsical requests, and are rendered 
happy by the distribution of some little donation 
The clothing described is that which is given to 
the crop hands. Home-sei'vants, a numerous 
class in Virginia, are of course clad in a different 
and very superior manner. I neglected to men- 
tion, in the proper place, that there are on each 
of ray plantations a kitchen, an oven, and one or 
more cooks ; and that each hand is furnished witii 
a tin bucket for his food, which is carried into the 
field by little negroes, who also supply the labor- 
ers with water. 

7th. " Their treatment when sick,"— My negroes 
go, or are carried, as soon as tluy are iittacked,to 
a spacious and well-ventilated hos))ital. near the 
mansion-house. They are there received by an 
attentive nurse, who has an assortment of medi- 
cine, additional bed-clothing, and the ctmimand of 
as much light food as slie may require, either 
from the table or the store-room of the proprietor. 
AVine, sago, rice, and other little coniibrts apper- 
taining to such an establishment, are always 
kept on hand. The condition of the sick is much 
better than that of the poor v.hites or I'ree colored 
people in the neighborhood. 

8th. " Their rewards and punishments." — I 
occasionally bestow little gratuities foi good con- 
duct, and particularly after harvest ; i'ud hardly 
ever refuse a favor asked l)v ihose \vlu) faithfully 
perform their duty. Vicious and idle servants are 
punished with stripes, moderately imiicted ; to 
which, in the case of tlieft, is added p!i\ation of' 
meat, a severe punishment to those who .are never 
sufiered to be witliout it on any othtfr account. 
Fi'ora my limited observation, 1 think that ser- 
vants to the North .work mueli i.ardi-i than our 
slaves. I was educated at a coU.jge in ■•<w of the 
free states, and, on my return to \ 'rn-Miia, was 
struck with tiie coittrast. 1 wasastouis led at the 
number of idle domestics, and .iclually n-.irricdmy 
mother, much to my contrition sincts, to reduce 
the establishment. I say to my conuition, be-. 
cause, after eighteen years' residence in the good 
Old Dominion, ! find myself siuTounded l>y a troop 
of servants about as numerous as chat against 
which I formerly so loudl> exclaimed. While on 
this subject it may tiot be amiss to stare a case of 
manumission wliicli occurred aboui. three years 
since. My nearest neighljor, a man of immense 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



n 



wealth, owned a favorite servant, a fine fellow, 
with polished manners and excellent disposition, 
who reads and writes, and is thorougfily versed in 
the duties of a butler and housekeeper, in the per- 
formance of wliich he was trusted without limit. 
This man was, on the death of his master, eman- 
cipated witli a legacy of six thousand dollars, be- 
sides about two thousand dollars more which he had 
been permitted to accumulate, and had deposited 
with his master, who had given him credit for it.. 
The use that this man, apparently so well quali- 
fied for freedom, and who has had an opportunity 
of travelling and of judging for himself, makes of 
his money and his time, is sOmewhat remarkable. 
In consequence of his exemplary conduct, he has 
been permitted to reside in the state, and for very 
moderate wages occupies the same situation he 
did in the old estaldishment, and will probably 
continue to occupy it as long as he lives. He has 
no children of his own, but has put a little girl, a 
njlation of his, to school. Except in this instance, 
and in the pur(;hase of a few plain articles of fur- 
niture, his freedom and his money seem not much 
to have benefited liim. A servant of mine, who 
is intimate with him, thinks he is not as happy as 
he was before his liberation. Several other serv- 
ants were fi-eed at the same time, with smaller leg 
acies, but I do ni.>t know what has become of them. 

I do not regard negro-slavery, however mitigat- 
ed, as a Utopian system, and have not intended so 
to delineate it. But it exists, and the difficulty of 
removing it is felt and acknowledged by all, save 
the faniitics, who, like " fools, rush in where 
angels dare not tread.'' It is pleasing to know 
that its l)urdens are not too heavy to be borne. 
That the treatment of slaves in this state is hu- 
mane, and even indulgent, may be inferred from the 
fact of their rapid increase and great longevity. I 
believe that, constituted as they are, morally and 
physically, they are as happy as any peasantry 
in the world ; and I venture to affirm, as the re- 
sult of my reading and inquiry, that in no coun- 
ti-y are the labor"rs so liberally and inrarfably sup- 
plied with bread and meat as are the negro slaves 
of the United States. However great the dearth 
of provisions, famine never reaches them. 

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

The following accounts ai-e taken from 
" Ingrahain's Travels in the South-west,'" a 
work which seems to have been written as 
much to show the beauties of slavery as 
an}^hing else. Speaking of the state of 
thing -1 on some Southern plantations, he gives 
the following pictures, which are presented 
without note or comment : 

The little candidates for " field honors" are use- 
less articles on a plantation during the first five 
or six years of their existence. They are then to 
take their first lesson in the elementary part of their 
education. Wlien they have learned their niiinual 
alphabet tolerably well, they are placed in the 



field to take a spell at cotton-picking. The fii"st 
day in the field is their proudest day. The youn^ 
negroes look forward to it with as much restless- 
ness and impatience as school-boys to a vacation. 
Black childrt'ti aye not put to work so young as 
many children of poor parents in the North. It 
is often the case that the children of the domestic 
servants become pets in the house, and tlie play- 
mates of tlie wliite children of the family. No 
scene can be livelier or more interesting to. a North- 
erner, than that which the negi'o quarters of a 
well-regulated plantation present on a Sabbath 
morning. Just before church-hnurs. In every 
cabin the men are shaving and dressing ; the wo- 
men, arrayed in their gay muslins, are arranging 
their frizzly hair, — in which they take no little 
pride, — or investigating the condition of their chil- 
dren ; the old pe-n'!--, neatly clothed, are quietly 
conversinof f^i- ■^:^,.K.ing about the doors ; and those 
of the '>'■ -oiiger portion who are not undergoing tlie 
infliction of the wash-tub are enjoying themselves 
in the shade of the trees, or around some little 
pond, with as much zest as though slavery' and 
fieedom were s^'nonyraous terms. When all are 
dressed, and the hour arrives for worship, they 
lock up their cabins, and the whole population of 
the little village proceeds to the chapel, whore 
divine service is performed, sometimes by an 
officiating clergyman, and often I>y the planter 
himself, if a church-member. The whole planta- 
tion is also frequently formed into a Sabbath 
class, which is instructed by the planter, or some 
member of his family ; and often, such is the 
anxiety of the master that they should perfectly 
understand what they are tauglit, — a hard matter 
in the present state of their intellect, — that no 
means calculated to advance their progress arc 
left untried. I was not long since shown a m;-nu- 
script catechism, drawn up with great care and 
judgment by a distinguished planter, on a plan 
admirably adapted to the comprehension of the 
negroes. 

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

Nor are planters indiSerent to the comf irt of 
their grajr-headed slaves. I have been much af- 
fected at beliolding many exhibitions of their 
kindly feeling towards them. They always address 
them in a mild and pleasant manner, as " Un- 
cle," or " Aunty,"' — titles as peculiar to the old 
negro and negress as " boy " and " girl '" to ail 
under forty years of age. Some old Africans are 
allowed to spend their last years in their houses, 
without doing any kind of labor ; these, if not too 
infirm, cultiviite little patches of ground, on which 
they raise a few vegetables, — for vegetables grow 
nearly all the year round in this climate, — and 
make a little money to purchase a few extra com- 
forts. They are also always receiving presents 



12 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



from their masters and mistresses, and the negroes 
on the estate, the latter of whom are extremely 
desirous of seeing the old people comfortable. A 
relation of the extra comforts wliich some planters 
allow their slaves would hardly obtain credit at 
the North. But you must recollect that Southern 
planters are men, and men of feeling, gener- 
ous and high-minded, and possessing as ijiuch of 
the "milk of human kindness" as the sons of 
colder climes — although they may have been 
educated to regard that as right which a differ- 
ent education has led Northerners to consider 
.vrong. 

With regard to the character of Mrs. 
Shelby the writer must say a few words. 
While traY<9lling in Kentucky, a few years 
since, some pious ladies oxy^^essed to her 
the same sentiments with regaia 'S <ilavery 
which the reader has heard expressed by 
Mrs. Shelby. 

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

A pious lady said to the author, with re- 
o-ard to instructino; her slaves, "I am 
o^shamed to teach them what is right ; I 
know that they know as well as I do that it 
is wrong to hold them as slaves, and I am 
ashamed to look them in the face." Point- 
ing to an intelligent mulatto woman who 
passed through the room, she continued, 
" Now, there 's B . She is as intelli- 
gent and capable as any wliite woman I 
ever knew, and as well able to have her 

and she 



as 
and as well 
liberty and take care of herself 
knows it isn't right to keep her as we do, 
and I know it too ; and yet I cannot get my 
husband to think as I do, or I should be 
glad to set them free." 

A venera1)le friend of the writer, a lady 
born and educated a slave-holder, used to 
the writer the very words attributed to Mrs. 
Shelby : — "I never thought it was right to 
hold slaves. I always thought it was 
wrong when I was a girl, and I thought so 
still more when I came to join the church." 
An incident related by this friend of her 
examination for the church shows in a 
striking manner what a difference may often 
exist between theoretical and practical be- 
nevolence. 

A certain class of theologians in Amer- 
ica have advocated the doctrine of disinter- 
ested benevolence with such zeal as to make 
it an imperative article of belief that every 
individual ought to be willing to endure ever- 
lasting misery, if by doing so they could, 



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

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

Many of them, surrounded 1iy circum- 
stances over which they can have no con- 
trol, perplexed by domestic cares of wliich 
women in free states can have very little 
conception, loaded down by duties and re- 
sponsibilities which wear upon the very 
springs of life, still go on bravely and pa- 
tiently from day to day, doing all they can 
to alleviate what they cannot prevent, and, 
as far as the sphere of their own immediate 
power extends, rescuing those who are de- 
pendent upon them from the evils of the 
system. 

We read of Him who shall at last come 
to judgment, that " His fan is in his hand, 
and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and 
gather his wheat into the garner." Out 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



13 



of the great abyss of national sin he will 
rescue every grain of good and honest pur- 
pose and intention. His eyes, which are as a 
flame of fire, penetrate at once those intricate 
mazes where human judgment is lost, and 
will save and honor at last the truly good 
and sincere, however they may have been 
involved with the evil ; and such souls» as 
have resisted the greatest temptations, and 
persisted in good under the most perplexing 
circumstances, are those of whom he has 
written, " And they shall be mine, saith the 
Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up 
my jewels ; and I Avill spare them as a man 
(spareth his own son that serveth him." 



CHAPTER IV. 

GEORGE HARRIS. 

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

In regard to person, it must be remem- 
bered that the half-breeds often inherit, to a 
great degree, the traits of their white an- 
cestors. For this there is abundant evi- 
dence in the advertisements of the papers. 
Witness the following from \heChattanooga 
(Tenn.) Gazette, Oct. 5th, 1852 : 

$500 REV\MRD. 

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

GEORGE 0. RAGLAXD. 
Chattanooga, June 15, 1852. 

From the Capitolian Vis-a-vis, West 
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Nov. 1, 1852 : 



$150 REWARD. 

Runaway about the 15th of August last, Toe, a 
yellow man ; small , about 5 feet 8 or 9 ' nchts 
high, and about 20 years of age. Has a Roman 
nose, was raised in New Orleans, and speaks 
French and English. He was bought last winter 
of Mr. Digges, Banks Arcade, New Orleans. 

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

Advertisements, also, occasionally pro- 
pose for sale artisans of different descrip- 
tions. Slaves are often employed as pilots 
for vessels, and highly valued for their skill 
and knowledge. The following are adver- 
tisements from recent newspapers. 

From the South Carolinian (Columbia), 
Dec. 4th, 1852 : 

VALUABLE XE6ROES AT AUCTION. 

BY J. & L. T. LETIN. 

WILL be sold, on MONDAY, the 6th day of De- 
cember, the following valuable NEGROES : 
Andrew, 24 years of age, a bricklayer and plas- 
terer, and thorough workman. 

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

James, 19 years of age, an excellent painter. 
These boys were raised in Columbia, and are 
exceptions to most of boys, and are sold for no 
fault whatever. 

The terms of sale are one-half cash, the balance 
on a credit of six months, with interest, for not«s 
payable at bank, with two or more approved 
endorsers. . 

Purchasers to pay for necessary papers. 

WILLIAM DOUGLASS. 
November 27, 36. 

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

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

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

Lewis Clark is an acquaintance of the 
writer. Soon after his escape from slavery, 
he was received into the family of a ?ister- , 
in-law of the author, and there educated 
His conduct during this time was such as 
to win for him uncommon afiection and re- 
spect, and the author has frequently heard 



14 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. 



iiim spoken of in the highest terms by all 
who knew him. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Every boy was ordered in, to pass before this 
female sorceress, that she mi^ht select a victim 
for her unprovoked malice, and on whom to pour 
the vials of her wrath for years. I was that un- 
lucky fellow. Mr. Campbell, my grandfather, 
ohiected, because it would divide a family, and 
offered her Moses ; * * * but objections and 
claims of every kind W3re swept away by the wild 
passion and shrill-toned voice of Mrs. B. Mo she 
would have, and n^jne else. Mr. Campbell went 
out to hunt, and drive away ba<l thoughts ; the 
old lady became quiet, for she was sure none of 
her blood run in my veins, and, if there was any 
of her husband's there, it was no fault of hers. 
iSlave-holding women are always revengeful toward 
the cliildren of slaves that have any of the blood 
of their husbands in them. I was too young — 
only seven years of age — to understand what 
was going on. But my poor and affectionate 
mother understood and appreciated it all. When 
she left the kitchen of the mansion-house, where 
she was emploved as cook, and came home to her 



own little cottage, the tear of anguish was in her 
eye, and the image of sorrow upon every feature 
of her face. She knew the female Nero whosff 
rod was now to be over me. That night sleep 
departed from her eyes. "With the youngest child 
clasped firmly to her bosom, she spent the night 
in walking the floor, coming ever and anon to lift 
up the clothes and look at me and my poor brother, 
who lay sleeping together. Sleeping, I said 
Broiler slept, but not I. I saw my mother when 
she first came to me, and I could not sleep. The 
vision of that night — its deep, ineffaceable im- 
pression — is now before my mind with all the 
distinctness of yesterday. In the morning I was 
put into the carriage with Mrs. B. and her chil- 
dren, and my weary pilgrimage of suffering was 
fairly begun. 

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

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

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

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

A very trivial offence was suflScient to call forth 
a great burst of indignation from this woman of 
ungoverned passions. In my simplicity, I put my 
lips to the same vessel, and drank out of it, from 
which her children were accustomed to drink. 
She expressed her utter abhorrence of such an 
act by throwing my head violently back, and 
dashing into my face two dippers of water. The 
shower of water was followed by a heavier shower 
of kicks ; but the words, bitter and cutting, that 
followed, were like a storm of hail upon my young 
heart. " She would teach me better manners than 
that ; she would let me know 1 was to be brought 
up to her hand ; she would have one slave that 
knew his place ; if I wanted water, go to the 
spring, and not drink there in the house." This 
was new times for me ; for some days I was com- 
pletely benumbed with my sorrow. 

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

" Say, wast thou oonsoious of the tears I shed 1 
Ilcivorod thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son 1 
Wretch even then. ! life's journey just begun." 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



•15 



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

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

He adds to this words which should be 
deeply pondered by those who lay the flat- 
tering unction to their souls that the op- 
pressed do not feel the sundering of family 
ties. 

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

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

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

My thoughts continually by day, and my dreams 
by night, were of m(jther and home ; and the hor- 
ror experienced in the morning, when I awoke 
:ind beliold it was a dream, is beyond the power 
of language to describe. 

Lewis had a beautiful sister by the name 
of Delia, who, on the death of her grand- 
father, was sold, with all the other children 
of his mother, for the purpose of dividing 
the estate. She was a pious girl, a mem- 
ber of the Baptist church. She fell into 
the hands of a brutal, drunken man, who 
wished to make her his mistress. Milton 
Clark, a brother of Lewis, in the narra- 
tive of his life describes the scene where 
he, with his muther, stood at the door 
while this girl was brutally whipped be- 
fore it for wishing to conform to the prin- 
ciples of her Christian profession. As her 
resolution was unconqueiable, she was 
placed in a cofile and sent down to the 
New Orleans mai'ket. Here she was sold 
to a Frenchman, named Coval. He took 
her to Mexico, emancipated and married 



her. After residing some time in France 
and the West Indies with him. Tie died, 
leaving her a fortune of twenty or thirty 
thousand dollars. At her death she endeav- 
ored to leave this by will to purchase the 
freedom of her brothers ; but, as a slave 
cannot take property, or even have it left 
in trust for him, they never received any 
of it. 

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

I had long thought and dreamed of Libe itt • 1 
was now determined to n»ake an effort to gain it. 
No tongue can tell the doubt, the perplexities, the 
anxiety, which a slave feels, when making up his 
mind upon this subject. If he makes an effort, 
and is not successful, he must be laughed at by 
his fellows, he will be beaten unmercifully by the 
master, and then watched and used the harder for 
it all his life. 

And then, if he gets away, tvho, what will he 
find? He is ignorant of the world. All the white 
part of mankind, that he has ever seen, are ene- 
mies to him and all his kindred. How can he 
venture where none but white faces shall greet 
him ? The master tells him that abolitionists 
decoy slaves off into the free states to catch them 
and sell them to Louisiana or Mississippi ; and, if 
he goes to Canada, the British will put him in a 
miyie under ground, with both eyes put out , for life. 
How does he know what or whom to believe 1 A 
horror of great darkness comes upon him, as he 
thinks over what may befall him. Long, very 
long time did I think of escaping, before 1 made 
the effijrt. 

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

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

At another place, the neighbors, on learning 
that a Kentuckian was at the tavern, came, in 
great earnestness, to find out what my business 
was. Kentuckians sometimes came tliere to kid- 
nap their citizens. They were in the habit of 
watching them close. I at length satisfied them 
by assuring them that I was not, nor my father 



16 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



before me, any slave-holder at all ; but, lest their 
suspicions should be excited in another direction, 
I added my grandfather wa8 a slave-holder. 
****** 
At daylight we were in Canada. When I 
stepped ashore here, I said, sure enough, I am 
FREE. Good heavens ! what a sensation, when it 
first visits the b'osom of a full-grown man ; one 
born to bondage ; one who had been taught, from 
early infancy, that this was his inevitable lot for 
life ! Not till then did I dare to cherish, for a 
moment, the feeling that one of the limbs of my 
body was my own. The slaves often say, when 
cut in the hand or foot, "Plague on the old foot " 
or " the old hand ! It is master's, — let him take 
care of it Nigger don't care if he never get well." 
My handS; my feet, were'now my ovm. 

It will be recollected that George, in con- 
versing with Eliza, gives an account of a 
seene in which he was violently beaten by 
his master's young son. This incident was 
suggested by the following letter from John 
M. Nelson to Mr. Theodore Weld, given 
iil= Slavery as If, Is, p. 51. 

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

I was bom and raised in Augusta County, Vir- 
ginia ; my father was an elder in the Presbyterian 
church, and was " o^vner " of about twenty slaves ; 
he was what was generally termed a " good mas- 
ter. ' ' His slaves were generally tolerably well fed 
and clothed, and not over-worked ; they were some- 
times permitted to attend church, and called in to 
family worship ; few of them, however, availed 
themselves of these privileges. On some occasions 
I have seen him whip them severely, particularly 
for the crime of trying to obtain their liberty, or for 
what was called " running away." For this they 
were scourged more severely than for anything else. 
After they have been retaken I have seen them 
stripped naked and suspended by the hands, some- 
times to a tree, sometimes to a post, until their 
toes barely touched the ground, and whipped with 
a cowhide until the blood drfpped from their backs. 
A boy named Jack, particularly, I have seen 
served in this way more than once. When I was 
quite a child, I recollect it grieved me very much 
to see one tied up to be whipped, and I used to 
intercede ■vfith tears in their behalf, and mingle 
my cries with theirs, and feel almost willing to 
take part of the punishment ; I have been severely 
rebuked by my father for this kind of sympathy. 
Yet, such is the hai'dening nature of such scenes, 
that from this kind of commiseration for the suf- 
fering slave I became so blunted that I could not 
only witness their stripes with composure, but 
myself inllict them, and that witliout remorse. 
One case I have often looked back to with sorrow 
and contrition, particularly since I have been con- 
vinced that "negroes are men." When I was 
perhaps fourteen or fifteen years of ago, 1 under- 
took to coi-rect a young fellow named Ned, for 
some supposed ofibnce, — I think it was leaving a 
bridle out of its proper place ; he, being larger 



and stronger than myself, took hold of my arms 
and held me, in order to prevent my striking him. 
This I considered the height of insolence, and 
cried for help, when my father and mother both 
came running to my rescue. My father stripped 
and tied him, and took him into the orchard, where 
switches were plenty, and directed me to whip 
him ; when one switch wore out, he supplied me 
with others. After I had whipped him a while, 
he fell on his knees to implore forgiveness, and I 
kicked him in the face ; my father said, " Don't 
kick him, but whip him;" this I did until his 
back was literally covered with ivelts. I know I 
have repented, and trust I have obtained pardon 
for these things. 

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

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

Like Clark, Douglass was the son of a 
white man. He was a plantation slave in u 
proud old family. His situation, probably, 
may be considered as an average one ; that 
is to say, he led a life of dirt, degradation, 
discomfort of various kinds, made tolerable 
as a matter of daily habit, and considered 
as enviable in comparison with the lot of 
those who suffer worse abuse. An iricident 
which Douglass relates of his mother is 
touching. He states that it is customary 
at an early age tc separate mothers from 
their chikb-cn, for the purpose of blunting 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



and deadening natural affection. When he 
was three years old his mother was sent to 
work on a plantation eight or ten miles dis- 
tant, and after that he never saw her except 
in the night. After her day's toil she 
would occasionally walk over to her child, 
lie down with him in her arms, hush hiip to 
sleep in her hosom, then rise up and walk 
back again to be ready for her field work 
by daylight. Now, we ask the highest- 
born lady in England or America, who is a 
mother, wliether this does not show that 
. this poor field- laborer had in her bosom, 
* Ijpneath her dirt and rags, a true mother's 
heart '? 

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

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

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

At once forbade Mrs. Auld to instruct me fur- 
ther, telling her, among other things, that it was 
imlawful, as well as unsafe, to teach a slave to 
read. To use his ovra words, further, he said, 
" If you give a nigger an inch, he will take an ell. 
A nigger should know nothing but to obey his 
master — to do as he is told to do. Learning 
would spoil the best nigger in the world. Now," 
said he, " if you teach that nigger (speaking of 
myself) how to read, there would be no keeping 
him. It would forever unfit him to be a slave. 
He would at once become unmanageable, and of 
no value, to his master. As to himself, it could 
do him no good, but a great deal of harm. It 
would make him discontented and unhappy." 
These words sank deep into my heart, stirred up 
sentiments within that lay slumbering, and called 
into existence an entirely new train of thought. 
It was a new and special revelation, explaining 
dark and mysterious things, with which my youth- 



17 

ful understanding had struggled, but struggled in 
vain. I now understood what had been to me 
a most perplexing difficulty — to wit, the white 
man's power to enslave the black man. It was a 
grand achievement, and I prized it highly. From 
that moment, I understood the pathway from slav- 
ery to freedom. 

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

From this time I was most narrowly watched. 
If I was m a separate room any considerable 
length of time, I was sure to be suspected of hav- 
ing a book, and was at once called to give an ac- 
count of myself. All this, however, was too late. 
The first step had been taken. INIistress, in teach- 
ing me the alphabet, had given me the inch, and no 
precaution could prevent me from taking the ell. 

The plan which I adopted, and the one by which 
I was most successful, was that of making' friends 
of all the little white boys whom T met in the 
street. As many of these as I could I converted 
into teachers. With thoir kindly aid, obtained a* 
difierent times and in different places, I finally suc- 
ceeded in learning to read. When I was sent of 
errands I always took my book with me, and by 
going one part of my errand quickly, I found time 
to get a lesson before my return. I used also to 
carry bread with me, enough of which was always 
in the house, and to which I was always welcome ; 
for I was much better ofi'in this regard than many 
of the^poor white children in our neighborhood. 
This bread I used to bestow upon the hungry little 
urchins, who, in return, would give me that more 
valuable bread of knowledge. I am strongly 
tempted to give the names of two or three of those 
little boys, as a testimonial of the gratitude and 
affection I bear them ; but prudence forbids ; — 
not that it would injure me, hut it might embarrass 
them ; for it is almost an unpardonable offence to 
teach slaves to read in this Christjan country. It 
is enough to say of the dear little fellows, that 
they lived on Philpot-strect, very near Durgin and 
Bailey's ship-yard. I used to talk this matter of 
slavery over with them. I would sometimes say 
to them I wished I could be as free as they would 
be when they got to be men. " You will' be free 
as soon as you are twenty-one, 6w< / am a slave for 
life ! Have not I as good a right to be free as you 
have V These words used to trouble them ; they 
would express for me the liveliest sympathy, and 
console me with the hope that something would 
occur by which I might be free. 

I was now about twelve years old, and the ,ir 
thought of being a slave for life began to bear 
heavily upon my heart. Just about this time I 
got hold of a book entitled " The Columbian Ora- 
tor." Every opportunity I got I used to read this 
book. Among much of other interesting matter^ 
I found in it a dialogue between a master and his 
slave. The slave was represented as having run 
away from his master three times. The dialogue 
represented the conversation which took place be- 
tween them when the slave was retaken the third 
time. In this dialogue, the whole argument in 
behalf of slavery was brought forward by the 
master, all of which was disposed of Ijy the slaTfl, 
The slave was made to say some very smart as 
well as impressive things in reply to his maater, 



18 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



■^ 



— things which had the desired though unex- 
pected effect ; for the conversation resulted in the 
voluntary emancipation of the slave on the part 
of the master. 

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

I often found myself regretting my own exist- 
ence, and wishing myself dead ; and but for the 
hope of being free, I have no doubt but that I 
should have killed myself, or done something for 
which I should have been killed. While in this 
state of mind I was eager to hear any one speak 
of slavery. I was a ready listener. Every little 
while I could hear something about the abolition- 
ists. It was some time before I found what the 
word meant. It was always used in such connec- 
tions as to make it an interesting word to me. If 
a slave ran away and succeeded in getting clear, 
or if a slave killed his master, set tire to a barn, 
€»r did anything very wrong in the mind of a slave- 
holder, it was spoken of as the fruit of abolition. 
HiarxDg the word in thi^ connection very often. I 



set about learning what it meant. The dictionary 
afforded me little or no help. I found it was " the 
act of abolishing ;" but then I did not know what 
was to be abolished. Here I was perplexed. I 
did not dare to ask anj' one about its meaning, 
for I was satisfied that it was something they 
wanted me to know very little aliout. x\fter a 
patient waiting, I got one of our city papers, con- 
taining an account of the number of petitions from 
the North praying for the al)olition of slavery in 
the District of Columbia, and of the slave-trade 
between the states. From this time I understood 
the words abolition and abolitionist, and always 
drew near when that word was spoken, expecting 
to hear something of importance to myself and 
fellow-slaves. The light broke in upon me by de- 
grees. I went one day down on the wharf of Mr. 
Waters ; and, seeing two Irishmen unloading » 
scow of stone, I went, unasked, and helped them. 
When we had finished, one of them came to me 
and asked me if I were a slave. I told him I was. 
He asked, " Are ye a slave for life'?" I told him 
that I was. The good Irishman seemed to be 
deeply affected by the statement. He said to the 
other that it was a pity so tine a little fellow as my- 
self should be a slave for life. He said it was a 
shame to hold me. They both advised me to run 
away to the North ; that I should find friends there, 
and that I should be free. I pretended not to be 
interested in- what they said, and treated them a? 
if I did not understand them ; for I feared they 
might be treacherous. White men have been 
known to encourage slaves to escape, and then, to 
get the reward, catch them and return them to 
their masters. I was afraid that these seemingly 
good men might use me so ; but I nevertheless 
remembered their advice, and from that time I re- 
solved to run away. I looked forward to a time 
at which it would be safe for me to escape. I 
was too young to think of doing so immediately ; 
besides, I wished to learn how to write, as I might 
have occasion to write my own pass. I consoled 
myself with the hope that I should one day find a 
good chance. Meanwhile I would learn to write. 
The idea as to how I might learn to write was 
suggested to me by being in Durgin and Bailey's 
ship-yard, and frequently seeing the ship carpen- 
ters, after hewing and getting a piece of timber 
ready for use, write on the timber the name of 
that part of the ship for which it was intended 
When a piece of timber was intended for the lar- 
board side it would be marked thus — " L." 
AVhen a piece was for the starlioard side it would 
be marked thus — " S. " A piece for the larbo;ixd 
side forward would be marked thus — "L. F." 
When a piece was for starlioard side forward it 
would be marked thus — "S. F." For larboard 
aft it would be marked thus — "L. A." For 
starboard aft it would be marked thus — " S. A.'* 
I soon learned the 'names of tliese letters, and for 
what they were intended when placed upon a 
piece of timber in the sliip-yard. I immediately 
commcijccd copying them, and in a short time was 
able to make the four letters named. After that, 
when I met with any boy who I knew could WTite, 
I would tell him I could write as well as ho. Tiio 
next word would be, " I don't believe you. Let 
me see you try it." I would then 'make the let 
ters which I had been so fortunate as to learn, 
and ask him to beat that In this way I got a 
good many lessons in writing, which it is quite 
pOesible I should never have gotten in aiiy other 
way. During this time my copy-book was the 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



19 



board fence, brick wall and pavement ; my pen 
and ink was a lump of chalk. With these I 
learned mainly how to wi-ite. I then commenced 
and continued cojiying the Italics in Webster's 
Spelling-book, until I could make them all with- 
out looking on the book. By this time my little 
Master Thomas had gone to school and learned 
how to write, and had written over a number of 
copy-books. These had been brought home, and 
shown to some of our near neighbors, and then 
laid aside. My mistress used to go to class-meet- 
ing at the Wilk-street meeting-house every Mon- 
day afternoon, and leave me to take care of the 
house. When left thus I used to spend the time 
in writing in the spaces left in Master Thomas' 
copy-book, copying what he had Avritten. I con- 
tinued to do tliis until I could write a hand very 
similar to that of Master Thomas. Thus, after a 
long, tedious effort for years. I finally succeeded 
in learning how to write. 

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

Let the reader peruse the account which 
George Harris gi\'es of the sale of his 
mother and her children, and then read the 
following'' account given bj the venerable 
Josiah Henson, now pastor of the mission- 
r^rj settlement at Dawn, in Canada. 

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

!My brothers and sisters were bid off one by one, 
while my mother, holding my hand, looked on in 
an agony of grief, the cause of which I but ill 
understood at iirst, but which dawned on my mind 
with dreadful clearness as the sale proceeded. My 
mother was then separated from me, and put up 
in her turn. She was bought Ijy a man named 
Isaac R., residing in Montgomery County [Mary- 
land], and then I was offered to the asseml^led pur- 
chasers. My mother, half distracted with the 
parting forever from all her children, pushed 
through the crowd, wiiile the bidding for me was 
going on, to the spot where R. was standing. She 
fell at his feet, and clung to his knees, entreating 
him, in tones that a mother only could CDmmand, 
to buy her baby as well as herself, and spare to her 
one of -her little ones at least. Will it, can it be 
believed, that this man, thus appealed to, was 
capable not merely of turning a deaf ear to her 
6upplicati(m, but of disengaging himself from her 
with such violent blows and kicks as to reduce 
her to the necessity of creeping out of his reach, 
and mingling the groan of bodily suffering with 
the sob of a breaking heart ? 

Now, all these incidents that have been 
given are real incidents of slavery, related 
by those who know slavery by the best of 
all tests — experience; and they are given 
by men who have e;u'ned a character in free- 
dom which makes their word as good as the 
YTOrd of any man living. 

The case of Le^ns Clark might be called 
& harder one than common. The case of 



Douglass is prolably a very fair average 
specimen. 

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

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

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

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



20 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



At length, the steward of a vessel, whom j to the first circles of Boston society ; she 
he had obliged, offered to conceal him on I says that she never was more impressed by- 
board the siiip, and give him a chance to j the personal manners of any gentleman 
escape. The noble-hearted fellow, though i than by those of this fugitive brother. So 



tempted by an offer which would ena1)le 
him immediately to join his wife, to wliom 
he was tenderly attached, preferred to give 
this offer to his sister, and during the ab- 
sence of the captain of the vessel she and 
her child were brought on board and se- 
creted. 

The captain, when he returned and dis- 
covered what had been done, was very 
angry, as the thing, if detected, would 
have involved him in very serious difficul- 
ties. He declared, at first, that he would 
send the woman up into town to jail ; but, 
by her entreaties and those of the stcAvard 
was induced to 

word to her brother to come and take her 
back. After dark the brother came on 
board, and, instead of taking his sister 
away, began to appeal to the humanity of 
the captain in the most moving terms. He 
told his sister's history and his own, and 
pleaded eloquently his desire for her liberty. 
The captain had determined to be obdurate, 
but, alas ! he was only a man. Perhaps 
he had himself a wife and child, — perhaps 
he felt that, were he in the young ma,n's 
case, he would do just so for his sister. Be 
it as it may, he was at last overcome. He 
paid to the young man, " I must send you 
away from my ship ; I '11 put off a boat 
and see you got into it, and you nmst row 
off, and never let me see your fiices again ; 
and if, after all, you should come back and 
get on board, it will be your fault, and not 
mine." 

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

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

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

One morning she came in, with a good 

deal of agitation, exclaiming, " 0, ma'am, 

he's come ! George is come ! " And in a 

few minutes the young man was introduced 

The lady who gave this relation belongs 



much did he have the air of a perfect, fin- 
ished gentleman, that she felt she could not 
question him with regard to his escape with 
the fomiliarity v/ith Avhich persons of his 
condition are commonly approached ; and it 
was not till he requested her to write a let- 
ter for him, because he could not write 
himself, that she could realize that this fine 
specimen of manhood had been all his life a 
slave. 

The remaindei of the history is no less 
romantic. The lady had a friend in Mont- 
real, whither George's wife had gone ; and, 
after furnishing; money to pay their ex- 



wait till evening, and send penses, she presented them with a letter to 

this gentleman, requesting the latter to 
assist the young man in finding his wife. 
When they landed at INIontreal, George 
stepped on shore and presented this letter 
to the first man he met, asking him if he 
knew to whom it was directed. The gen- 
tleman proved to be the very person to 
whom the letter was addressed. He knew 
George's wife, brought him to her without 
delay, so that, by return mail, the lady had 
the satisfaction of learning the happy termi- 
nation of the adventure. 

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

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

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

Suppose a poor, worn-out mother, sickly, 
feeble and old, — her hands worn to the 
bone with hard, unpaid toil, — whose nine 
children have been sold to the slave-trader, 
and Avhosc tenth soon is to be sold, unless 
by her labor as washer-woman she can raise 
nine hundred dollars ! Such are the kind 
of cases constantly coming to one's knowl- 
I" And in n. edge, — such are tlie Avitncsses which will 
not let us sleep. 

Doubt has been expressed -whether such 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



21 



a tlung as an advertisement for a man, 
" dead or alive,'' like the advertisement for 
George Harris, was ever published in the 
Southern States. The scene of the story in 
which that occurs is supposed to be laid a 
few years back, at the time when the black 
laws of Ohio were passed. That at this 
time such advertisements were common in 
the newspapers, there is abundant evidence. 
That they are less common now, is a matter 
of hope and gratulation. 

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

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

The papers from which these facts were 
copied were pi'eserved and put on file in a 
public place, where they remained for some 
years, for the information of the curious. 
After Mr. Weld's book was completed, a 
copy of it was sent, through the mail, to 
every editor from whose paper such adver- 
tisements had been taken, and to every in- 
dividual of whom any facts had been nar- 
rated, with the passages Avhich concerned 
them marked. 

It is quite possible that this may have 
had some influence in rendering such ad- 
vertisements less common. Men of sense 
often go on doing a thing which is very 
absurd, or even inhuman, simply because it 
has alwaj's been done before them, and they 
follow general custom, without much reflec- 
tion. When their attention, however, is 
called to it by a stranger who se6s the 
thing from another point of view, they be- 
come immediately sensible of the improprie- 
ty of the practice, and discontinue it. The 
reader ^ill, however, be pained to notice, 
when he comes to the legal part of the book, 
that even in some of the largest cities of our 
slave states this barbarity had not been en- 
tirely discontinued, in the year 1850. 



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

The Wilmington (North Carolina) Advertiser of 
July 13, 1838, contains the following advertise- 
ment : 

" $100 will be paid to any person who may ap" 
prehend and safely confine in any jail in this state 
li certain negro man, named Alfred. And the 
same reward will be paid, if satisfactory evidence 
is given of his having been killed. He has one or 
more scars on one of his hands, caused by his hav- 
ing been shot. The Citizens of Onslow. 

" Richlands, Onslow Co., May 16, 1538." 

In the same column with the above, and direct- 
ly under it, is the following : 

" Ran AWAY, my negro man Richard. A reward 
of $25 will be paid for his apprehension, DEAD 
or ALIVE. Satisfactory proof will only be re- 
quired of his bluing KILLED. He has with 
him, in all probability, his wife, Eliza, who ran 
away from Col. Thompson, now a resident of Ala- 
bama, about the time he commenced his journey 
to that state. Dl'rant H. Rhodes." 

In the Macon (Georgia) Telegraph, May 28, is 
the following : 

"About the 1st of March last the negro man 
Ransom left me without the least provocation 
whatever ; I will give a reward of twenty dollars 
for said negro, if taken, dead or alive, — and if 
killed in any attempt, an advance of five dollars 
will be paid. Bryant Johnson. 

^^ Crawford Co., Georgia.'^ 

See the Newbern (N. C.) Spectator, Jan. 5, 1838, 
for the following : 

" RAN A WAY from the subscriber, a negro 
man named SAMPSON. Fifty dollars reward 
will be given for the delivery of him to me, or liis 
confinement in any jail, so that I get him: 
and should he resist in being taken, so that vio- 
lence is necessary to arrest him, I will not hold 
any person liable for damages should the slave be 
KILLED. Enoch Foy. 

''Jones Co., N. C." 

From the Charleston (S. C.) Courier, Feb. 20, 
183G: 

" $300 REWARD. — Ranaway from the sub- 
scriber, in Noveiulier last, his two negro men 
named Billy and Pompey. 

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



CHAPTER V. 



ELIZA. 

The writer stated in her book that Eliza 
was a portrait drawn fi-om life. The inci- 



22 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



dent wliich brought the original to her 
notice may be simply narrated. 

While the writer was travelling in Ken- 
tucky, many years ago, she attended church 
in a small country town. While there, her 
attention was called to a beautiful quadroon 
girl, who sat in one of the shps of the church, 
and appeared to have charge of some young 
children. The description of Eliza may 
suffice for a description of her. When the 
author returned from church, she inquired 
about the girl, and was told that she was as 
gODd and amiable as she was beautiful ; that 
she was a pious girl, and a member of the 
church; and, finally, that she was owned 
by Mr. So-and-so. The idea that this girl 
was a slave struck a chill to her heart, and 
she said, earnestly, " 0, I hope they treaf 
her kindly." 

"0, certainly," was the reply; "they 
think as much of her as of their own chil- 
dren." 

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

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

This is all that the writer knows of that 
girl. 

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

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

It has been objected that the representa- 
tion of the scene in which the plan for kid- 
napping Eliza, concocted by Haley, Marks 
and Loker, at the tavern, is a gross carica- 
ture on the state of things in Ohio. 
' What knowledge the author has had of 
the facilities which some justices of the 
peace, under the old fugitive law of Ohio, 
were in the habit of giving to kidnapping, 
may be inferred by comparing the statement 
m her book with some in her personal knowl- 
edge. 

" Yo seo," said Marks to llalcy, stirring his 



punch as he did so, " ye see, we has justices con- 
venient at all p'ints alongshore, that docs up any 
little jobs in our line quite reasonable. Tom, he 
does the knoekin' down, and that ar ; and I com© 
in all dressed up, — shining boots, — everything 
first chop, — when the swearin' 's to be done. You 
oughter see me, now ! " said Marks, in a glow of 
professional pride, " how I can tone it off. One 
day I 'm Mr. Twickem, from Ncav Orleans ; 
'nother day, I 'm just come from my plantation oa 
Pearl river, where I works seven hundred nig- 
gers ; then, again, I come out a distant relation 
to Henry Clay, or some old cock in Ken tuck. 
Talents is different, j^ou know. Now, Tom 's a 
roarer when there 's any thumping or fighting to 
be done; but at lying lie an't good, Tom an't; 
ye see it don 't come natural to him ; but, Lord ! 
if thar 's a feller in the country that can swear to 
anything and everything, and put in all the cir- 
cumstances and flourishes with a longer face, and 
carry 't through Ijetter 'n I can, why, I 'd like to 
see him, that 's all ! I b'lieve, my heart, I could 
get along, and make through, even if justices 
were more particular than they is. Sometimes I 
rather wish they was more particular ; 't would 
be a heap more relishin' if they was, — more fun, 
yer know." 

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

When the author told her the history of 
the love and life and death of Christ, the 
girl seemed wholly overcome ; tears streamed 
down her cheeks ; and she exclaimed, pite- 
ously, "Why did n't nobody never tell me 
this before? " 

" But," said the writer to her, " have n't 
you ever seen the Bible 7 " 

" Yes, I have seen missus a-readin' on 't 
sometimes ; but, law sakcs ! she 's just 
a-readin' on 't 'cause she could ; don't s'pose 
it did her no good, no way." 

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

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

On inquiring into her history, it was dis- 
covered that, by the laws of Ohio, .she was 
legally entitled' to her freedom, from the 
fact of her having been brought into the 
state, and left there, teuiporaril}'-, by the 
consent of her mistress. These facts being 



J 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. 



2S 



properly authenticated before the proper 
authorities, papers attesting her freedom 
were drawn up, and it was now supposed 
that all danger of pursuit was over. After 
she had remained in the family for some 
months, word was sent, from various sources, 
to Professor Stowe, that the girl's young 
master was over, looking for her, and that, 
if care -were not taken, she would be con- 
veyed back into slavery. 

Professor Stowe called on the magistrate 
who had authenticated her papers, and 
inquired whether they were not sufficient to 
protect her. The reply was, " Certainly 
they are, in law, if she could have a fair 
hearing ; but they will come to your house 
in the n>ght, with an officer and a warrant ; 

they will take her before Justice D , 

and swear to her. lie 's the man that does 
all this kind of business, and he '11 deliver 
her up, and there '11 be an end to it." 

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

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

"Are you the man that would save a 
poor colored girl from kidnappers 7" was the 
first question. 

" Guess I am," was the prompi resprnse ; 
'•where is she? " 

-Why, she's here." 

"But how did you come '? " ' 

" I crossed the creek." 

" Why, the Lord helped you ! " said he ; 
"I should n't dare cross it myself in the 
night. A man and his wife, and five chil- 
dren, were drowned there, a httle while 
ago." 

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



CHAPTER VI. 

UNCLE TOM. 



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

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

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

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

The gentleman who gave the writer this in- 
formation says that, although not himself a 
religious man at the time, he was so struck 
with the man's piety that he said to his • 
brother, "I hope you will never do anything 
to deprive this man of his religious privi- 
leges, for I think a judgment will come upon 
you if you do." To this his brother replied 
that he should be very foolish tc do it, since 



L 



24 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



V:^ 



he had made up his mind that the man's 
rehgion was the root of his extraordinary 
excellences. 

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

The following extract from Bishop Meade's 
preface may not be uninteresting. 

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

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

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

Many will doubtless be surprised to find that 
there was so much intelligence, as well as piety, in 
some of the old servants of Virginia, and that they 
had learned to read the Sacred Scriptures, so as to 
be useful In this way among their felloAV-servants. 
It is, and always has been true, in regard to the 
servants of the Southern States, that although 
public schools may have been prohibited, yet no 
interference has been attempted, where the own- 
ers, have chosen to teach their servants, or permit 
them to learn in a private way, how to read 
God's word. Accordingly, there always have 
been some who were thus taught. In the more 
southern states the number of these has most 
abounded. Of this flxct I became well assured, 
about thirty years since, when visiting the Atlan- 
tic states, with a view to the formation of auxil- 
iary colonization societies, and the selection of 
the first colonists f<jr Africa. In the city of 
Charleston, South Carolina, I found more intelli- 
gence and character among the free colored popu- 
lation than anywhere else. The same was true 
of some of those in 1)ondage. A respectable num- 
ber might h& seen in certain parts of the Episco- 
pal churches wliich I attended using their prayer- 
books, and joining in the rosp(mses of the church. 

Many purposes of convenience and hospitality 
were subsei-ved l)y this encouragement of cultiva- 
tion in some of the servants, on the part of the 
owners. 

When travelling many years since with a sick 
wife, and two female relatives, Irom Charleston 
to Virginia, at a period of the year when many of 
the families from the country resort to the town for 
health, we were kindly urged to call at tlie seat 
of one of the first families in South Ciirolina, and 
a letter from the mistress, then in tlie city, was 
given us, to her servant, who liad charge of tlio 
house in the al)3once of tlie family. On reaching 
there and detiveriug the letter to a most respect- 
able-looking female servant, who immediately read 
it, we were kindly welcomed, and entertained, 



during a part of two days, as sumptuously aa 
though the ownei had been present. We un- 
derstood that it was no uncommon thing in South 
Carolina for travellers to be thus entertained by 
the servants in the absence of the owners, on re- 
ceiving letters from the same. 

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

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

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

With regard to the servant of Judge Up- 
shur, spoken of in this communication of 
Bishop Meade, his master has left, in his 
last will, the following remarkal^le tribute to 
his worth and excellence of character : 

I emancipate and set free my servant, David 
Rice, and direct my executors to give him one hun- 
dred dol/ois. I recommend him in the strongest 
manner to the respect, esteem and confidence, of 
any counnunity in which he may happen to live. 
He has been my slave for twenty-four years, dur- 
ing all which time he has been trusted to every 
extent, and in every respect ; my confidence in 
him has been unbounded ; liis relation to mys3lf 
and family has always been such as to afford h:m 
daily opportunities to deceive and injure us, yet 
he has never been detected in any seriitus fault, 
nor even in an unintentional breach of the deco- 
rum of his station. His intelligence is of a high 
order, his integrity above all suspicion, and his 
sense of right and propriety correct, and' even 
refined. I feel that- he is justly entitled to carry 
this certificate from me in the new relations wliich 
he must now form ; it is due to iiis long and most 
faithful services, and to the sincere and steady 
frieud8hi|) which I bear to him In the uuiuter- 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



25 



-upted confidefntial intercourse of twenty-four 
years, I have never given him, nor had occasion 
to give him, one unpleasant vrord. I know no 
man who has fewer faults or morc^ excellences 
than he. 

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

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

In the town of Brunswick, Maine, where 
the writer lived when writing " Uncle Tom's 
Cabin," may now be seen the grave of an aged 
colored woman, named Phebe, who was so 
eminent for her piety and lovehness of char- 
acter, that the writer has never heard her 
name mentioned except with that degree of 
awe and respect which one would imagine 
due to a saint. The small cottage where she 
resided is still visited and looked upon as a 
sort of shrine, as the spot where old Phebe 
lived and prayed. Her prayers and pious 
exhortations were supposed to have been the 
cause of the conversion of many young people 
in the place. Notwithstanding that the un- 
christian feeling of caste prevails as strongly 
in Maine as anywhere else in New England, 
and the negro, commonly speaking, is an 
object of aversion and contempt, yet, so great 
was the influence of her piety and loveliness 
of character, that she was uniformly treated 
with the utmost respect and attention by all 
classes of people. The most cultivated and 
intelligent ladies of the place esteemed it a 
privilege to visit her cottage ; and when she 
was old and helpless, her wants were most 
tenderly provided for. When the news of 
her death was spread abroad in the place, it 
excited a general and very tender sensation 
of regret. " We have lost Phebe' s prayers," 
was the remark frequently made afterwards 
by members of the church, as they met one 



another. At her funeral the ex-governor 
of the slate and the professors of the college 
officiated as pall-bearers, and a sermon was 
preached in which the many excellences of 
her Christian character were held up as an 
example to the community. A small reli- 
gious tract, containing an account of her life, 
was published by the American Tract So- 
ciety, prepared by a lady of Brunswick. The 
writer recollects that on reading the tract, 
when she first went to Brunswick, a doubt 
arose in her mind whether it was not some- 
what exaggerated. Some time afterwards 
she overheard some young persons convers- 
ing together about the tract, and saying that 
they did not think it gave exactly the right 
idea of Phebe. *" ' Why, is it too highly col- 
ored ? " was the inquiry of the author. " 0, 
no, no, indeed," was the earnest response; 
"it doesn't begin to give an idea of hov 
good she was." 

Such instances as these serve to illus- 
trate the words of the apostle, " God hath 
chosen the foolish thincrs of the world to con- 

- ■ 

found the wise ; and God hath ychosen the 
weak things of the world to confound the 
things which are mighty." 

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

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



26 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



A last insta^nce parallel with that of Uncle 
Tom is to be found in the published memoirs 
of the venerable Josiah Henson, now, as we 
have said, a clergyman in Canada. He was 
"raised' ' in the State of Maryland. His first 
recollections were of seeing his father muti- 
lated and covered with blood, suffering the 
penalty of the law for the crime of raising 
his hand against a white man, — that white 
man being the overseer, who had attempted a 
brutal assault upon his mother. This punish- 
ment made his father surly and dangerous, 
and he was subsequently sold south, and thus 
parted forever from his wife and children. 
Henson grew up in a state of heathenism, 
without any religious insU'uction, till, in a 
camp-meeting, he first heard of Jesus Christ, 
and was electrified by the great and thrill- 
ing news that He had tasted death for every 
man, the bond as well as the free. This 
story produced an immediate conversion, such 
as we read of in the Acts of the Apostles, 
where the Ethiopian eunuch, from one inter- 
view, hearing the story of the cross, at once 
believes and is baptized. Henson forthwith 
not only became a Christian, but began to 
declare the news to those about him ; and, 
being a man of great natural force of mind 
and strength of character, his earnest endeav- 
ors to enlighten his fellow-heathen were so 
successful that he was gradually led to assume 
the station of a negro preacher ; and though 
he could not read a word of the Bible or 
hymn-book, his labors in this line were much 
prospered. He became immediately a very 
valuable slave to his master, and was in- 
trusted by the latter with the oversight of 
his whole estate, which he managed with 
great judgment and prudence. His master 
appears to have been a very ordinary man 
in every respect, — to have been entirely in- 
capable of estimating him in any other light 
then as exceedingly valuable property, and 
to have had no other feeling excited by his 
extraordinary faithfulness than the desire to 
make the most of him. When his affairs 
became embarrassed, he formed the design of 
removing all his negroes into Kentucky, and 
intrusted the operation entirely to his over- 
seer. Henson was to take them alone, with- 
out any other attendant, from Maryland to 
Kentucky, a distance of some thousands of 
miles, giving only his promise as a Christian 
that he would faithfully perform this under- 
taking. On the* way thither they passed 
through a portion of Ohio, and there Hen- 
son was informed that he could now secure 
his own freedom and that of all his fellows, 
&D(i he was strongly ur^ed to do it. He 



was exceedingly tempted and tried, but his 
Christian principle was invulnerable. No 
inducements could lead him to feel that it 
was right for a Cliristian to violate a pledge 
solemnly given, and his influence over the 
whole band was so great that he took them 
all with him into Kentucky. Those casuists 
among us who lately seem to think and teach 
that it is right for us to violate the plain 
commands of God whenever some great 
national good can be secured by it, would 
do well to contemplate the infiexil)le prin- 
ciple of this poor slave, who, Avithout being 
able to read a letter of the Bible, was yet 
enabled to perform this most su'ilime act 
of self-renunciation in obedience to its com- 
mands. Subsequently to this, his master, 
in a relenting moment, was induced by a 
friend to sell him his freedom for four hun- 
dred dollars ; but, when the excitement of the 
importunity had passed off, he regretted that 
he had suffered so valuable a piece of prop- 
erty to leave his hands for so slight a remu- 
neration. By an unworthy artifice, therefore, 
he got possession of his servant's free papers, 
and condemned him still to hopeless slavery. 
Subsequently, his aflairs becoming still more 
involved, he sent his son down the river with 
a flat-boat loaded with cattle and produce for 
the New Orleans market, directing him to 
take Henson along, and sell him after they 
had sold the cattle and the boat. All the 
depths of the negro's soul were torn up and 
thrown into convulsion by this horrible piece 
of ingratitude, cruelty and injustice; and, 
while outwardly calm, he was struggling 
with most bitter temptations from within, 
which, as he could not read the Bible, he 
could repel only by a recollection of its sacred 
truths, and by earnest prayer. As he neared 
the New Orleans market, he says that these 
convulsions of soul increased, especially when 
he met some of his old companions from 
Kentucky, whose despairing countenances 
and emaciated forms told of hard work and 
insufficient food, and confirmed all his worst 
fears of the lower country. In the trans- 
ports of his despair, the temptation was more 
urgently presented to him to murder his 
-young master and the other hand on the flat- 
boat in their sleep, to seize upon the boat, 
and make his escape. He thus relates the 
scene where he was almost brought to the 
perpetration of this deed : 

One dark, rainy night, -n-itlnn a foAV days of 
New Orleans, my liDiir seemed to have como. 1 
was alone on the deck ; Mr. Amos and tlie liands 
were all asleep beluw, and I crept down n&ise- 
lesslj, got hold of an axe, entered the cubiu, ;ind 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



27 



looking by the aid of the dim light there for my 
victims, my eye fell upon Master Amos, who was 
nearest to me ; my hand slid along the axe- 
handlo, I raised it to strike the fatal blow, — when 
suddenly the thought came tome, " What ! com- 
mit mwrc/er/ and you a Christian ?" I had not 
called it murder before. It was self-defence, — 
it was pi'evcnting others from murdering me, — 
it was justifiable, it was even praiseworthy. But 
now, all at once, the truth burst upon me that it 
was a crime. I was going to kill a young man, 
who had done nothing to injure me, but obey com- 
mands which he could not resist ; I was about to 
lose the fruit of all my efforts at self-improvement, 
the character I had acquired, and the peace of 
mind wliich had never deserted me. All this 
came upon me instantly, and with a distinctness 
.which made me almost think I heard it wliispcred 
in my car ; and I believe I even turned my head 
to listen. I shrunk back, laid down the axe, 
crept up on dock again, and thanked God, as I 
have done every day since, that I had not com- 
mitted murder. 

My feelings were still agitated, but they were 
changed. I vras filled with shame and remorse for 
the design T had entertained, and with the fear that 
my companions would detect it in my face, or that 
a careless word would betray my guilty thoughts. 
I remained on deck all night, instead of rousing 
one of the men to relieve me ; and nothing brought 
composure to my mind, but tKe solemn resolution 
I then made to resign myself to the will of God, 
and take with thankfulness, if I could, but with 
submission, at all events, whatever he might 
decide should be my lot. I reQected that if my 
life were reduced to a brief term I should have 
less to suffer, and that it was better to die with a 
Clu'istian's hope, and a quiet conscience, than to 
live with the incessant recollection of a crime 
that would destroy the value of life, and under 
the weight of a secret that would crush out the 
satisfaction tiiat might be expected from freedom, 
and every other blessing. 

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

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

Our love for human nature would lead us 
to add, with sorrow, that all this disinterest- 
edness and kindness was rewarded only by 
empty praises, such as would be bestowed 
upon a very fine dog; and Henson indig- 
nantly resolved no longer to submit to the 
injustice. With a degree of prudence, cour- 
age and address, which can scarcely find, a 
parallel in any history, he managed, with 
his wife and two children, to escape into Can- 



ada, Here he learned to read, and, by big 
superior talent and capacity for management, 
laid the foundation for the fugitive settlement 
of Dawn, which is understood to be one of 
the most flourishing in Canada. 

It would .be well for the most cultivated 
of us to ask, whether our ten talents in the 
way of religious knovrledge have enabled U3 
to bring forth as much fruit to- the glory of 
God, to withstand temptation as patiently, 
to return good for evil as disinterestedly, as 
this poor, ignorant slave. A writer in Eng- 
land has sneeringly remarked that such a 
man as Uncle Tom might be imported as a 
missionary fb teach the most cultivated in 
England or America the true nature of reli- 
gion. These instances show that what ha3 
been said with a sneer is in truth a sober 
verity ; and it should never be forgotten that 
out of this race Avhom man despiseth have 
often been chosen of God true messengers of 
his grace, and temples for the indwelling of 
his Spirit. 

" Por thus saith the high and lofty 
One that inhahiteth eternity^ whose name 
is Holy, I dwell iii the high and holy 
place, with hiin also that is of a contrite 
and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of 
the humble, and to revive the heart of the 
contrite ones.'^ 

The vision attributed to Uncle Tom intro- 
duces quite a curious chapter of psychology 
with regard to the negro race, and indicates 
a peculiarity which goes far to show how 
very different they are from the white race. 
They are possessed of a nervous organiza- 
tion peculiarly susceptible and impressible. 
Their sensations and impressions are very 
vivid, and their fancy and imagination lively. 
In this respect the race has an oriental char- 
acter, and betrays its tropical origin. Like 
the Hebrews of old and the oriental nations 
of the present, they give vent to their emotions 
with the utmost vivacity of expression, and 
their whole bodily system sympathizes with 
the movements of their minds. When in 
distress, they aetia'ally lift up their voices to 
weep, and "cry with an exceeding bitter 
cry." When alarmed, they are often para- 
lyzed, and rendered entirely helpless. Their 
religious exercises are all colored by this 
sensitive and exceedingly vivacious tempera- 
ment. Like oriental nations, they incline 
much to outward expressions, violent gestic- 
ulations, and agitating movements of the 
body. Sometimes, in their religious meet- 
ings, they will spring from the floor many 
times in succession^ with a violence and 
rapidity which is perfectly astonishing. 



28 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



They ^\]\\ laugh, weep, embrace each other 
convulsively, and sometimes become entirely 
paralyzed and cataleptic. A clergyman 
from the North once remonstrated with a 
Southern clergyman for permitting such 
extravagances among his flock. The reply 
of the Southern minister was, in effect, this : 
" Sir, I am satisfied that the races are so 
essentially different that they cannot be reg- 
ulated by the same rules. I, at first, felt 
as you do ; and, though I saw that genuine 
conversions did take place, with all this out- 
ward manifestation, I was still so much 
annoyed by it as to forbid it among my 
negroes, till I was satisfied that the repres- 
sion of it was a serious hindrance to real 
religious feeling ; and then I became certain 
that all men cannot be regulated in their 
religious exercises by one model. I am 
assured that conversions produced with these 
accessories are quite as apt to be genuine, 
and to be as influential over the heart and 
life, as those produced in any other way." 
The fact is, that the Anglo-Saxon race — 
cool, logical and practical — have yet to 
learn the doctrine of toleration for the pecu- 
liarities of other races ; and perhaps it was 
with a foresight of their peculiar character, 
and dominant position in the earth, that God 
gave the Bible to them in the fervent lan- 
guage and with the glowing imagery of the 
more susceptible and passionate oriental 
« races. 

Mesmerists have found that the negroes 
are singularly susceptible to all that class 
of influences which produce catalepsy, mes- 
meric sleep, and partial clairvoyant phenom- 
ena. 

The x\frican race, in their own climate, 
are believers in spells, in ''fetish and obi," 
in "the evil eye," and other singular influ- 
ences, for which, probably, there is an origin 
in this peculiarity of constitution. The 
magicians in scriptural history were Afri- 
cans ; and the so-called magical arts are still 
practised in Egypt, and other parts of 
Africa, with a degree of skill and success 
which can only be accounted for by suppos- 
ing peculiarities of nervous constitution quite 
different from tliose of the whites. Consid- 
ering those distinctive traits of the race, it 
is no matter of surprise to find in their reli- 
gious histories, when acted upon by the 
powerful stimulant of the Christian religion, 
very peculiar features. We are not sur- 
prised to find almost constantly, in the nar- 
rations of their religious histories, accounts 
of visions, of heavenly voices, of mysterious 
8y"U>a'thie3 and transmissions of knowledge 



from heart to heart without the interven- 
tion of the senses, or what the Quakeis call 
being "baptized into the spirit" of those 
who are distant. 

Cases of this kind are constantly recur- 
ring in their histories. The young man 
whose story was related to the Boston lady, 
and introduced above in the chapter on 
George Harris, stated this incident concern- 
ing the recovery of his liberty : That, after 
the departure of his wife and sister, he, for 
a long time, and very earnestly, sought some 
opportunity of escape, but that every avenue 
appeared to be closed to him. At length, 
in despair, he retreated to his room, and 
threw himself upon his bed, resolving to 
give up the undertaking, when, just as he 
was sinking to sleep, he was roused by a 
voi-se saying in his ear, " Why do you sleep 
now 7 Bise up, if you ever mean to be 
free!" He sprang up, went immediately 
out, and, in the course of two hours, discov- 
ered the means of escape which he used. 

A lady whose history is known to the writer 
resided for some time on a Southern planta- 
tion, and was in the habit of imparting reli- 
gious instruction to the slaves. One day, a 
woman from a distant plantation called at 
her residence, and inquired for her. The 
lady asked, in surprise, "How did you 
know about me 7" The old woman's reply 
was, that she had long been distressed about 
her soul; but that, several nights before, 
some one had appeai'ed to her in a dream, 
told her to go to this plantation and inquire 
for the strange lady there, and that she 
would teach her the way to heaven. 

Another specimen of the same kind was 
related to the writer by a slave-woman who 
had been through the whole painful experi- 
ence of a slave's life. She was originally a 
young girl of pleasing exterior and gentle 
nature, carefully reared as a seamstress and 
nurse to the children of a family in Virginia, 
and attached, with all the warmth of her 
susceptible nature, to these children. Al- 
though one of the tenderest of mothers when 
the writer knew her, yet she assured the 
writer that she had never loved a child of 
her own as she loved the dear little young 
mistress Avho Avas her particular charge. 
Owing, probably, to some pecuniary diffi- 
culty in the family, this girl, whom we will 
call Louisa, was sold, to go on to a, South- 
ern plantation. She has often described the 
scene when she Avas forced into a carriage, 
and saw her dear young mistress leaning 
from the windoAv, stretching her arms 
towards her, screaming, and calling her 



KEY TO TINCLE TOM S CABIN. 



29 



name, -^itli all the vehemence of childish 
grief. She was carried in a coffle, and sold 
as cook on a Southern plantation. With 
the utmost earnestness of language she has 
described to the writer her utter loneliness, 
and the distress and despair of her heart, in 
this situation, parted forever from all she 
held dear on earth, without even the possi- 
bility of writing letters or sending messages, 
surrounded by those who felt no kind of 
interest in her, and forced to a toil for which 
her more delicate education had entirely 
unfitted her. Under these circumstances, 
she began to believe that it was for some 
dreadful sin she had thus been afflicted. 
The course of her mind after this may be 
best told in her own simple words : 

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

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

With a fice of the utmost earnestness, 
she answered, "Why, ma'am, the Lord 
Jesus he came and spoke to me, you know ; 
and I never, till the last day of my life. 
Bhall for;^et what he said to me." 

"What was it?" said the writer. 

" He said. ' Fear not, my little one ; thy 
sins are forgiven thee;' " and she added to 
this some verses, which the writer recos;- 
nized as those of a Methodist hymn. 

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

"You mean that you dreamed this, 
Louisa." 

With an air of wounded feeling, and much 
earnestn<.'S3, she answered, 

"0 no, Mrs. Stowe; that never was a 
dream; you "11 never make me believe that." 

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

This instance of Louisa is so exactly par- 
allel to another case, which the author 
rec .od from an authentic source, that she 
is icu^pted to place the two side by side. 

Among the slaves who were brought into 



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

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

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

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

Compare now these experiences with the 
earnest and beautiful language of Paul : 
" He hath made of one blood all nations of 
men, for to dwell on all the face of the 
earth ; and hath determined the times be- 
fore appointed and the bounds of their 
habitation, that they should seek the 
Lord^ if haply they might feel after 
Him and find Him, though he he not far 
from every one of usJ'^ 

Is not this truly '■'•feeling after God 
and finding Him'''' 7 And may we not 
hope that the yearning, troubled, helpless 
heart of man, pressed by the insufferable 
anguish of this short life, or wearied by its 
utter vanity, never extends its ignorant, 
pleading hand to God in vain ? Is not the 
veil which divides us from an almighty and 
most merciful Father much thinner than we, '* 
in the pride of our philosophy, are apt to 
imagine ? and is it not the most worthy con- 
ception of Him to suppose that the more 
utterly helpless and ignorant the human 
being is that seeks His aid, the more tender 
and the more condescending will be His 
communication with that soul ? 



30 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



If a motlier has among her children one 
whom sickness has made blind, or deaf, or 
dumb, incapable cf acquiring knowledge 
through the usual channels of communica- 
tion, does she not seek to reach its darkened 
mind by modes of communication tenderer 
and more intimate than those which she 
uses with the stronger and more favored 
ones ? But can the love of any mother be 
compared with the infinite love of Jesus 7 
Has He not described himself as that good 
Shepherd who leaves the whole flock of 
secure and well-instructed ones, to follow 
over the mountains of sin and ignorance the 
one lost sheep ; and, when He hath found 
it, rejoicing more over that one than' over 
the ninety and nine that went not astray ? 
Has He not told us that each of these little 
ones has a guardian angel that doth always 
behold the face of his Father which is in 
heaven 7 And is it not comforting to us to 
think that His love and care will be in pro- 
portion to the ignorance and the wants of 
His chosen ones 7 

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

I really thou j^ht, while reading "Uncle Tom's 
Cabin," that the authoress, when describing the 
character of Tom, had in her mind's eye a slave 
whose acquaintance I made some years since, in 
the State of Mississippi, called "Uncle Jacob." 
I was staying a day or two with a planter, and in 
the evening, when out in the yard, I heard a well- 
knoAvn hymn and tunc sung in one of the " quar- 
ters," and then the voice of prayer ; and 0, such 
a prayer ! what fervor, what unction, — nay, the 
man "prayed right up;" and when I read of 
Uncle Tom, how " nothing could exceed the 
touching simplicity, the childlike earnestness, of 
his prayer, enriched with the language of Scrip- 
ture, which seemed so entirely to have wrought 
itself into his being as to have become a part of 
himself," the recollections of that evening pra3'er 
were strangely vivid. On entering the house and 
referring to what I had hoard, his master replied, 
" Ah, sir, if I covet anything in this world, it is 
Uncle Jacob's relij^ion. If there is a good man 
on earth, lie certainly is one." He said Uncle 
Jacob was a regulator on the plantation ; that a 
word or a look from him, addressed to younger 
slaves, had tnore elEcacy. than a blow from the 
overseer. 

The next morning Uncle Jacob informed mo he 
was from Kentucky, opposite Cincinnati ; that 
his opportunities for attending religious worship 
had been frequent ; that at about the age of 
forty he was sold soutli, was set to picking cotton ; 
could not, when doing his best, pick tlie task as- 
Bigned him ; was whipped and whipped, he could 
not possibly tell how often ; was of the opinion 
that the overseer came to the conclusion that 



whipping could not bring one more pound out of 
him, f(ir he set him to driving a team. At this and 
other work he could " make a hand ;'' I:ad changed 
owners three or four times. He expressed him- 
self as well pleased with his present situation as 
ho expected to be in the South, but was yearning 
to return to his former associations in Kentucky. 



CHAPTER Vn. 



MISS OPHELIA. 



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

There are in this class of people acti^aty, 
zeal, unflinching conscientiousness, clear in- 
tellectual discriminations between truth and 
error, and great logical and doctrinal cor- 
rectness ; but there is a want of that spirit 
of love, without which, in the eye of Christ, 
the most perfect character is as deficient as 
a wax flower — wanting in life and perfume. 

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

So when the gentle Eva, who is an imper- 
sonation in childish form of the love of 
Christ, solves at once, by a blessed instinct, 
the problem which Ophelia has long been 
unable to solve by dint of utmost hammer- 
ing and vehement effort, she at once, wdth 
a good and honest heart, perceives and ac- 
knoAV ledges her mistake, and is willing to 
learn even of a little child. 

Miss Ophelia, again, represents one great 
sin, of which, unconsciously, American 
Christians have allowed themselves to be 
guilty. Unconsciously it must be, for no- 
where is conscience so predominant as 
among this class, and nowhere is there a 
more honest strife to bring every thought 
into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 

One of the first and most declared objects 
of the gospel has been to break down all 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CAIIN 



31 



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

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

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

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

Not long since the wi'iter called upon a 
benevolent lady, and during the course of 
the call the conversation turned upon the 
incidents of a fire which had occurred the 
night before in the neighborhood. A de- 
S3rted house had been burned io the oround. 



The lady said it was supposed it had been 
set on fire. " ^Vliat could be any one's 
motive for setting it on fire?" said the 
writer. 

"Well," replied the lady, "it was sup- 
posed that a colored family was about to 
move into it, and it was thought that the 
neighborhood would n"t consent to that. So 
it was supposed that was the reason." 

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

The writer inquired, " Was it a family of 
bad character 1 " 

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

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

Supposing our Lord was now on earth, 
as he was once, what course* is it probable 
that he would pursue with regard to this un- 
christian prejudice of color ] 

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

It is, however, but just to our Northern 
Christians to say that tliis sin- has been 
committed ignorantly and in unbehef, and 
that within a few years signs of a much bet- 
ter spirit have begun to manifest themselves. 
In some places, recently, the doors of 
school-houses have been thrown open to the 
children, and many a good Miss Opheha 
has opened her eyes in astonishment to find 
that, while she has been devouring the 
Missionary Herald^ and going without but- 
ter on her bread and sugar in her tea to send 
the gospel to the Sandwich Islands, there is 
a very thriving colony of hfathpn in her 



32 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



own neigliborhood at home ; and, true to 
her own good and honest heart, she has 
resolved, not to give up her prayers and 
efforts for the heathen abroad, but to add 
thereunto labors for the heathen at home. 

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

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

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

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

Now, these Christians are influential, rich 
and powerful ; they can control public sen- 
timent on any subject that they think of 
any particular importance, and they profess, 
by their religion, that " if one member suf- 
fers, all the members suffer with it." 

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

Those who are anxious to do something 
directly to improve the condition of the slave, 
can do it in no way so directly as by elevat- 



ing the condition of the free colored people 
around them, and taking every pains to give 
them equd rights and privileges. 

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

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

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

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

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

That the dirtiest and most uneducated 
foreigner or American, with breath redolent 
of whiskey and clothes foul and disordered, 
should have an unquestioned right to take a 
seat next to any person in a railroad car or 
steamboat, and that the respectable, decent 
and gentlemanly negro should be excluded 
simply because he is a negro, cannot be con- 
sidered otherwise than as an irrational and 
unchristian thing : and any Christian who 
allows such things done in his presence with- 
out remonstrance, and the use of his Chrisih 
ian influence, will certainly be made deeply 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM's CABIN. 



33 



sensible of his error when he comes at last 
to direct and personal interview with his 
Lord. 

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

The time is coming rapidly when the up- 
per classes in society must learn that their 
education, wealth and refinement, are not 
their own ; that they have no right to use 
them for their own selfish benefit ; but 
that they should hold them rather, as Fene- 
lon expresses it, as " a ministry," a stew- 
ardship, which they hold in trust for the 
benefit of their poorer brethren. 

In some of the very highest circles in 
England and America we begin to see illus- 
trious examples of the commencement of such 
a condition of things. 

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

This is the true socialism, which comes 
from the spirit of Christ, and, without break- 
ing down existing orders of society, by love 
makes the property and possessions of the 
higher class the property of the lower. 

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

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

Among her oldest nobility there begin to 
arise lecturers to mechanics and patrons of 
ragged schools ; and it is said that even on 
3 



the throne of England is a woman who 
weekly instructs ker class of Sunday-school 
scholars from the children in the vicinity of 
her country residence. 

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



CHAPTER VIIL 



MARIE ST, CLARE. 



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

When found in a northern latitude, she is 
forever in trouble about her domestic rela- 
tions. Her servants never do anything right. 
Strange to tell, they are not perfect, and 
she thinks it a very great shame. She is 
fully convinced that she ought to have every 
moral and Christian virtue in her kitchen 
for a little less than the ordinary wages; 
and when her cook leaves her, because she 
finds she can get better wages and less work 
in a neighboring family, she thinks it* shock- 
ingly selfish, unprincipled conduct. She is 
of opinion that servants ought to be perfectly 
disinterested ; that they ought to be willing 
to take up with the worst rooms in tha 
house, with very moderate wages, and very 
indifferent food, when they can get much 
better elsewhere, purely for the sake of 
pleasing her. She likes to get hold of for- 
eign servants, who have not yet learned our 
ways, who are used to working for low 
wages, and who will be satisfied with almost 
anything ; but she is often heard to lament 
that they soon get spoiled, and want as 
many privileges as anybody else, — which is 
perfectly shocking. Marie often wishes 
that she could be a slave-holder, or could 
live somewhere where the lower class are 
kept down, and made to know their place. 
She is always hunting for cheap seamstresses, 
and will tell you, in an under-tone, that she 
has discovered a woman who will make hnen 
shirts beautifully, stitch the collars and 
wristbands twice, all for thirty-seven centa^ 



34 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. 



when many seamstresses get a dollar for it ; 
says she does it because sbe 's poor, and has 
no friends ; thinks you had better be care- 
ful in your conversation, and not let her 
know what prices are, or else she will get 
spoiled, and go to raising her prille,— these 
sewing-women are so selfish. When Marie 
St. Glare has- the misfortune to live in a free 
state, there is no end to her troubles. Her 
cook is always going oif for better wages 
and more comfortable quarters ; her cham- 
ber-maid, strangely enough, won't agree to 
be chambermaid and seamstress both for 
half wages, and so she deserts. Marie's 
kitchen-cabinet, therefore, is always in a 
state of revolution ; and she often declares, 
with affecting earnestness, that servants are 
the torment of her life. If her husband 
endeavor to remonstrate, or suggest another 
mode of treatment, he is a hard-hearted, 
unfeeling man; "he doesn't love her, and 
she always knew he didn't;" and so he is 
disposed of. 

But, when Marie comes tinder a system 
of laws which gives her absolute control over 
her dependants, — which enables her to sep- 
arate them, at her pleasure, from their dear- 
est family connections, or to inflict upon 
them the most disgraceful and violent pun- 
ishments, without even the restraint which 
seeing the execution might possibly produce, 
— then it is that the ch3.raeter arrives at 
full maturity. Human nature is no worse 
at the South than at the North ; but law at 
the Soiith distinctly provides for and pro- 
tects the worst abuses to which that nature 
is liable. 

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

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

Let them look into their own hearts, and 
ask themselves if they would dare to be 
trusted with such a power. Do they not 
find in themselves temptations to be unjust 
to those who are inferiors and dependants 1 
Do they not find themselves tempted to be 
irritable and provoked, when the service of 
their families is neghgently performed 7 



And, if they had the power to inflict cruel 
punishments, or to have them inflicted by 
sending the servant out to some plaCe of 
correction, would they not be tempted to 
use that liberty? 

With regard to those degrading punish- 
ments to which females are subjected, by 
being sent to professional whippers, or by 
having such functionaries sent for to the 
house, — as John Caphart testifies that he 
has often been, in Baltimore, — what can be 
said of their influence both on the superior 
and on the inferior class 7 It is very pain- 
ful indeed to contemplate this subject. The 
mind instinctively shrinks from it ; but still 
it is a very serious question whether it be 
not our duty to encounter this pain, that 
our sympathies may be quickened into more 
active exercise. For this reason, we give 
here the testimony of a gentleman whose 
accuracy will not be doubted, and who sub- 
jected himself to the pain of being an eye- 
witness to a scene of this kind in the cala- 
boose in New Orleans. As the reader will 
perceive from the account, it was a scene of 
such every-day occurrence as not to excite 
any particular remark, or any expression of 
sympathy from those of the same condition 
and color with the sufferer. 

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

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

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



I have passed ten days in New Orleans, not 
unprofitably, I trust, in examining the publio 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM's CABIN. 



35 



institutions, — the schools, asylums, hospitals, 
prisons, &c. With the exception of the first, 
there is little hope of amelioration. I know not 
how much merit there may lie in their system ; 
but I do know that, in the administration of the 
penal code, there are abominations which should 
bring down the fate of Sodom upon the city. If 
Howard or Mrs. Fry ever discovered so ill-admin- 
istered a den of thieves as the New Orleans 
prison, they never described it. In the negro's 
apartment I saw much which made me blush that 
I was a white man, and which, for a moment, 
stirred up an evil spirit in my animal nature. 
Entering a large paved court-yard, around which 
ran galleries filled with slaves of all ages, sexes 
and colors, I heard tlie snap of a whip, every 
stroke of which sounded like the sharp craek of a 
pistol. I turned my head, and beheld a sight 
which absolutely chilled me to the marrow of 
my bones, and gave me, for the first time in my 
life, the sensation of ray hair stifl[ening at tlie 
roots. There lay a black girl flat upon her face, 
on a hoard, her two thumbs tied, and fastened to 
one end, her feet tied, and drawn tightly to the 
otlicr end, while a strap passed over the small of 
her back, and, fastened around the board, com- 
pressed her closely to it. Below the strap she 
Avas entirely naked. By her side, and sis feet off, 
stood a huge negro, with a long whip, which he 
applied with dreadful power and wonderful pre- 
cision. Every stroke brought away a strip of 
skin, which clung to the lash, or fell quivering on 
the pavement, while the blood followed after it. 
The poor creature writhed and shrieked, and, in a 
voice which show^ed alike her fear of death and 
her dreadful agony, screamed to her master, who 
stood at her head, "0, spare my life ! don't cut 
my soul out!" But still fell the horrid lash; 
still strip after strip peeled off from the skin ; 
gash after gash was cut in her living flesh, until 
it became a livid and bloody mass of raw and quiv- 
ering muscle. It was with the greatest difficulty 
I refrained from springing upon the torturer, and 
arresting his lash ; but, alas ! what could I do, 
but turn aside to hide juy tears for the sufferer, 
and my blushes for humanity? This was in a 
public and regularly-organized prison ; the pun- 
ishment was one recognized and autiiorized by the 
law. But think you the poor wretch had com- 
mitted a heinous offence, and had been convicted 
thereof, and sentenced to the lash ? Not at all . 
She was brought 1iy lier master to be whipped by 
the common executioner, Avitliout trial, ju^lge or 
jury, just at his beck or nod, for some real or sup- 
posed offence, or to gratily'his own whim or mal- 
ice. And he may bring lier day after day^ with- 
out cause assigned, and inflict any number of 
lashes he pleases, short of twenty-five, provideil 
only he pays t!ie fee. Or. if he choose, he may 
have a private whipping-board on his own prem- 
ises, and brutalize hiiusulf there. A shocking 
part of this horrid punisluuent was its publicity, 
as I have said ; it was in a court-yard surrounded 
by galleries, which were filled with colored {Persons 
of all sexes, — runaway slaves, committed for 
some crime, or slaves up for sale. You would 
naturally suppose they crowded forward, and 
g-azed, horror-stricken, at the brutal spectacle 
below ; but they did not ; many of them hardly 
noticed it, and many were entirely indifferent to 
it. They went on in their childish pursuits, and 
Bome were laughing outright in the distant parts 



of the galleries ; so low can man, created in God's 
image, be sunk in brutality. 



CHAPTER IX. 



ST. CLARE. 



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

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

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

On the other hand, the democrat is often 
found in the highest position of life. To 
this man, superiority to his brother is a thing 
which he can never boldly and nakedly as- 



36 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM*S CABIN. 



sert without a secret pain. In the lowest 
and humblest walk of life, he acknowledges 
the sacred ness of a common humanity ; and 
however degraded by the opinions and in- 
stitutions of society any particular class 
may be, there is an instinctive feeling in 
his soul which teaches him that they are 
7nen of like passions with himself. Such 
men have a penetration Avhich at once sees 
through all the false shows of outward cus- 
tom which make one man so dissimilar to 
another, to those great generic capabilities, 
soi'rows, wants and weaknesses, wherein all 
men and women are alike ; and there is no 
such thing as making them realize that one 
order of human beings have any prescrip- 
tive right over another order, or that the 
tears and sufferings of one are not just as 
good as those of another order. 

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

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

LETTER OF PATRICK HENRY. 

Hanover, January \^th, 1773. 
Dear Sir : I take this opportunity to acknowl- 
edge tlie receipt of Anthony Benezet's book 
against the slave-trade ; I thank you for it. Is 
it not a little surprising that thfe professors of 
Christianity, whose chief excellence consists in 
softening the human heart, in cherisliing and im- 
proving its finer feelings, should encourage a 
practice so totally repugnant to the first impres- 
sions of right and wrong? What adds to the 
wonder is, that tliis abominable practice has been 
introduced in the most enlightened ages. Times 
that seem to have pretensions to boast of high 
improvements in the arts and sciences, and refined 
morality, have brought into general use, and 
guai-ded by many laws, a species of violence and 
tyi'anny which our more rude and barbarous, but 
more honest ancestors detested. Is it not amazing 
that at a time when the riglits of humanity are 
defined and understood with precision, in a country 
above all others fond of liberty, — that in such an 
age and in such a country we find men professing 
a religion the most mild, humane, gentle and 
generous, adopting such a principle, as repugnant 
to humanity as it is inconsistent with the Bible, 
Sffld destructive to ID^erty ? Every thinking, honest 



man rejects it in speculation. How free in prao 
tice from conscientious motives ! 

Would any one believe that I am master of 
slaves of my own purchase 1 I am drawn along 
by the general inconvenience of living here with- 
out them. I will not, I cannot, justify it. How- 
ever culpable my conduct, I will so far pay my 
devoir to virtue as to own the excellence and rec- 
titude of her precepts, and lament my want of 
conformity to them. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



KEY TO UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. 



37 



clothed, &c. , but, sir, this is far from proving 
that negroes ought to be shives. 

The celebrated John Randolph, of Roan- 
oke, said in Congress, on one occasion : 

Sir, 1 envy neither the heart nor the head of 
that man from the North who rises here to defend 
slavery on principle. 

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

I give to my slaves their freedom, to lohich my 
cvnscicnrr tells me they are justly entitled. It has 
a long time been a matter of the deepest regret to 
me, that t!ie circumstances under which I in- 
herited them, and the obstacles thrown in the 
way by tlie laws of the land, have prevented my 
emancipating them in my life-time, which it is 
my full intention to do in case I can accomplish 
it. 

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

So we hear the Baltimore Sun, a paper 
in a slave state, and no way suspected of 
leaning towards abolitionism, thus scorn- 
fully disposing of the scriptural argument : 

Messrs. Burgess, Taylor <Sb Co., Sun Iron Build- 
ing, send us a copy of a work of imposing ex- 
terior, a handsome work of nearly six hundred 
pages, from the pen of Rev. Josiah Priest, 
A.M., and published bj Rev. W. S. Brown, M.D., 



at Glasgow, Kentucky, the copy before us convey- 
ing the assurance that it is the "fifth edition — 
stereotyped." And we have no doubt it is ; and 
the fiftieth edition may be published ; but it will 
amount to nothing, for there is nothing in it. 
The book comprises the usually quoted facts asso- 
ciated with the history of slavery as recorded in 
the Scriptures, accompanied by the opinions apd 
arguments of another man in relation thereto. 
And this sort of thing may go on to the end of 
time. It can Jiccomplish nothing towards the 
perpetuation of slavery. The book is called 
" Bible Defence of Slavery ; and Origin, Fortunes, 
and History, of the Negro Race." Bible defence 
of slavery ! There is no such thing as a Bi})le 
defence of slavery at the present day. Slavery in 
the United States is a social institution, originat- 
ing in the convenience and cupidity of our ances- 
tors, existing by state laws and recognized to a 
certain extent — for the recovery of slave prop- 
erty — by the constitution. And nobody would 
pretend that, if it were inexpedient and unprofit- 
able for any man or any state to continue to hold 
slaves, they would be bound to do so, on the 
ground of a "Bible defence" of it. Slavery is 
recorded in the Bible, and approved, with many 
degrading characteristics. War is recorded in 
the Bible, and apjiroved, under what seems to us 
the extreme of cruelty. But are slavery and war 
to endure forever, because we find them in the 
Bible ? Or, are they to cease at once and forever, 
because the Bible inculcates peace and brother- 
hood? 

The book before us exhibits great research, but 
is obnoxious to severe criticism, on account of its 
gratuitous assumptions. The writer is constantly 
assuming this, that, and the other. In a work of 
this sort, a " doubtless" this, and " no doubt" 
the other, and " such is our belief," with respect 
to important premises, will not be acceptaljle to 
the intelligent reader. Many of the positions as- 
sumed are ludicrous ; and the fancy of the writer 
runs to exuberance in putting words and speeches 
into the mouths of the ancients, predicated upon 
the brief record of Scripture history. The argu- 
ment from the curse of Ham is not worth the paper 
it is written upon. It is just equivalent to that 
of Blackwood' s Magazine, we remember examin- 
ing some years since, in reference to the admission 
of Rothschild to Parliament. The writer main- 
tained the religious obligation of the Christian 
public to perpetuate the political disabilities of 
the Jews, because it would be resisting the Divine 
will to remove them, in view of the "curse" 
which the aforesaid Christian Pharisee under- 
stood to be levelled against the sons of Abraham. 
Admitting that God • has cursed both the Jewish 
race and the descendants of Ham, He is able to 
fulfil His purpose, though the " rest of mankind" 
should in all things act up to the benevolent pre- 
cepts of the "Divine law." Man may very 
safely cultivate the highest principles of the 
Christian dispensation, and leave God to work out 
the fulfilment of His cvrse. 

According to the same book and the same logic, 
all mankind being under a " curse," none of us 
ought to work out any alleviation for ourselves, 
and we are sinning heinously in harnessing steam to 
the performance of manual labor, cutting wheat by 
McCormick's diablerie, and laying hold of the light- 
ning to carry our messages for us, instead of footing 
it ourselves as our father Adam did. With a little 
more common sense, and much less of the uncom- 



38 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



mon sort, we should better understand Scripture, 
the institutions under which we live, the several 
rights of our fellow-citizens in all sections of the 
ii#oantrv, and the good, sound, practical, social 
'delations, which ought to contribute infinitely more 
than they do to the happiness of mankind. 

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

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

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

If I believed, or was of opinion, that it was 
the legitimate tcndeiiey of the gospel to abolish 
slavery, liovr would I approach a man, possessing 
as many slave? as Abraham liiid, and tell him I 
wislied to obtain his permission to preach to his 
slaves ? 

Suppose the man to bt ignorant of the gospel, 
and that ho would inquire of me what was my 
object. I would tell him candidly (and every 
miniKster ought to be candid) that I wished to 
preach the gospel, because its legitimate tendency 



is to make his slaves honest, trusty and faithful : 
not serving " with eye service, as men pleasers," 
"not purloining, but sliowing all good fidelity." 
" And is this," he would ask, " really the tendency 
of the gospel?" 1 would answer. Yes. Then I 
might expect that a man who had a thousand 
slaves, if he believed me, would not only permit 
me to preach to his slaves, but wimld do more. 
He would be willing to build me a liouse, furnish 
me a garden, and ample [)ruvision for a support. 
Because, he would conclude, verily, then this 
-preacher luoidd he worth more to him than a dozen 
overseers. But, suppose, then, lie would tell me 
that he had understood that t!ie tendency of tlie 
gospel was to abolish slavery, and inquire of me if 
that was the fact. x\h ! this is the rub. lie has 
now cornered me. What shall I say? Shall I, 
like a dishonest man, twist and dodge, and shift 
and turn, to evade an answer? No. I muit 
Kentuckian like, come out, broad, flat-footed, •a\\'\ 
tell him that abolition is the tendency of the gos- 
pel. What am I now to calculate upon ? I have 
told the man that it is the tendency of the gospel 
to make him so poor as to oblige him to take hold 
of the maul and wedge himself; he must catch, 
curry, and saddle his own horse ; he must black 
his own brogans (for he will not be able to buy 
boots). His wife must go, herself, to the wash- 
tub, take hold of the scrubbing-broom, wi\sh 
the pots, and cook all that she and her rail mauler 
will eat. 

Query. — Is it to be expected that a master ig- 
norant heretofore of the tendency of the gospel 
would fall so desperately in love with it, from a 
knowledge of its tendency, that he would en- 
courage the preaching of it among his slaves ? 
Verily, NO. 

But suppose,, when he put the last question to 
me, as to its tendency, I cozild and ivould, without 
a twist or quibble, tell him, plainly and candidly, 
that it was a slander on the gospel to say that 
emancipation or abt)lition was its legitimate ten- 
dency. I would tell hiiu that the commandments 
of some men, and not the commandments of God, 
made slavery a sin. — Smylie on Slavery, p. 71. 

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

Can any one wonder that a man like St. 
Clare should put such questions as these 7 

"Is what you hear at church religion 7 Is 
that which can bend and turn, and descend 
and ascend, to fit every crooked phase of self- 
ish, worldly society, religion 7 Is thai reli- 
gion, which is less scrupulous, less generous, 
less just, less considerate for man, than even 
my own ungodly, worldly, blinded nature 7 
No ! When I look for a religion, I must* 
look for something above me, and not some- 
thing beneath." 

The character of St. Clare was drawn by 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



39 



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



CHAPTER X. 



LEGEEE. 

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

Legree is introduced not for the sake of 
vilifying masters as a class, but for the sake of 
bringing to the minds of honorable Southern 
men, who are masters, a very important feat- 
ure in the system of slavery, upon which, 
perhaps, they have never reflected. It is 
this : that no SoiUhern law requires any 
test 0/ CHARACTER /ro/Tt the man to whom 
the absoliUe poioer of master is granted. 

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

Rev. Charles C. Jones, of Georgia, in 
addressing masters, tells them that they have 
the power to open the kingdom of heaven 
or to shut it. to their slaves {Relii{ions In- 
struction of the Negroes, p. 158), and a 
South Carolinian, in a recent article in Fro- 
ser^s M larnzine, apparently in a very seri- 
ous spirit, thus acknowledges the f ict of this 
ftwful power : ' ' Yes, we would have the 



whole South to feel that the soul of the 
slave is in some sense in the master's keep- 
ing, and to be charged against him here- 
after." 

Now, it is respectfully submitted to men 
of this high class, who are the law-makers, 
whether this "awful power to bind and to 
loose, to open and to shut the kingdom of 
heaven, ought to be intrusted to every man 
in the community, without any other quali- 
fication than that of property to buy. Let 
this gentleman of South Caiolina cast his 
eyes around the world. Let him travel for 
one week through any district of country 
either in the South or the North, and ask 
himself how many of the men whom he 
meets are fit to be trusted with this power, — 
how many are fit to be trusted with their own 
souls, much less with those of others 7 ' 

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

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

Ai'e there such men as Legree 7 Let 
any one go into ^e low districts and dens 
of New York, let them go into some of the 



40 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



lanes and alleys of London, and will they 
not there see many Legrees ? Nay, take 
the purest district of New England, and let 
people cast about in their memory and see 
if there have not been men there, hard, 
coarse, unfeeling, brutal, who, if they had 
possessed the absolute power of Legree, 
would have used it in the same Avay ; and 
that there should be Legrees in the South- 
ern States, is only saying that human nature 
is the same there that it is everywhere. The 
only difference is this, — that in free states 
Legree is chained and restrained by law ; 
in the slave states, the law makes him an 
absolute, irresponsible despot. 

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

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

The Court sat — Tsham was judged to be guilty 
of a capital crime in the affair of George. lie was 
to be lianjj;od at Salem. The day was set. My 
good old fatlier visited him in the prison — two or 
throe times talked and prayed with him ; I visited 
him once myself. We fondly honed that he was 
a sincere penitent. Before the day of execution 
came, by some lueanfl, I uever kaovr what, Isham 



was missing. About two years after, we learned 
that he had gone dovm to Natchez, and had mar- 
ried a lady of some refinement and piety. I saw 
her letters to his sisters, who were Avorthy mem- 
bers of the church of which I was pastor. The 
last letter told of his death. He was in Jackson's 
army, and fell in the famous battle of New Or- 
leans. I am, sir, your friend, 

Wm. Dickey. 

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

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

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

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

The Agricultural Society of Baton Rouge, La., 
in its report, published in 1829, furnishes a 
labored estimate of the amount of expenditure 
necessarily incurred in conducting " a well-regu- 
lated sugar estate." In this estimate, the annual 
net loss of slaves, over and abuve the supply by 
propagation, is set down at two and a half per 
CENT. ! The late Hon. Josiah S. Jolnison, a mem- 
ber of Congress from Louisi.ina, addressed a letter 
to the Secretary of the United States" Treasury, in 
1830, containing a similar estimate, apparently 
made with great care, and going into minute 
details. Many items in tliis estimate differ from 
the preceding ; but the estimate of the annual 
decrease of the slaves on a plantation was the 
same, — two and a n.\w per cent. ! 

In September, 1834, tlie writer of this had an 
interview with James G. Birney, Esq., who then 
resided in Kentucky, iiaving removed, with his 
family, from Alabama, the year before. A few 
hours before that interview, and on the morning 
of the same day, Mr. B. liad spent a co\iple of 
hours with Hon. Henry Clay, at his residence, 
near Lexington. Mr. Birney remarked that Mr. 
Clay had just told him he had lately been led to 
mistrust certain estimates as to tlie increase of 
the slave population in tlie far South-west, — esti- 
mates wliicli he had presented, I think, in a 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. 



41 



speech before the Colomzation Society. He now 
believed that the births among the slaves in that 
quarter vrere not equal to the deaths ; and that, of 
course, the sli^ve population, independent of immi- 
gration from the slave-selling states, was not sus- 
taining itself. 

Among other facts stated by Mr. Clay was the 
following, which we copy verbatim from the origi- 
nal memorandum made at the time by Mr. Bir- 
ney, with which he has kindly furnished us. 

'^Sept. 16, 1834. —-Hon. li. Clay, in a conver- 
sation at his own house on the subject of slavery, 
informed me that Hon. Outcrbridge Horsey — for- 
merly, a senator in Congress from the State -of 
Delaware, and the owner of a sugar plantation in 
Louisiana — declared to him that his overseer 
worked his hands so closely that one of the women 
brought forth a child whilst engaged in the labors 
of the field. 

y Also that, a few years since, he was at a 
brick-yard in the environs of New Orleans, in 
which one hundred hands were employed ; among 
them were from twenty to thirty young women, in 
the prime of life. He was told by the proprietor 
that there had not been a child horn among them 
for the last two or three years, although they all had 
husbands.'" 

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

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

" That, diuing a recent tour at the South, while 
ascending the Ohio river, on the steamboat Fame, 
he had an opportunity of conversing with a jNIr. 
Dickinson, a resident of Pittsburg, in company 
with a number of cotton-planters and slave-deal- 
ers from Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. 
Mr. Dickinson stated as a fact, that the sugar- 
planters upon the sugar-coast in Louisiana had 
ascertained that, as it was usually necessary to 
employ about twice the amount of labor during the 
boiling season that was required during the sea- 
son of raising, they could, bjr excessive driving, 
day and night, diu-ing the boiling season, accom- 
plish the whole labor with one set of hands. By 
pursuing this plan, they could afford to sacrifice a 
set of hands once in seven years ! He further stated 
thatthis horrible system was now practised to a 
conaiderable extent ! The correctness of this 



statement was substantially admitted by the 
slave-holders then on board." 

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

" I heard of an estate managed by an individ- 
ual who was considered as singularly successful, 
and who was able to govern the slaves without 
the use of the whip. I was anxious to see him ; 
and trusted that some discovery had been made 
favorable to humanity. I asked him how he wa8 
able to dispense with corporal punishment. He 
replied to me, with a very determined look, ' The 
slaves know that tlie work must be done, and that 
it is better to do it without punishment than with 
it.' In other words, the certainty and dread of 
chastisement were so impressed on them that they 
never incurred it. 

" I then found that the slaves on this well- 
managed estate decreased in number. I asked the 
cause. He replied, with perfect frankness and 
ease, ' The gang is not large enough for the 
estate.' In other words, they were not equal to 
the work of the plantation, and yet were made to 
do it, though with the certainty of abridging life. 
" On this plantation the huts were uncommonly 
convenient. There was an unusual air of neat- 
ness. A superficial observer would have called 
the slaves happy. Yet they were living under a 
severe, subduing discipline, and were over-worhea 
to a degree that shortened life.''^ — Channing on 
Slavery, page 162, first edition. 



A friend of the writer — the Rev. Mr. 
Barrows, now officiating as teacher of 
Hebrew in Andover Theological Seminary 
— stated the following, in conversation with 
her : — That, while at New Orleans, some 
time since, he was invited by a planter to 
visit his estate, as he considered it to be a 
model one. He found good dwellings for 
the slaves, abundant provision distributed to 
them, all cruel punishments superseded by 
rational and reasonable ones, and half a day 
every week allowed to the negroes to culti- 
vate their own grounds. Provision was also 
made for their moral and religious instruc- 
tion. Mr. Barrows then asked the planter, 
" Do you consider your estate a fair speci- 
men'?" The gentleman rephed, "There 
are two systems pursued among us. One 
is, to make all we can out of a negro in a 
few years, and then supply his place with 
another ; and the other is, to treat him as I 
do. My neighbor on the next plantation 
pursues the opposite system. His boys are 
hard worked and scantily fed ; and I have 
had them come to me, and get down on their 
knees to beg me to buy them." 

Mr. Barrows says he subsequently passed 
by this plantation, and that the woe-struck, 
dejected aspect of its laborers fully confirmed 



42 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



the account. He also says that the gentle- 
man who managed so benevolently told him, 
"I do not make much money out of my 
slaves." 

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

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

And, indeed, once for all, I will here say that 
the wastes of the system are so great, as well as 
the fluctuation in prices of the staple articles for 
market, that it is difficult, nay, impossible, to in- 
dulge in large expenditures on plantations, and 
make them savingly profitable. — Religious In- 
struction, p. IIG. 

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

" I used to, when I fust begun, have considera- 
ble trouble fussin' with 'em, and trying to make 
'em hold out, — doctorin' on 'em up when they 's 
sick, and givin' on 'em clothes, and blankets, and 
what not, trying to keep 'em all sort o" decent 
and comf()rtal)le. Law, 'twant no sort o' use ; f 
lost money on 'era, and 'twas heaps o' trouble. 
Now, you see, I just put 'em straight through, 
sick or well. When one nigger's dead, I buy 
another ; and I find it comes cheaper and easier 
every way." 

Added to this, the peculiar mode of labor 
on the sugar plantation is such that the mas- 
ter, at a certiiin season of the year, must 
over-work his slaves, unless he is wiUino^ to 
incur great pecuniary loss. In that very 
gracefully written apology for slavery. Pro- 
fessor Ingraham's "Travels in the South- 
west," the following description of sugar- 
making is given. We quote from him in 
preference to any one else, because he speaks 
as an apologist, and describes the thing with 
the grace of a ]\Ir. Skimpole. 

When the gi-inding has once commenced, there 
is no cessation of labor till it is completed. From 
beginning to end a busy and cheerful scene con- 
tinues. The negroes, 

Whose sore task 



Does not divide the Sunday from the week," 
work from eighteen to twenty hours, 



"And make the night joint laborer with the day ;" 

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

After the grinding is finished, the negi*oes have 
several holidays, when they are quite at liberty to 
dance and frolic as much as they please : and the 
caae-sohg — which is improvised by one of the 
gang, the rest all joining in a prolong(>d and unin 
telligible, chorus — now breaks, night and day, 
upon the ear, in notes " most musical, most mel- 
ancholy." 

The above is inserted as a specimen of the 
facility with which the most honible tacts 
may be told in the gente'-lest phrase In a 
work entitled "Travels in Louisiana in 
1802" is the following extract (soe Weld's 
"Slavery as It Is," p. 184). troiii which it 
appeals that this cheerfiiJ pioct'ss of labor- 
ing night and day lasts tliree months I 

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

Possibly, if the gentleman who wrote this 
account were employed, with his wile and 
family, in this "cheerful scene" of labor, — 
if lie saw the woman that he loved, the 
daughter who was dear t<%him as his own 
soul, forced on in the geqjfs^l gang, in this 
toil which 

" Does not divide the Sabbath from the week, 
And makes the night joint laboi'er with the day," 

— possibly, if he saw all this, he might have 
another opinion of its cheerfulness ; and it 
might be an eminently saFutary thing if 
every apologist for slavery Hyere to enjoy 
some such privilege for a season^, particularly 
as Mr. Ingraham is careful to tell us that 
its effect upon the general health is so excel- 
lent that the negroes improve in appearance;,' 
and appear fat and flourishing, and that the 
sickly among them revive, and become 
robust and healthy. One would think it a 
surprising fact, if working slaves night and 
day, and giving them cane-juice to drink, 
really produces such salutary results, that 
the practice should not be continued the 
whole year round ; though, perhaps, in this 
case, the negroes would become so- fat as to 
be unable to labor. Possibly, it is because 
this healthful process is not longer continued 
that the agricultural societies of Louisiana 
are obliged to set down an annual loss of 
slaves ou sugar plantations to thr amount 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



4S 



of two and a half per cent. This ought to 
be looked into bj philanthropists. Perhaps 
■working them all night for six months, 
instead of three, might remedy the evil. 

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

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

BRAG." 

As a specimen, of recent date, of this kind 
of affair, we subjoin the following from the 
Fairfield Herald' Winsboro', S. C, Nov. 
4, 1852. 

COTTON-PICKING. 

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

''Broad River, Oct. 12, 1852. 

"Messrs. Editors: — By way of contributing 
something to your variety (provided it meets your 
approbation), 1 send you the return of a day's 
picking of cotton, not by picked hands, but the 
fag end of a set of hands on one plantation, the 
able-bodied hands having been draA\Ti out for other 
purposes. Now for the result of a day's picking, 
I'rom sun-up until sun-down, by twenty-two hands, 
— women, boys, and two men: — four thousand 
eight hundred and ei*hty pounds of clean picked 
Ootton, fruin the stalk. 

"The highest, three hundred and fifty pounds, 
Dy ftsveral ; the lowest, one hundred and fifteen 
pounds. One of tlie number has picked in the last 
seven and a half days (Sunday excepted), eleven 



hours each day, nineteen hundred pounds clean cot^ 
ton. When any of my agricultural friends beat 
this, in the same time, and during sunshine, I will 
try again. James Steward." 

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

Will any of our readers now consider the 
forcing up of the hands on Legree's planta- 
tion an exaggeration? Yet see how com- 
placently this account is quoted by the 
editor, as a most praiseworthy and laudable 
thing ! 

" Behold the hire of the laborers 
WHO have reaped down your fields, 

WHICH IS of you kept BACK BY FRAUD, 
CRIETH ! AND THE CRIES OF THEM WHICH 
HAVE REAPED ARE ENTERED INTO THB 
EARS OF THE LORD OF SaBAOTH." 

That the representations of the style of 
dwelling-house, modes of housekeeping, and. 
in short, the features of life generally, as 
described on Legree's plantation, are not 
wild and fabulous drafts on the imagination, 
or exaggerated pictures of exceptional cases, 
there is the most abundant testimony before 
the world, and has been for a long number 
of years. Let the reader weigh the follow- 
ing testimony with regard to the dwellings 
of the negroes, which has been for some 
years before the world, in the work of Mr. 
Weld. It shows the state of things in this 
respect, at least up to the year 1888. 

Mr. Stephen E. Maltby, Inspector of Provisions, 
Skaneateles, N. Y., who has lived in Alabama. 
— " The huts where the slaves slept generally con- 
tained but one apartment, and that without fioor." 

Mr. George A. Avery, elder of the 4th Presby- 
terian Church, Rochester, N. Y., who lived four 
years in Virginia. — " Amongst all the negro 
cabins which 1 saw in Virginia, 1 cannot call to mind 
one in wliich there was any other floor than the 
earth ; anything that a Northern laborer, oi 



44 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



mechanic, white or colored, would call a bed, nor a 
BQ^t?iXj fartition, to separate the sexes." 

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

Rev. Joseph M. Sadd, pastor Presbyterian 
Church, Castile, Greene Co., N. Y., who lived in 
Missoui'i five years pi-evious to 1837. — " The slaves 
live generally in miserable huts, which are without 
floors ; and have a single apartment only, where 
both sexes are herded promiscuously together." 

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

Mr. Cornelius Johnson, a member of a Christian 
church in Farming^ton, Ohio, Mr. J. lived in 
Mississippi in 1837--0. — *' Their houses were com- 
monly built of logs ; sometimes they were framed, 
often they liad no floor ; some of them have two 
apartments, commonly but one ; each of those 
apartments contained a family. Sometimes these 
families consisted of a man and his wife and chil- 
dren, while in other instances persons of both sexes 
were thrown together, without any regard to family 
relationship." 

The Western Medical Reformer, in an article on 
the Cachexia Africana, by a Kentucky physician, 
thus speaks of the huts of the slaves : " They are 
crowded together in a small hut, and sometimes 
having an imperfect and sometimes no floor, and 
seldom raised from the ground, ill ventilated, and 
surrounded with filth." 

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

Reuben L. Macy, of Hudson, N. Y., a member 
of the religious society of Friends. He lived in 
South Carolina in 1818-10. — " The houses for the 
field-slaves were about fourteen feet square, built 
in the coarsest manner, witli one room, ivithout 
any chimney or flooring, with a hole in the roof to 
let the smoke oul.^^ 

Mr. Lemuel Sapington, of Lancaster, Pa., a na- 
tive of Maryland, I'ormerly a slave-holder. — " The 
descriptions generally given of negro quarters are 
connect ; tlic quarters are ivithout floors, and not 
suflicient to keep off the inclemency of the weather ; 
they are uncomfortable both in summer and win- 
ter." 

Rev. John Rankin, a native of Tennessee. — 
" When they return to their miserable huts at 
night, they find not there the means of comfort- 



able rest ; but on the cold ground they must lie 
without covering, and shiver while they slumber.'''' 

Philemon Bliss, Esq., Elyria, Ohio, who lived 
in Florida in 1835. — " The dwellings of the slaves 
are usually small ofen log huts, with but one apart- 
ment, and very generally without floor sy 

Slavery as It Is, p. 43. 

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

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

Religious Instruction of the Negroes, p. 116. 

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

A friend of the writer, travelling in Geor- 
gia during the last month, thus writes : 

Upon the long line of rice and cotton planta- 
tions extending along the railroad from Savannah 
to this city, the negro quarters cc/ntain scarcely a 
single hut which a Northern farmer would deem fit 
shelter for his cattle. They are all built of poles, 
with the ends so slightly notclied that they are al- 
most as open as children's cob-houses (wliich tliey 
very much resemble), without a single glazed win- 
dow, and witli only one mud chimney to each clus- 
ter of from four to eight cabins. And yet our fel- 
low-travellers were quietly expatiating upon the 
negro's strange inability to endure cold weather ! 

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



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



45 



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

Slavery as It Is, Tp. 19. 

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

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

It cost me, upon an average, when at the South, 
one dollar per day for board ; — the price of four- 
teen bushels of corn per week. This would make 
my board equal in amount to the board oi forty-six 
slaves ! This is all that good or bad masters allow 
their slaves, round about Savannah, on the planta- 
tions. One peck of gourd-seed corn is to be meas- 
ured out to each skive once every week. One 
man with whom I labored, however, being desir- 
ous to get all the work out of his hands he could, 
before i left (about fifty in number), bought for 
them every week, or twice a week, a beef's head 
from market. With this they made a soup in a 
large iron kettle, around which the hands came at 
meal-tiuie, and dipping out the soup, would mix 
it with their hominy, and eat it. as though it 
were a feast. This man permitted his slaves to 
eat twice a day while I was doing a job for him. 
He promised me a beaver hat, and as good a suit 
of clothes as could be bought in the city, if I would 
accomplish so much for him before I returned to 
the North ; giving me the entire control over his 
slaves. Thus you may see the temptations over- 
seers sometimes have, to get all the work they 
can out of the poor slaves. The above is an excep- 
tion to the general rule of feeding. For, in all 
otlier places where I worked and visited, the 



slaves had nothing from (heir masters hut the corn, 
or its equivalent in potatoes or rice; and to this 
they were not permitted to come but once a day. 
The custom was to blow the horn early in the 
morning, as a signal for the hands to rise and go 
to work. When commenced, they continue work 
until about eleven o'clock A. M., when, at the 
signal, all hands left off, and went into their huts, 
made their fires, made their corn-meal into hom- 
iny or cake, ate it, and went to work again at 
the signal of the horn, and worked until night, or 
until their tasks were done. Some cooked their 
breakfast in the field while at work. Each slave 
must grind his own corn in a hand-mill after he 
has done his work at night. There is generally 
one hand-mill on every plantation for the use of 
the slaves. 

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

Slavery as It Is, p. 18. 

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

The Maryland Journal ajid Baltimore 
Advertiser., May 30, 1788, says, " A single 
peck of corn, or the same measure of rice, is 
the ordinary provision for a hard-working 
slave, to which a small quantity of meat ia 
occasionally, though rarely, added." 

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

The law of North Carolina provides that 
the master shall give his slave a quart of 
corn a day, which is less than a peck a week 
by one quart. — Hay wood' s Manual. 525 ; 
Slavery as It Is, p. 29. The master, there- 
fore, who gave a peck a week would feel 
that he was going beyond the law, and giv- 
ing a quart for generosity. 



46 



KEY TU UNCLE TOM's CABIN. 



This condition of tilings will appear far 
more probable in the section of country 
where the scene of the story is laid. It is 
in the south-western states, where no pro- 
vision is raised on the plantations, but the 
supply for the slaves is all purchased from 
the more nortjiern states. 

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

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

By confining the slaves to the Southern States, 
where crops are raised for exportation, and bread 
and meat are purchased, y:)u doom them to scarcity 
and hunger. It is proposed to hem in the blacks 
where they are ill fed. 

Slavery as It Is, ip. 28. 

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

On almost every plantation, the hands suffer 
more or less from hunger at some seasons of almost 
every year. There is always a good deal of suffer- 
ing from hunger. On many plantations, and par- 
ticularly in Louisiana, the slaves are in a condi- 
tion of almost utter famishment, during a great por- 
tion of the year. — Ibid. 

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

The slaves down the ]\Iississippi are half-starved. 
The lioats, when they stop at night, are constantly 
boarded by slaves, begging for something to eat. 

Ibid. 

On the whole, while it is freely and cheer- 
fully admitted that many individuals have 
made most conunendable advances in regard 
to the provision for the physical comfort of 
the slave, still it is to be feared that the 
picture of the accommodations on Legree's 
plantation hixs as yet too many counterparts. 
Lest, however, the autlior sljould be sus- 
pected of keeping back anything which 
might serve to thi'ow light on the subject, 



she will insert in full the following incidents 
on the other side, from the pen of the accom- 
plished Professor In graham. How far these 
may be regarded as exceptional cases, or as 
pictures of the general mode of providing 
for slaves, may safely be left to the good 
sense of the reader. The professor's anec- 
dotes are as follows : 

"What can you do with so much tobacco 1" 
said a gentleman, — who relatecl the circumstance 
to me, — on hearing a planter, whom he was visit- 
ing, give an order to his teamster to bring two 
hogslieads of toljacco out to the estate from the 
" Landing." 

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

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

" To suspend their ' bars ' from, that they may 
not be troubled with mosquitos." 

" Master, me would like, if you please, a little 
bit gallery front my house." 

" For what, Peter?" 

" 'Cause, master, the sun too hot [an odd rea- 
son for a negro to give] that side, and when he 
rain we no able to keep de door open." 

" Well, well, when a carpenter gets a little lei- 
sure, you shall have one." 

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

" Missus, you promise me a Chrismus gif." 

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

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

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

The writer would not think of controvert- 
ing the truth of these anecdotes. Any prob- 
able amount of high-post bedsteads and 
mosquito " bars," of tobacco distributed as 
gratuity, and verandas constructed by lei- 
surely carpenters for the sunning of fasti- 
dious negroes, may be conceded, and they 
do in no whit impair the truth of the other 
facts. When tlie reader lemembers that the 
"gang" of some opulent owners amounts 
to trora five to seven hundred working hands, 
besides children, he can judge how exten- 
sively these accommodations are likely to be 
provided. Let them be safely thrown into 
the account, . for what they are worth. 

At all events, it is pleasing to end off so 
disagreeable a chapter with some more agree- 
able images. ' * - 



£.EY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



47 



CHAPTER XI. 

SELECT INCIDENTS OF LAWFUL TRADE. 

In this chapter of Uncle Tom's Cabin 
were recorded some of the most highly- 
wrought and touching incidents of the slave- 
trade. It Avill be well to authenticate a 
few of them. 

One of 4he first sketches presented to view 
is an account of the separation of a very old, 
decrepit negro woman from her young son, 
by a sheriffs sale. The writer is sorry to 
say that not the slightest credit for inven- 
tion is due to her in this incident. She 
found it, almost exactly as it stands, in the 
published journal of a young Southerner, 
related as a scene to which he was eye-wit- 
ness. The only circumstance which she has 
omitted in the narrative was one of addi- 
tional inhumanity and painfulness which he 
had delineated. He represents the boy as 
being bought by a planter, who fettered his 
hands, and tied a rope round his neck which 
he attached to the neck of his horse, thus 
compelling the child to trot by his side. 
This incident alone was suppressed by the 
author. 

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

The custom of unceremoniously separating 
the infant from its mother, when the latter 
is about to be taken from a Northern to a 
Southern market, is a matter of every-day 
notoriety in the trade. It is not done oc- 
casionally and sometimes, but always, when- 



ever there is occasion for it: and the moth- 
er" s agonies are no more regarded than those 
of a coAv when hei' calf is separated from 
her. 

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

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

The following testimony is from a gentle- 
man who writes from New Orleans to the 
Natiojial Era. 

This writer says : 

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



^ 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



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

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

ANOTHER INCIDENT FOR " UNCLE TOm'S CABIN." 

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

" At Louisville, a gentleman took passage, 
having M'ith him a family of blacks, — husband, 
wife and children. The master was bound for 
Memphis, Tenn., at which place he intended to 
take all except the man ashore. The latter was 
hand-cuffed, and although his master said nothing 
of his intention, the negro made up his mind, from 
appearances, as well as from the remarks of those 
around him, that he was destined for the Southern 
market. We reached Memphis during the night, 
and whilst within sight of the town, just before 
landing, the negro caused his wife to divide their 
things, as though resigned to the intended sepa- 
ration, and then, taking a moment when his 
master's back was turned, ran forward and jumped 
into the river. Of course he sank, and his master 
was several hundred dollars poorer than a moment 
before. That was all ; at least, scarcely any one 
mentioned it the next morning. I was obliged to 
get my information from the deck hands, and did 
not hear a remark concerning it in the cabin. In 
justice to the master, I should say, that after the 
occurrence he disclaimed any intention to separate 
them. Appearances, however, are quite against 
him, if I have been rightly informed. This sad 
affair needs no comment. It is an argument, 
however, that I might have used to-day, with 
some effect, whilst talking with a highly-intelli- 
gent Southerner of the evils of slavery. He had 
been reading Uncle Tom's Cabin, and spoke of it 
as a novel, which, like other romances, was well 
calculated to excite the sympathies, by the recital 
of heart-touching incidents which never had an ex- 
istence, except in the imagination of the writer." 

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

An American gentleman from Italy, com- 
plaining of the effect of "Uncle Tom's 
Cabin" on the Italian mind, states that. 



images of fathers dragged from their families 
to be sold into slavery, and of babes toni 
from the breasts of weeping mothers, are 
constantly presented before the minds of 
the people as scenes of every-day life in 
America. The author can only say, sorrow- 
fully, that it is 07i//ij the truth which is thus 
presented. 

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

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

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

If that gentleman has read the work, — 
as perhaps he has before now, — he has 
probably recognized his own words. One 
affecting incident in the narrative, as it 
really occurred, ought to be mentioned. The 
wife was passionately bemoaning her hus- 
band's fate, as about to be foiever separated 
from all that he held dear, to be sold to the 
hard usage of a Southern plantation. The 
husband, in reply, used that very simple but 
sublime expression which the writer has 
placed in the mouth of Uncle Tom, in simi- 
lar circumstances : " There 7/ be the same 
God there that there is Jicre.^^ 

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

The case of old Prue was related J^ a 



m^ 



KEY TO [JNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



49 



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

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

This same lady, while living in the same 
place, used frequently to have her compas- 
sion excited by hearing the wailings of a 
sickly baby in a house adjoining their own, 
as also the objurgations and tyrannical abuse 
of a ferocious virago upon its mother. She 
once got an opportunity to speak to its 
mother, who appeared heart-broken and 
dejected; and inquired what was the matter 
with her child. Her answer was that she 
had had a fever, and that her milk was all 
dried away ; and that her mistress was set 
against her child, and would not buy milk 
for it. She had tried to feed it on her own 
coarse food, but it pined and cried continu- 
ally ; and in witness of this she brought the 
baby to her. It was emaciated to a skeleton. 
The lady took the little thing to a friend of 
hers in the house who had been recently con- 
fined, and who was suffering from a redun- 
dancy of milk, and begged her to nurse it. 
The miserable sight of the little, fomished, 
wasted thing affected the mother so as to 
overcome all other considerations, and she 
placed it to her breast, when it revived, and 
took food with an eagerness which showed 
how much it had suffered. But the child 
was so reduced that tliis proved only a tran- 
sient alleviation. It was after this almost im- 
possible to get sight of the woman, and the 
violent temper of her mistress was such as 
to make it difficult to interfere in the case. 
The lady secretly afforded what aid she could, 
though, as she confessed, with a sort of mis- 



giving that it was a cruelty to try to hold 
back the poor little sufferer from the refuge 
of the grave ; and it was a relief to her when 
at last its waihngs ceased, and it went where 
the weary are at rest. This is one of those 
cases which go to show that the interest of 
the owner will not always insure kind treat- 
ment of the slave. 

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

"My M.os'r was Mr. Ellis, — lived on Lcvec- 
street. P'raps you've seen the house." 

" Was he good to you?" said Emmeline. 

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

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

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



60 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



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

" The man was a mighty great Christian, 
anyhow." 

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

"Went to glory, anyhow." 

And another continued, 

"Had the greatest kind of a time when 
he was a-dyin' ; said he was goin' straight 
into heaven." 

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



CHAPTER XII. 

TOPSY. 

TOPST stands as the representative of a 
large class of the children who are growing 
up under the institution of slavery, — (juick, 
active, subtle and ingenious, apparently 
utterly devoid of principle and conscience, 
keenly penetrating, by an instinct which 
exists in the childish mind, the degradation 
of their condition, and the utter hopelessness 



of rising above it ; feeling the black skin on 
them, like the mark of Cain, to be a sign of 
reprobation and infamy, and urged on by a 
kind of secret desperation to make their 
"calhng and election" in sin "sure." 

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

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

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

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

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



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



r- 



61 



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

It is often objected to the negro race that 
they are frivolous and vain, passionately 
fond of show, and are interested only in 
trifles. And who is to blame for all this 7 
Take away all high aims, all noble ambition, 
from any class, and what is left for them to 
ffe interested in but trifles ? 

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

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

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

5 50 Laurens-street, 
\ Neio York, Nov. 30, 1852. 

Mrs H. B Stowe. 

EsTEEifED Mad.vm : I have duly received yoiir 
kind letter in answer to mine of the 15th instant, 
in vcnich you state that you " have an intense curi- 
osity to mow how far you have rightly divined 
the heart of the slave." You give me your idea 
in these words : " There lies buried dovtia in the 
heart of the most seemingly careless and stupid 
slave a bleeding spot, that bleeds and aclics, 
though he could scarcely tell why ; and that this 
Bore spot is the degradation of his position." 

After escaping from the plantation of Dr. Tilgh- 
man, in Washington County, Md., where I was 
held as a slave, and worked as a blacksmith, I 
came to the State of Pennsylvania, and, after ex- 
periencing there some of the vicissitudes referred 
to in my little published narrative, I came into, 



New York State, bringing in my mind a certain 
indescribable feeling of wretchedness. They used 
to say of me at Dr. Tilghman's, " That blacksmith 
Jemmy is a 'cute fellow ; still water runs deep." 
But I confess that " blacksmith Jemmy" was not 
'cute enough to understand the cavise of his own 
^vretchedness. The current of the still Avater 
may have run deep, but it did not reach down to 
that awful bed of lava. 

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

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

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

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

In 1849, when I undertook my second visit to 
Great Britain, I resolved to prolong and extend my 
travel and iBteroourse with the best class of men, 
with a view to see if I could banish that trouble- 
some old ghast entirely out of my mind. In Eng- 
land, Scotland, Wales, France, Germany, Belgium 
and Prussia , my whole power has been concen- 
trafed on this object. " I '11 be a man, and I "U 
kill off this enemy which has haunted me these 
twenty years and more." I believe I have suc- 
ceeded in some good degree ; at least, I have now 
no more trouble on the score of equal manhood 
with the whites. My European tour was certainly 
useful, because there the trial was fair and honor- 
able. I had nothing to complain of. I got what 
was due to man, and I was expected to do what 
was due from man to man. I sought not to be 
treated as a pet. I put myself into the harness, 
and wrought manfully in the first pulpits, and the 
platforms in peace congresses, conventions, anni- 
versaries, commencements, &c. ; and in these ex- 
ercises that rusty old iron came out of my soul, 
and went "clean away." 

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



52 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



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

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

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

I am yours, respectfully, 

J. W. C. Pennington. 

People of intelligence, wlio have had the 
care of slaves, have often made this remark 
to the writer : " Thej are a singular whim- 
sical people ; you can do a great deal more 
with them by humoi-ing some of their prej- 
udices, than by bestowing on them the 
most substantial favors." On inquiring 
what these prejudices were, the reply would 
be, "They like to have their weddings ele- 
gantly celebrated, and to have a good deal 
of notice taken of their funerals, and to 
give and go to parties dressed and appear- 
ing like white people ; and they will often 
put up with material inconveniences, and 
suffer themselves to be worked very hard, 
if they are humored in these respects." 

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

An acquaintance of the writer was mar- 
ried to a gentleman in Louisiana, who was 



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

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

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

A little time after, a new carriage was 
bought, and one night the leather boot of it 
was found to be missing. Before hpr hus- 
band had time to take any steps on the sub- 
ject, the servants of the family called a 
convention among themselves, and instituted 
an inquiry into the offence. The boot was 
found and promptly restored, though they 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



53 



vroukl not reveal to tlieir master and mis- 
tress the name of the offender. 

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

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

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

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

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

Lord Shaftsbury, who has won so honor- 
able a fame by his benevolent interest in the 
efforts made for the degraded lower classes 
of his o^Yn land, says, in a recent letter to 
the author : 

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



nature, and brings the wretched outcast into the 
family of man. 

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

Let us examine the gospel of Christ, and 
see on what principles its appeals are con- 
structed. Of what nature are those motives 
which have melted our hearts and renewed 
oz«' wills 1 Are they not appeals to the 
most generous and noble instincts of our na- 
ture 1 Axe we not told of One fairer than 
the sons of men, — One reigning in immor- 
tal glory, who loved us so that he could 
bear pain, and want, and shame, and death 
itself, for our sake % 

When Christ speaks to the soul, does he 
crush one of its nobler faculties 7 Does he 
taunt us with our degradation, our selfish- 
ness, our narrowness of view, and feeble- 
ness of intellect, compared with his own? 
Is it not true that he not only saves us 
from our sins, but saves us in a way most 
considerate, most tender, most regardful of 
our feelings and sufferings ? Does not the 
Bible tell us that, in order to fulfil his office 
of Redeemer the more perfectly, he took 
upon him the condition of humanity, and 
endured the pains, and wants, and tempta- 
tions of a mortal existence, that he might 
be to us a sympathizing, appreciating friend, 
"touched with the feeling of our infii-m- 
ities," and cheering us gently on in the 
hard path of returning virtue 7 

0, when shall we, who have received so 
much of Jesus Christ, learn to repay it in 
acts of kindness to our poor brethi-en 7 
When shall we be Christ-like, and not man- 
like, in our efforts to reclaim the fallen and 
wandering ? 



54 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



CHAPTER XIIL 

THE QUAKERS. 

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

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

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

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

< Wilmington, Delaivare, 
I Isi month 18th, 1853. 
My Dear Friend, 

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

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

" In the 12th month, y<5ar 1846, a fomily, con- 
sisting of Samuel Hawkins, a freeman, his wife 
Emeline, and six children, who were afterwards 
proved s/ares, stopped at the house of a friend 
, named John Hunn, near Middletown, in this state, 
in the evening about sunset, to procure food and 
lodging for the night. .They were seen by some 
of llunn's pro-slavery neighbors, who soon came 
with a constable, and had them taken before a 
magistrate. Hunn had left the slaves in his 
kitchen when he went to the village of Middle- 
town, half a mile distant. When the officer 
came with a warrant for them, he met Hunn at 
the kitchen door, and asked for the blacks ; Hunn, 
with truth, said he did not know where tliey 
were. Hunn's wife, thinkin* tliey would be 
safer, had sent them up stairs during his absence, 
wliere they were found. Hunn made no resistance, 
and they were taken before the magistrate, and 
from his office direct to Newcastle jail, wliere they 
arrived about one o'clock on 7th day morning. 



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

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

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

Leave being granted, he spoke as follows: 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM's CABIN. 



55 



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

Here follows a very brief and ^lear state- 
ment of the facts in the case, of which the 
reader is already apprized. 

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

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

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

2he impositions and persecutions practised on 
those unoffending and innocent brethren are ex- 
treme beyond endurance. I am now placed in a 
situation in which I have not so much to claim my 
attention as formerly ; and I now pledge myself, in 
the presence of thi's assembly, to use all lawful 
and honorable means to lessen the burdens of this 
oppressed people, and endeavor, according to ability 
furnished, to burst their chains asunder, and set 
them free ; not relaxing my efforts on their behalf 
while blessed with health, and a slave remains to 
.tread the soil of the state of my adoption, — 
Delaware. 

After mature reflection, I can assure this as- 
sembly it is my opinion at tliis time that the ver- 
dicts you have given the prosecutors against John 
Hunn and myself, within the past few days, will 
have a tendency to raise a spirit of inquiry 
throughput tiie length and breadth of the land, 
respecting this monster evil (slavery), in many 
minds that h^ve not heretofore investigated the 
subject. Tlie reports of those trials will be pub- 
lished by editors from Maine to Texas and the fiir 
AYest ; and Avhat must be the effect produced ! 
It will, no doubt, add hundreds, perhaps thou- 
sands, to the present large and rapidly increasing 



army of abolitionists. The injury is great to us 
who are the immediate sufferers by your verdict ; 
but I believe the verdicts you have given against 
us within the last few days will have a powerful 
effect in bringing about the abolition of slavery in 
this country, this land of boasted freedom, where 
not only the slave is fettered at the South by his 
lordly master, but the white man at the North is 
bound as in chains to do the bidding of his South 
em masters. 

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

" Old gentleman, I believe every state- 
ment that you have made. I came from home 
prej udiced against you, and I now acknowl- 
edge that I have helped to do you injus- 
tice." 

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

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



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

Richard Dillingham was the son of a 
respectable Quaker family in INIorrow 
County, Ohio. His pious mother brought 
him up in the full belief of the doctrine of 
St. John, that the love of God and the love 
of man are inseparable. He was diligently 
taught in such theological notions as are 
implied in such passages as these: " Hereby 
perceive we the love of God. because he 
laid down liis life for us ; and we ought also 
to lay down our lives for the brethren. — 
But whoso hath this world's goods andseeth 
his brother have need and shutteth up his 
bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth 
the love of God in him 7 — ]My little cliildren, 
let us not love in word and in tongue, but 
in deed and in truth." 

In accordance with these precepts, Richard 
Dilhngham, in early manhood, was found in 
Cincinnati teaching the colored people, and 
visiting in the pi'isons and doing what in him 
lay to " love in deed and in truth." 

Some unfortunate families among the 
colored people had dear friends who were 



56 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



slaves in Nashville, Tennessee. Richard 
was so interested in their story, that "U'hen 
he went into Tennessee he was actually 



in the very fact of 
people to escape to 



prison, 
im- 



taken up and caught 
helping certain poor 
their friends. 

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

Nashville Jail, 12th mo. 15ih, 1849. 
Dear Parents : I presume you have heard of my 
arrest and imprisonment in the Nashville jail, 
under a charge of aiding in an attempted escape 
of slaves from the city of Nashville, on the 5th 
inst. I was arrested by M. D. Maddox (district 
constable), aided by Frederick Marshal, watch- 
man at the Nashville Inn, and the bridge-keeper, 
at the bridge across the Cumberland river. When 
they arrested me, I had rode up to the bridge on 
horseljack and paid the toll for myself and for the 
hack to pass over, in which three colored persons, 
who were said to be slaves, were found by the 
men who arrested me. The driver of the hack 
(who is a free colored man of this city) , and the 
persons in the hack, were also arrested ; and after 
being taken to the Nashville Inn and searched, we 
were all taken to jail. My arrest took place about 
eleven o'clock at night. 

In another letter he says : 

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

Dear brother, I have no hopes of go{,ting cledr 
of being ccmvietod and sentenced to the peniten- 
tiary ; but do not think that I am without comrort 
in my alihctions, for I assure tiiee tliat I liave 
many reflections that give mo sweet consolation in 
the midst of my grief. I have a clear conscience 



before my God, which is my greatest comfort and 
support through all my troubles and afflictions. 
An approving conscience none can know but thos0 
who enjoy it. It nerves us in the hour of trial to 
bear our sufferings with fortitude, and even with 
cheerfulness. The greatest affliction 1 have is the 
reflection of the sorrow and anxiety my friends will 
have to endure on my account. But' I can assure 
thee, brother, that with the exception of tliis reflec- 
tion, I am far, very f\ir, from being one of the most 
miserable of men. Nay, to the contrary, I am not 
terrified at the prospect before me, though I am 
grieved about it ; but all have enough to grieve 
about in this unfriendly wilderness of sin and woe. 
My hopes are not fixed in this world, and there- 
fore I have a source of coiisolation that will never 
fail me, so long as I slight not the oflers of mercy, 
comfort and peace, which my blessed Saviour con- 
stantly privileges me with. 

One source of almost constant annoyance to my 
feelings is the profanity and vulgarity, and the 
bad, disagreeable temper, of two or three fellow- 
prisoners of my cell. They show me considerable 
kindness and respect ; but they cannot do other- 
wise, when treated with the civility and kindness 
Avith which I treat them. If it be my fate to go 
to the penitentiary for eight or ten years, I can, I 
believe, meet my doom without shedding a tear. 
I have not yet shed a tear, though there may be 
many in store. My bail-bonds were set at seven 
thousand dollars. If I should be bailed out, 
I should return to my trial, unless my security 
were rich, and did not wish me to return ; for 1 
am Richard yet, although I am in the prison of my 
enemy, and will not flinch from what I believe to 
be right and honorable. These are the principles 
which, in carrying out, have lodged me here ; for 
there was a time, at my arrest, that I might have, 
in all probability, escaped the police, but it would 
have subjected those who were arrested with 
mp to punishment, perhaps even to death, in 
order to find out who I was, and if they had not 
told mo;^e than they could have done in truth, they 
would probably have been punished without 
mercy ; and I am determined no one shall suffer 
for me. 1 am now a prisoner, but those who were 
arrested with me are all at lil>erty, and I believe 
without whipping. I now stand alone before the 
Commonwealth of Tennessee to answer for the 
affair. Tell my friends I am in the midst of con- 
solation here. 

Richard was engaged to a young lady of 
amiable disposition and fine mental endovf- 
ments. 

To her he thus writes : 

0, dearest! Canst thou upbraid me? canst 
thou call it crime? wouldst thou call it crime, or , 
couldst thou uj-ibraid rac. for rescuing, or attempt- 
ing to rescue, thy father, mother, or lu-othcr and 
sister, or even friends, from a captivity among a 
cruel race of oppressors ? 0, couldst thou only see 
what I have seen, and hear what 1 have heard, of 
the sad, vexatious, degrading, and soul-trying 
situation of as noble minds as ever tlie Anglo- 
Saxon race were possessed of, mourning -in vain 
for that universal heaven-born boon of iVeedom, 
which an all-wise and beneficent Creator has 
designed for all, thou couldst not censure, but 
wouldst deeply sympathize with mo ! Take all 
these things into consideration, and the thousands 
of poor mortals wlio are dragging out far* more 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



57 



miserable lives than mine will be, even at ten 
years in the penitentiary, and thou wilt not look 
upon my fate with so much horror as thou would 
at first thought. 

In another letter he adds : 

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

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

In another letter to the lady before al- 
luded to he says : 

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

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

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

" Behind a frowning providence 
He hides a smiling face." 

Therefore I hope thou and my dear distressed 

farents will be somewhat comforted about me, for 
know you regard my spiritual welfare far more 
than anything else. 

In his next letter to the same friend he 
says : 

Since I wrote my last, I have had a severe 
moral conflict, in which 1 believe the right con- 
quered, and has completely gained the ascendency. 
The matter was this : A man with whom I have 
become acquainted since my imprisonment oSered 
to bail me out and let me stay away from my 
trial, and pay the bail-bonds for me, and was very 



anxious to do it. [Here he mentions that - the 
funds held by this individual had been placed in 
his hands by a person who obtained them by dis- 
honest means.] But having learned the above 
facts, which he in confidence made known to me, 
I declined accepting his offer, giving him my rea- 
sons in full. The matter rests with him, my 
attorneys and myself. My atlorneys do not know 
who he is, but, with his permission, I in confi- 
dence informed them of the nature of the case, 
after I came to a conclusion upon the subject, and 
had determined not to accept the offer ; which 
was approved by them. I also had an ofi'er of 
iron saws and files and other tools by which I 
could break jail ; but I refused them also, as I do 
not wish to pursue any such underhanded course to 
extricate myself from my present difficulties ; for 
when I leave Tennessee — if I ever do — I am 
determined to leave it a free man. Thou need riot 
fear that I shall ever stoop to dishonorable means 
to avoid my severe impending fate. When I meet 
thee again I want to meet thee with a clear con- 
science, and a character unspotted by disgrace. 

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

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

The day of his trial at length came. 

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

His mother and her brother, Asa "Williams, went 
a distance of seven hundred and fifty miles to at- 
tend his trial. They carried with tbem a certifi- 
cate of his character, drawn up by Dr. Brisbane, 
and numerously signed by his friends and ac- 
quaintances, and officially countersigned by civil 
officers. This was done at the suggestion of his 
counsel, and exhibited by them in court. When 
brought to the bar it is said that " his demeanor 
was calm, dignified and manly." His mother sat 
by his side. The prosecuting attorney waived his 
plea, and left the ground clear for Richard's 
counsel. Their defence was eloquent and pa- 
thetic. After they closed, Richard rose, and in 
a calm and dignified manner spoke extempora- 
neously as follows : 

'.' By the kind permission of the Court, for 
which I am sincerely thankful, I avail myself of 
the privilege of adding a few words to ihe remarks 
already made by my counsel. And although I 
stand, by my own confession, as a criminal in the 
eyes of your violated laws, yet I feel confident • 
that I am addressing those who have hearts to 
feel ; and in meting out the punishment that I am 
about to suffer I hope you ■vill be lenient, for it 
is a new situation in which I am placed. Never 



58 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



before, in the whole course of my life, have I been 
charged with a dishonest act. And from my 
childhood kind parents, whose names I deeply 
reverence, have instilled into my mind a desire to 
be virtuous and honorable ; and it has ever been 
my aim so to conduct myself as to merit the con- 
fidence and esteem of my fellow-men. But, gen- 
tlemen, I have violated your laws. This oifence I 
did commit ; and I now stand before you, to my 
Borrow and regret, as a criminal. But I was 
prompted to it by feelings of humanity. It has 
been suspected, as I was informed, that I am 
leagued with a fraternity who are combined for 
the purpose of committing such offences as the 
t)ne Avith which I am charged. But, gentlemen, 
the impression is false. I alone am guilty, I 
alone committed the offence, and I alone must 
suffer the penalty. My parents, my friends, my 
relatives, are as innocent of any participation in 
or knowledge of my olience as the babe unborn. 
My parents are still living, * though advanced in 
years, and, in the course of nature, a few more 
years will terminate their earthly existence. In 
their old age and infirmity they will need a stay 
and protection ; and if you can, consistently with 
your ideas of justice, make my term of iifiprison- 
ment a short one, you will receive the lasting 
gratitude of a son who reverences his parents, and 
the prayers and blessings of an aged father and 
mother who love their child." 

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

The Nashville Daily Gazette of April 13, 1849, 
contains the following notice : 

" TIIE KrONAPPING CASE. 

" Richard Dillingham, who was arrested on the 
5th day of December last, having in his possession 
three slaves whom he intended to convey with him 
to a free state, was arraigned yesterday and tried 
in the Criminal Court. The prisoner confessed his 
guilt, and made a short speech in palliation of his 
offence. He avowed that the act was undertaken 
by himself without instigation from any source, 
and he alone was responsible for the error into 
which his education had led him. He had, he 
said, r.o other motive than the good of the slaves, 
and did not expect to claim any advantage by 
freeing them. He was sentenced to three years 
imprisonment in the penitentiary, tlie least time 
the law allows for tlie offence committed. Mr. 
Dillingham is a Quaker from Ohio, and has been 
a teacher in that state. He belongs to a respect- 
able family, and he is not without the sympathy 
of those who attended the trial. "It was a fool- 
"hardy enterprise in which ho embarked, and 
dearly has he paid for his rashness." 

His motlier, before leaving Nasliville, visited 
the governor, and had an interview with him in 
regard to pardDuing her son. lie gave iior some 
encouragement, but tliought she had lietter post- 
pone her petitiiin lor the present. After the lapse 
of several inontlis, she wrote to him about it ; but 
he seemed to have changed his mind, as the fol- 
lowing letter will sliow : 

" Nashville, Aui^ust 29, 1S49. 

" Dear Madam : Your letter of the 0th of the 
7th mo. was received, and would have been noticed 



' B. D.'s father survived him only a few months. 



earlier but for my absence from home. Tour 
solicitude for your son is natural, ami it would be 
gi-atifying to be able to reward it ])y releasing him, 
if it were in my power. But the offence for 
which he is sufiering was clearly made out, anci* 
its tendency here is very hurtful to our rights, 
and our peace as a people. He is doomed to the 
shortest period known to our statute. And, at all 
events, I could not interfere with his case for 
some time to come ; and, to be frank with you, I do 
not see how his time can be lessened at ail. But 
my term of office will expire soon, and the gov- 
eraor elect. Gen. William Trousdale, will take my 
place. To him you will make any future appeal. 
" Yours, &c. N. L. Browx.'' 

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

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

I suppose thou art, ere this time, informed of 
the change in my situation, having been placed 
in the hospital of the penitentiary as stCAvard. . . 
I feel but poorly qualified to fill the situation they 
have assigned me, but will try to do the best I 

can I enjoy the comforts of a good fire 

and a warm room, and am alloAved to sit up 
evenings and read, which I prize as a great priv- 
ilege I have now been here nearly nine 

montlis, and ha^-e twenty-seven more to stay. It 
seems to me a long time in prospect. I try to bo 
as patient as I can, ])ut sometimes I get low- 
spirited. I throAV off the thoughts of lionie and 
friends as much as possible ; for, when indulged 
in, they only increase my melanclioly feelings. 
And Aviiat wounds my feelings most is the reflec 
tiim of what you all suffer of grief and anxiet- 
for me. Cease to grieve for me, for I am un« 
worthy of it ; and it only causes pain for you, 

without availing aught for mo As ever, 

thine in the bonds of affection, R. D. 

lie had been in prison little moie than a 
year when the cholera invaded Nashville, 
and broke out among the inmates ; l^chard 
was up day and night in attendance on 
the sick, his disinterested and sympathetic 
nature leading him to labors to which his 
delicate constitution, impaired by confine- 
ment, was altogether inadequate. 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



59 



" Beside the bed where parting life was laid, 

And sorrow, grief and pain, by turns dismayed. 
The youthfiu champion stood : at his control 
Despair and anguish fled the trembling soul, 
Comfort came down the dying wretch to raise. 
And his last faltering accents whispered praise." 

Worn Tvith these labors, the gentle, patient 
lover of G'od and of his brother, sank at last 
overAvearied, and passed peacefully away 
to a world where all are lovely and loving. 

Though his correspondence with her he 
most loved was interrupted, from his unwil- 
lingness to subject his letters to the sur- 
veillance of the warden, yet a note reached 
her, conveyed through the hands of a pris- 
oner whose time was out. In this letter, 
the last which any earthly friend ever re- 
ceived, he says : 

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

"Wliat must that system be which makes 
it necessary to imprison with convicted 
felons a man like this, because he loves his 
brother man " not wisely but too well " 7 

On his death Whittier wrote the follow- 
ing : 



" Si crucem libenter portes, te portabit." — Imit. Christ. 

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

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

Thy cross of suffering and of shame 
A statf within thy hands became ; — 
In paths, where Faith alone could see 
The Mji^ter's steps, upholding thee. 

Xhine \^ *s the seed-time : God alone 
Beholds the end of what is sown ; 
Beyond cur vision, weak and dim. 
The har> ist-time is hid with Him. 

Tet, unf< rgotten where it lies. 
That seeu of generous sacrifice. 
Though seeming on the desert cast. 
Shall ri* ) with bloom and fruit at last. 

J. G. Whittieb. 
Amtsbury, & r^nd mo. ISth, 1852. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

THE SPIRIT OF ST. CLARE. 

The general tone of the press and of the 
jommunity in the slave states, so far as it 
Aas been made known at the North, has 
been loudly condemnatory of the representa- 
tions of " Uncle Tom's Cabin." Still, it 
would be unjust to the character of the South 
to refuse to acknowledge that she has many 



sons with candor enough to perceive, and 
courage enough to avow, the evils of her 
'•peculiar institutions." The manly inde- 
pendence exhibited by these men, in com- 
munities where popular sentiment rules des- 
potically, either by law or in spite of law, 
should be duly honored. The sympathy 
of such minds as these is a high encourage- 
ment to philanthropic effort. 

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

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

PKCLE TOM'S CABIN'. 

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

Tnoius Jefferson. 

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

UNCLE TOM's CABDC. 

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

From numerous statements, newspaper para- 
graphs and rumors, we supposed the book was aU 
that fanaticism and heresy could invent, and were 
therefore greatly prejudiced against it. But, on 
reading it, we cannot refrain from saying that it 
is a work of more than ordinary moral wortl^ and 



60 



KEY TO XJNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



is entitled to consideration. We do not regard it 
as "a corruption of moral sentiment," and a 
gross " libel on a portion of our people." The 
authoress seems disposed to treat the subject 
fairly, though, in some particulars, the scenes are 
too highly colored, and too strongly drawn from 
the imagination. The book, however, may lead 
its readers at a distance to misapprehend some of 
the general and better features of " Southern life 
as it is " (which, by the way, we, as an individ- 
ual, prefer to Northern life) ; yet it is a perfect 
mirror of several classes of people " we have in 
our mind's eye, who are not free from all the ills 
flesh is heir to." It has been feared that the 
book would result in injury to the slave-holding 
interests of the country ; but we apprehend no 
such thing, and hesitate not to recommend it to the 
perusal of our friends and the public generally. 

]\Irs. Stowe has exhibited a knowledge of many 
peculiarities of Southern society which is really 
wonderful, when we consider that she is a North- 
ern lady by birth and residence. 

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

The editor of the St. Louis (Missouri) 
Battery pronounces the following judgment: 

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

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

She brings to the discussion of her subject a 
perfectly cool, calculating judgment, a wide, all- 
comprohanding intellectual vision, and a deep, 
warm, sea-like woman's soul, over all of which is 
flung a perfect iris-like imagination, which makes 
the light of lier pictures stronger and more beauti- 
ful, as their shades are darker and terror-striking. 
We do not wonder that the copy before us is of 
the seventieth thousand. And seventy thousand 
more will not supply the demand, or Ave mistake 
the appreciation of the American people of the 
real merits of literary productions. Mrs. Stowe 
has, in " Uncle Tom's Cabin," set up for herself 
a monument more enduring than marble. It will 
stand amid tlie wastes of slavery as the Memnon 
stands amid the sands of the African desert, toll- 
ing both the white man and the negro of the ap- 
proacli of morning. The book is not an abolition- 
ist work, in tlie oiTensive sense of the word. It 
is, as we have intimated, free from ever^'thing 
like fanaticism, no matter wliat amount of enthu- 
siasm vivifies every page, and runs like electricity 
along ever}' thread of the st(jry. It presents at 
one view the excellences and the evils of the sys- 



tem of slavery, and breathes the true spirit of 
Christian benevolence for the slave, and charity 
for the master. 

The next witness gives his testimony in a 
letter to the New York Evenmg Post: 

LIGHT IN THE SOUTH. - 

The subjoined communication comes to us post- 
marked New Orleans, June 19, 1852 : 

" I have just been reading ' Uncle Tom's Cabin, 
or. Scenes in Lowly Life,' by Mrs. Harriet Beecher 
Stowe. It found its way to me through the chan- 
nel of a young student, who purchased it at the 
North, to read on his homeward passage to New 
Orleans. He was entirely unacquainted with its 
character ; he was attracted by its title, suppos- 
ing it might amuse him while travelling. Through 
his family it was shown to me, as something that 
I would probably like. I looked at the author's 
name, and said, ' 0, yes ; anything from that lady 
I will read ;' otherwise I should have disregarded 
a work of fiction without such a title. 

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

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

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

"Like Mrs. Stowe, I feel that, since so many 
and good people, too, at the North, have quietly 
consented to leave the slave to his fate, by acqui- 
escing in and approving the late measures of gov- 
ernment, those who do feel difJerently should 
bestir themselves. Christian effort must do the 
Avork ; and soon it would be done, if Christians 
would unite, not to destroy the Union states, but 
honestly to speak out, and speak li-eely, against 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM's CABIN. 



61 



that they know is wrong. They are not aware 
what countenance they give to slave-holders to 
hold on to their prey. Troubled consciences can 
be easily quieted by the sympathies of pious peo- 
ple, particularly when interest and inclination 
€ome in as aids. 

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

"You will wonder why this communication is 
made to jou by an unknown. It is simply made 
to encoiu-age your heart, and strengthen your 
determination to persevere, and do all you can to 

?ut the emancipation of the slave in progress, 
rho I am you will never know ; nor do I wish 
you to know, nor any one else. I am a 

" Republican." 

The following facts make the fiction of 
"Uncle Tom's Cabin" appear tame in the 
comparison. Thej are from the New York 
Evangelist. 

UNCLE TOm's cabin. 

JIr. Editor : I see in your paper that some per- 
sons deny the statements of Mrs. Stowe. I have 
read her book, every ivord of it. I was bom in 
East Tennessee, near Knoxville, and, ive thought, 
in an enlightened part of the Union, much favored 
in our social, political and religious privileges, 
&c. &c. "Well, I think about the year 1829, or, 
perhaps, "28, a good old German Methodist owned 
a black man named Robin, a Methodist preacher, 
and the manager of farm, distillery, &c., sales- 
man and financier. This good old German jMcth- 
odist had a son named Willey, a schoolmate of 
mine, and, as times were, a first-rate fellow. The 
old man also O'mied a keen, bright-eyed mulatto 
girl; and Willey — the naughty boy!- — became 
enamored of the poor girl. The result was soon 
discovered ; and our good German Methodist told 
his brother Robin to flog the girl for her wicked- 
ness. Brother Robin said he could not and would 
not perform such an act of cruelty as to flog the 
girl for what she could not help ; and for that act 
of disobedience old Robin was flogged by the 
good old German brother, until he could not 
stand. He was carried to bed ; and, some three 
weeks thereafter, when my father left the state, 
he was still conlined to his bed from the efiects of 
that flogging. 

Again : in the fall of 1836 I went South, for my 
health, stopped at a village in Mississippi, and 
obtained employment in the largest house in the 
county, as a book-keeper, wit'n a firm from Louis- 
ville, Ky. A man residing near the village — a 
bachelor, thirty years of age — became efnbar- 
rassed, and executed a mortgage to my employer 
on a fine, likely boy, weighing about two hundred 
pounds. — quick-witted, active, obedient, and re- 
markably faithful, trusty and honest ; so much so, 
that he was held up as an example. He had a wife 
that he loved. His owner cast his eyes upon her, 
and she became his paramour. His boy remon- 
strated with his master ; told him that he tried 
faithfully to perform his every duty ; that he was 
a good and faithful " nigger " to him ; and it was 
hard, after he had toiled hard all day, and till ten 
o'clock at night, for him to have his domestic 
relations broken up and interfered with. The 
white man denied the charge, and the wife also 



denied it. One night, about the first of Septem- 
ber, the boy came home earlier than usual, say 
about nine o'clock. It was a wet, dismal night ; 
he made a fire in his cabin, went to get his sup- 
per, and found ocular demonstration of the guilt 
of his master. He became enraged, as I suppose 
any man would, seized a butcher-knife, and cut 
his master's throat, stabbed his wife in twenty- 
seven places, came to the village, and knocked at 
the ofiice-door. I told him to come in. He did 
so, and asked for my employer. I called him. 
The boy then told him that he had killed his mas- 
ter and his wife, and what for. My employer 
locked him up, and he, a doctor and myself, went 
out to the house of the old baclielor, and found 
him dead, and the boy's wife nearly so. She, 
however, lived. We (my employer and myself) 
returned to the village, watched the boy until 
about sunrise, left him locked up, and went to 
get our breakfasts, intending to take the boy to 
jail (as it was my employer's interest, if possible, 
to save the boy, having one thousand dollars at 
stake in him). But, whilst we were eating, some 
persons who had heard of the murder broke open 
the door, took the poor fellow, put a log chain 
round his neck, and started him for the woods, at 
the point of the bayonet, marcliing by where we 
were eating, with a great deal of noise. My em- 
ployer, hearing it, ran out, and rescued the boy. 
The mob again broke in and took the boy, and 
marched him, as before stated, out of town. 

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

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

Very respectfully, 

James L. Hill. 

Springfield, III., Sept. VJth, 1852. 

"The Opinion of a Southerner," given 
below, appeared in the National Era, pub- 
lished at Washington. This is an anti- 
slavery journal, but bj its generous, tone 
and eminent ability it commands the re- 
spect and patronage of many readers in the 
slave states : 

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

THE opinion of A SOUTHERNER. 

To the Editor of the National Era : 

I have just been reading, in the New York Ob- 
server of the 12th of August, an article from 



62 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



the Southern Free Press, headed by an editorial one 
from the Observer, that has for its caption, " Pro- 
gress in the Right Quarter ^ 

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

This wretched condition of slaves roused the 
friends of hui;aanity, who, like men, and Christian 
men, came fearlessly forward, and told truths, in- 
dignantly expressing their abhorrence of their 
oppressors. Such measures, of course, brought 
forth strife, which caused the cries of humanity 
to sound louder and louder throughout the land. 
The friends of freedom gained the ascendency in 
the hearts of the people, and the slave-holders 
were brought to a stand. Some, through fear of 
consequences, lessened their cruelties, while others 
were made to think, that, perhaps, were not un- 
willing to do so when it was urged upon them. 
Cruelties were not only refrained from, but the 
slave's comforts were increased. A retrograde 
treatment now was not practicable. Fears of re- 
bellion kept them to it. The slave had found 
friends, and they were watchful. It was, how- 
ever, soon discovered that too many privileges, 
too much leniency, and giving knowledge, would 
destroy the power to keep down the slave, and 
tend to weaken, if not destroy, the system. Ac- 
cordingly, stringent laws- had to be passed, and a 
penalty attached to them No one must teach, or 
cause to be taught, a slave, without incurring the 
penalty. The law is now in force. These neces- 
sary laws, as they are called, are all put down to 
the account of the friends of freedom — to their 
interference. I do suppose that they do justly 
belong to their interference ; for who that studies 
the history of the world's transactions does not 
know «tliat in all contests with power the weak, 
until successful, will be dealt with more rigor- 
ously 1 Ixjse not sight, however, of their former 
condition. Law after law has since been passed 
to draw the cord tigliter around the poor shivo, 
and all attrilmted to the abolitionists. Well, 
anyhow, progress is being made. Hero conuss 
out the Southern Press, and makes some lionoral)le 
concessions, lie says : " The assaults upon slav- 
ery, made for the last twenty years by the North, 
have increased tlic evils of it. The treatment of 
slaves has undoubtedly bcc(jme a delicate and 
difficult question. The South has a great and 



moral conflict to wage ; and it is for her to put 
on the most invulnerable moral panoply.'^ He then 
thinks the availability of slave property would 
not be injured by passing a law to prohibit the 
separation of slave families; for he says, " Al- 
though cases sometimes occur which we observe 
are seized by these Northern fanatics as charac- 
teristic of the system," &c. Nonsense! there 
are no "cases sometimes" occurring — no such 
thing ! They are every day's occm-rences, though 
there are families that form the exception, and 
many, I would hope, that would not do it. While 
I am writing I can call before me three men that 
were brought here by negro traders from Virginia, 
each having left six or seven children, with their 
wives, from whom they have never heard. One 
other died here, a short time since, who left the 
same number in Carolina, from whom he had 
never heard. 

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

The annexation of Texas induced the spirited 
traffic that summer. Coming down home in a 
small boat, water low, a negro trader on board 
had forty-five men and women crammed into a little 
spot, some handcuifcd. One respectable-looking 
man had leit a wife and seven children in Nashville. 
Near Memphis the boat stopped at a plantation 
by previt)us arrangement, to take in thirt}' more. 
An hour's delay was the stipulated time with the 
captain of the boat. Tlnrty young men and 
women came down the bank of the Mississippi, 
looking wretchetlness personified — just from the 
field ; iu appearance dirty, disconsolate and op 
pressed ; Bomc with an old shawl under their arm , 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM B CABIN. 



63 



a few had blankets ; some had nothing at all — 
looked as though they cared for nothing. I cal- 
culated, while looking at them coming down the 
bank, that I could hold in a bundle all that the 
whole of them had. The short notice that was 
given them, when about to leave, was in conse- 
quence of the fears entertained that they would 
slip one side. They all looked distressed, — 
leaving all that was dear to them behind, to be 
put under the hammer, for the property of the 
highest bidder. No children here ! The whole 
Beventy-Eve were crammed into a little space on 
the boat, men and women all together. 

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

With all due deference to whatever of just 
principles the SoutJicm Press may have advanced 
in favor of the slave, I am a poor judge of human 
nature if I mistake in saying that']\Irs. Stowe has 
done much to draw from him those concessions ; 
and the putting furth of tliis " most invulnerable 
moral panoply,'' that has just come into his head 
as a bulwark of safety for slavery, owes its impe- 



tus to her, and other like efforts. I hope the 
Southern Press will not imitate the spoiled child, 
who refused to eat his pie for spite. 

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

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

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

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

5 WashingionCity, D. C, 
} Dec. 6, 1852. 

D. R. GooDLOE, Esq. 

Dear Sir : I understand that you are a North 

Carolinian, and have always resided in the South 



64 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



you must, consequently, be acquainted with the 
workings of the institution of slavery. You have 
doubtless also read that world-renowned book, 
" Uncle Tom's Cabin," by INIrs. Stowe. The apolo- 
gists for slavery deny that this book is a truthful 
picture of slavery. They say that its representa- 
tions are exaggerated, its scenes and incidents 
unfounded, and, in a word, that the whole book is 
a caricature. They also deny that families are 
separated, — that children are sold from their 
parents, wives from their husbands, &c. Under 
these circumstances, I am induced to ask your 
opinion of Mrs. Stowe's book, and whether or not, 
in your opinion, her statements are entitled to 
credit. I have the honor to be, 

Yours, truly, 

A. M. Gangewer. 

Washington, Bee. 8, 1852. 

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

A book of fiction, to be worth reading, must neces- 
sarily be fdled with rare and striking incidents, 
and the leading characters must be remarkablj, 
some for great virtues, others, perhaps, for greut 
vices or follies. A narrative of the ordinary events 
in the lives of commonplace people would be in- 
Buiferably dull and insipid ; and a book made up 
of such materials would be, to the elegant and 

fraphic pictures of life and manners which we 
ave in the writings of Sir Walter Scott and Dick- 
ens, what a surveyor's plot of a ten-acre field is 
to a painted landscape, in which the eye is charmed 
by a thousand varieties of hill and dale, of green 
Bhrubl)ery and transparent water, of light and 
shade, at a glance. In order to determine whether 
a novel is a fair picture of society, it is not neces- 
sary to ask if its cliief personages are to be met with 
every day ; hut whether they are characteristic of 
the times and country, — whether they embody the 
prevalent sentiments, virtues, vices, follies, and pe- 
culiarities, — and whether the events, tragic or 
otherwise, are such as may and do occasionally 
occur. 

Judging " Uncle Tom's Cabin" by these prin- 
ciples, I have no hesitation in saying that it is a 
faithful portraiture of Southern life and institu- 
tions. There is nothing in the book inconsistent 
with the laws and usages of the slave-holding 
states ; the virtues, vices, and peculiar hues of 
character and manners, are all Southern, and must 
be recognized at once by every one who reads the 
book. I may never have seen such depravity in one 
man as that exhibited in the character of Legree, 
though I have ten thousand times witnessed the va- 
rious sliados of it in different individuals. On the 
other hand, I have never seen so many perfections 
concentrated in one human being as Mrs. Stowe has 
conferred upon the daughter of a slave-holder. 
Evangeline is an image of beauty and goodness 
which can never be effiiced from the mind, what- 
ever may be its prejudices. Yet her whiilo char- 
acter is fragrant of tlie South ; her generous sym- 
pathy, her l)eauty and delicacy, her sensibility 
are all Soutliern. They are " to the manor born,' 
and embodying as they do the Southern ideal of 
beauty and loveliness, cannot be ostracizad from 
Southern hearts, even by the power of the vigilance 
committees. 



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

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

Invidious as the duty may be, I cannot with- 
hold my testimony to the fact that families of 
slaves are often separated. I know not how any 
man can have the hardihood to deny it. The 
thing is notorious, and is often the subject of pain- 
ful remark in the Southern States. 1 iiave often 
heard the practice of separating husband and Avife, 
p^\rent and child, defended, apologized for, pal- 
liated in a thousand ways, but have never heard 
it denied. How could it be denied, in fact, when 
probably the very circumstance which elicited the 
conversation was a case of cruel separation then 
transpiring ? No, sir ! the denial of this fact by 
mercenary scribblers may deceive persons at a dis- 
tance, but it can impose upon no one at the South. 

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

The law itself not unfrequently performs tlie 
most cruel separations of families, almost with- 
out the intervention of individual agency. This 
happens in the case of persons who die insolvent, 
or who become, so during lifetime. Tlio estate, 
real and personal, must be disposed of at auction 
to the highest bidder, and the executor, adminis- 
trator, sheriff, trustee, or other person whose duty 
it is to dispose of the property, altliough he may 
possess the most humane intentions in the worlu. 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



cannot prevent the final severance of the most 
endearing ties of kindred. The illustration given 
by Mrs. Stowe, in the sale of Uncle Tom by Mr. 
Shelby, is a very common case. Pecuniary embar- 
rassment is a most fruitful source of misfortune to 
the slave as well as the master ; and instances of 
family ties broken from this cause are of daily 
occurrence. 

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

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

In this connection I will call to your recollection 
a remark of the editor of the Southern Press, in 
ffue of the last numbers of that paper, which ac- 
knowledges the existence of the abuse in question, 
and recommends its correction. He says : 

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

Much as I have differed with the editor of the 
Sovfhem Press in his general views of public 
policy, I am disposed to forgive him past errors in 
consideration of his public acknowledgment of 
this " incidental evil," and his frank recommend- 
atio-n of its removal. A Southern newspaper less 
-ievoted than the Southern Press to the mainte- 
nance of slavery would be seriously compromised 
by such a suggestion, and its advice would be 
for less likely to be heeded. I think, therefore, 
that Mr. Fisher deserves the thanks of every good 
man. North and South, for thus boldly pointing out 
the necessity of reform. 

The picture which Mrs. Stowe has drawn of slav- 
ery as an institution is anything but favorable. 
She has illustrated the frightful cruelty and op-' 
DressioQ tliat muat resoit Sroin a l%w v^.hich gives 



65 

to one class of society almost absolute and irre- 
sponsible power over another. Yet the very ma- 
chinery she has employed for this purpose shows 
that all who are parties to the system are not 
necessarily culpable. It is a high virtue in St. 
Clare to porchase Uncle Tom. He is actuated by 
no selfish or improper motive. Moved by a desire 
to gratify his daughter, and prompted by his own 
humane feelings, he purchases a slave, in order to 
rescue him from a hard fate on the plantations. If 
he had not been a slave-holder before, it was now 
his duty tobecome one. This, I think, is the moral 
to be drawn from the story of St. Clare , and the 
Soilth have a right to claim the authority of ISIrs. 
Stowe in defence of slave-holding, to this extent. 

It may be said that it was the duty of St. Clare 
to emancipate Uncle Tom ; buf?the wealth of the 
Eothschilds would not enable a man to act out hia 
benevolent instincts at such a price. And if such 
was his duty, is it not equally the duty of every 
monied man in the free states to attend the New 
Orleans slave-mart with the same benevolent pur- 
pose in view 1 It seems to me that to purchase a 
slave with the purpose of saving him from a hard 
and cruel fate, and without any view to emanci- 
pation, is itself a good action. If the slave should 
subsequently become able to redeem himself, it 
would doubtless be the duty of the o\vner to eman- 
cipate him ; and it would be but even-handed 
justice to set down every dollar of the slave's earn- 
ings, above the expense of his maintenance, to his 
credit, until the price paid for him should be fully 
restored. This is aU that justice could exact of 
the slave-holder. 

Those who have railed against " Uncle Tom'g 
Cabin" as an incendiary publication have singu- 
laily (supposing that they have read the book) over- 
looked the moral of the hero's life. Uncle Tom is 
the most faithful of servants. He literally " obeyed 
in all things" his " masters according to the 
flesh ; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but 
in singleness of heart, fearing God." If his con- 
duct exhibits the slightest departure from a lit- 
eral fulfilment of this injunction of Scripture, 
it is in a case which must command the appro- 
bation of the most rigid casuist ; for the injunc- 
tion of obedience extends, of course, only to law- 
ful commands. It is only when the monster 
Legree commands him to inflict undeserved chas- 
tisement upon his fellow-servants, that Uncle Tom 
i-e fuses obedience. He would not listen to a prop- 
osition of escaping into Ohio with the young 
woman Eliza, on the night after they were sold 
by Mr. Shelby to the trader Haley. He thought 
it would be bad faith to his late master, whom he 
had nursed in his arms, and might be the means 
of bringing him into difficulty. He offered no 
resistance to Haley, and obeyed even Legree in 
every legitimate command. But when he was 
required to be the instrument of his master's 
cruelty, he chose rather to die, with the courage 
and resolution of a Christian martyr, than to save 
his life by a guilty compliance. Such was Uncle 
Tom — not a bad example for the imitation of man 
or master. I am, sir, very respectfully, 

Your ob't serv"t, 

Daniel E. Goodloe. 

A. M. Gaxgfo'er, Esq., 
Washington, D. C. ' 

The writer has received permission lo 
publish the following extract from a letter 
received by a lady at the North from tho 



66 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



editor of a Southern paper. The mind and 
character of the author will speak for them- 
selves, in the reading of it : 

Charleston, Sunday, 25th July, 1852. 

* * * The books, I infer, are Mrs. Beecher 
Stowe's " Uncle Torns Cabin.'" The book was fur- , 

nished me by , about a fortnight ago, 

and you may be assured I read it with an atten- 
tive interest. ' ' Now, what is your opinion of it ? " 
you will ask ; and , knowing my preconceived opin- 
ions upon the question of slavery, and .the em- 
bodiment of my principles, which I have so long 
supported, in regard to that peculiar institution, 
you may be prepared to meet an indirect answer. 
This my own consciousness of truth would not 
allow, in the present instance. The book is a 
truthful picture of life, with the dark outlines 
beautifully portrayed. The life — the character- 
istics, incidents, and the dialogues — is life itself 
reduced to paper. In her appendix she rather 
evades the question whether it was taken from 
actual scenes, but says there are many counter- 
parts. In this she is correct, beyond doubt. Had 
she changed the picture of Legree, on Red river, 

for , on Island, South Carolina, she 

could not have drawn a more admirable portrait. 
I am led to question whether she had not some 
knowledge of this beast, as he is known to be, 
and made the transposition for effect. 

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

During the last three years you well know 
•what my opportunities have been to examine all 
the sectional bearings of an institution which now 
holds the great and most momentous question of 
our federal well-being. These opportunities I 
have not let pass, but have given myself, body and 
Boul, to a knowledge of its vast intricacies, — to 
its constitutional compact, and its individual 
hardships. Its wrongs are in the constituted 
rights of tlie master, and the blayik letter of those 
laws which pretend to govern the bondman's 
rights. What legislative act, based upon the 
construction of self-protection for the very men 
who contemplate the laws, — even though their 
intention was amelioration, — could be enforced, 
when the legislated object is held as the bond prop- 
erty of the legislator 1 The very fact of constituting 
a law for tlie amelioration of property becomes an 
absurdity, so far as carrying it out is concerned. 
A law which is intended to Govern, and gives 
the governed no means of seeking its protection, 
is like tlie clustering together of so many use- 
less words for vain show. But why talk of law ' 



That which is considered the popular rights of a 
people, and every tenacious prejudice set forth to 
protect its property interest, creates its own power, 
against every weaker vessel. Laws v,'hich inter- 
fere with this become unpopular, — repugnant to 
a forceable will, and a dead letter in effect. . So 
long as the voice of the governed cannot be heard, 
and his wrongs are felt beyond the jurisdiction or 
domain of the law, as nine-tenths are, where is 
the hope of redress ? The master is the powerful 
vessel ; the negro feels his dependence, and, fear- 
ing the consequences of an appeal for his rights, 
submits to the cruelty of his master, in preference 
to the dread of something more cruel. It is in 
those disputed cases of cruelty we find the vrronga 
of slavery, and in those governing laws which give 
power to bad Northern men to become the most 
cruel task-masters. Do not judge, from my obser- 
vations, that I am seeking consolation for the 
abolitionists. Such is not my intention ; but truth 
to a course which calls loudly for reformation con- 
strains me to say that humanity calls for some 
law to govern the force and absolute will of the 
master, and to reform no part is more requisite 
than that which regards the slave's food and 
raiment. A person must live years at the South 
before he can become fully acquainted with the 
many workings of slavery. A Northern man not 
prominently interested in the political and social 
weal of the South may live for years in it, and 
pass from town to town in his e very-day pursuits, 
and yet see but the polished side of slavery. With 
me it has been different. Its effect upon the 
negro himself, and its effect upon the social and 
commercial well-being of Southern society, has 
been laid broadly open to me, and I have seen 
more of its workings within the past year than 
was disclosed to me all the time before. It is 
with these feelings that I am constrained to do 
ciedit to Mrs. Stowe's book, which I consider 
must have been written by one who derived the 
materials from a thorough acquaintance with the 
subject. The character of the slave-dealer, the 
bankrupt owner in Kentucky, and the New Or- 
leans merclnant, are simple every-day occurrences 
in these parts Editors may speak of the dramatic 
effect as they please ; the tale is not told them, 
and the occurrences of common reality would form 
a picture more glijring. I could write a work, 
with date and incontrovertililo facts, of abuses 
which stand recorded i-a the knowledge of the 
community in which they were transacted, that 
would need no dramatic effoct, and would stand 
out ten-fold more horrible than anything Mrs. 
Stowe has described. 

I have read two columns in the Southern Press 
of Mrs. Eastman's " ^4?//!^ PhilUs^ Cabin, or 
Southern Life as It Is," with the remarks of the 
editor. I have no comments to make u].on it, that 
being done by itself. The editor might have 
saved himself being writ down an ass bv the pub- 
lic, if he had withheld his nonsense. If the Uvo 
columns, are a specimen of Mrs. Eastman's book, 
I pity her attempt and her name as an author. 



PART II 



CHAPTER I. 

The New York Courier and Enquirer 
of November 5th contained an article which 
has been quite valuable to the author, as 
summing up, in a clear, concise and intel- 
ligible form, the principal objections -which 
may be urged to Uncle Toni's Cabin. It 
is here quoted in full, as the foundation of 
the remarks in the following pages. 

The author of " Uncle Tom's Cabin," that 
writer states, has committed false-witness 
against thousands and milhons of her fellow- 
men. 

She has done it [he says] by attaching to them 
as slaveholders, in the eyes of the world, the guilt 
of the al)uses of an institution of which they are 
absolutely guiltless. Her story is so devised as 
to present slavery in three dark aspects : first, the 
cruel treatment of the slaves ; second, the separa- 
tion of families ; and, third, their ivant of religious 
instruction. 

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

" The slave is entirely subject to the will of his 
master, who may correct and chastise him, though 
not iiith unusual rigor, nor so as to maim or muti- 
late him, or to expose him to the danger of loss of 
life, or to cause his death.'' ^ 

And provides for a compulsory sale 

" When the master shall be convicted of cruel 
treatment of his slaves, and the judge shall deem 

f)roper to pronounce, besides the penalty estab- 
ished for such cases, that the slave be sold at 
public auction, in order to place him out of the 
reach of the power ichich the master has abused.'''' 

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

In the General Court of Virginia, last year, in 
the case of Souther v. the Commonwealth, it was 
held that the killing of a slave by his master and 



owner, by wilful and excessive whipping, is mur- 
der in the first degree, though it may not hare been 
the purpose of the master and owner to kill the 
slave ! And it is not six months since Governor 
Johnston, of Virginia, pardoned a slave who 
killed his master, who was beating him with 
brutal severity. 

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

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

" Every person is expressly prohibited from 
selling separately from their mothers the children 
who shall not have attained the full age of ten 
years.'''' 

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

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

The peculiar falsity of this whole book consista 
in making exceptional or impossible cases the rep- 



68 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



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

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

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

I enclose the following extracts from a southern 
paper : 

" ' I '11 manage that ar ; they 's young in the business, 
and must spcct to work cheap,' said Marks, as ho con- 
tinued to read. ' Thar 's three on 'cm easy cases, 'cause 
ail you've got to do is to shoot 'em, or swear they is shot ; 
they couldn't, of course, charge much for that.' " 

" The reader will observe that two charges 
against the South are involved in this precious 
discourse ; — one that it is the habit of Southern 
mastora to offer a reward, with the alternative of 
' dead or alive,' for their fugitive slaves ; and the 
other, that it is usual for pursuers to shoot them 
Indeed, we are led to infer that, as the shootinj 
is the easier mode of obtaining the reward, it is 
the more frequently employed in such cases. 
Now, when a Southern master offers a reward for 
his runaway slave, it is because ho has lost a cer- 
tain amount of property, represented by the nogro 
which he wishes to recover. What man of Ver- 
mont, having an ox or an iias that had gone astray, 
would forthwith offer half the full value of the 
animal, not for the carcas.-t, which niiglit be turned 
to some useful purpose, but for the unavailing satis- 
faction of its head? Yet arc the two cases exactly 
parallel Wit& regard to the assumption that 



men are permitted to go alout, at the South, with 
double-barrelled guns, shooting down runaway 
negroes, in preference to apprehending them, we 
can only say that it is as wicked and wilful as it 
is ridiculous. Such Thugs there may have been 
as Marks and Loker, who have killed negroes in 
this unprovoked manner ; but, if they have escaped 
the gallows, they are probably to be found within 
the walls of our state penitentiaries, where they 
are comfortably provided for at public expense. 
The laws of the Southern States, which are de- 
signed, as in all good governments, for the pro- 
tection of persons and property, have not been 
so loosely framed as to fail of their object where 
person and property are one. 

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

" ' By the statute of 1740, any white man may 
apprehend, and moderately correct, any slave who 
may be found out of the plantation at which he is 
employed ; and if the slave assaults the white 
person, he may be killed ; but a slave Avho is 
merely flying away cannot be killed. Nor can the 
defendants be justified by the common law, if we 
consider the negro as a person ; for j^„ ^^j.^, ^g^g 
they were not clothed with the au- i Nott & Mc 
thority of the law to apprehend him '^b'"'^'^ fi'^' 
as a felon, and without such authority ^^' " 
he could not be killed. ' 

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

" ' It is perfectly outrageous, — it is horrid, Augustine ! 
It will certainly bring down vengeance upon you.' 

" ' iMy dear cousin, I did n't do it, and I can't help it ; 
I would, if I could. If low-minded, brutal people will 
act like themselves, what am I to do 1 They have abso- 
lute control ; they are irresponsible despots . There would be 
no use in interfering ; there is no law, that amoimts to any- 
thing practicxlly, for such <i case. The best we can do is to 
shut our eyes and ears, and let it alone. It 's the only 
resource left us.' 

" In a subsequent part of the same conversa 
tion, St. Clare says : 

" ' For pity's sake, for shame's sake, because wc are 
men born of women, and not savage beasts, many of us do 
not, and dare not, — wo would scorn to use the full power 
which our savage laws put into our hands. A7id he who 
goes furthest and does the worst only tises witltin limits the 
power thai the law gives him.^ 

"Mrs. Stowe tells us, through St. Clare, that 
' there is no law that amounts to anvthing ' in 
such cases, and that he who goes furthest in 
severity towards his slave, — that is, to the de- 
privation of an eye or a limb, or oven the destruc- 
tion of life, — ' only uses witliin limits the power 
tliat the law gives him.' Ihis is an aAvful and 
tremendous charge, which, lightly and unwarrant- 
alily made, must subject the maker to a fearful 
accounta1)ility. Let us see how the matter st^mds 
upon the statute-book of Louisiana. By referring 
to the civil aydo of that state, chapter 3d, articlo 
173, the reader will find this general declaration- 

" ' The slave is entirely subject to the will of 
his master, who may correct and chastise him, 
though not ivith tmnsual rigor, nar so as to maim 
or mutilate him, or to expose him to the danger of 
loss of life, or to cause his death. ^ 



KEY TO JNCLE TOM's CABIN. 



69 



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

" ' When the master shall be convicted of cruel 
treatment of hia slave, and the judge shall deem 
prqper to pronoimce, besides the pcna/ti/ established 
for such cases, that the slave shall bo sold at public 
auction, in order to place him out of tJie reach of tlie 
power which the master has abused. ' 

" A code thus watchful of the negro's safety in 
life and liml) confines not its guardianship to in- 
hibitory clauses, but proscribes extreme penalties 
in case of tlieir infraction. In the Code Noir 
(Bhick Code) of Louisiana, under head of Crimes 
and Offences, No. 55, ^ xvi., it is laid down, that 

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

" And because negro testimony is inadmissible 
in the courts of the state, and therefore the evi- 
dence of such crimes might be with difliculty sup- 
plied, it is further provided that, 

" ' If any slave be mutilated, beaten or ill- 
treated, contrary to the true intent and meaning 
of this act, when no one shall be present, in such 
case the owner, or other person having the man- 
agement of said slave thus mutilated, shall be 
deemed responsible and guilty of the said offence, 
and shall be prosecuted without further evidence, 
unless the said owner, or other person so as afore- 
said, can prove the contrary by means of good and 
sufficient evidence, or can clear himself by his 
own oath, which said oath every court, under the 
Code Noir. cognizanco of which such offence shall 
Crimes and Of- have been examined and tried, is by 
fences, 56, xvU. j.j^jg ^^^ authorized to administer.' 

" Enough has been quoted to establish the utter 
falsity of the statement, made by our authoress- 
through St. Clare, that brutal masters are ' irre- 
sponsiljle despots,' — at least in Louisiana. It 
would extend our review to a most unreasonable 
length, should we undertake to give the law, with 
regard to the murder of slaves, as it stands in 
each of the Southern States. The crime is a rare 
one, and therefore the reporters have had few 
cases to record. We may refer, however, to two. 
In Fields v. the State of Tennessee, the plaintiff in 
error was indicted in the circuit court of Maury 
county for the miu'der of a negro slave. He 
pleaded not guilty ; and at the trial was found 

fuilty of wilful and felonious slaying of the slave, 
'rom this sentence he prosecuted his writ of error, 
which Avas disallowed, the court affirming the orig- 
inal judgment. The opinion of the court, as given 
by Peck J., overflows with tlie spirit of enUglit- 
ened humanity. He concludes thus : 

*' ' It is well said by one of the ji^dges of North 
Carolina, that the master has a right to exact the 
hibor of his slave ; that far, the rights of the slave 
are suspended ; l.>ut tliis gives the master no right 
over the life of liis slave. I add to the saying of 
the judge, that law which says thou shalt not kill, 
protects the slave ; and he is within 
lYergrr's its very letter. Law, reason, Chris- 
'''^"iM^"^^" tianity, and common humanity, all 
point but one way. ' 
" In the General Court of Virginia, June term, 
1851, in Souther V. the Commonwealth, it was held 
that ' the killing of a slave by his master and 
owner, by wilful and excessive whipping, is mur- 
der in the fii'st degre*'. ; ihoui^h it may not have been 



"i Grattau's 
Hep. 67£. 



the purpose of the master and owner to 
hill the slave.^ The Avriter shows, 
also, an ignorance of the law of con- 
tracts, as it affects slavery in the South, in mak- 
ing George's master take him from the factory 
against the proprietor's consent. George, by vir- 
tue of the contract of hiring, had become the prop- 
erty of the proprietor for tlie time being, and his 
master could no more have taken him away forci- 
])ly than the ovraer of a house in Massachusetts 
can dispossess his lessee, at any moment, from 
mere whim or caprice. There is no court in Ken- 
tucky where the hirer's rights, in tliis regard, 
would not be enforced. 

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

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

" At this point in the story, she touched his arm, and, 
with a face perfectly white with interest, said, 'Do you 
Icnow the names of the people he bought her of ! ' 

" ' A man of the name of Simmons, I think, was the 
principal in the transaction. At least, I think that was 
the name in the bill of sale.' 

" ' 0, my God ! ' said Gassy, and fell insensible on tho 
floor of the cabin. " 

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

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

" In the Code Noir we find it set down that 

" ' Every person is expressly prohibited from 
selling separately from their mothers the children 
who shall not have attained the full age often years,' 

"And this humane pi'ovision is strengtlieued by 
a statute, one clause of which runs as follows : 

" ' Be it further enacted, Tliat if any person or 
persons shall sell the mother of any slave child or 
children under the age of ten years, separate from 
said child or children, or shal), the mother living, 
sell any slave child or children of ten years of age, or 
under, separate from said mother, sucli person or 
persons shall .incur the penalty of the sixth sectioE 
of this act.' 

"This penalty is a fine of not less tlian one thou- 
sand nor more than two tliousand dollars, and im- 
prisonment in the public jail for a period of not 
less than six months nor more than one year. — 
Vide Acts of Louisiana, 1 Sessio7i, 9th Legislature, 
1828, 1829, No. 24, Section 10." 

The author makes here a remark. Scat- 
tered through all the Southern States are 
slaveholders ■who are such only in name. 
They have no pleasui-e in the system, they 
consider it one of wrong altogether, and they 



70 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



hold the legal relation still, only hecause not 
yet clear with regard to the best way of 
changing it, so as to better the condition of 
those held. Such are most earnest advo- 
cates for state emancipation, and are friends 
of anything, written in a right spirit, which 
tends in that direction. From such the 
author ever receives criticisms with pleasure. 

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

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

This cursed business, accursed of God and man, 
— what is it 1 Strip it of all its ornament, run it 
down to the root and nucleus of the wliole, and 
what is it 1 Why, because my brother Quashy is 
ignorant and weak, and I am iutcUigont and 
strong, — l)ecause I know how, and can do it, — 
therefore I may steal all he has, keep it, and give 
him only such and so much as suits my fancy ! 
Whatever is too hard, too dirty, too disagreea))le 
for me, I may set Quashy to doing. Because I 
don't like work, Quashy sliall work. Because the 
sun burns me, Quashy shall stay in tlio sun. 
Quashy shall earn the money, and t will spend it. 

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



Quashy shall lie down in every puddle, that I 
may walk over dry shod. Quashy shall do my 
will, and not his, all the days of his mortal life, 
and have such a chance of getting to heaven at 
last as I find convenient. This I take to be about 
what slavery is. I defy anybody on earth to read 
our slave-code, as it stands in our law-books, and 
make anything else of it. Talk of the abuses of 
slavery ! Humbug ! The thing itself h the essence 
of all abuse. And the only reason why the land 
don't sink under it, like Sodom and Gomorrah, is 
because it is used in a way infinitely better than 
it is. For pity's sake, for shame's sake, because 
we are men born of women, and not savage boasts, 
many of us do not, and dare not, — we would 
scorn to use the full power which our savage laws 
put into our hands. Ajid he who goes the furthest, 
and does the worst, only uses within limits the 
power that the law gives him ! 

The author still holds to the opinion that 
slavery in itself, as legally defined in law- 
books and expressed in the records of courts, 

is the SUM AND ESSENCE OF ALL ABUSE; 

and she still chngs to the hope that there are 
many men at the South in finitely better 
than their laws ; and after the reader has 
read all the extracts which she has to make, 
for the sake of a common humanity they Avill 
hope the same. The author must state, with 
regard to some passages which she must 
quote, that the language of certain enact- 
ments was so incredible that she would not 
take it on the authority of any compilation 
whatever, but copied it with her own hand 
from the latest edition of the"statvite-book 
where it stood and still stands. 



CHAPTER II. 

WHAT IS SLA VERT 1 

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

What is it, according to the definition of 
law-books and of legal interpreters 7 "A 
slave," says the law of Louisiana, "is one 
who is in the power of a master, to whom he 
belongs. The master may sell him, dispose 
of his person, his industry and liis labor ; he 
can do nothing, possess nothing, nor acquire 
anything, but what must belong to civii Code, 
his master." South Carolina says Art. 35. 
" slaves sliall bo deemed, sold, taken, reputed 
and adjudged in law, to bo chattels personal 
in the hands of their owners and possessors. 
and their executors, administrators, and 
assigns, to all intents, con- 
structions AND purposes WHAT- 229. "I'rincf's 
SOEVER." The law of Georgia is ^'s"^'- "^ 
similar. 

Let the reader reflect on the extent of 
the meaning in this last clause. Judge 



KB' TO UNCLE TOMS CABIN. 



71 



Ruffiu, pronouncing the opinion of the Su- 
preme Court of North Carolina, says, a slave 
is ''one doomed in his own person, and his 
posterity, to live without knowledge, and 
without the capacity to make any- 
of sfavery, 2iQ. thing his own, and to toil that 
sute V. Maiin. another may reap the fruits." 

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

From this simple statement of what the 
faws of slavery are designed to do, — from a 
consideration that the class thus to be re- 
duced, and oppressed, and made the sub- 
jects of a perpetual robbery, are men of 
like passions with our own, men originally 
made in the image of God as much as our- 
pelves, men partakers of that same human- 
ity of which Jesus Christ is the highest 
ideal and expression, — when we consider 
that the material thus to be acted upon is 
that fearfully explosive element, the soul of 
man ; that soul elastic, upspringing, immor- 
tal, whose free will even the Omnipotence 
of God refuses to coerce, — we may form 
some idea of the tremendous force wliich is 
necessary to keep tliis mightiest of elements 
in the state of repression which is contem- 
plated in the definition of slavery. 

Of course, the system necessary to con- 
summate and perpetuate such a work, from 
age to age, must be a fearfully stringent 
one ; and our readers will find that it is so. 
Men who make the laws, and men who in- 
terpret them, may be fully sensible of their 
terrible severity and inhumanity ; but, if 
they are going to preserve the thing, they 
have no resource but to make the laws, and 
to execute them faithfully after they are 
made. They may say, with the honorable 
Judge Ruffin. of North Carolina, when sol- 
emnly from the bench announcing this great 
foundation principle of slavery, that " THE 

POWER OF THE MASTER MUST BE ABSO- 



LUTE, TO RENDER THE SUBMISSION OF THE 

SLAVE PERFECT," — they may say, with 
him, ' ' I most freely confess my sense of 
the bars] mess of this proposition ; I feel it 
as deeply as any man can ; and, as a prin- 
ciple of moral right, every person in his re- 
tirement must repudiate it ; " — but they 
will also be obliged to add, with him, '■' But, 
in the actual condition of things, it must 
BE SO. * * This discipline belongs to 
the state of slavery. * * * It is in- 
herent in the relation of master and slave." 

And, like Judge Rufiin, men of honor, men 
of humanity, men • of kindest and gentlest 
feelings, are obliged to interpret these severe 
laws with inflexible severity. In the per- 
petual reaction of that awful force of human 
passion and human will, which necessarily 
meets the compressive power of slavery, — 
in that seething, boiling tide, never wholly 
repressed, Avhich rolls its volcanic stream un- 
derneath the whole frame-work of society 
so constituted, ready to find vent at the 
least rent or fissure or unguarded aperture, 
— there is a constant necessity which urges to 
severity of law and inflexibility of execution. 
So Judge Ruffin says, "We cannot allow 
the right of the matter to be brought into 
discussion in the courts of justice. The slave, 
to remain a slave, must be made sensible 
that there is NO appeal from his mas- 
ter." Accordingly, we find in the more 
southern states, where the slave population 
is most accumulated, and slave property 
most necessary and valuable, and, of course, 
the determination to abide by the system the 
most decided, there the enactments are most 
severe, and the interpretation of courts the 
most inflexible.* And, when legal decisions 
of a contrary character begin to be made, it 
would appear that it is a symptom of leaning 
towards emancipation. So abhorrent is the 
slave-code to every feeling of humanity, that 
just as soon as there is any hesitancy in the 
community about perpetuating the institu- 
tion of slavery, judges begin to listen to the 
voice of their more honorable nature, and by 
favora1)le interpretations to soften its neces- 
sary severities. 

Such decisions do not commend them- 
selves to the profe^ional admiratien of legal 
gentlemen. But in the workings of the 
slave system, when the irresponsible jDower 
which it guarantees comes to be used by men 



* "We except the State of Louisiana. Owing to the 
influence of the French code in that state, more really 
humane provisions prevail there. How much these pro- 
visions avail in point of fact, will be shown when we come 
to that part of the subject. 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



of the most hrutal nature, cases sometimes 
arise for trial -where tlie consistent exposi- 
tion of the law involves results so loathsome 
and frightful, that the judge prefers to be 
illogical, rather than inhuman. Like a spring 
outgushing in the desert, some noble man, 
now and then, from the fulness of liis own 
better nature, throws out a legal decision, 
generously inconsistent with every principle 
and precedent of slave jurisprudence, and 
we bless God for it. ^1 we wish is that 
there were more of them, for then should 
we hope that the day of redemption w^as 
drawing nigh. 

The reader is now prepared to enter 
with us on the proof of this proposition : 
That the slave-code is designed only for the 
security of the master, and not ivith re- 
gard to the welfare of tJie slave. 

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

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

In the one [case], the end in view is the happiness 
of the youth, born to equal rights with that gov- 
ornor, on wliom the duty devolves of training the 
young to usefulness, in a station which he is after- 
wards to assume among freemen. * * * * Witli 
Wh '- Law ^l^^'*3^y it 's f'^^ otherwise. The end 
of Slavery, ijase '-^ '^^c profit of the master, his secu- 
246. rity and the puljlic safety. 

Not only is this principle distinctly as- 
serted in so many words, but it is more dis- 
tinctly implied in multitudes of the arguings 
and reasonings wliich are given as grounds 
of legal decisions. Even such provisions as 
seem to be for the benefit of the slave we 
often find carefully interpreted so as to show 
that it is only on account of his property 
value to his master that he is thus protected, 
and not fi-om any consideration of humanity 
towards himself Thus it has been decided 
that a master can bring no action for assault 
wieeier'sLaw ^'^^ battcry ou his shivc, nnless 
"f •'^'2^0''^' P" ihe injury be such as to pro- 
duce a loss of service. 

The spirit in which this question is dis- 
cussed is worthy of remark. We give a 



brief statement of the case, as presented m 
Wheeler, p. 239. 

It was an action for assault and battery 
committed by Dale on one Cornfute's slave. 
It was contended by Cornfute"s counsel that 
it was not neces.sary to prove cornfut«„. 
loss of service, in order that the ^"''^' ^p"' 

TpiTn 1800 

action should be sustained; that inar.& Johns, 
an action might be supported for ^^' ^ 
beating plaintiff's horse; and iJi'^^oTvi- 
that the lord might have an ac- ^'"■''^ ^^'^- ^^ 
tion for the battery of his Anllein, which is 
founded on this principle, that, as the villein 
could not support the action, the injury 
would he without redress, unless the lord 
coidd. On the other side it was said that Lord 
Cliief Justice Raymond had decided that 
an assault on a horse Avas no cause of action, 
unless accompanied with a special damage 
of the animal^ which would impair his value. 

Chief Justice Chase decided that no re- 
dress could be obtained in the case, because 
the value of the slave had not been impaired, 
and without injury or ivrong to the nuis- 
ter no action could be sustained ; and as- 
signed this among other reasons for it, that 
there was no reciprocity in the case, as the 
master was not hable for assault and battery 
committed by his slave, neither could he g"ain 
redress for one committed upon his slave. 

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

In the same spirit it has been held in 
North Carolina that patrols (night watch- 
men) are not liable to the master ^ate r. O'Neai 
for inflicting punishment on the }, ^g^"^^' ^^^• 
slave, unless their conduct clear- •!,'?. 797° §i2i.- 
ly demonstrates malice against tJie master. 

The cool-bloodedness of some of these legal 
discussions is forcibly shoAvn by two deci- 
sions in "Wliccler's Law of Slavery, p. 243. 
On the question whether the criminal offence 
of assault and battery can be committed on 
a slave, there are two decisions of the tAvo 
States of South and North Carolina ; and it 
is difficult to say wliich of these g^ate v. Maner, 
decisions has the preeminence ;- uiiPs Rep.^ 
for cool legal inhumanity. That ilw of slavery, 
of South Carolina reads thus. r-%'e243. 

Judge O'Neill says : 

The criminal offence of assault and battcry can 
not, at common law, be committed upon the per- 
S(jn of a slave. For notwithstanding (for some 
])urposes) a slave is regarded by law as a person, 
yet generally he is a mere chattel personal, and liia 



KEY TO TJNJLE TOM'S CABIN. 



73 



right of personal protection belongs to his master, 
who can maintain an action of trespass for the bat- 
tery of his slave. There can be therefore no offence 
an-ainst the state for a mere beating of a slave unac- 
armpanicd with any circumstances of cruelty ( ! ! ) , 
or an attempt to kill and murder. The peace of 
the state is not thereby broken ; for a slave is not 
generally regarded as legally capable of being 
within the peace of the state. lie is not a citi- 
zen, and is not in that character entitled to her 
protection. 

What declaration of the utter incliiFerence 
of the state to 'the sufferings of the slave 
could be more elegantly cool and clear? 
S6e state v. But in North Carolina it appears 
p.239. auawk! that the case is argued still more 
N.c.Rep.5S2. elaborately. 

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

The instinct of a slave may be, and generally 
is, tamed into subservience to his master's will, 
and from liim ho receives chastisement, whether it 
be merited or not, with perfect submission ; for he 
knows the extent of the dominion assumed over 
him, and that the law ratifies the claim. But 
when the same authority is wantonly usurped by 
a stranger, nature is disposed to assert her rights, 
and to prompt the slave to a resistance, often 
momentarily successful, sometimes fatally so. 
The public peace is thus broken, as much as if a 
free man had been beaten ; for the party of the 
aggressor is always the strongest, and such con- 
tests usually terminate by overpowering the slave, 
and inflicting on him a severe chastisement, Avith- 
out regard to the original cause of the conflict. 
There is, consequently, as much reason for mak- 
ing such offences indictable as if a white man had 
lx;en the victim. A wanton injury committed on 
a slave is a great 'provocation to tlie owner, awaliens 
Ms resentment, and has a direct tendency to a breach 
of the peace, by inciting him to seek immediate ven- 
geance. If resented in the heat of blood, it would 
probably extenuate a homicide to manslaughter, 
upon the same principle with the case stated by 
lx)rd Hale, that if A riding on the road, B had 
whipped his horse out of the track, and then A 
had alighted and killed B. These offences are 
usually committed, by men of dissolute habits, 
hanging loose upon society, ivho, being repelled 
from association with well-disposed citizens, take 
refuge in the company of colored persons and 
slaves, rohom they deprave by their example, embold- 
en by their familiarity, and then beat, under the 
(expectation that a slave dare not resent a blow from 
a while man. If such ofl'ences may be committed 
with impunity, the public peace will not only be 
rendered extromely insecure, but the value of slave 
property must he much impaired, for the offenders 
can seldom make any reparation in damages. 
Nor is it necessary, in any case, that a person 
who has received an injury, real or imaginary, 
from a slave, should carve out his own justice ; 



for the laio has made ample and summary pro- 
vision for the punishment of all trivial offences com 
mitted by slaves, by carrying them be- 
fore a justice, who is authorized to j j^g^ q^^ 
pass sentence for their being publicly 448. 

whipped. This provision, Avhile it 
excludes the necessity of private vengeance, would 
seem to forbid its legality, since it effectually pro- 
tects all persons from the insolence of slaves, even 
where their masters are umvilling to correct them 
upon complaint being made. The common law 
has often been called into efficient operation, for 
the punishment of puljlic cruelty inflicted upon 
animals, for needless and wanton barbarity exer- 
cised even by masters upon their slaves, and for 
various violations of decency, morals, and comfort. 
Reason and analogy seem to require that a human 
being, although the subject of property, should be 
so far protected as the public might be injured 
through him. 

For all purposes necessary to enforce the obe- 
dience of the slave, and to render him useful as 
property, the law secures to the master a com- 
plete authority over him, and it will not lightly 
interfere with the relation thus established. It is 
a more effectual guarantee of his right of property, 
when the slave is protected from loanton abuse frqm 
those who have no power over him ; for it cannot be 
disputed that a slave is rendered less capable of 
performing his master's service when he finds 
himself exposed by the law to the capricious vio- 
lence of every turbulent man in the community. 

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

Mitigated as slavery is by the humanity of our 
laws, the refinement of manners, and by publk 
opinion, which revolts at every instance of cruelty 
towards them, it would ])e an anomaly in the sys- 
tem of police which affects them, if the offence 
stated in the verdict were not indictable. 

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

In the same spirit it is decided, under the 
law of Louisiana, that if an individual in- 
jures another's slave so as to make him en- 
tirely useless., and the owner recovers from 
him the full value of the slave, the slave by 
that act becomes thenceforth the ^ , . 

, Jouraam v. 

property of the person who in- ration, juiy 
jured him. A decision to this jimtui's i^oia 
effect is given in Wheeler s Law ii«p-6i5- 



74 



KEV rO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



of Slavery, p. 249. A woman sued for an in- 
jury done to her slave by the slave of the de- 
fendant. The injury was such as to render 
him entirely useless, his only eye being put 
out. The parish court decreed that she should 
recover twelve hundred dollars, that the de- 
fendant should pay a further sum of twenty- 
five dollars a month from the time of the 
injury; also the physician's bill, and two 
hundred dollars for the sustenance of the 
slave during his life, and that he should 
remain forever in the possession of his mis- 
tress. 

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

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

, , _,„ Another case, reported in Wheel- 
Jan. temi,is2s. ' '■ r\n 
9 Martin Lu. er's Law, page 198, the author 

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

Jan. term, 1827. Obscrve, iiow, the following 
4 M'Cord's ii.p. case of Jennings v. Fundeberg. 

161. Whculor'd . o , . o 

Law of Slavery, it scems Jcnnmgs brings an ac- 
^'' ^*'^' tion of trespass against Funde- 
berg for killing his slave. The case was 
thus : Fundeberg with others, being out 
hunting runaway negroes, surprised them in 
their camp, and, as tlie report says, '•'•fired 
his gun towards them as they were run- 



ning away, to induce them, to stop.^^ One 
of them, being shot through the head, was 
thus induced to stop, — and the master of 
the boy brought action for trespass against 
the firer for killing his slave. 

The decision of the inferior court was as 
follows : 

The court " thought the killing acciden- 
tal, and that the defendant ought not to be 
made answerable as a trespasser." * * * * 
" When. one is laAvfully interfering with the 
property of another, and accidentally de- 
stroys it, he is no trespasser, and ought 
not to be answerable for the value of the prop- 
erty. In this case, the defendant was en- 
gaged in a lawful and ineritorious service, 
and if he really fired his gun in the manner 
stated it was an allowable act." 

The superior judge reversed the decision, 
on the ground that in dealing with another 
person's property one is responsible for any 
injury which he could have avoided by any 
degree of circumspection, "The firing 
.... was rasli and incantions.^^ 

Does not the whole spirit of this discus- 
sion speak for itself ? 

1,1 . • Jan. T. 1S27. 4 

bee also the very next case m jrcord'3 Kep. , 
Wheeler's Law. Richardson v. '^^^ 
Dukes, p. 202. 

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

The Court. Nott S. held, there must be a 
new trial ; that the jury ought to have giveu the 
plaintiff the value of the slave. That if the jiu-y 
were of opinion the slave was of bad character, 
some deduction from the usual price ought to be 
made, but the plaintiff was certainly entitled to 
his actual damage for killing his slave. AVhero 
property is in question, the value of tlie article, 
as nearly as it can bo ascertained, fui-nishcs a rule 
from which they are not at liberty to depart. 

It seems that the value of this unfortunate 
piece of property was somewhat reduced 
from the circumstance of his " stealing pota- 
toes." Doubtless he had his own best rea- 
sons for this ; so, at least, we should infer 
from the following remark, which ^heeler's L;w 
occurs in one of the reasonings of slavery, 220. 
of Judge Taylor, of N. Carolina. 

" The act of 1780 (Iredell's Revisal, p. 588) 
does, in the preamble, recognize the fact, that 
many persons, by cruel trcaimnit to tlieir slaves, 
cause them to commit crimes for which they are 
e-xecuted. * * The cruel treatment here al- 
luded to must consist in ivithholding from them the 
necessaries of life; and tlie crimes thus resulting 
arc such as are calculated to furnish them with food 
and raiment.^'' 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



75 



Perhaps " stealing potatoes " in this case 
was one of the class of crimes alluded to. 
whitstii i;. Aciain we have the followinf>; 

Karuesl & Par- ° ° 

ker. Wheeler, CaSO : 
p. 202. 

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

The judge charged the jury, that such cir- 
cumstances might e.xist, by the excitement and 
alarm of the neighborhood, as to authorize the 
killing of a negro without the sanction of a magis- 
trate. 

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

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

If we consider the tiegro a person^ 

says the judge ; and, from his decision in the 
case, he evidently intimates that he has a 
strong leaning to this opinion, though it has 
been contested by so many eminent legal 
authorities that he puts forih his sentiment 
modestly, and in an hypothetical form. The 
reader, perhaps, will need to be informed 
that the question whether the slave is to be 
considered a person or a human being in any 
respect has been extensively and ably argued 
on both sides in legal courts, and it may be 
a comfort to know that the balance of legal 
opinion inclines in favor of the slave. Judge 
Clarke, of Mississippi, is quite clear on the 
point, and argues very ably and earnestly, 
though, as he confesses, against very respect- 
able legal authorities, that the slave is a 
person, — that he is a reasonable creature. 
,^ , The reasonins; occurs in the case 

Wheeler, p. ~ „ , ,. 9 . . t i 

2j^- btate or Mississippi v. Jones, and 
Walker's IS worthy 01 attcntiou as a literary 
Rep. 83. curiosity. 

It seems that a case of murder of a slave 
had been clearly made out and proved in the 
lower court, and that judgment was arrested 
and the case appealed on the ground wheth- 
er, in that state, murder could be committed 
on a slave. Judge Clarke thus ably and 
earnestly argues : 

The question in this case is, whether murder 
''an be committed on a slave. Because individuals 



may have been deprived of many of their rights by 
society, it does not follow, that they have been 
deprived of all their rights. In some respects, 
slaves may be considered as chattels ; but in others, 
they are regarded as men. The law views them 
as capable of committing crimes. This can only 
be upon the principle, that they are men and ra- 
tional beings. The Roman laAV has been much 
relied on by the counsel of the defendant. That 
law was confined to the Roman empire, giving the 
power of life and death over captives in war, as 
slaves ; but it no more extended here, than the sim- 
ilar power given to parents over the lives of their 
children. Sluch stress has also been laid by the 
defendant's counsel on the case cited from Tay- 
lor's Reports, decided in North Carolina ; yet, in 
that case, two judges against one were of opinion, 
that killing a slave was murder. Judge Hall, who 
delivered the dissenting opinion in the above case, 
based his conclusions, as we conceive, upon erro- 
neous principles, by considering" the laws of Rome 
applicable here. His inference, also, that a per- 
son cannot be condemned capitally, because he 
may be liable in a civil action, is not sustained by 
reason or authority, but appears to us to be in 
direct opposition to both. At a very early period 
in Virginia, the power of life over slaves Avas given 
by statute ; but Tucker obser\-es, that as soon as 
these statutes were repealed, it was at once con- 
sidered by their courts that the killing of a slave 
might be murder. Comnionwealth v. Dolly Chap- 
man : indictment for maliciously stabbing a slave, 
under a statute. It has been determined in 
Virginia that slaves are persons. In the con- 
stitution of the United States, slaves are ex- 
pressly designated as "persons." In this state 
the legislatui-e have considered slaves as rea- 
sonable and accountable beings ; and it would be 
a stigma upon the character of the state, and a 
reproach to the administration of justice, if the 
life of a slave could be taken with impunity, or if 
he could be murdered in cold blood, without sul> 
jecting the offender to the highest penalty known 
to the criminal jurisprudence of the country. Has 
the slave no rights, because he is deprived of his 
freedom? He is still a human being, and pos- 
sesses all those rights of which he is not deprived 
by the positive provisions of the law ; but in vain 
shall we look for any law passed by the enlight- 
ened and philanthropic legislature of this state, 
giving even to the master, much less to a stranger, 
power over the life of a slave. Such a statute 
would be worthy the age of Draco or Caligula, 
and would be condemned by the unanimous voice 
of the people of this state, where even cruelty to 
slaves, much [more] the taking away of life, meets 
with universal reprobation. By the provisions of 
our law, a slave may commit murder, and be pun- 
ished with death ; why, then, is it not mm-der to 
kill a slave 1 Can a mere chattel commit mui'der, 
and be subject to punishment ? 

The right of the master exists not by force of the 
law of nature or nations, but by virtue only of the 
positive law of the state; and although that gives to 
the master the right to command the services of 
the slave, requiring the master to feed and clothe 
the slave from infancy till death, yet it gives the 
master no right to take the life of the slave ; and, 
if the offence be not murder, it is not a crime, 
and subjects the offender +.0 no punishment. 

The taking away the life of a reasonable crea- ♦ 



76 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



Ture, under the king's peace, with malice afore- 
thought, express or implied, is murder at common 
law. Is not a slave a reasonable creature 1 — is he 
not a human being ■? And the meaning of this 
phrase, reasonable creature, is, a human being. 
For the killing a lunatic, an idiot, or even a child 
unborn, is murder, as much as the killing a phi- 
losopher ; and has not the slave as much reason as 
a lunatic, an idiot, or an unborn child? 

Thus triumphantly, in this nineteenth cen- 
tury of the Christian era and in the State 
of Mississippi, has it been made to appear 
that the slave is a reasonable creature, — a 
human being ! 

What sort of system, what sort of a pub- 
lic sentiment, was that which made this 
argument necessary? 

And let us look at some of the admissions 
of this argument with regard to the nature 
of slavery. According to the judge, it is 
depriving human beings of many of their 
rights. Thus he says : " Because individ- 
uals may bave been deprived of many of 
their rights by society, it does not follow 
that they have been deprived of all their 
rights." Again, he says of the slave : "He 
is still a human being, and possesses all 
those rights of which he is not deprived by 
the positive provisio7is of the laio.'" Here 
he admits that the provisions of law deprive 
the slave of natural rights. Again he says: 
" The right of the master exists not by force 
of the law of nature or of nations, but by 
virtue only of the positive law of the state." 
According to the decision of this judge, 
therefore, slavery exists by the same right 
that robbery or oppression of any kind does, 
— the right of ability. A gang of robbers 
associated into a society have rights over 
all the neighboring property that they can 
acquire, of precisely the same kind. 

With the same unconscious serenity does 
the law apply that principle of force and 
robbery which is the essence of slavery, and 
show how far the master may proceed in 
appropriating another human being as his 
property. 

The question arises. May a master give a 
Wheeler, p. 2s. womau to onc pcrsou, and her 
r^'Markshmy^^ uiiborn childrcii to another one? 
Spriii- T. 1S23. Let us hear the case arfi;ued. 

'i Liuli' s Kcp. ,, 111 

■2.-0. The unfortunate mother selected 
as the test point of this interesting legal 
principle comes to our view in the will of 
one Samuel jMarksl)ury, under the style 
and denomination of " my negro wench 
Pen." Said Samuel states in his will that, 
for the good will and love he bears to his own 
children, he gives said negro Avcnch Pen to 
60U Samuel, and all her future increase to 



daughter Rachael. When daughter Rachael, 
therefore, marries, her husband sets up a 
claim for this increase, — as it is stated, 
quite off-hand, that the "wench had several 
children." Here comes a beautifully inter- 
esting case, quite stimulating to legal acu- 
men. Inferior court decides that Samuel 
Marksbury could not have given away un- 
born children on the strength of the legal 
maxim, ^^ Nemo dat quod non hahet,'''' — 
i. e., " Nobody can give what he has not 
got," — which certainly one should think 
sensible and satisfactory enough. The case, 
however, is appealed, and reversed in the 
superior court; and how let us hear the 
reasoning. 

The judge acknowledges the force of the 
maxim above quoted, — says, as one would 
think any man might say, that it is quite a 
correct maxim, — the only difficulty being 
that it does not at all apply to the present 
case. Let us hear him : 

He who is the absolute owner of a thing owns 
all its faculties for profit or increase ; and he 
may, no doubt, grant the profits or increase, as 
well as the thing itself. Thus, it is every day's 
practice to grant the future rents or profits of real 
estate ; and it is held that a man may grant th« 
wool of a flock of sheep for years. 

See also p. 33, Fanny v. Bryant, 4 J. J. 
Marshall's Rep., 368. In this almost pre- 
cisely the same language is used. If the 
reader will proceed, he will find also this 
principle applied with equal clearness to the 
hirina;, sellinsr mortrras-incr of unborn cliil- 
dren ; and the perfect legal nonchalance of 
these discussions is only comparable to run- 
ning a dissecting-knife through the course 
of all the heart-strings of a living subject, 
for the purpose of demonstrating the laws 
of nervous contraction. 

Judge Stroud, in his sketch of the slave- 
laws, page 99, lays down for proof the fol- 
lowing assertion : That the penal codes of 
the slave states bear much more severely on 
slaves than on white persons. He intro- 
duces his consideration of this proposition 
by the following humane and sensible re- 
marks : 



A being, ignorant of letters, unenlightened by 
roli"'ion, and deriving but little iii.s!:nuti(in from 
good example, cannot be su^iijiosed to have right 
conceptions as to the nature and extent of mural 
or political oljligations. This remark, with but a 
sli"-lit qualificaticm, is applicable to the condition 
of the slave. It has been just shown tliat the 
benefits of education are not conferred uponliim, 
while his chance of acquiring a knowledge of the 
precepts of the gospel is so remote as scarcely to 
be appreciated. lie may be regarded, therefore 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM's CABIN. 



77 



as almost -without the capacity to comprehend 
the force of hxws ; and, on this account, such as 
are designed for his government should be recom- 
mended by their simplicity and mildness. 

Ilis condition suggests another motive for 
tenderness on liis behalf in these particulars. 
He is unable to read, and holding little or no com- 
munication with those who are better informed 
tlian himself; how is he to become acquainted 
with the fact that a law for his observance has 
been made ? To exact obedience to a law which 
has not been promulgated, — which is unknown 
to the subject of it, — has ever been deemed most 
unjust and tyrannical. The reign of Caligula, 
were it obnoxious to no other reproach than this, 
would never cease to be remembered with abhor- 
rence. 

The law cji vers of the slaveholding states seem, 
in the formation of their penal codes, to have 
Ixjen uninilucnced by these claims of the slave 
upon their compassionate consideration. The 
hardened convict moves their sympathy, and is 
to be taught the laws before he is expected to 
obey tliem ; yet the guiltless slave is subjected to 
an extensive system of cruel enactments, of no 
part of which, probably, has he ever heard. 

Parts of this system apply to the slave ex- 
clusively, and for every infraction a large retribu- 
tion is demanded ; while, with respect to oifences 
for which whites as well as slaves are amenable, 
funishments of much greater severity are inflicted 
upcrn the latter than upon the former. 

This heavj charge of Judge Stroud is 
sustained by twenty pages of proof, showing 
the very great disproportion between the 
number of offences made capital for slaves, 
and those that are so for whites. Con- 
cerning this, we find the following cool re- 
mark in Wheeler's Law of Slavery, page 
222, note. 

Much has been said of the disparity of pun- 
ishment between the white inhabitants and the 
slaves and negroes of the same state ; that slaves 
are punished with much more severity, for the 
commission of similar crimes, by white persons, 
than the latter. The charge is undoubtedly true 
to a considerable extent. It must be remembered 
that the primary object of the enactment of penal 
laws, is the protection and security of those who 
make them. The slave has no agency in making 
them. He is indeed one cause of the apprehended 
evils to the other class, which those laws are ex- 
pected to remedy. That he should be hold ame- 
nable for a violation of those rules established for 
the security of the other, is the natui-al result of 
the state in which lie is placed. And the sever- 
ity of those rules will always bear a relation to 
that danger, real or ideal, of the other class. 

It has been so among all nations, and will 
ever continue to be so, while the disparity be- 
tween bond and free remains. 

A striking example of a legal decision 
to this purport is given in Wlieeler's 

The %UL« V. Law of Slavery, page 224. The 
TennTis?9.°2 casc, apart from legal tech- 

Devercaux's nioalities, mav be thus briefly 

North CarcUiia i 

Eep 26b. stated : 



The defendant, Mann, had hired a slave- ' 
woman for a year. During this time the 
slave committed some slight offence, for which 
the defendant undertook to chastise her. 
While in the act of doing so the slave ran 
off, whereat he shot at and wounded her. The 
judge in the inferior court charged the jury 
that if they believed the punishment was 
cruel and unwarrantable, and disproportioned 
to the offence, in law the defendant was 
guilty, as he had only a special propet^ty 
in the slave. The jury finding evidence that 
the punishment had been cruel, unwarrant- 
able and disp?-oporlioned to the offence^ 
found verdict against the defendant. But on 
what ground ? — Because, according to the 
law of North Carolina, cruel, unwarrantable, 
disproportionate punishment of a slave from 
a master, is an indictable offence? No. They 
decided against the defendant, not because 
the punishment was cruel and unwarrant- 
able, tut because he was not the person wlio 
had the right to inflict it, "as he had only 
a SPECIAL right of property in the slaveP 

The defendant appealed to a higher court, 
and the decision was reversed, on the ground 
that the hirer has for the time being all the 
rights of the master. The remarks of Judge 
Ruffin are so characteristic, and so strongly 
express the conflict between the feehngs of 
the humane judge and the logical necessity 
of a strict interpreter of slave-law, that we 
shall quote largely from it. One cannot 
but admire the unflinching calmness with 
which a man, evidently possessed of honor- 
able and humane feelings, walks through the 
most extreme and terrible results and con- 
clusions, in obedience to the laws of legal 
truth. Thus he says : 

A judge cannot but lament, when such cases 
as the present are brought into judgment. It is 
impossible that the reasons on which they go can 
be appreciated, but where institutions similar to 
our own exist, and are thoroughly understood. 
The struggle, too, in the judge's own breast, be- 
tween the feelings of the man and the duty of the 
magistrate, is a severe one, presentiag strong 
temptation to put aside such questions, if it be 
possible It is useless, however, to complain of 
things inherent in our political state. And it is 
criminal in a court to avoid any responsibility 
which the laws impose. With whatever reluc- 
tance, therefore, it is done, the court is compelled 
to express an opinion upon the extent of the do- 
minion of the master over the slave in North Car- 
olina. The indictment charges a battery on Lydia, 

a slave of Elizabeth Jones The inquiry 

here is, whether a cruel and unreasonable battery 
on a slave by the hirer is indictable. The judge 
below instructed the jury that it is. He seems to 
have put it on the ground, that the defendant bad 
but a special property. Our laws uniformly treat 
the master, or ether person having the possession 



78 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



and command of the slave, as entitled to the same 
extent of authority. The object is the same, the 
service of the slave ; and the same powers must be 
confided. In a criminal proceeding, and, indeed, 
in reference to all other persons but the general 
owner, the hirer and possessor of the slave, in rela- 
tion to both rights and duties, is, for the time being, 
the owner But, upon the general ques- 
tion, wliether the owner is answerable criminal- 
iter, for a bafctery upon his own slave, or other 
exercise of authority of force, not forbidden by 
statute, the court entertains but little doubt. 
That he is so liable, has never been decided ; nor, 
as far as is known, been hitherto contended. 
TliOTe has been no prosecution of the sort. The 
established habits and uniform practice of the 
country, in this respect, is the best evidence of the 
portion of power deemed by the whole community 
requisite to the preservation of the master's do- 
minion. If we thought differently, we could not 
set our notions in array against the judgment of 
everybody else , and say that this or that authority 
may be safely lopped off. This has indeed been 
assimilated at the bar to the other domestic rela- 
tions ; and arguments drawn from the well-estab- 
lished principles, which confer and restrain the 
authority of the parent over the child, the tutor 
over the pupil, the master over the apprentice, 
have been pressed on us. 

The court does not recognize their application. 
There is no likeness between the cases. They are 
in opposition to each other, and there is an im- 
passable gulf between them. The difference is 
that which exists between freedom and slavery ; 
and a greater cannot be imagined. In the one, the 
end in view is the happiness of the youth born to 
equal rights with that governor on whom the duty 
devolves of training the young to usefulness, m a 
station which he is afterwards to assume among 
freemen. To such an end, .and with such a subject, 
moral and intellectual instruction seem the natural 
means ; and, for the most part, they are found to 
suffice. Moderate force is superadded only to 
make the others effectual. If that fail, it is bet- 
ter to leave the party to his own headstrong pas- 
sions, and the ultimate correction of the law, than 
to allow it to be immoderately inflicted by a pri- 
vate person. Witli slavery it is far otherwise. 
Tlio end is the profit of the master, his security 
and the public safety; the subject, one doomed, 
in his own person and his posterity, to live with- 
out knowledge, and without the capacity to make 
anything his own, and to toil that another may 
reap the fruits. What moral considerations shall 
be addressed to such a being, to convince him 
wliat it is impossible but that the most stupid 
must feel and know can never Ijc true, — that he 
is thus to labor upon a principle of naturaKluty, 
or for the sake of his own personal happiness ? 
Such services can only be expected from one who 
has no will of his own ; who surrenders liis will 
in implicit oliedience to that of another. Such 
obediuiice is the consequence only of uncontrolled 
authority over the body. There is nothing else 
Avhich can operate to produce the effect. The 

POWER 01' THE MASTER MUST BE ABSOLUTE, TO RENDER 
TUE SUBMISSION OK THE SLAVE I'EKFECT. I UlOSt IVecly 

confess my sense of the harshness of this propo- 
sition. I feel it as deeply as any man can. And, 
as a principle of moral right, every jierson in his 
retirement must repudiate it. But, in the aptual 
condition of things, it must be so. There is no 
remedy. This discipline belongs to the state of 



slavery. They cannot be disunited without abro- 
gating at once the rights of the master, and ab- 
solving the slave from his subjection. It consti- 
tutes the curse of slavery to both the bond and 
the free portions of our population. But it is 
inherent in the relation of master and slave. That 
there may be particular instances of cruelty and 
deliberate barbarity, where in conscience the law 
might properly interfere, is most probable. The 
difficulty is to determine where a court may prop- 
erly begin. Merely in the abstract, it may well 
be asked which power of the master accords with 
right. The answer will probably sweep away all 
of them. But we cannot look at the matter in 
that light. The truth is that we are forbidden to 
enter upon a train of general reasoning on the 
subject. We cannot allow the right of the mas- 
ter to be brought into discussion in the courts of 
justice. The slave, to remain a slave, must be 
made sensible that there is no appeal from his 
master ; that his power is, in no instance, usurped, 
but is conferred by the laws of man, at least, if 
not hy the law of God. The danger would be 
great, indeed, if the tribunals of justice should be . 
called on to graduate the punishment appropriate 
to every temper and every dereliction of menial 
duty. 

No man can anticipate the many and aggra- 
vated provocations of the master which the slave 
would be constantly stimulated by his own pas- 
sions, or the instigation of others, to give ; or 
the consequent wrath of the master, prompting 
him to bloody vengeance upon the turbulent 
traitor ; a vengeance generally practised icith impu- 
nity, by reason of its privacy. The court, therefore, 
disclaims the power of changing the relation in 
which these parts of our people stand to each 
other. 

***** 

I repeat, that I would gladly have avoided 
this ungrateful question. But, being brought to 
it, the court is compelled to declare that while 
slavery exists amongst us in its present state, or 
until it shall seem fit to the legislature to interpose 
express enactments to the contrary, it will be the 
imperative duly of the judges to recognize the full 
dominion of the owner over the slave, except where 
the exercise of it is forbidden by statute. 

And this we do upon the ground that this do- 
minion is essential to the value of slaves as property, 
to the security of the master and the public tram/uil- 
lity, greatly dependent upon their subordination ; 
and, in fine, as most effectually securing the gen- 
eral protection and comfort of the slaves them- 
selves. Judgment below reversed ; and judgment 
entered for the defendant. 

No one can read this decision, so fine 
and clear in expression, so dignified and 
solemn in its earnestness, and so dreadful 
in its results, without feeling at once deep 
respect for the man and horror for the sys- 
tem. The man, judging him from tliis 
short specimen, Avhich is all the author 
knows,* has one of that high order of minds, 
which looks straight through all verbiage 
and sophistry to the heart of every subject 
which it encounters. lie has, too, that noble 



* More recently the author hw met with n passage in f 
North Carolina newspaper, containing sonic further par- 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM's CABIN. 



79 



scorn of dissimulation, that straightforward 
determination not to call a bad thing by 
a good name, even when most popular and 
reputable and legal, which it is to be wished 
could be more frequently seen, both in our 
Northern and Southern States. There is 
but one sole regret ; and that is that such a 
man, with such a mind, should have been 
merely an expositor^ and not a reformer of 
law. 



CHAPTER III. 

SOUTHER V. THE COMMONWEALTH THE 

NE PLUS ULTRA OF LEGAL HUMANITY. 

" Yet in the face of such laws and decisions as these ! 
Mrs. Stowe, Ac." — Cuurier §• Enquirer. 

The case of Souther v. the Common- 
wealth has been cited by the Courier <S^ 
Enquirer as a particularly favorable speci- 



ticulars of the life of Judge RufEn, which have proved in- 
teresting to her, and may also to the reader. 

From the Raleigh {N. C.) Register. 

Rksioxation of the Chief Justice of the State of 

North Carolina. 

We publish below the letter of Chief Justice Ruffin, of 
the Supreme Court, resigning his seat on the bench. 

This act takes us, and no less Will it take the state, by 
stirprise. The public are not prepared for it ; and we 
doubt not there will scarcely be an exception to the deep 
and general regret which will be felt throughout the state. 
Judge Ruffin's great and unsurpassed legal learning, his 
untiring industry, the ease with which he mastered the 
details and comprehended the whole of the most compli- 
cated cases, were the admiration of the bar; and it has 
been a common saying of the ablest lawyers of the state, 
for a long time past, that his place on ihe bench could be 
supplied by no other than himself. 

He is now, as we learn, in the sixty-fifth year of his age, 
in full possession of his usual excellent health, unaffected, 
so far as we can discover, in his natural vigor and strength, 
and certainly without any symptom of mental decay. 
Forty-five years ago he commenced the practice of the 
law. He has been on the bench twenty-eight years, of 
which time he has been one of the Supreme Court twenty- 
three years. During this long public career he has, in a 
pecuniary point of view, sacrificed many thousauas ; for 
there has been no time of it in which he might not, with per- 
fect ease, have doubled, by practice, the amount of his 
salary as judge. 

" To the Honorable the General Assembly of North Carolina, 
now in session. 

" Gentlemen : I desire to retire to the walks of private 
life, and therefore pray your honorable body to accept the 
resignation of my place on the bench of the Supreme 
Court. In surrendering this trust, I would wish to express 
my grateful sense of the confidence and honors so often 
and so long bestowed on me by the General Assembly. 
But I have no language to do it suitably. I am very sen- 
sible that they were far beyond my deserts, and that I 
have made an insufficient return of the service. Yet I 
can truly aver that, to the best of my ability, I have ad- 
ministered the law as I understood it, and to the ends of 
suppressing crime and wrong, and upholding virtue, truth 
and right; aiming to give confidence to honest men, and 
to confirm in all good citizens love for our country, and a 
pure trust in her law and magistrates. 

" In my place I hope I have contributed to these ends ; • 
and I firmly believe that our laws will, as heretofore, be 
executed, and our people happy in the administration of 
justice, honest and contented, as long as they keep, and 
only so long as they keep, the independent and sound ju- 
diciary DOW established in the constitution; which, with 



men of judicial proceedings under the slave- 
code, with the following remark : 

And yet, in the face of such laws and decisiona 
as these, Mrs. Stowe winds up a long series of 
cruelties upon her other black personages, by 
causing her faultless hero, Tom, to be literally 
whipped to death in Louisiana, by his master, Le- 
gree ; and these acts, which the laws iiKik:' crimi- 
nal, and punish as such, she sets fortliin tii; most 
repulsive colors, to illustrate the institution of 
slavery ! 

By the above language the author was 
led into the supposition that this case had 
been conducted in a manner so creditable to 
the feelings of our common humanity as to 
present a fairer side of criminal jurispru- 
dence in this respect. She accordingly 
took the pains to procure a report of the 
case, designing to publish it as an offset to 
the many barbarities which research into 
this branch of the subject obliges one to un- 
fold. A legal gentleman has copied the 
case from Grattan's Reports, and it is here 
given. If the reader is astounded at it. he 
cannot be more so than was the writer. 

Souther v. The Commonwealth. 7 Grattan. G73, 
1851. 

The killing of a slave by his master and owner, by wilful 
and excessive whipping, is murder in the first degree: 
though it may not have be-en the purpose and intention 
of the master and owner to kill the slave. 

Simeon Souther was indicted at the October 
Term, 1850, of the Circuit Court for the County of 
Hanover, for the murder of his own slave. The 
indictment contained fifteen counts, in which the 
various modes of punishment and torture by wliich 
the homicide was charged to have been committed 
were stated singly, and in various combinations. 
The fifteenth count unites them all : and, as the 
court certifies that the indictment ivas sustained 
by the evidence, the giving the facts stated in that 
count will show what was the charge against the 
prisoner, and what was the proof to sustain it. 

The count charged that on the 1st day of Sep- 
tember, 1849, the prisoner tied his negro slave. 
Sam, with ropes about his wrists, neck, body, 
legs and ankles, to a tree. That whilst so tied, 
the prisoner first whipped the slave with switches. 
That he next beat and cobbed the slave with a 
shingle, and compelled two of his slaves, a man 
and a woman, also to cob the deceased with the 
shingle. That whilst the d-eceased was so tied to 
the tree, the prisoner did strike, knock, kick, stamp 
and beat him upon various parts of his head, face 
and body ; that he applied fire to his body ; * * 
* * that he then washed his body with warm 
water, in which pods of red pepper had been put 
and steeped ; and he compelled his two slaves 
aforesaid also to wash him with this same prepara- 
tion of warm water and red pepper. That after 
the tying, whipping, cobbing, striking, beating, 
knocking, kicking, stamping, wounding, bruising, 
lacerating, bummg, washing and torturing, aa 



all other blessings, I earnestly pray may be perpetuated 
to the people of North Carolina. 

" I have the honor to be, gentlemen, your most obliged 
and obedient servant, Thomas Rcffis. 

" Raleigh, November 10, 1852." 



80 



KEY TO \jNCLjS TOM S CABIN. 



aforesaid, the prisoner untied the deceased from 
the tree in such Tray as to throw him with vio- 
lence to the ground ; and he then and there did 
knock, kick, stamp and beat the deceased upon 
!iis head, temples, and various parts of his body. 
That the prisoner then had the deceased carried 
into a shed-room of his house, and there he com- 
pelled one of his slaves, in his presence, to con- 
tine the deceased's feet in stocks, by making his 
legs fast to a piece of timber, and to tie a rope 
al)out the neck of the deceased, and fasten it to 
a bed-post in the room, thereby strangling, chok- 
ing and suffocating the deceased. And that whilst 
the deceased was thus made fast in stocks as afore- 
said, the prisoner did kick, knock, stamp and beat 
him upon his head, face, breast, belly, sides, back 
and body ; and he again compelled his two slaves 
to apply fire to tlie body of the deceased, whilst he 
was so made fast as aforesaid. And the count 
charged that from these various modes of punish- 
ment and torture the slave Sam then and there died. 
'^t appeared that the prisoner commenced the pun- 
ishment of the deceased in the morning, and that it 
was continued throughout the day : and that the 
deceased died in the presence of the prisoner, and 
one of his slaves, and one of the witnesses, whilst 
the punishment w^as still progressing. 

Field J. delivered the opinion of the court. 

The prisoner was indicted and convicted of mur- 
der in the second degree, in the Circuit Court of 
Hanover, at its April term last past, and was 
sentenced to the penitentiary for five years, the 
period of time ascertained by the jury. The mur- 
der consisted in the killing of a negro man-slave 
by the name of Sam, the property of the prisoner, 
by cruel and excessive whipping and torture, in- 
fiicted by Souther, aided by two of his other slaves, 
CO the 1st day of September, 1849. The prisoner 
moved for a new. trial, upon the ground that the 
offence, if any, amounted only to manslaughter. 
The motion for a new trial was overruled, and a 
bill of exceptions taken to the opinion of the court, 
setting forth the facts proved, or as many of 
them as were deemed material for the considera- 
tion of the application for a new trial. The bill 
of exception states : That the slave Sam, in the 
indictment mentioned, was the slave and property 
of the prisoner. That for the purpose of chas- 
tising the slave for the offence of getting drunk, 
and dealing as the slave confessed and alleged 
with Henry and Stone, two of the witnesses for the 
Commonwealth, he caused him to be tied and 
punished in the presence of the said witnesses, 
with the exception of slight whipping with peach 
01" apple-tree switches, before the said witnesses 
arrived at tfie scene after they were sent f()r by the 
prisoner (wlio were present by request from the de- 
fondant), and of several slaves of the prisoner, in 
tiie manner and by the means charged in the in- 
dictment ; and the said slave died under and from 
the indiction of the said punisliment, in the pres- 
ence of the prisoner, one of his slaves, and of one 
of the witnesses for the Commonwealth. But it did 
not appear that it was the design of tlic pris- 
oner to kill the said slave, unless such design be 
properly inferable from the manner, means and 
duration, of tiic punishment. And, on the contrary, 
it did appear that the prisoner frequently deelaretl, 
while the said slave was undergoing the punish- 
ment, that he believed the said slave was feigning, 
and pretending to be sufl'ering and injured when 
he was not. The judge certifies tliat the slave 
was punished in the manner and by the means 



charged in the indictmcjit. The indictment con- 
tains fifteen counts, and sets forth a case of the 
most cruel and excessive whipping and torture.* 
*_^» # # # # «• 

It is believed that the records of criminal juris- 
prudence do not contain a case of more atrocious 
and wicked cruelty than was presented upon the 
trial of Souther ; and yet it has been gravely and 
earnestly contended here by his counsel that his 
offence amounts to manslaughter only. 

It has been contended by the counsel of the 
prisoner that a man cannot be indicted and prose- 
cuted for the cruel and excessive whipping of his 
own slave. That it is lawful for the master to 
chastise his slave, and that if death ensues from 
such chastisement, unless it was intended to pro- 
duce death, it is like the case of homicide vdiich 
is committed by a man in the performance of a 
lawful act, which is manslaughter only. It has 
been decided by this court in Turner's casej 5 
Rand, that the owner of a slave, for the malicious, 
cruel and excessive beating of his own slave, c.vi- 
not be indicted ; yet it by no means follows, when 
such malicious, cruel and excessive beating results 
in death, though not intended and premedito-x^d, 
that the beating is to be regarded as lawful for the 
purpose of reducing the crime to manslaughter, 
when the whipping is inflicted for the solo purpose 
of chastisement. It is the policy of the law, in respect 
to the relation of master and slave, and for the sake 
of securing proper subordination and obedience on tht 
part of the slave, to protect the master from prosecu- 
tion in all such cases, even if the luhipping and pun- 
ishmcnt be malicious, cruel and excessive. But in so 
inflicting punishment for the sake of punishment, 
the owner of the slave acts at his peril ; and if 
death ensues in consequence of such punishment, 
the I'elation of master and slave affords no ground 
of excuse or palliation. The principles of tlie 
common law, in relation to homicide, apply to his 
case without qualification or exception ; and ac- 
cording to those principles, the act of the prisoner, 
in the case under consideration, amounted to mur- 
der. * * * The crime of the prisoner is not 
manslaughter, but murder in the first degree. 

On the case now presented tlicrc are some 
remarks to be made. 

This scene of torture, it seems, occupied 
about twelve hours. It occurred in tlie 
State of Virginia, in the County of Hanover. 
Two white men were witnesses to neaily the 
whole proceeding, and, so fur us we can see. 
made no effort to arouse the neigliborhood, 
and bring in help to stop the outrage. What 
sort of an education, what habits ot thought, 
does this presuppose in these men l 

The case was brought to trial. It re- 



Judge Field's stutcmont of tlio pun- 



* The following 
isbment : 

The nogro was tied to a tree and wliipped with switches 
Wlien Souther became fatigued witli tlio labor of whlp- 
ping, ho called upmi a negro man of hi.s, and made him 
Ciib Sam with a shinglo. ilo also made a negro woman uf 
hi.s help to cob him. And, after cobbing and whipping, \u> 
aii{)licd firo to tho body of the slave. * * * - * JIo 
tlien caused him to bo waslied down with hot water, in 
which pods of red popper had been steeped. The negw 
wa.s also tied to a log aud to tho bed-post with n>pes, which 
choked him, ai.d ho was kicked and stamped by Souther. 
Tliis sort of puiishmont was continued aal ropeatod until 
tho negro died under its infliction. 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



81 



quires no ordinary nerve to read over the 
counts of this indictment. Nobody, one 
would suppose, could willingly read them 
twice. One would think that it would have 
laid a cold hand of horror on every heart ; 
— that the community would have risen, 
Dy an universal sentiment, to shake out 
the man, as Paul shook the viper from his 
hand. It seems, however, that they were 
quite self-possessed; that lawyers calmly 
sat, and examined, and cross-examined, on 
particulars known before only in the records 
of the Inquisition ; that it was " ably and 
earnestly argued" by educated, intelligent, 
American men, that this catalogue of hor- 
rors did not amount to a murder ! and, in 
the cool language of legal precision, that 
"the offence, if any, amounted to man- 
slaughter;" and that an American jury 
found that the offence was murder in the 
second degree. Any one who reads the 
indictment will certainly think that, if this 
be murder in the second degree, in Vir- 
ginia, one might earnestly pray to be mur- 
dered in the first degree, to begin with. 
Had Souther walked up to the man, and 
shot him through the head with a pistol, 
before white witnesses, i'/iat would have been 
murder in the Jirst degree. As he preferred 
to spend tioelve hours in killing him by 
torture, under the name of " chastisement,'' 
that, says the verdict, is murder in the 
second degree ; " because,' ' says the bill of 
exceptions, with admirable coolness, " it did 
not appear that it was the design of the 
prisojier to kill the slave, unless such de- 
sign BE PROPERLY INFERABLE FROM THE 
MANNER, MEANS AND DURATION, OF THE 
PUNISHMENT. 

The bill evidently seems to have a leaning 
to the idea that twelve hours spent in beating, 
stamping, scalding, burning and mutilating 
a human being, might possibly be considered 
as presumption of something beyond the 
limits of lawful chastisement. So startling 
an opimon, however, is expressed cautiously, 
and with a becoming diflBdence, and is bal- 
anced "by the very striking fact, which is also 
quoted in this remarkable paper, that the 
prisoner frequently declared, while the slave 
was undergoing the punishment, that he be- 
lieved the slave was feigning and pretending 
to be suffering, when he was not. This 
view appears to have struck the court as 
eminently probable, — as going a long way 
to prove the propi-iety of Souther's inten- 
tions, making it at least extremely probable 
that only correctioth was intended. 

It seems, also, that South sr, so far from 

6 



being crushed by the united opinion of the 
community, found those to back him who 
considered five years in the penitentiarj an 
unjust severity for his crime, and hence the 
bill of exceptions from which we have quoted, 
and the appeal to the Superior Court ; and 
hence the form in which the case stands 
in law-books, '■ Souther v. the Common- 
wealth.'' Souther evidently considers him- 
self an ill-used man, and it is in this character 
that he appears before the Superior Court. 
As yet there has been no particular 
overflow of humanity in the treatment of 
the case. The manner in which it has been 
discussed so far reminds one of nothing so 
much as of some discussions which the reader 
may have seen quoted from the records of 
the Inquisition, with regard to the propriety 
of roasting the feet of childi'en who have not 
arrived at the age of thirteen years, with a 
view to eliciting evidence. 

Let us now come to the decision of the 
Superior Court, which the editor of the 
Courier 4' Enquirer thinks so particularly 
enlightened and humane. Judge Field 
thinks that the case is a very atrocious one, 
and in this respect he seems to differ ma- 
terially from judge, jury and lawyers, of 
the court below. Furthermore, he doubts 
whether the annals of jurisprudence furnish 
a case of equal atrocity, wherein certainly 
he appears to be not far wrong; and he- 
also states unequivocally the principle that 
killing a slave by torture under the name 
of correction is murder in the first deo^ree ; 
and here too, certainly, everybody will 
think that he is also right ; the only w^mder 
being that any man could ever hav^ been 
called to express such an opinion, judicially. 
But he states, quite as unequivooally as 
Judge Ruffin, that awful principle of slave- 
laws, that the law cannot interfei-e with the 
master for any amount of torture inflicted 
on his slave which does not result in death. 
The decision, if it establishes anything, es- 
tablishes this principle quito as- strongly as 
it does the other. Let us hear the words 
of the decision : 

It has been decided by this court, in Turner's 
case, that Me owner of a slave, for the malicious y 
cruel and excessive beating of his own slave, cannot 
he indicted. ****** 
It is the policy of the laic, in respect to the relation- 
of master and slave, and for the sake of seairhig- 
proper subordination and obedience on the part of the 
sieve, to protect the master from prosecution in ail 
such cases y even if the whipping and punishment be 
malicious, cruel arid excessive. 

What follows as a corollary from this 
remarkable declaration is this, — that if che 



82 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



victim of this twelve hours' torture had only 
possessed a little stronger constitution, and 
had not actually died under it, there is no 
law in Virginia by which Souther could 
even have been indicted for misdemeanor. 

If this is not filling out the measure of the 
language of St. Clare, that "he who goes 
the furthest and does the worst only uses 
within limits the power Avhich the law gives 
him," how could this lancuage be verified? 
Which is " ///e ?ror5/," death outright, or 
torture indefinitely prolonged 7 This deci- 
sion, in so many words, gives every master 
the power of indefinite torture, and takes 
from him only the power of terminating the 
agony by merciful death. And this is the 
judicial decision which the Courier ^' En- 
quirer cites as a perfectly convincing speci- 
men of legal humanity. It must be hoped 
that the editor never read the decision, else 
he never Avould have cited it. Of all who 
knock at the charnel-house of legal pre- 
cedents, with the hope of disinterring any 
evidence of humanity in the slave system, 
it may be said, in the awful words of the 
Jlebrew poet : 

" He knoweth not that the dea^ are there, 
j4ud that her guests are in tne depths of hell." 

The upshot of this case was, that Souther, 
instead of getting off from his five years' 
imprisonment, got simply a judicial opinion 
from tlie Superior Court that he ought to 
be hung ; but he could not be tried over 
again, ajad, as we may infer from all the 
facts in tlie case that he was a man of 
toleral^ly r-esolute nerves and not very ex- 
((uisite sensibility, it is not likely that the 
opinion gave him any very serious uneasi- 
ness. He hivs probably made up his mind 
to get over his five years with what grace 
ne may. Wlien he comes out, there is no 
law in Virginia to prevent his buying ixs 
many more negroes as he chooses, and going 
over, the same scene Avith any one of them 
. at a future time, if only he profit by tlie 
nformation which has been so explicitly 
conveyed to him in this decision, that he 
must take care an<l stop his tortures short 
of the point of death, — a matter about 
which, as the history of the Inquisition 
shows, men, by careful practice, can be 
able to judge with considerable precision. 
Probably, also, the next time, he will not 
be so foolish as to send out and request the 
attendance of two Avhite witnesses, even 
though they may be so complacently inter- 
ested in the proceedings as to spend the 
whole day in witnessing them without effort 
at prevention 



Slavery, as defined in American law, is 
no more capable of being regulated in its 
administration by principles of humanity, 
than the torture system of the Inquisition. 
Every act of humanity of every individual 
owner is an illogical result from the legal 
definition ; and the reason why the slave- 
code of America is more atrocious than any 
ever before exhibited under the sun, is that 
the Anglo-Saxon race are a more coldly and 
strictly logical race, and have an unflinching 
courage to meet the consequences of every 
premise which they lay down, and to work 
out an accursed principle, with mathemati- 
cal accuracy, to its most accursed results. 
The decisions in American law-books show 
nothing so much as this severe, unflinching 
accuracy of logic. It is often and evidently, 
not because judges are inhuman or partial, 
but because they are logical and truthful, 
that they announce from the bench, in the 
calmest manner, decisions which one would 
think might make the earth shudder, and 
the sun turn pale. 

The French and the Spanish, nations are, 
by constitution, more impulsive, passionate 
and poetic, than logical ; hence it will be 
found that while there may be more instances 
of individual barbarity, as might be expected 
among impulsive and passionate people, there 
is in their slave-code more exhibition of 
humanity. The code of the State of Louis- 
iana contains more really humane provisions, 
were there any means of enforcing them, 
than that of any other state in the Union. 

It is believed that there is no code of laws 
in the world which contains such a perfect 
cabinet crystallization of every tear and 
every drop of blood which can be wrung 
from humanity, so accurately, elegantly and 
scientifically arranged, as the slave-code of 
America. It is a case of elegant surgical 
instruments for the work of dissecting the 
living human heart ; — every instrumenf: 
wrought with exactest temper and polish, 
and adapted with exquisite care, and labelled 
with the name of the nerve oi- artery or mus^ 
cle which it is designed to sever. The instru- 
ments of the anatomist are instruments of 
earthly steel and wood, designed to operate 
at most on perishable and corruptible mat- 
ter; but these are instruments of keener 
temper, and more ethereal woi kraanship, de- 
signed in the most precise and scientific nurn- 
ner to destroy the immortal soXil, and 
carefully and gradually to reduce man from 
the high position of a free agent, a social, 
religious, accountable being, down to the con- 
dition of the brute, or of inanimate matter. 

m 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



83 



CHAPTER IV. 

PROTECTIVE STATUTES. 

\pprenuces protected. — Outlawry. — Melodrama of Prue 
ia the Swamp. — Harry the Carpenter, a Romance of 
Real Life. 

But the question now occurs, Are there 
not protective statutes, the avowed object of 
which is the protection of the hfe and hmb 
of the slave 7 "VVe answer, there are ; and 
these protective statutes are some of the 
most remarkable pieces of legislation extant. 

That they were dictated by a spirit of 
humanity, charity, which hopeth all things, 
would lead us to hope ; but no newspaper 
stories of bloody murders and shocking out- 
rages convey to the mind so dreadful a 
picture of the numbness of public sentiment 
caused by slavery as these so-called pro- 
tective statutes. The author copies the fol- 
lowing from the statutes of North Carolina. 
Section 3d of the act passed in 1798 runs 
thus : 

Whereas by another Act of the Assemblj, passed 
in 1774, the killing of a slave, however wanton, 
cruel and deliberate, is only punishable in the first 
instance by imprisonment and paying the value 
thereof to the owner, which distmction of crimi- 
nality between the murder of a white person and one 
who is equally a human creature, but merely of a 
different complexion, is disgraceful to humanity, 

AND DEGRADING IX THE HIGHEST DEGREE TO THE LAWS 
AND PRINCIPLES OF A FREE, CHRISTIAN AND ENLIGHT- 

RNED COUNTRY, Be it enacted, &c.. That if any 
person shall hereafter be guilty of wilfully and 
maliciously killing a slave, such offender shall, 
upon the first conviction thereof, be adjudged 
guilty of murder, and shall suffer the same punish- 
ment as if he had killed a free man : Provided 
always, this act shall not eatend to the person kiMing 
a slave outlawed by virtue of any Act of ^\5riEJiBLY 
OF THIS state, or to any slave in the act of resistance 
to his lawful owner or master, or to any slave dying 
under moderate correction.^'' 

A law with a like proviso, except the 
outlawry clause, exists in -Tennessee; See 
Caruthers and Nicholson^ s Coinpilatiori, 
1836, p. 6T6. 

The language of the constitution of Geor- 
gia, art. iv., sec. 12, is as follows : 

Any person who shall maliciously dismember 
or deprive a slave of life shall suffer such punish- 
ment as would be inflicted in case the like offence 
had been committed on a free white person, and 
on the like proof, except in case of insurrection 
by such slave, ind unless such death should happen 
by accident in giving such slave moderate correction. 
—Cobb's Dig. 1851, p. 1125. 

Let now any Englishman or New Eng- 
lander imagine that such laws with regard 
to apprentices had ever been pi'oposed in 
Parliament or State Legislature under the 
head o{ protective acts; — laws which in 



so many words permit the killing of the 
subject in three cases, and those comprising 
all the acts Avhich would generally occur 
under the law ; namely, if the slave resist, 
if he be outlawed, or if he die under moder- 
ate correction. 

What rule in the world will ever prove 
correction immoderate, if the fact that the 
subject dies under it is not held as proof 7 
How many such "accidents" would have 
to happen in Old England or New England, 
before Parliament or Legislature would hear 
from such a protective law. 

" But," some one may ask, '• what is the 
outlaicry spoken of in this act?" The 
question is pertinent, and must be answered. 
The author has copied the following from 
the Revised Statutes of North Carolina, 
chap, cxi, sec. 22. It may be remarked in 
passing that the preamble to this law presents 
rather a new view of slavery to those who 
have formed their ideas from certain pictui'Cs 
of blissful contentment and Arcadian repose, 
which have been much in vogue of late. 

Whereas, many times slaves run away and lie 
out, hid and lurking in swamps, woods, and ot/ur 
obscure places, killing cattle and hogs, and cimi- 
mitting other injuries to the inhabitants of this 
state ; in all such cases, upon intelligence of any 
slave or slaves lying out as aforesaid, any two 
justices of the peace for the county wherein such 
slave or slaves is or are supposed to lurk or do 
mischief, shall, and they are hereby empowered 
and i-equired to issue proclamation against such 
slare or slaves (reciting his or their names, and 
the name or names of the owner or owners, if 
known), thereby requiring him or them, and every 
of them, forthwith to surrender him or themselves : 
and also to empower and require the sheriff of the 
said county to take such power Avith him as lie 
shall think- fit and necessary for going in search 
and pursuit of, and effectually apprehending, such 
outlying slave or slaves ; which proclamation 
shall be published at the door of the court-house, 
and at such other places as said justices sliall 
direct. And if any slave or slaves against whom 
proclamation hath been thus issued stay out, and 
do not immediately return home, it shall be law- 
ful for any person or persons whatsoever to kill 
and destroy such slave or slaves by such ways and 
means as he shall think ft, without accusation or 
impeachment of any crime for the same. 

What ways and means have been thought 
fit, in actual experience, for the destruction 
of the slave? What was done with the 
negro McLitosh, in the streets of St. Louis, 
in open daylight, and endorsed at the next 
sitting of the Supreme Court of the state, 
as transcending the sphere of law, because 
it was " an act of the majority of her mos+ 
respectable citizens " ? * If these things 
are done in the green tree, what will be don« 
in the dry 7 If these things have once been 



* This m&n was burned alive. 



84 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



done in the open streets of St. Louis, by " a 
majority of her most respectable citizens," 
wliat will be done in the lonely swamps of 
North Carolina, by men of the stamp of 
Souther and Legree 7 

This passage of the Revised Statutes of 
North Carolina is more terribly suggestive 
to the imagination than any particulars into 
which the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin has 
thought fit to enter. Let us suppose a little 
melodrama quite possible to have occurred 
under this act of the legislature. Suppose 
some luckless Prue or Peg, as in the case we 
nave just quoted, in State v. Mann, getting 
tired of the discipline of whipping, breaks 
from the overseer, clears the dogs, and gets 
into the swamp, and there " lies out," as 
the act above grapliically says. The act 
which we are considering says that many 
slaves do this, and doubtless they have their 
own best reasons for it. We all Vnow what 
fascinating places to " lie out '' in these 
Southern swamps are. What with alliga- 
tors and moccasin snakes, mad and water, 
and poisonous vines, one would be apt to 
think the situation not particularly eligible ; 
but still, Prue " lies out" there. Perhaps in 
the night some husband or brother goes to 
see her, taking a hog, or some animal of the 
plantation stock, which he has ventured his 
life in kilhng, that she may not perish with 
hunger. Master overseer walks up U) master 
proprietor, and reports the accident ; master 
proprietor mounts his horse, and assembles 
to his aid two justices of the peace. 

In the intervals between drinking brandy' 
and smoking cigars a proclamation is duly 
drawn up, summoning the contumacious Prue 
to surrender, and requiring sheriff of said 
county to take such power as he shall 
think fit to go in search and pursuit of said 
slave ; which proclamation, for Prue's fur- 
tlier enlightenment, is solemnly published at 
the door of the court-house, and "at such 
other places as said justices shall direct." * 
Let us suppose, now, that Prue, given over 
to hardness of heart and blindness of mind, 
pays no attention to all these means of grace, 
put forth to draw her to the protective 
shadow of the patriarchal roof Suppose, 
Jurther, as a final effort of long-suffering, 
and to leave her utterly without excuse, the 



worthy magistrate rides forth in full force, — 
man, horse, dog and gun, — to the very verge 
of the swamp, and there proclaims aloud the 
merciful mandate. Suppose that, hearing 
the yelping of the dogs and the proclama^ 
tion of the sheriff mingled together, and the 
shouts of Loker, Marks, Sambo and Quimbo, 
and other such posse, black and white, as a 
sheriff can generally summon on such a 
hunt, this very ignorant and contumacious 
Prue only runs deeper into the swamp, and 
continues obstinately " lying out," as afore- 
said ; — now she is by act of the assembly 
outlawed^ and, in the astounding words of 
the act, "it shall be lawful for any person or 
persons whatsoever to kill and destroy her, 
by such ways and means as he shall think 
fit, without accusation or impeachment of 
any crime for the same." What awful pos- 
sibilities rise to the imagination under the 
fearfully suggestive clause ' ' by svch ways 
and means as he shall think fit ! " Such 
ways and means as any man shall think fit, 
of any character, of any degree of fiendish 
barbarity ! ! Such a permission to kill even 
a dog, by "any ways and means which any- 
body should think fit," never ought to stand 
on the law-books of a Christian nation ; and 
yet this stands against one bearing that 
same humanity which Jesus Christ bore, — 
against one, perhaps, who, though blinded, 
darkened and ignorant, he will not l^e 
ashamed to own, when he shall come in the 
glory of his Father, and all his holy angels 
with him ! 

That this law has not been a dead letter 
there is sufficient proof. In 183G the 
folloTfing proclamation and advertisement 
appeared in the "Newbern (N. C) Speuta- 
tor:" 

State of North Carolina, Lexoir County. — 
Whereas complaint hath been this day made to us, 
two of the justices of the peace for the said county, 
by William D. Cobb, of Jones County, that two 
negro-slaves belonging to him, named Ben (onm 
monly known by the name of Ben Fox) and Eig 
don, have absented themselves from their said 
master's service, and are lurking about in tlie 
Counties of Lenoir and Jones, committing acts of 
felony ; these are, in the name of the stati', to 
command the said slaves forthwith to surrender 
themselves, and turn home to their said niastfr. 
And we do hereby also require the sheriff of said 
County of Lenoir to make diligent search and pur- 
suit after the above-mentioned slaves. . . And 
we do hereby, by virtue of an act of assembly of 
this state concerning servants and slaves, inti- 
mate and declare, if the said slaves do not surren- 
der themselves and return home to their nuistor 
immediately after the publication of these presents, 
that any person may kill or destroy said slaves* 



♦The old statute of 1741 had some features still more 
edifying. That provides that said " proclamation shall 
be published on a Sabbath day, at the door of every church 
or chapel, or, for want of such, at the place where divine 
service shall be performed in the said county, by the 
parish clerk or reader, immfdiattly after divine service." 
Potter's Revisal, i. 1<)6. What a peculiar appropriateness 

there must have been in this proclamation, particularly ^ - ^• xl xi • f i;.. . -41 ^ 

^r a sermon on the love of Christ, or an exposition of by Buch means as he or they think ht, >Yith..ut 
t^ text " thou Shalt lore thy neighbor as thyself ! " I accusation or impeachment ot any crmie or ullonoe 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



85 



for 80 doing, or without incurring any penalty or 
forfeiture thereby. 

Given under our hands and seals, this 12th of 

November, 1836. B. Coleman, J. P. [Seal.] 

Jas. Jones, J. P. [Seal.] 



^200 Reward. — Ran away from the subscrib- 
er, about three years ago, a certain negro-man, 
named Ben, commonly kiiown by the name of Ben 
Fox ; also one other negro, by the name of Rigdon, 
who ran away on the 8th of this month. 

I will give the reward of $100 for each of the 
above negroes, to be delivered to me, or confined 
in the jail of Lenoir or Jones County, or for the 
killing of them, so that 1 can see them. 

Nov. 12, 1836 W. D. Cobb. 

That this act was not a dead letter, also, 
was plainly implied in the protective act 
first quoted. If slaves were not, as a matter 
of fiict, ever outlawed, Avhy does the act for- 
mally recognize such a class 7 — " provided 
that this act shall not extend to the killing 
of any slave outlawed by any act of the 
assembly." This language sufficiently in- 
dicates the existence of the custom. 

Further than this, the statute-book of 1821 
contained two acts : the first of which pro- 
vides that all masters in certain counties, 
who have had slaves killed in consequence 
of outlawry, shall have a claim on the 
treasury of the state for their value, unless 
cruel treatment of the slave be proved on 
the part of the master : the second act ex- 
tends the benefits of the latter provision to 
all the counties in the state.* 

Finally, there is evidence that this act 
of outlawry was executed so recently as the 
year 1850, — the year in which "Uncle 
Tom' s Cabin ' ' was written. See the follow- 
ing from the Wilmington Journal of De- 
cember 13, 1850 : 

State of North Carolina, New Hanover Coun- 
ty. — Whereas complaint upon oath hath this day 
been made to us, two of the justices of the peace 
for the said state and county aforesaid, by Guil- 
ford Horn, of Edgecombe County, that a certain 
male slave belonging to him, named Harry, a car- 
penter by trade, about forty years old, five feet five 
inches high, or thereabouts ; yellow complexion ; 
stout built ; with a scar on his left leg (from the 
cut of an axe) ; has very thick lips ; eyes deep 
sunk in his head ; forehead very square ; tolerably 



* Be it further enncted. That when any slave shall be 
legally outlawed in any of the counties within mentioned, 
. the owner of which shall reside in one of 
8^ ch.*467 Vr *^^ ^^'"^ counties, and the said slave shall be 
' ' killed in consequence of such outlawry, the 
value of such slave sliall be ascertained by a jury which 
shall be empanelled at the succeeding court of the county 
where the said slave ws-a killed, and a certificate of such 
valuation shall be given by the clerk ol the court to the 
owner of said slave, who shall be entitled to receive two- 
thirds of such valuation from the sheriff of the county 
wherein the slave was killed. [Extended to other coun- 
ties in 1797. — Potter, ch. 480, § 1.] now obsolete. 



loud voice ; has lost one or two of his upjtcr teeth ; 
and has a very dark spot on his jaw, supposed to 
be a mark, — hath absented himself from his mas- 
ter's service, and is supposed to be lurking about 
in this county, committing acts of felony or other 
misdeeds ; these are, therefore, in the name of the 
state aforesaid, to command the said slave forth- 
Avith to surrender himself and return home to 
his said master ; and we do hereby, by virtue of 
the act of assembly in such cases made and pro- 
vided, intimate and declare that if the said slave 
Harry doth not surrender himself and return home 
immediately after the publication of these presents, 
that any person or persons may kill and destroy 
the said slave by such means as he or they may 
think fit, without accusation or impeachment of 
any crime or offence for so doing, and without in- 
curring any penalty or forfeiture thereby. 

Given under our hands and seals, this 29th day 
of June, 1850. 

James T. Miller, J. P. [Seal.] 
W. C. Bettencourt, J. P. [Seal.] 



One Hiindred and Twenty-five Dollars Re- 
ward will be paid for the delivery of the said 
Harry to me at Tosnott Depot, Edgecombe County, 
or for his confinement in any jail in the state, 
so that I can get him ; or One Hundred and Fifti, 
Dollars will be given for his head. 

He was lately heard from in Newbern, where he 
called himself Henry Barnes (or Burns), and will 
be likely to continue the same name, or assume 
that of Copage or Farmer. He has a free mulatto 
woman for a wife, by the name of Sally Bozeman, 
who has lately removed to Wilmington, and lives 
in that part of the town called Texas, where he 
will likely be lurking. 

Masters of vessels are particularly cautioned 
against harboring or concealing the said negro on 
board their vessels, as the full penalty of the law 
will be rigorously enforced. 
• June 2'i)th, 1850. Guilford Horn. 

There is an inkling of history and ro- 
mance about the description of this same 
Harry, who is thus publicly set up to be 
killed in any way that any of the negio- 
hunters of the swamps may think the most 
piquant and enlivening. It seems he is a 
carpenter, — a powerfully made man, whose 
thcAvs and sinews might be a profitable 
acquisition to himself. It appears also tliat 
he has a wife, and the advertiser intimates 
that possibly he may be caught prowling 
about somewhere in her vicinity. This 
indicates sagacity in the writer, certainly. 
jMarried men generally have a way of liking 
the society of their wives ; and it strikes us, 
from what Ave know of the nature of car- 
penters here in New England, that Harry 
was not peculiar in this respect. Let us 
further notice the portrait of Harry : '^ Eyes 
deep sunk in his head ; — forehead very 
square.^' This picture reminds us of what 
a persecuting old ecclesiastic once said, in 
the days of the Port-Royalists, of a certain 
truculent abbess, who stood obstinately to a 



86 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



certain course, in the face of the whole 
power, temporal and spiritual, of the Rom- 
ish church, in spite of fining, imprisoning, 
starving, whipping, beating, and other 
enlightening argumentative processes, not 
wholly peculiar, it seems, to that age. 
'' You will never subdue that woman," said 
the ecclesiastic, who was a phrenologist be- 
fore his age; "she's got o, square Itead, 
and I have always noticed that people with 
square heads never can be turned out of 
tlieir course." We think it very probable 
that Harry, with his "sc^uare head," is just 
one of this sort. He is probably one of those 
articles which would be extremely valuable, 
if the owner could only get the use of him. 
His head is well enough, but he will use it 
for himself It is of no use to any one but 
the wearer ; and the master seems to sym- 
bolize this state of things, by offering twenty- 
five dollars more for the head without the 
body, than he is Avilling to give for head, 
man and all. Poor Harry ! We wonder 
whether they have caught liim yet ; or 
whether the impenetrable thickets, the poi- 
sonous miasma, the deadly snakes, and the 
unwieldy alligators of the swamps, more 
humane than the slave-hunter, have inter- 
posed their uncouth and loathsome forms to 
guard the only fastness in Carolina where a 
slave can live in freedom. 

It is not, then, in mere poetic fiction that 
the humane and graceful pen of Longfellow 
has drawn the following picture : 

" In the dark fens of the Dismal Swamp 

The hunted negro lay; 
He saw the fire of the midnight camp, 
And heard at times the horse's tramp, 

And a bloodhound's distant bay. 

" Where will-o'the-wisps and glow-worms shine, 

In bulrush and in brake; 
Where waving mosses shroud the pine, 
And the cedar grows, and the poisonous viae 

Is spotted like the snake ; 

" Where hardly a human foot could pass. 

Or a human heart wouM dare, — 
On the quaking turf of the green morass 
H^ crouohed in the rank and tangled grass. 

Like a wild beast in his lair. 

" A poor old slave ! infirm and lame. 

Great scars deformed his face; 
On his forehead he boro tlie brand of shamo. 
And the rags that hid his mangled frame 

Were the livery of disgrace. 

•* All things above were bright and fair, 

All things were glad and free; 
lathe squirrels darted here and there. 
And wild birds filled the echoing air 

With songs of liberty ! 

" On him alone was the doom of pain, 

From the morning of his birth ; 
On him alone the curse of Cain * 
Fell like the flail on the garnered grain, 

And struck him to the earth." 

• Oen. 4 : 14. — " And it shall come to pass that every one that 
Rudelh me eliull slay me." 



The civilized world may and will ask, in 
what state this law has been drawn, and 
passed, and revised, and allowed to appear 
at the present day on the revised statute- 
book, and to be executed in the year of our 
Lord 1850, as the above-cited extracts from 
its most respectable journals show. Is it 
some heathen, Kurdish tribe, some nest of 
pirates, some horde of barbarians, where 
destructive gods are worshipped, and liba- 
tions to their honor poured from human 
skulls 7 The civilized Avorld will not be- 
lieve it, — but it is actually a fact, that tliis 
law has been made, and is still kept in force, 
by men in every other respect than what 
relates to their slave-code as high-minded, 
as enlightened, as humane, as any men in 
Christendom ; — by citizens of a state which 
glories in the blood and hereditary Christian 
institutions of Scotland. Curiosity to know 
what sort of men the legislators of North 
Carolina might be, led the writer to exanune 
with some attention the proceedings and de- 
bates of the convention of that state, called 
to amend its constitution, which assembled 
at Raleigh, June 4th, 1835. It is but jus- 
tice to say that in these proceedings, in 
which all the different and perhaps conflict- 
ing interests of the various parts of the 
state Avere discvissed, there was an exhibition 
of candor, fairness and moderation, of gen- 
tlemanly honor and courtesy in the treat- 
ment of opposing claims, and of an over- 
ruling sense of the obligations of law and 
religion, which certainly have not always 
been equally conspicuous in the proceedings 
of deliberative bodies in such cases. It 
simply goes to show that one can judge 
nothing of the religion or of the humanity 
of individuals from what seems to ns objec- 
tionable practice, where they have been 
educated under a system entirely incompati- 
ble with both. Such is the very equivocal 
character of what we call virtue. 

It could not be for a moment supposed 
that such men as Judge Ruffin, or many 
of the gentlemen who figure in the debates 
alluded to, would ever think of availing 
themselves of the savage permissions of such 
a law. But what then? It follows that 
the law is a direct permission, letting loose 
upon the defenceless slave that class of men 
who exist in every community, who have 
no conscience, no honor, no shame, — ,who 
arc too far below public opinion to be re- 
strained by that, and from whom accordingly 
this provision of the law takes aAvay the 
only available restraint of their fiendish na- 
tures. Such men arc not peculiiu- to the 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



87 



South. It is unhappily too notorious that 
they exist everywhere, — in England, in 
New England, and the world over ; but 
they can only arrive at full maturity in 
wickedness under a system where the law 
clothes them with absolute and irresponsible 
power. 



CHAPTER V. 

PROTECTIVE ACTS OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND 
LOUISIANA. — THE IRON COLLAR OF LOU- 
ISIANA AND NORTH CAROLINA. 

Thus far by way of considering the pro- 
tective acts of North Carolina, Georgia and 
Tennessee. 

Certain miscellaneous protective acts of 
various other states Avill now be cited, 
merely as specimens of the spirit of legisla- 
tion. 

In South Carolina, the act of 1740 pun- 
ished the wilful, deliberate murder of a 
o. J. o« slave by disfranchisement, and by 

Stroud, p. 39. '' , ' Y 

2 Brevard's a fine 01 sevcu hundred pounds 
Digest,p.2«. gm-j.gj^^ money, or, in default of 

payment, imprisonment for seven years. 
But the wilful murder of a slave, in the sense 
contemplated in this law, is a crime which 
would not often occur. The kind of murder 
which was most frequent among masters or 
overseers was guarded against by another 
section of the same act, — how adequately 
the reader will judge for himself, from the 
following quotation 

If any person shall, on a sudden heat or pas- 
sion, or by undue correction, kill his 
Stroud's Sketch, ^^^,^ slave, or the slave of any other 
vard's Digest, person, he shall forfeit the sum of 

241. James' three hundred and fifty pou?ids cuirent 
Digest, 392. JJ^f 



money. 

In 1821 the act punishing the wilful 
murder of the slave only with fine or im- 
prisonment was mainly repealed, and it was 
enacted that such crime should be punished 
by death ; but the latter section, which re- 
lates to killing the slave in sudden heat or 
passion, or by undue correction, has been 
altered only by diminishing the pecuniary 
penalty to a fine of five hundred dollars, 
authorizing also imprisonment for six months. 

The next protective statute to be noticed 
is the following from the act of 1740, South 
Carolina. 

In case any person shall wilfully cut out the 

tongue, put out the eye, * * * or cruelly scalil, 

Stroud, p. 40. hui'n, or deprive any slave of any limb, 

2 Brevard's or member, or shall inflict any other 

Digest. 241. pj-uel punishment, oth^r than by wliip- 

ping or beating with a horse-whip, cowskiuj switch 



or small stick, or by putting irons on, or confining 
or imprisoning such slave, every such person shall, 
for every sucli offence, forfeit the sum of one hun- 
dred pounds, current money. 

The language of this law, like many other 
of these protective enactments, is exceedingly 
suggestive ; the first suggestion that occui-s 
is. What sort of an institution, and what 
sort of a state of society is it, that called 
out a law worded like this 7 Laws are 
generally not made against practices that 
do not exist, and exist Avith some degree of 
frequency. 

The advocates of slavery are very fond 
of comparing it to the apprentice system of 
England and America. Let us suppose 
that in the British Parliament, or in a New 
England Legislature, the following law is 
proposed, under the title of An Act for the 
Protection of Apprentices, &c. &c. 

In case any person shall wilfully cut out the 
tongue, put out the eye, or cruelly scald, burn, or 
dejirive any apprentice of any limb or member, or 
shall inflict any other cruel punishment, otlier 
than by whipping or beating with a horse-whip, 
cowskin, switch or small stick, or by putting irons 
on or confining or imprisoning such apprentice, 
every such person shall, for every such ofience, 
forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds, current 
money. 

What a sensation such a proposed law 
would make in England may be best left 
for Englishmen to say ; but in New Eng- 
land it would simply constitute the proposer 
a candidate for Bedlam. Yet that such a 
statute is necessary in South Carolina is 
evident enough, if we reflect that, because 
there is no such statute in Virginia, it has 
been decided that a wretch who perpeti-ates 
all these enormities on a slave camiot even 
be indicted for it, unless the slave dies. 

But let us look further : — What is to be 
the penalty ,Avhen any of these fiendish 
things are done 7 

Why, the man forfeits a hundred pounds, 
current money. Surely he ought to pay as 
much as that for doing so very unnecessary 
an act, when the Legislature bountifully 
allows him to inflict any torture which re- 
vengeful ingenuity could devise, by means 
of horse-whip, cowskin, sw"itch or small stick, 
or putting ii-ons on, or confining and im- 
prisoning. One would surely think that 
here was sufiicient scope and variety of 
legalized means of torture to satisfy any 
ordinary appetite for vengeance. It would 
appear decidedly that any more piquant 
varieties of agony ought to be an extra 
charge. The advocates of slavery are fond 
of comparing the situation of the slave with 



88 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



that of the English laborer. We are not 
aware that the English laborer has been so 
unfortunate as to be protected by any enact- 
ment like this, since the days of villeinage. 
Judge Stroud says, that the same law, 
substantially, has been adopted in Louisiana. 
„, „ „, , . It is true that the civil code of 

Stroud's Sketch, . . . 

p. 41. 1 Mar. Louisiaua thus expresses its hu- 

Digest, 054. .... ■•■ 

mane intentions. 

The slave is entirely subject to the will of his 
master, who may correct and chastise him, though 
not with unusual rigor, nor so as to maim or 
mutilate him, or to expose him to the danger of 
loss of life, or to cause his death. — Civil Code of 
Louisiana, Article 173. 

The expression "unusual rigor" is sug- 
gestive, again. It will afford large latitude 
for a jury, in states where slaves are in the 
habit of dying under moderate correction ; 
where outlawed slaves may be killed by any 
means which any person thinks fit ; and 
where laws have to be specifically made 
against scalding, burning, cutting out the 
tongue, putting out the eye, &c. What 
will be thought unusual rigor 7 This is a 
question, certainly, upon which persons in 
states not so constituted can have no means 
of forming an opinion. 

In one of the noAYspaper extracts with 
which we prefaced our account, the following 
protective act of Louisiana is alluded to, as 
being particularly satisfactory and efiicient. 
We give it, as quoted by Judge Stroud in 
his Sketch, page 58, giving his reference. 

No master shall be compelled to sell his slave, 
but in one of two cases, to wit: the first, when, 
being only co-proprietor of the slave, his co-pro- 
prietor demands the sale, in order to make parti- 
tion of the property ; second, when the master 
shall be coxvicted of cruel treatment of his slave, 

AND THE JL^DGE SHALL DEEM IT PROPER TO PRONOUNCE, 

besides the penalty established for such cases, that 
the slave sliall be sold at public auction, in order 
to place him out of the reach of the power which 
his master has abused. — Civil Code, Art. 192. 

The question for a jury to determine in 
tliis case is. What is cruel treatment of a 
slave ] Now, if all these barbarities which 
have been sanctioned by the legislative acts 
which we have quoted arc not held to be 
cruel treatment, the question is, What is 
cruel treatment of a slave 7 

Everything that fiendish barbarity could 
desire can be effected under the protection 
of the law of South Carohna, which, as we 
have just shown, exists also in Louisiana. 
It is true the law restrains from some par- 
ticular forms of cruelty. If any person J*as 
a mind to scald or burn his slave, — and it 
seems, by the statute, that there have been 
Buch people, — thcoc statutes merely pro- 



vide that he shall do it in decent privacy • 
for, as the very keystone of Southern juris- 
prudence is the rejection of colored testi- 
mony, such an outrage, if perpetrated most 
dehberately in the presence of hundreds of 
slaves, could not be proved upon the master. 
It is to be supposed that the fiendish 
people whom such statutes have in view will 
generally have enough of common sense not 
to perform it in the presence of white wit- 
nesses, since this simple act of prudence 
will render them entirely safe in doing what- 
ever they have a mind to. We are told, it 
is true, as we have been reminded by our 
friend in the newspaper before quoted, that 
in Louisiana the deficiency caused by the 
rejection of negro testimony is supplied by 
the following most remarkable provision of 
the Code Noir : 

If any slave be mutilated, beaten, or ill treated, 
contrary to the true intent and meaning of this 
section, when no one shall be present, in such 
case the owner, or other person having the charge 
or management of said slave thus mutilated, shall 
be deemed responsible and guilty of the said 
offence, and shall be prosecuted without further ■ 
evidence, unless the said owner, or other person 
so as aforesaid, can prove the contrary by means 
of good and sufficient evidence, or can clear him- 
self by his own oath, which said oath every court 
under the cognizance of which such offence shall 
have been examined and tried is by this act 
authorized to administer. — Code Noir. Crimes and 
Offences, 56. xvii. Rev. Stat. 1852, p. 550, ^ 141. 

Would one have supposed that sensible 
people could ever publish as a law such a 
specimen of utter legislative nonsense — so 
ridiculous on the very face of it ! 

The object is to bring to justice those 
fiendish people who burn, scald, mutilate, 
&c. How is this done ? Why, it is enacted 
that the fxct of finding the slave in this con- 
dition shall be held presumption against the 
owner or overseer, unless — unless what? 
Why, unless he will prove to the contrary, 
— or swear to the contrary, it is no matter 
which — either will answer the purjx)se. 
The question is. If a man is bad enough 
to do these things, will he not be bad 
enough to swear falsely ? As if men who 
are the incarnation of cruelty, as supposed 
by the deeds in question, would not have 
suflicient intrepidity of conscience to com- 
pass a false oath ! 

What was this law ever made for 7 Can 
any one imagine 7 

Upon this whole subject, we may quote 
the language of Judge Stroud, who thus 
sums up the Avhole amount of the protective 
laws for the slave, in the United States of 
America : 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



89 



' Upon a fair review of what has been written on 
the subject of this proposition, the result is found 
to be — that the master's power to inflict corporal 
punishment to any extent, short of life and limb, 
18 fully sanctioned by law, in all the slave-hoMing 
states ; that the master, in at least two states, is 
expressly protected in using the horse-whip and 
cowskin as instruments fur beating his slave ; 
tJiat he may with entire impunity, in the same 
states, load his slave with irons, or subject him 
to perpetual imprisonment, whenever he may so 
choose ; that, fur cruelly scalding, wilfully cut- 
ting out the tongue, putting out an eye, and for 
any other .dismemberment, if proved, a fine of one 
hundred pounds currency only is incurred in South 
Carolina ; that, though in all the states the wil- 
ful, deliberate and malicious murder of the slave 
is now directed to be punished with death, yet, as 
in the case of a white offender none except wliites 
can give evidence, a conviction can seldom, if 
ever, take place. — Stroud's Sketch, p. 43. 

One very singular antithesis of two laws 
of Louisiana will still further show that 
deadness of public sentiment on cruelty to 
the slave which is an inseparable attendant 
on the system. It will be recollected that 
the remarkable protective law of South 
Carolina, with respect to scalding, burning, 
cutting out the tongue, and putting out the 
eye of the slave, has been substantially en- 
acted in Louisiana ; and that the penalty for 
a man's doing these things there, if he has 
not sense enough to do it privately, is not 
more than five hundred dollars. 

Now. compare this other statute of Louisi- 
ana, (Rev. Stat., 1852, p. 552, <§. 151) : 

If any person or persons, &e., shall cut or break 
any iron cliain or collar, which any master of 
slaves should have used, in order tc^ 
' ^' ' prevent the running away or escape oi 
any such slave or slaves, such person or persons so 
ofiending shall, on conviction, &c., be fined not 
less than two hundred dollars, nor exceeding one 
thousand dollars ; and suffer imprisonment for a i 
term not exceeding two years, nor less than six 
months. — Act of Assembly of March 6, 1819. 
Pamphlet, page 64. 

Some Englishmen may naturally ask, 
" What is this iron collar which the Legis- 
lature have thought worthy of being pro- 
tected by a special act? " On this subject 
will be presented the testimony of an unim- 
peachable witness. Miss Sarah M. Grimke, 
a personal friend of the author. " Miss 
Grimke is a daughter of the late Judge 
Grimke, of the Supreme Court of South 
Carolina, and sister of the late Hon. Thomas 
S. Grimke." She is now a member of the 
Society of Friends, and resides in Bellville, 
New Jersey. The statement given is of a 
kind that its author did not mean to give, 
nor wish to give, and never would have 
given, had it not been made necessary to 
illustrate this passage in the slave-law. 
''.^he account occurs in a statement which 



Miss Grimke furnished to her brother-in- 
law, Mr. Weld, and has been before the 
public ever since 1839, in his work entitled 
Slavery as It Is, p. 22. 

A handsome mulatto woman, about eighteen or 
twenty years of age, whose independent spirit 
could not brook the degradation of slavery, was in 
the habit of running away : for this offence she had 
been repeatedly sent by her master and mistress to 
be whipped by the keeper of the Charleston work- 
house. This had been done with such inhuman 
severity as to lacerate her back in a most shocking 
manner ; a finger could not be laid between the 
cuts. But the love of liberty was too strong to 
be annihilated by torture ; and, as a last resort, 
she was whipped at several different times, and 
kept a close prisoner. A heavy iron collar, Avith 
three long prongs projecting from it, was placed 
round her neck, and a strong and sound front tooth 
was extracted, to serve as a mark to describe her, 
in case of escape. Her sufferings at this time 
were agonizing ; she could lie in no position but 
on her back, which was sore from scourgings, as 
I can testify from personal inspection ; and her 
only place of rest was the floor, on a blanket. 
These outrages were committed in a family where 
the mistress daily read the Scriptures, and as- 
sembled her children for family Avorship. She 
was accounted, and was really, so far as alms- 
giving was concerned, a charitable woman, and 
tendei'-hearted> to the poor ; and yet this suffering 
slave, who was the seamstress of the family, was 
continually in her presence, sitting in her chamber 
to sew, or engaged in her other household work, 
with her lacerated and bleeding back, her muti- 
lated mouth, and heavy iron collar, without, so 
far as appeared, exciting any feelings of compas- 
sion. 

This iron collar the author has often 
heard of from sources equally authentic* 
That one will meet with it every day in 
walking the streets, is not probable ; but 
that it must have been used with some great 
degree of frequency, is evident from the 
fact of a law being thought necessary to 
protect it. But look at the penalty of the 
two protective laws ! The fiendish cruel- 
ties described in the act of South Carolina 
cost the perpetrator not more than five 
hundred dollars, if he does them before 
white people. The act of humanity costs 
from two hundred to one thousand dollars, 
and imprisonment from six months to two 
years, according to discretion of court ! 
What public sentiment was it which made 
these laws 7 

♦The iron collar was also in vogue in North Carolina, as 
the following extract from the statute-book will show. 
The wearers of this article of apparel certainly have some 
reason to complain of the " tyranny of fashion." 

" ^Vhen the keeper of the said public jail shall, by di- 
rection of such court as aforesaid, let out any negro or 
runaway to hire, to any person or persons whomsoever, the 
said keeper shall, at the time of his delivery, cause aa 
iron collar to be put on the neck of such negro or runaway, 
with the letters P. Gr. stamped thereon ; and thereafter 
the said keeper shall not be answerable for any escape of 
the said negro or runaway." — Potter's Revival, i. 1G2. 



90 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



CHAPTER VI. 

PROTECTIVE ACTS WITH REGARD TO FOOD 
AND RAIMENT, LABOR, ETC. 

Illustrative Drama? of Tom v. Legree, under the Law of 
South Carolina. — Separation of Parent and Child. 

Having finished the consideration of the 
laws which protect the life and limb of the 
slave, the reader may feel a curiosity to 
know something of the provisions by which 
he is protected in regard to food and clothing, 
and trom the exactions of excessive labor. 
It is true, there are multitudes of men in the 
Northern States who would say, at once, that 
such enactments, on the very face of them, 
must be superfluous and absurd. "What ! " 
they say, ' ' are not the slaves property 7 
and is it likely that any man will impair 
the market value of his own property by not 
giving them sufficient food or clothing, or 
by overworking them?" This process of 
reasoning appears to have been less con- 
vincing to the legislators of Southern States 
than to gentlemen generally at , the North ; 
since, as Judge Taylor says, "the act of 
Wheeler, p. 1^86 (IredolFs Rovisal, p. 588) 
220. State t). docs, in the preamble, recognize 

Sue, Cameron ^i p , , i / i 

& Norwood's the tact, that inanij persons, by 
c. Rep. 54. (.J.^gl treatment of their slaves, 
cause them to commit crimes for which 
they are executed ; " and the judge further 
explains this language, by saying, " The 
cruel treatment here alluded to must consist 
in withholding from them the necessaries of 
life ; and the crimes thus resulting are such 
as are necessary to furnish them with food 
and raiment." 

The State of South Carolina, in the act 
of 1740 (see Stroud"s Sketch, p. 28), had 
a section with the following language in its 
preamble : 

Wnereas many owners of slaves, and others who 
have the care, management, and overseeing of 
slaves, do confine them so closclij to hard 



laJ)or that they have not sufficient time 



Stroud, p. 29. 

for natural rest ; — 

And the law goes on to enact that the 
slave shall not work more than fifteen hours 
a day in summer, and fourteen in winter. 
Judge Stroud makes it appear that in 
three of the slave states the time allotted for 
work to convicts in prison, whose punish- 
ment is to consist in hard labor, cannot ex- 
ceed tea hours, even in the sunnncr months. 

This was the protective act of South 
Carolina, designed to reform the abusive 
practices of masters who confined their 
slaves so closely that they had not time for 



natural rest ! What sor: of habits of thought 
do these humane provisions show, in the 
makers of them? In order to pr:tect the 
slave from what they consider undue exac- 
tion, they humanely provide that he shall 
be obliged to work only four or five hours 
longer than the convicts in the prison of the 
neighboring state ! In the Island of Jamaica, 
besides many holidays which were accorded 
by law to the slave, ten hours a day was the 
extent to which he was compelled by law 
ordinarily to work. — See Strovd, p. 29. 

With regard to protective acts concerning 
food and clothing. Judge Stroud gives the 
following example from the legislation of 
South Carolina. The author gives it as 
quoted by Stroud, p. 32. 

In case any person, &c., who shall be the 
owner, or who shall have the care, government or 
charge, of any slave or slaves, shall deny, neglect 
or refuse to allow, such slave or slaves, &c., 
sufficient clothing, covering or food, it shall and 
may be lawful for any person or persons, on behalf 
of such slave or slaves, to make complaint to the 
next neighboring justice in the parish where such 
slave or slaves live, or are usually employed, * * * 
and the said justice shall summons the party 
against whom such complaint shall be made, and 
shall inquire of, hear and determine, the same ; 
and, if the said justice shall find the said complaint 
to be true, or that such person will not exculpate 
or clear himself from the charge, by his or her own 
oath, which such person shall be at liberty to do in 
all cases where positive proof is not given of the 
offence, such justice shall and may n\ake such 
orders upon the same, for the relief of such slave 
or slaves, as he in his discretion shall think fit ; 
and shall and may set and impose a fine or 
penalty on any person who shall offend in the 
premises, in any sum not exceeding twenty 
pounds current money, for each offence. — 2 Bi-ey- 
ard's, Dig. 241. Also Cobb's Dig. 827. 

A similar law obtains in Louisiana. — 
Rev. StaL 1852, p. 557, <^ 166. 

Now, would not anybody think, from the 
virtuous solemnity and gravity of this act, 
that it was intended in some way to amount 
to something '] Let us give a little sketch, 
to show how much it does amount to. Ange- 
lina Grimke Weld, sister to Sarah Grimke, 
before quoted, gives the following account 
of the situation of slaves on plantations : * 

And here let me say, that the treatment of 
plantation slaves cannot "be fully known, except by 
the poor suilerers themselves, and tlieir drivers 
and overseers. In a multitude of instances, even 
the master can know very little of tlie actual con- 
dition of his own field-slaves, and liis wife and 
dauglitera far leas. A few fiicts concerning my 
own family will sliow this. Our permanent i-osi- 
denco was' in Charleston ; our country-seat (Bclle- 
mont) was two hundred miles distant, in the 

* Slavery as It Is ; Testimony of a Thousaiu) A^'itnessos. 
New York, 183'J. pp. 52, 53. 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



91 



north western part of the state, where, for some 
years, our family spent a few months annually. 
Our plantation was three miles from this family 
mansion. There all the field-slaves lived and 
worked. Occiisionally, — once a month, perhaps, 
— some of the family would ride over to the planta- 
tion ; but I never visited the fields where the slaves 
were at work, and knew almost nothing of their 
condition ; but this I do know, that the overseers 
who had charge of them were generally unprin- 
cipled and intemperate men. But I rejoice to 
know that the general treatment of slaves in that 
region of country was far milder than on the 
plantations in the lower country. 

Throughout all the eastern and middle portions 
of the state, the planters very rarely reside per- 
manently on their plantations. They have almost 
invariably tioo residences, and spend less than 
half the year on their estates. Even while spend- 
ing a few months on them, politics, field-sports, 
races, speculations, journeys, visits, company, 
literary pursuits, &c., absorb so much of their 
time, that they must, to a considerable extent, 
take the condition of their slaves on trust, from 
the reports of their overseers. I make this state- 
ment, because these slaveholders (the wealthier 
class) are, I believe, almost the only ones who 
visit the North with their families ; and Northern 
opinions of slavery are based chiefly on their tes- 
timony. 

With regard to overseers, Miss Grimke's 
testimony is further borne out by the uni- 
versal acknowledgment of Southern owners. 
A description of this class of beings is fur- 
nished by Mr. Wirt, in his Life of Patrick 
Henry, page 34. "Last and lowest," he 
says, [of different classes in society] " a 
fecnhim of beings called overseers, — a most 
abject, degraded, unprincipled race." Now, 
suppose, while the master is in Charleston, 
enjoying literary leisure, the slaves on some 
Bellemont or other plantation, getting tired 
of being hungry and cold, form themselves 
into a committee of the whole, to see what 
is to be done. A broad-shouldered, courage- 
ous fellow, whom we will call Tom, declares 
it is too bad, and he won't stand it any 
longer ; and, having by some means become 
acquainted with this benevolent protective 
act, resolves to make an appeal to the horns 
of this legislative altar. Tom talks stoutly, 
having just been bought on to the place, 
and been used to better quarters elsewhere. 
The women and children perhaps admire, 
but the venerable elders of the plantation, — 
Sambo, Cudge, Pomp and old Aunt Dinah, 
— tell him he better mind himself, and keep 
clar o' dat ar. Tom, being young and pro- 
gressive, does not regard these conservative 
maxims ; he is determined that, if there is 
such a thing as justice to be got, he will have 
it. After considerable research, he finds 
some white man in the neighborhood verdant 
enough to enter the complaint for him. 



Master Legree finds himself, one sunshiny, 
pleasant morning, walked off to some Justice 
Dogberry's, to answer to the charge of not 
giving his niggers enough to eat and wear. 
We will call the infatuated white man who 
has undertaken this fool's errand Master 
Shallow. Let us imagine a scene : — Le- 
gree, standing carelessly with his hands in 
his pockets, rolling a quid of tobacco in his 
mouth ; Justice Dogbeny, seated in all the 
majesty of law. reinforced by a decanter of 
whiskey and some tumblers, intended to 
assist in illuminating the intellect in such 
obscure cases. 

Justice Dogberry. Come, gentlemen, 
take a little somethino;, to begin with. Mr. 
Legree, sit down ; sit doAvn, Mr. — a' 
what 's-your-name ? — Mr. Shallow. 

Mr. Legree and Mr. Shallow each sit 
down, and take their tumbler of whiskey and 
water. After some httle conversation, the 
justice introduces the business as follows : 

' ' Now, about this nigger business. Gentle- 
men, you know the act of um — um, — 

where the deuce is that act? [Fumbling an 
old law-book.] How plagued did you ever 
hear of that act. Shallow ? I 'm sure I 'm 
forgot all about it ; — ! here 't is. Well, 
Mr. Shallow, the act says you must make 
proof, you observe. 

Mr. Shallow. [Stuttering and hesitat- 
ing.] Good land ! why, don't everybody 
see that them ar niggers are most starved ? 
Only see how ragged they are ! 

Justice. I can't say as I 've observed it 
particular. Seem to be very well con- 
tented. 

Shallow. [Eagerly.] But just ask 
Pomp, or Sambo, or Dinah, or Tom ! 

Justice Dogberry. [With dignity.] I' m 
astonished at you, Mr. Shallow ! You 
think of producing negro testimony? I 
hope I know the law better than that ! We 
must have direct proof, you know. 

Shallow is posed; Legree significantly 
takes another tumbler of whiskey and water, 
and Justice Dogberry gives a long ahe-a- 
um. After a few moments the justiije 
speaks : 

"Well, after all, I suppose, Mr. Legree, 
you wouldn't have any objections to swarin' 
off; that settles it all, you know." 

As swearing is what Mr. Legree is rather 
more accustomed to do than anything else 
that could be named, a more appropriate 
termination of the affair could not be sug- 
gested ; and he swears, accordingly, to any 
extent, and with any fulness and variety 
of oath that could be desired ; and thus the 



92 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. 



little affair terminates. But it does not 
terminate thus for Tom or Sambo, Dinah, 
or any others who have been alluded to for 
authority. What will happen to them, when 
Mr. Legree comes home, had better be left 
to conjecture. 

It is claimed, by the author of certain 
paragraphs quoted at the commencement of 
Part II. that there exist in Louisiana 
ample protective acts to prevent the separa- 
tion of young cliildren from their mothers. 
This writer appears to be in the enjoyment 
of an amiable ignorance and unsophisticated 
innocence with regard to the workings of 
human society generally, which is, on the 
whole, rather refreshing. For, on a certain 
incident in " Uncle Tom's Cabin," which 
represented Cassy's little daughter as hav- 
ing been sold from her, he makes the fol- 
lowing naif remark : 

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

In the Code Noir we find it set down that 

" Every person is expressly prohibited from 
selling separately from their mothers the children 
who shall not liave attained the full age of ten 
years. ' ' 

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

" Be it further enacted, that if any person or 
persons shall sell the mother of any slave child or 
children under the age of ten years, separate from 
said child or children, or shall, the mother living, 
sell any slave child or children of ten years of age or 
under, separate from said mother, such person or 
persons shall incur the penalty of the sixth sec- 
tion of this act." 

This penalty is a fine of not less than one 
thousand nor more than two thousand dollars, 
and imprisonment in the public jail for a period 
of not less than six months nor more than one 
year. — Vide Acts of Louisiana, 1 Session, ^th 
Legislature, 1828t-9, No. 24, Section 16. {Rev. 
Stat. 1852, p. 550, § 143.) 

What a charming freshness of nature is 
suggested by this assertion ! A thing could 
not have happened in a certain state, be- 
cause there is a law against it ! 

Has there not been for two years a law 
forbidding to succor fugitives, or to hinder 
their arrest '? — and has not this thing been 
done thousands of times in all the Northern 
States, and is not it more and more likely 
to bo done every year! What is a law, 
against the whole public sentiment of 
society? — and will anybody venture to say 
that the public sentiment of Louisiana 



jyractically goes against separation of fami- 
lies? 

Bat let us examine a case more minutely, 
remembering the bearing on it of two 
great foundation principles of slave juris- 
prudence : namely, that a slave cannot 
bring a suit in any case, except in a suit 
for personal freedom, and this in some 
states must be 'brought by a guardian ; and 
that a slave cannot bear testimony in any 
case in which whites are imphcated. 

Suppose Butler wants to sell Cassy's 
child of nine years. There is a statute for- 
bidding to sell under ten years ; — what is 
Cassy to do 7 She cannot bring suit. Will 
the state pi-osecute? Suppose it does, — 
what then 7 Butler says the child is ten 
years old ; if he pleases, he will say she is 
ten and a half, or eleven. What is Cassy to 
do '\ She cannot testify ; besides, she is 
utterly in Butler's power. He may tell her 
that if she offers to stir in the affair, he will 
whip the child within an inch of its life ; and 
she knows he can do it, and that there is no 
help for it ; — he may lock her up in a dun- 
geon, sell her on to a distant plantation, or 
do any other despotic thing he chooses, and 
there is nobody to say Nay. 

How much does the protective statute 
amount to for Cassy? It may be very 
well as a piece of advice to the public, or 
as a decorous expression of opinion ; but 
one might as well try to stop the current of 
the Mississippi with a bulrush as the tide of 
trade in human beings with such a regula- 
tion. 

We think that, by this time, the reader 
will agree with us, that the less the defend- 
ers of slavery say about protective statutes, 
the better. 



state 



CHAPTER VIL 

THE EXECUTION OF JUSTICE. 

Eliza Rowand. — The " Mgis of Protection " to 
tlio Slave's Life. 



" We cannot but regard the fact of this triaf as a salu- 
tary OCCurroncc." — Charleston Courier. 

Having given some account of what sort 
of statutes arc to be found on the law-books 
of slavery, the reader will iiardly be satisfied 
without knowing what sort of trials arc hold 
under them. We will quote one sftocimcn of 
a trial, reported in the Charleston Courier 
of May Gth, 1847. The Charleston Courier 
is one of the leading papers of South Caro- 
lina, and the case is reported with the ut- 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



93 



most apparent innocence that there was any- 
thin'T about the trial that could reflect in the 
least on the character of the state for the 
utmost legal impartiahty. In fact, the 
Charleston Courier ushers it into public 
view with the following flourish of trumpets, 
as something which is forever to confound 
those who say that South Carolina does not 
protect the life of the slave : 

THE TRIAli FOR MITRDER. 

■ Our community was deeply interested and ex- 
citwi, yesterday, by a case of great importance, 
and also of entire novelty in our jurisprudence. 
It was the trial of a lady of respectable family, 
and the mother of a large family, charged with 
the murder of her own or her husband's slave, 
flic court-house was thronged with spectators of 
the exciting drama, who remained, with unabated 
interest and undiminished numbers, until the ver- 
dict was rendered acquitting the prisoner. We 
cannot but regard the fact of this trial as a salu- 
tary, although in itself lamentable occurrence, as 
it will show to the world that, however panoplied 
in station and wealth, and although challenging 
those sympathies which are the right and inher- 
itance of the female sex, no one will be suffered, in 
this community, to escape the most sifting scru- 
tiny, at the risk of even an ignominious death, 
who stands charged with the suspicion of murder- 
ing a slave, — to whose life our law nL>v.' extends 
the jBgis of protection, in the same manner as it 
does to that of the white man, save only in the 
character of the evidence necessary for conviction or 
defence. While evil-disposed persons at home are 
thus taught that they may expect rigorous trial 
and condign punishment, when, actuated by ma- 
lignant passions, they invade the life of the hum- 
ble slave, the enemies of our domestic institution 
abroad ^\-ill find, their calumnies to the contrary 
notwithstanding, that we are resolved, in this 
particular, to do the full measure of our duty to 
the laws of humanity. We subjoin a report of 
the case. 

The proceedings of the trial are thus 
given : 

TRIAL FOR THE MURDER OF A SLAVS. 

State V. Eliza Rowand. — Spring Term, May 5, 
1847. 
Tried before his Honor Judge O'Neall. 
Tlie prisoner was brought to the bar and ar- 
raigned, attended by her husband and mother, and 
humanely supported, during the trying scene, by 
the sheriff, J. B. Irving, Esq. On her arraign 
ment, she pleaded " Not Guilty," and for her 
trial, placed herself upon " God and her country." 
After challenging John M. Deas, James Bancroft, 
H. F. Harbers, 0. J. Beckman, E. R. Cowperth- 
waite, Parker J. Holland, Moses D. Hyams, 
Thomas Glaze, Jolin Lawrence, B. Archer, J. S. 
Addison, B. P. Colburn, B. M. Jenkins, Carl 
Houseman, Geo. Jackson, and Joseph Coppen- 
berg, the prisoner accepted the subjoined panel, 
who were duly sworn, and charged with the case : 
1. John L. Nowell, foreman. 2. Elias Whilden. 
3. Jesse Coward. 4. Effington Wagner. 5. Wm. 
Whaley. 6. James Culbert. 7. R. L. Baker. 
8. S. WUey. 9. W. S. Chisolm. 10. T. M. 
Howard. 11. JohnBickley 12. John Y. Stock. 



to wit : 



The following is the indictment on which the 
prisoner was aiTaigned for trial : 

The State v. Eliza Bowand — Indictment for mur 
der of a slave. 

State of South Carolina, \ 
Charleston District, \ 

At a Court of General Sessions, begun and 
holden in and for the district of Charleston, in 
the State of South Carolina, at Charleston, in the 
district and state aforesaid, on Monday, the third 
day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand 
eight hundred and forty-seven : 

The jurors of and for the district of Charleston, 
aforesaid, in the State of South Carolina, afore- 
said, upon their oaths present, that Eliza Rowand, 
the wife of Robert Rowand, Esq., not ba\dng the 
fear of God before her eyes^ but being moved and 
seduced by the instigation of the devil, on the 6th 
day of January, in the year of our Lord one thr u- 
sand eight hundred and forty-seven, vrith force 
and arms, at Charleston, in the district of Charles- 
ton, and state aforesaid, in and upon a certain 
female slave of the said Robert Rowand, named 
Maria, in the peace of God, and of the said state, 
then and there being, feloniously, maliciously, 
wilfully, deliberately, and of her malice afore- 
thought, did make an assault ; and that a certain 
other slave of the said Robert Rowand, named 
Richard, then and there, being then and there in 
the presence and by the command of the said Eliza 
Rowand, with a certain piece of wood, which he 
the said Richard in both his hands then and there 
had and held, the said Maria did beat and strike, 
in and upon the head of her the said Maria, then 
and there giving to her the said Maria, by such 
striking and beating, as aforesaid, with the piece 
of wood aforesaid, divers mortal bruises on the 
top, back, and sides of the head of her the said 
Maria, of which several mortal bruises she, the 
said Maria, then and there instantly died ; and 
that the said Eliza Rowand was then and there 
present, and then and there feloniously, mali- 
ciously, wilfully, deliberately, and of her malice 
aforethought, did order, command, and require, 
the said slave named Richard the murder and fel- 
ony aforesaid, in maimer and form aforesaid, to 
do and commit. And as the jurors aforesaid, up- 
on their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the said 
Eliza Rowand her the said slave named Maria, 
in the manner and by the means aforesaid, felo- 
niously, maliciously, wilfully, deliberately, and of 
her malice aforethought, did kill and murder 
against the form of the act of the General A» 
sembly of the said state in such case made and 
provided, and against the peace and dignity of 
the same state aforesaid. 

And the jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths 
aforesaid, do further present, that the said Eliza 
Rowand, not having the fear of God before her 
eyes, but being moved and seduced by the insti- 
gation of the devil, on the sixth day of January, 
in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hun- 
dred and forty-seven, with force and arms, at 
Charleston, in the district of Charleston, and 
state aforesaid, in and upon a certain other fe- 
male slave of Robert Rowand, named Maria, in 
the peace of God, and of the said state, then and 
there being, feloniously, maliciously, wilfully, 
deliberately, and of her malice aforethought, did 
make an assault ; and that the said Eliza Row- 
and, with a certain piece of wood, which she, the 
said Eliza Rowand, in both her hand^ then and 



94 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



there had and held, her the said last-mentioned 
slave named ISIaria did then and there strike, and 
beat, in and upon the head of her the said Ma- 
ria, then and there giving to her the said Maria, 
by sucli striking and beating aforesaid, with the 
piece of wood aforesaid, divers mortal bruises, on 
the top, back, and side of the head, of her the 
said jSlaria, of which said several mortal bruises 
she the said Maria then and there instantly died. 
And so the jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths 
aforesaid, do aay, that the said Eliza Rowand 
her the said last-mentioned slave named Maria, 
in tlie manner and by the means last mentioned, 
feloniously, maliciously, wilfully, deliberately, 
and of her malice aforethought, did kill and mur- 
der, against the form of the act of the General 
Assemljly of the said state in such case made and 
provided, and against the peace and dignity of 
the same state aforesaid. 

H. Bailey, Attorney-general. 

As some of our readers may not have been 
in the habit of endeavoring to extract any- 
thing Hke common sense or information 
from documents so very concisely and lu- 
minously worded, the author will just state 
her OAvn opinion that the above document 
is intended to charge Mrs. Eliza Rowand 
with having killed her slave Maria, in one 
of two ways: either with beating her on 
the head with her own hands, or having the 
same deed performed by proxy, by her slave- 
man Richard. The whole case is now pre- 
sented. In order to make the reader clear- 
ly understand the arguments, it is necessary 
that he bear in mind that the law of 1740, 
as we have before shown, punished the mur- 
der of the slave only with fine and dis- 
franchisement, whil^ the law of 1821 pun- 
ishes it with death. 

On motion of Mr. Petigru, the prisoner was 
allowed to remove from the bar, and take her 
place by her counsel ; the judge saying he grant- 
ed the motion only because the prisoner was a 
woman, but that no such privilege would have 
been extende<l by him to any man. 

The Attorney-general, Henry Bailey, Esq., 
then rose and opened the case for the state, in 
substance, as follows : He said that, after months 
of anxiety and expectation, the curtain had at 
length risen, and lie and the jury Avere about to 
bear their ])art in tlie sad drama of real life, which 
had s:> long engrossed the public mind. He and 
tliey were called to the discliargo of an import- 
ant, painful, and solemn duty. Tliey Avere to 
pass hi't\v(;cn the prisoner and the state — to take 
an intjuisition of blood ; on their decision hung 
the Hie or death, the honor or ignominy, of the 
prisoner ; yet he trusted he and they would have 
Streiigtli and ability to perform their duty faith- 
fully ; and, whatever miglit be the result, their 
I consciences would be consoled and quieted by that 
reflection. He bade the jury pause and reflect on 
the great sanctions and solemn responsibilities 
under which they were acting. The constitution 
of tlio state invested tliem with power over all 
that affected the life and was dear to the family 
of the unfortunate lady on trial before them. 



They were cliarged, too, with the sacred care of 
the law of the land ; and to their solution was 
siibmitted one of the most solemn questions ever 
intrusted to the arbitrament of man. They 
should pursue a direct and straight-forward course, 
turning neither to the right hand nor to the left 
— influenced neither by prejudice against the pris- 
oner, nor by a morbid sensibility in her behalf. 
Some of them might practically and personally 
be strangers to their present duty ; but they were 
all familiar with the laws, and must be aware of 
the responsibilities of jurymen. It was scarcely 
necessary to tell them that, if evidence fixed guilt 
on this prisoner, they should not hesitate to record 
a verdict of guilty, although they should write that 
verdict in tears of blood. They should let no 
sickly sentimentality, or morbid feeling on the 
subject of capital punishments, deter them from 
the discharge of their plain and obvious duty. 
They were to administer, not to make, the law ; 
they were called on to enforce the law, by sanc- 
tioning the highest duty to God and to their coun- 
try, if any of them were disturbed with doubts 
or scruples on this point, he scarcely supposed 
they would have gone into the jury-box. The 
law had awarded capital punishment as the 
meet retribution for the crime under investiga- 
tion, and they were sworn to administer that 
law. It had, too, the full sanction of Holy 
Writ ; we were there told that " the land cannot be 
cleansed of the blood shed therein, except by the 
blood of him that shed it." He felt assured, 
then, that they would be swayed only by a firm 
resolve to act on this occasion in obedience to the 
dictates of sound judgments and enlightened con- 
sciences. The prisoner, however, had claims on 
them, as well as the community; she was en- 
titled to a fair and impartial trial. By the wise 
and humane principles of our law, they Mere 
bound to hold the prisoner innocent, and she stood 
guiltless before them, until proved guilty, by le- 
gal, competent, and satisfactory evidence. Deaf 
alike to the voice of sickly humanity and heated 
prejudice, they should proceed to their task with 
minds perfectly equipoised and impartial ; they 
should weigh the circumstances of the case with 
a nice and careful hand ; and if, by legal evi- 
dence, circumstantial and satisfactory, although 
not positive, guilt be established, they should un- 
hesitatingly, fearlessly and faithfully, record the 
result of their convictions. He would next call 
their attention to certain legal distinctions, Init 
would not say a word of the facts ; he Mouhl 
leave them to the lips of the witnesses, unaSected 
by any previous comments of his own. The pris- 
oner stood indicted for the murder of a slave. 
This was supposed not to be murder at common 
law. At least, it was not murder b}' our former 
statute ; but the act of 1S21 had placed the kill- 
ing of the white man and the black man on the 
same footing. He here read the act of 1821, de- 
claring tliat *' any person who shall wilfully, de- 
liberately, and maliciously murder a slave, sliall. 
on conviction thereof, sufler death without henehi 
of clergy." The rules applicable to murder at 
common law were generally applicable, however, 
to the present case. The inquiries to bo made 
may be reduced to two : 1. Is the party charged 
guilty of the fact of killing ? This must be clearly 
made out by proof. If she be not guilty of kill- 
ing, tliere is an end of the caae. 2. The charac- 
ter of that killing, or of the offence. W"'^ >* 
done with malice aforethought? Malice is the 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



95 



essential ingredient of the crime. Where kill- 
ing takes place, malice is presumed, unless the 
contrary appear ; and this must be gathered from 
the attending circumstances. Malice is a techni- 
cal term, importing a diffarent meaning from that 
conveyed by the same word in common parlance. 
According to the learned Michael Foster, it con- 
sists not in " malevolence to particulars," it does 
not mean hatred to any particular individual, but 
is general in its import and application. But 
even killing, with intention to kill, is not always 
murder ; there may be justifiable and excusable 
homicide, and killing in sudden heat and passion 
is so modified to manslaughter. Yet there may be 
murder when there is no ill-feeling, — nay, perfect 
indifference to the slain, — as in the case of the 
robber who slays to conceal his crime. Malice 
aforethought is that depraved feeling of the heart, 
which makes one regardless of social duty, and 
fatally bent on mischief. It is fulfilled by that 
recklessness of law and human life which is indi- 
cated by shooting into a crowd, and thus doing 
murder on even an unknown object. Such a feel- 
ing the law regards as hateful, and visits, in its 
practical exhibition, with condign punishment, 
because opposed to the very existence of law and 
society. One may do fatal mischief without this 
recklessness ; but when the act is done, regard- 
less of consequences, and death ensues, it is mur- 
der in the eye of the law. If the facts to be 
proved in this case should not come up to these 
requisitions, he implored the jury to acquit the 
accused, as at once due to law and justice. They 
should note every fact with scrutinizing eye, and 
ascertain whether the fatal result proceeded from 
passing accident or from brooding revenge, which 
the law stamped with the odious name of malice. 
He would make no further preliminary remarks, 
but proceed at once to lay the facts before them, 
from the mouths of the witnesses. 

Evidence. 

J. Porteous Deveaux sworn. — He is the coro- 
ner of Charleston district ; held the inquest, on 
the seventh of January last, on the body of the 
deceased slave, Maria, the slave of Robert Row- 
and, at the residence of Mrs. T. C. Bee (the 
mother of the prisoner), in Logan-street. The 
body was found in an outbuilding — a kitchen ; 
it was the body of an old and emaciated person, 
between fifty and sixty years of age ; it was not 
examined in his presence by physicians ; saw some 
few scratches about the face ; adjourned to the 
City Hall. Mrs. RoAvand was examined ; her ex- 
amination was in wi-iting; it was here produced, 
and read, as folbws : 

" Mrs. Eliza Rnwand sworn. — Says Maria is 
her nurse, and had misbehaved on yesterday morn- 
ing ; deponent sent Maria to ^Ir. Rowand's house, 
to be corrected by Simon ; deponent sent Maria 
from the house about seven o'clock, A. M.; she 
returned to her about nine o'clock ; came into her 
chamber ; Simon did not come into the chamber 
at any. time previous to the death of Maria ; de- 
ponent says Maria fell down in the chamber ; de- 
ponent had her seated up by Richard, who was 
then in the chamber, and deponent gave Maria 
some asafoetida ; deponent then left the room ; 
Richard came down and said Maria was dead ; 
deponent says Richard did not strike ^laria, nor 
did any one else strike her, in deponent's chamber. 
Richard left the chamber immedii.tely with depo- 
nent ; Maria was about fifty-twc^ years of age" ; 



deponent sent Maria by Richard to Simon, to Mr 
Rowand's house, to be corrected ; [Mr. Rowand 
was absent from the city ; Maria died about 
twelve o'clock ; Richard and Maria were on good 
terms ; deponent was in the chamber all the while 
that Richard and Maria were there together. 

" Eliza Rowand. 
" Sworn to before me this seventh January, 1847. 
" J. P. Deveaux, Coroner, D. C." 

Witness went to the chamber of prisoner, where 
the death occurred ; saw nothing particular ; some 
pieces of wood in a box, set in the chimney ; his 
attention was called to one piece, in particular, 
eighteen inches long, three inches wide, and about 
one and a half inch thick ; did not measure it ; 
the jury of inquest did ; it was not a light- wood 
knot ; thinks it was of oak ; there was some pine 
wood and some split oak. Dr. Peter Porcher was 
called to examine the body professionally, who 
did so out of witness' presence. 

Before this witness left the stand, B. F. Hunt, 
Esq., one of the counsel for the prisoner, rose 
and opened tRe defence before the jury, in sub- 
stance as follows : 

He said that the scene before tliem was a very 
novel one ; and whether for good or evil, he would 
not pretend to prophesy. It was the first time, 
in the history of this state, that a lady of good 
character and respectable connections stood ar- 
raigned at the bar, and had been put on trial for 
her life, on facts arising out of her domestic rela- 
tions to her o-wn slave. It was a spectacle con- 
soling, and cheering, perhaps, to those who owed 
no good will to the institutions of our country ; 
but calculated only to excite pain and regret 
among ourselves. He would not state a proposi- 
tion so revolting to humanity as that crime should 
go unpunished ; but judicial interference between 
the slave and the owner was a matter at once of 
delicacy and danger. It was the fiirst time he had 
ever stood between a slave-owner and the public 
prosecutor, and his sensations were anything but 
pleasant. This is an entirely different case from 
homicide between equals in society. Subordination 
is indispensable where slavery exists ; and in this 
there is no new principle involved. The same 
principle prevails in every country ; on shipboard 
and in the army a large discretion is always left 
to the superior. Charges by inferiors against 
their superiors were always to be viewed with 
great circumspection at least, and especially when 
the latter are charged with cruelty or crime 
against subordinates. In the relation of OAvner 
and slave there is an absence of the usual motives 
for murder, and strong inducements against it on 
the part of the former. Life is usually taken from 
avarice or passion. The master gains nothing, 
but loses niuch, by the death of his slave ; and 
when he takes the life of the latter deliberately, 
there must be more than ordinary malice to insti- 
gate the deed. The policy of altering the old 
law of 1740, which punished the killing of a slave 
with fine and political disfranchisement, was more 
than doubtful. It was the law of our colonial 
ancestors ; it conformed to their policy and was 
approved by their wisdom, and it continued 
undisturbed by their posterity until the year 
1821. It was engrafted on our policy in counter- 
action of the schemes and machinations, or in 
deference to the clamors, of those who formed 
plans for our improvement, although not inter- 
ested in nor understanding our institutions, and 



96 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



whose interference led to the tragedy of 1822. 
He here adverted to the viewa of Chancellor Har- 
per on this subject, who, in his able and philosophi- 
cal memoir on slavery, said : "It is a somewhat 
singular fact, that when there existed in our state 
no law for punishing the murder of a slave, other 
tlian a pecuniary fine, there were, I will venture 
to say, at least ten murders of freemen for one mur- 
der of a slave. Yet it is supposed that they are 
less protected than their masters." " The change 
was made in subserviency to the opinions and 
clamor of others, who were utterly incompetent 
to form an opinion on the subject ; and a wise act 
is seldom the result of legislation in this spirit. 
From the fact I have stated, it is plain they need 
less protection. Juries are, therefore, less wil- 
ling to convict, and it may sometimes happen that 
the guilty will escape all punishment. Security 
iy one of the compensations of their humble posi- 
tion. We chsiUenge the comparison, that with 
us there have been fewer murders of slaves than 
of parents, children, apprentices, and other mur- 
ders, cruel and unnatural, in society where slav- 
ery does not exist." 

Such was the opinion of Chancellor Harper on 
this subject, who had profoimdly studied it, and 
whose views had been extensively read on this 
eor jinent and in Europe. Fortunately, the jury, 
he said, were of the country, acquainted with our 
policy and practice ; composed of men too inde- 
pendent and honorable to be led astray by the 
noise and clamor out of doors. All was now as 
it should be ; — at least, a court of justice had 
assembled, to which his client had fled for refuge 
and safety ; its threshold was sacred ; no profane 
clamors entered there ; but legal investigation 
was had of facts, derived from the testimony of 
sworn witnesses ; and this should teach the 
community to shut their bosoms against sickly 
humanity, and their ears to imaginary tales of 
blood and horror, the food of a depraved appetite. 
He warned the jury that they ivere to listen to no 
testimony but that of free white jpersons, given on 
oath in open court. They were to imagine none 
that came not from them. It was for this 
that they were selected, — their intelligence 
putting them beyond the influence of unfound- 
ed accusations, unsustained by legal proof; 
of legends of aggravated cruelty, founded on the 
evidence of negroes, and arising from weak and 
wicked falsehoods. Were slaves permitted to 
testify against their owner, it would cut the cord 
that unites them in peace and harmony, and 
enable them to sacrifice their masters to their ill 
will or revenge. Whole crews had been often 
leagued to charge captains of vessels with foulest 
murder, but judicial trial had exposed the false- 
hood. Truth has been distorted in this case, and 
murder manufactured out of what 'was nothing 
more than ordinary domestic discipline. Chastise- 
ment must l)e inflicted until subordination is pro- 
duced ; and the extent of the punishment is not 
to bojudgedof by one's neighbors, but by himself. 
The event in this case has l)een unfortunate and 
Bad ; but there was no motive for tlio taking of 
life. There is no pecuniary interest in the owner 
to destroy his slave ; the murder of his slave 
can only happen from ferocious passions of the 
master, filling liis own bosom with anguish and 
contrition. This case has no other basis but un- 
founded rumor, commonly Ijolieved, on evidence 
that will not venture here, the oH'Hpring of tliat pas- 
sion and depravity which uuiko up falsehood. 



The hope of freedom, of change of ovmers, reveru^ 
are all motives with slave witnesses to malign their 
owners ; and to credit such testimony would be to 
dissolve human society. Where deliberate, wilful, 
and malicious murder is done, whether by male 
or female, the retribution of the law is a debt to 
God and man ; but the jury should beware lest it 
fall upon the innocent. The offence charged was 
not strictly murder at common law. The act of . 
1740 was founded on the practical good sense of I 
our old planters, and its spirit still prevails. The 
act of 1821 is, by its terms, an act only to in- 
crease 'the punishment of persons convicted of 
murdering a slave , — and this is a refinement in hu- ,f 
manity of doubtful policy. But, by the act of 1821, 
the murder must be wilful, deliberate and mali- 
cious ; and, when punishment is due to the slave, 
the master must not be held to strict account for 
going an inch beyond the mark ; whether for doing 
so he shall be a felon, is a question for the jury to 
solve. The master must conquer a refractory 
slave ; and deliberation, so as to render clear the 
existence of malice, is necessary to bring the 
master within the provision of the act. He bade 
the jury remember the words of Him who spake 
as never man spake, — " Let him that has never 
sinned throw the first stone." T/iey, as masters 
might regret excesses to which they have themselves 
carried punishment. He was not at all surprised 
at the course of the attorney-general ; it was his 
wont to treat every case with perfect fairness. He 
(Colonel H.) agreed that the inquiry should be — 

1. Into the fact of the death. 

2. The character or motive of the act. 

The examination of the prisoner showed con 
clusively that the slave died a natural death, and 
not from personal violence. She was chastised 
with a lawful weapon, — was in weak health, ner- 
vous, made angry by her punishment, — excited 
The story was then a plain one ; the community 
had been misled by the creations of imagination, 
or the statements of interested slaves. The negro 
came into her mistress' chamber ; fell on the 
floor ; medicine was given her ; it was supposed 
she was asleep, but she slept the sleep of death. 
To show the wisdom nnd policy of the old act of 
1740 (this indictment is under both acts, — the 
punishment only altered by that of 1821), he 
urged that a case like this was not murder at 
common law ; nor is the same evidence applicable 
at common law. There, murder was presumed 
from killing ; not so in the case of a slave. The 
act of 1740 permits a master, when his slave is 
killed in his presence, there being no other white 
person present, to exculpate himself by his own 
oath ; and this exculpation is complete, unless 
clearly contravened by the evidence of two whito 
witnesses. This is exactly what the prisoner haa 
done ; she has, as the law permits, by calling on 
God, exculpated herself. And her oath is good, 
at least against the slander of her own slaves. 
Which, then, should prevail, the clamors of oth- 
ers, or the policy of the law established by our 
colonial ancestors ■? There Avould not be -a tittle 
of positive evidence against the prisoner, nothing 
but circumstantial evidence ; and ingenious com- 
bination might bo made to lead to any conclusion. 
Justice was all that his client asked. She ap- 
pealed to liberal and high-minded men, — and she 
rejoiced in the privilege of doing so, — to accord 
her that justice they would demand for them- 
selves. 

Mr. Deveaux was not cross-examined. 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



97 



Evidence resumed. 

Dr. E. W. North swom. — (Cautioned by at- 
torney-general to avoid hearsay evidence.) Was 
the family physician of Mrs. Rowand. Went on 
the 6th January, at Mrs. Rovrand's request, to 
see her at her mother's, in Logan-street ; found 
her 'down stairs, in sitting-room. She was in a 
nervous and excited state ; had been so for a 
month before ; he had attended her ; she said 
nothing to witness of slave jNIaria ; found Maria 
in a chamber, up stairs, about one o'clock, P. M. ; 
she was dead ; she appeared to have been dead 
about an hour and a half; his attention was 
attracted to a piece of pine wood on a trunk or 
table in the room ; it had a large knot on one end ; 
had it been used on jNIaria, it must have caused 
considerable contusion ; other pieces of wood were 
in a box, and much smaller ones ; the corpse was 
lying one side in the chamber ; it was not laid 
out ; presumed she died there ; the marks on the 
body were, to witness' view, very slight ; some 
scratches about the face ; he purposely avoided 
making an examination ; observed no injuries 
about the head ; had no conversation with Mrs. 
Rowand about Maria ; left the house ; it was on 
the 6th January last, — the day before the in- 
quest ; knew the slave before, but had never 
attended her. 

Cross-examined. — Mrs. Rowand was in feeble 
health, and nervous ; the slave Maria was Aveak 
and emaciated in appearance ; sudden death of 
such a person, in such a state, from apoplexy or 
action of nervous system, not unlikely; her sud- 
den death would not imply violence ; had pre- 
scribed asaf»tida for Mrs. Rowand on a former 
visit ; it is an appropriate remedy for nervous 
disorders. Mrs. Rowand was not of bodily strength 
to handle the pine knot so as to give a severe 
blow; Mrs. Rowand has five or sis children, the 
elder of them large enough to have carried pieces 
of the wood about the room ; there must have 
been a severe contusion, and much extravasation 
of blood, to infer death from violence in this case ; 
apoplexy is frequently attended with extravasa- 
tion of blood ; there were two Marias in the fam- 

ily 

In reply. — Mrs. Rowand could have raised the 
pine knot, but could not have struck a blow with 
it ; such a piece of wood could have produced 
death, but it would have left its mark ; saw the 
fellow Richard ; he was quite capable of giving 
such a blow. 

Dr. Peter Porcher. — Was called in by the coro- 
ner's jury to examine Maria's body ; found it in 
the wash-kitehen ; it was the corpse of one feeble 
and emaciated ; partly prepared for biu"ial ; had 
the clothes removed ; the body was lacerated with 
stripes ; abrasions about face and knuckles ; skin 
knocked off; passed his hand over the head ; no 
I "me broken ; on request, opened her thorax, and 
examined the viscera ; found them healthy ; heart 
unusually so for one of her age ; no particular 
odor ; some undigested food ; no inflammation ; 
removed the*iscalp, and found considerable extrav- 
asation between scalp and skull ; scalp bloodshot ; 
just under the scalp, found the effects of a single 
blow, just over the right ear ; after removing the 
scalp, lifted the bone ; no rupture of any blood- 
vessel ; some softening of the brain in the upper 
hemisphere ; there was considerable extravasation 
under the scalp, the result of a succession of blows 
on the top of the head ; this extravasation was 
general, but that over the ear was a single spot ; 

7 



the butt-end of a cowhide would have sufficed for 
this purpose ; an ordinary stick, a heavy one, 
would have done it ; a succession of blows on the 
head, in a feeble woman, would lead to death, 
when, in a stronger one, it would not ; saT no 
other appearance about her person, to account for 
her death, except those blows. 

Cross-examined. — To a patient in this wo- 
man's condition, the blows would probably cause 
death ; they were not such as were calculated to 
kill an ordinary person ; witness saw the body 
twenty-four hours after her death ; it was winter, 
and bitter cold ; no disorganizatiun, and the ex- 
amination was therefore to be relied on ; the blow 
behind the ear might have resulted from a fall, 
but not the blow on the top of the head, unless 
she fell head foremost ; came to the conclusion of 
a succession of blows, from the extent of the ex- 
travasation ; a single blow would have shown a 
distinct spot, with a gradual spreading or diffu- 
sion ; one large blow could not account for it, as 
the head Was spherical ; no blood on the brain ; 
the softening of the brain did not amount to inucl 
in an ordinary dissection would have passed «c 
over ; anger sometimes produces apoplexy, wb ,h 
results in death ; blood between the scalp ant? Jie 
bone of the skull ; it was evidently a fresh ei-^ftir- 
asation ; twenty-four hours would scarcely havo 
made any change ; knew nothing of this -legn) 
befS^re ; even after examination, the ca.-ise of 
death is sometimes inscrutable, — not usual, hov 
ever. 

In reply. — Does not attribute the softening of 
the brain to the blows ; it was slight, and might 
have been the result of age ; it was some evidence 
of impairment of vital powers by advancing age. 

Dr. A. P. Hayne. — At request of the coroner, 
acted with Dr. Porcher ; was shown into an out- 
house ; saw on the back of the corpse evidences of 
contusion ; arms swollen and enlarged ; lacera- 
tion of body ; contusions on head and neck ; be- 
tween scalp and skull extravasation of blood, on 
the top of head, and behind the right ear ; a burn 
on the hand ; the brain presented healthy appear- 
ance ; opened the body, and no evidences of disease 
in the chest or viscera ; attributed the extravasa- 
tion of blood to external injury from blows, — 
blows from a large and broad and blunt instru- 
ment ; attributes the death to those blows ; sup- 
poses they were adequate to cause death, as slie 
was old, weak and emaciated. 

Cross-examined. — Would not have caused death 
in a young and robust person. 

The evidence for the prosecution here closed, 
and no witnesses were called for the defence. 

The jury were then successively addressed, ably 
and eloquently, by J. L. Petigru and James S, 
llhett, Esqrs., on behalf of the prisoner, and H. 
Bailey, Esq., on behalf of the state, and by B. F. 
Hunt, Esq., in reply. Of those speeches, and 
also of the judge's charge, we have taken full 
notes, but have neither time nor space to insert 
them here. 

His Honor, Judge O'Neall, then charged the 
jury eloquently and ably on the facts, vindicating 
the existing law, making death the penalty for 
thfe murder of a slave ; but, on the law, intimated 
to the jury that he held the act of 1740 so far still 
in force as to admit of the prisoner's exculpation 
by her own oath, unless clearly disproved by tha 
oaths of two witnesses ; and that they were, 
therefore, in his opinion, bound to acquit, — 
although he left it to them, wholly, to say wheth- 



98 



KEY TO UNCLE TOm's CABIN. 



er the prisoner was guilty of murder, killing in 
sudden heat and passion, or not guilty. 

The jury then retired, and, in about twenty or 
thirty minutes, returned with a verdict of " Not 
Guilty." 

There are some points which appear in 
this statement of the trial, especially in the 
plea for the defence. Particular attention 
is called to the following passage : 

"Fortunately," said the lawyer, "the jury 
were of the country ; — acquainted with our policy 
ttP.^ practice ; composed of men too honorable to 
be '^ astray by the noise and clamor out of doors. 
All was now as it should be ; at least, a court of 
justice had assembled to which his client had fled 
for refuge and safety ; its threshold was sacred ; 
no profane clamors entered there ; but legal investi- 
gation was had of facts." 

From this it plainly appears that the case 
was a notorious one ; so notorious and atro- 
cious as to break' through all the apathy 
which slave-holding institutions tend to pro- 
duce, and to surround the court-house with 
noise and clamor. 

From another intimation in the same 
speech, it would appear that there was abun- 
dant testimony of slaves to the direct fact, — 
testimony which left no kind of doubt on the 
popular mind. Why else does he thus 
earnestly warn the jury ? 

He warned the jury that they were to listen 
to no evidence but that of free white persons, 
given on oath in open court ; they were to imag- 
ine none that came not from them. It was for 
this that they were selected ; — their intelligence 
putting theni beyond the influence of unfounded 
accusadons, unsustalned by legal proof; of legends 
of aggravated cruelty, founded on the evidence of 
nef'-roeS; and arising from weak and wicked false- 
hoods. 

See also this remarkable admission : — 
" Truth had been distorted in this case, and 
murder manufactured out of Avhat was 
nothing more than ORDINARY DOMESTIC 
DisciPLi>TE." If the reader refers to the tes- 
timony, he will find it testified that the 
woman appeared to be about sixty years 
old ; tliat she was much emaciated ; that 
there had been a succession of blows on the 
top of her head, and one violent one over the 
ear; and that, in the opinion of a sur- 
geon, these blows were sufficient to cause 
death. Yet the lawyer for the defence 
coolly remarks that " murder had been 
manufactured out of what wdS ordmanj 
domestic discipline." Arc we *to under- 
stand that beating feeble old women on the 
head, in this manner, is a specimen of o?-dl- 
iiary domestic dlscqillne in Charleston? 



What woujd have been said if any anti 
slavery newspaper at the North had made 
such an assertion as this "i Yet the Charles- 
ton Courier reports this statement without 
comment or denial. But let us hear the 
lady's lawyer go still further in \indication 
of this ordinary domestic discipline : " Chas- 
tisement must be inflicted until subordina- 
tion is produced ; and the extent of the pun- 
ishment is not to be judiied by one's neigh- 
bors, but by himself The event, in this 
CASE, has been unfortunate and sad." The 
lawyer admits that the result of thumping 
a feeble old woman on the head has, in this 
case, been "unfortunate and sad." The 
old thing had not strength to bear it._ and 
had no greater regard for the convenience 
of the family, and' the reputation of "the 
institution," than to die, and so get the 
family and the community generally into 
trouble. It will appear from this that in 
most cases where old women are thumped 
on the head they have stronger constitutions 
— or more consideration. 

Again he says, "When punishment is ' 
due to the slave, the master must not be 
held to strict account for going an ijich 
beyond the mark.'" And finally, and most 
astounding of all, comes this: ''He hade 
the jury remember the words of him who 
spake as never man spake, — ' Let him 

THAT HATH NEVER SINNED THROW THE 

FIRST STONE.' They, as masters, might 
regret excesses to which they themselves 
might have carried punishment." 

What sort of an insinuation is this'? 
Did he mean to say that almost all the jury- 
men had probably done things of the same 
sort, and therefore could have nothing to 
say in this case ? and did no member of the 
jury get up and resent such a charge? 
From all that appears, the jury acquiesced ' 
in it as quite a matter of course ; and the 
Charleston Courier quotes it without com- 
ment, in the record of a trial which it says 
"will show to the world how the law ex-* 
tends the aegis of her protection alike over 
the white man and the humblest slave." 

Lastly, notice the decision of the judge, 
which has become law in South Carolina. 
What point does it establish'? That the 
simple oath of the master, in Yacc of all cir- 
cumstantial evidence to the contrary, may 
clear him, when the murder of a slave is the 
question. And this trial is paraded as a 
triumphant specimen of legal impartiality 
and equity ! "If the light that is in thee 
be darkness, how great is that darkness !" 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



99 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THE GOOD OLD TIMES. 

•*A refinement in hiunanity of doubtful policy." 

B. h\ Hunt. 

The author takes no pleasure in present- 
ing to lier readers the shocking details of 
the following case. But it seems necessary 
to exhibit what were the actual workings 
of the ancient law of South Carolina, which 
has been characterized as one "conformed 
to the policy, and approved by the wisdom," 
of the fathei's of that state, and the reform 
of which has been calleil "a rej&nement in 
humanity of doubtful policy." 

It is Avell, also, to add the charge of 
Judge Wilds, partly for its intrinsic liter- 
ary merit, and the nobleness of its senti- 
ments, but principally because it exhibits 
such a contrast as could scarcely be found 
elsewhere, between the judge's high and 
indignant sense of justice, and the shameful 
impotence and imbecility of the laws under 
which he acted. 

The case was brought to the author's 
knowledge by a letter from a gentleman of 
Pennsylvania, from which the following is 
an extract : 

Some time between the years 1807 and 1810, 
there was lying in the harbor of Charleston a 
Bhip commanded by a man named Shiter. His 
crew were slaves : one of them committed some 
offence, not specified in the narrative. The cap- 
tain ordered him to be bound and laid upon the 
deck ; and there, in the harbor of Charleston, in 
tlie broad day-li,!;lit, compelled another slave^ 
sailor to chop off his head. The aflair was pub- 
lic — notorious. A prosecution was commenced 
against him ; the offence was proved bej^ond all 
doubt, — jjerhaps, indeed, it was not denied, — 
and the judge, in a most eloquent charge or 
rehuke of the defendant, expressed his sincere 
regret that he could inflict no punishment, under 
the laws of the state. 

I was studying law when the case was pub- 
lished in " Hall's American Law Journal, vol: i." 
I have not seen the book for twenty-five or thirty 
years. I may be in error as to names, etc., but 
while I have life and my senses tlie facts of the 
case cannot be forgotten. 

The following is the "charge" alluded 
to in the above letter. It was pronounced 
by the Honorable Judge Wilds, of South 
Carolina, and is copied from HalFs Law 
Journal, i. 67. 

John Slater ! You have been convicted by a 
jury of your country of the wilful murder of your 
own slave ; and I am sorry to say, the short, 
impressive, uncontradicted testimony, on which 
that conviction was founded, leaves but too little 
room to doubt its propriety. 

The annals of human depravity might be safely 



challenged for a parallel to this unfeeling, bloody 
and diabolical transaction. 

You caused your imoffending, unresisting slave 
to be bound hand and foot, and, by a refinement 
in cruelty, compelled his companion, perhaps the 
friend of his heart, to chop his head with an 
axe, and to cast his body, yet convulsing witli tlie 
agonies of death, into the water ! And this deed 
you dared to perpetrate in the very harbor of 
Charleston, within a few j-ards of the shore, un- 
blushingly, in the fiice of open day. Had your 
murderous arm been raised against your equals, 
whom the laws of self-defence and the more ftfii- 
cacious law of the land unite to protect, your 
crimes would not have been without precedent, 
and vrould have seemed less horrid. Your per- 
sonal risk would at least have proved, that though 
a murderer, you were not a coward. But you too 
well knew that this unfortunate man, whom chance 
had subjected to your caprice, had not, like your- 
self, chartered to him by the laws of the land the 
sacred rights of nature ; and that a stern, but 
necessary policy, had disarmed him of the rights 
of self-defence. Too well you knew that to you 
alone he could look for protection ; and that your 
arm alone could shield him from oppression, or 
avenge his wrongs ; yet, that arm you cruelly 
stretched out for his destruction. 

The counsel, who generously volunteered hi;? 
services in your behalf, shocked at the enormity 
of your offence, endeavored to find a refuge, as 
well for his own feelings as for those of all who 
heard your trial, in a derangement of your intel- 
lect. Several witnesses were examined to estab- 
lish this fact ; but the result of their testimony, it 
is apprehended, was as little satisfactoi-y to his 
mind, as to those of the jury to whom it was 
addressed. I sincerely wish this defence had 
proved successful, not from any desire to save 
you from the punishment which awaits you, and 
which you so richly merit, but from the desire of 
saving my country from the foul reproach of hav- 
ing in its bosom so great a monster. 

From the peculiar situation of this country, our 
fathers felt themselves justified in subjecting to a 
very slight punishment him who murders a slave. 
Whether the present state of society require a 
continuation of this policy, so opposite to the 
apparent rights of humanity, it remains for a 
subsequent legislature to decide. Their attention 
would ere this have been directed to this subject, 
but, for the honor of human nature, such hardened 
sinners as yourself are rarely found, to disturb the 
repose of society. The grand jury of this district, 
deeply impressed with your daring outrage against 
the laws both of God and man. have made a verv 
strong expression of their feelings on the sahject 
to the legislature ; and, from the wisdom and jus- 
tice of that ))ody, the friends of humanity niav 
confidently hope soon to see this blackest'in the 
catalogue of human crimes pursued by appropri- 
ate punishment. 

In proceeding to pass the sentence which the 
law provides for your offence, I confess I never 
felt more forcil)ly tlie want of power tn make 
respected the laws of my country, whose minister 
I am. You have already violated the majesty of 
those laws. You have profonely pleaded 'the'law 
under which you stand convicted, aa a justifica- 
tion of your crime. You have held that law in 
one hand, and brandished your bloody axe in, the 
other, impiously contending that the' owe gave a 
licens<^ to the unrestrRined use pf th*» ofher. 



^ 



100 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



But, though you will go off unhurt in person, 
by the present sentence, expect not to escape with 
impunity. Your bloody deed hae set a mark upon 
you, wliich I fear the good actions of your future 
life will not cSiice. You will be held in abhor- 
rence by an impartial world, and shunned as a 
monster by every honest man. Y'our unoffending 
posterity will be visited, for your iniquity, hy the 
stigma of deriving their origin from an unfeeling 
murderer. Your days, which will be but few, 
will be spent in wretchedness ; and, if your con- 
science be not steeled against every virtuous. emo- 
ti(m, if you be not entirely abandoned to hardness 
of heart, the mangled, mutilated corpse of your 
murdered slave will ever he present in your imag- 
inncion, obtrude itself into all your amusements, 
and haunt you in the hours of silence and repose. 

But, should you disregard the reproaches of an 
offended world, should you hear Avith callous 
insensibility the gnawings of a guilty conscience, 
yet remember, I charge you, remember, that an 
awfid period is (iist approaching, and with you 
is close at hand, when you must appear before a 
tribunal whose want of power can afford you no 
prospect of impunity ; when you must raise your 
bloody hands at the bar of an impartial omni- 
scient Judge ! Remember, I pray you, remem- 
ber, Avhilst yet you have time, tluit God is just, 
and that his vengeance will not sleep forever ! 

The penalty that followed this solemn 
denunciation was a fine of scveti hundred 
pounds^ current money, or, in default of 
payment, imprisonment for seven years. 

And yet it seems that there have not 
been wanting those who consider the reform 
of this law " a refinement in humanity of 
doubtful policy^' ! To this sentiment, so 
high an authority as that of Chancellor 
Harper is quoted, as the reader w'ill see by 
referring to the speech of Mr. Hunt, in the 
last chapter. And, as is very common in 
such cases, the old law is vindicated, as 
being, on the whole, a surer protection to 
the life of the slave thoji the new one. 
From the results of the last tAvo trials, there 
would seem to be a fair show of plausibility 
in the argument. For under the old law it 
seems that Slater had at least to pay seven 
hundred pounds, while under the new Eliza 
Eowand comes off with only the penalty of 
"a most sifting scrutiny." 

Thus, it appears, the penalty of the law 
goes with the murderer of the slave. 

How is it executed in the cases which 
concern the life of the master 7 Look at 
this short notice of a recent trial of this kind, 
"which is given in the Alexandria (Va.) 
Gazette^ of Oct. 23, 1852, as an extract 
from the Charlestoion (Va.) Free Press. 

TKIAL OF NEGKO HENRY. 

The trial of tliis slave for an attack, with in- 
tent to kill, on the person of Mr. Harrison An- 
derson, was commenced on Monday and concluded 
on Tuesday evening. Ilis Honor, Braxton Daven- 



port, Esq., chief jusrtice of the county, A.-ith fnm 
associate gentlemen justices, composed the court 
The commonwealth was represented l>y ita at- 
torney, Charles B. Harding, Esq., and the ac- 
cused, ably and eloquently defended by Wm. C 
Worthington and John A. Thompsop, Esqs. The 
evidence of the prisoner's guilt was conclusive. 
A majority of the court thought that he ought to 
suffer the extreme penalty of the law ; but, as this 
required a unanimous agreement, he was sen- 
tenced to receive five hundred lashes, not more 
than tliirty-nine at one time. The physician of 
the jail Avas instructed to see that they should not 
be administered too frequently, and only when, 
in his opinion, he could bear them. 

In another paper we are told that the 
Free Press says : 

A majority of the court thought that he ought 
to suffer the extreme penalty of the law ; but, as 
this required a unanimous agreement, he was 
sentenced to receiA'e five hundred lashes, not more 
than thirty-nine at any one time. The physician 
of the jail was instructed to see that they should 
not be administered too frequently, and m.ly 
Avhen, in his opinion, he could bear them, l^is 
may seem to be a harsh and inhuman punishment ; 
but, when we take into consideration that it ia in 
accordance with the law of the land, and the ftir- 
ther fact that the insubordination among the 
slaves of that state has become truly alarmig, 
Ave cannot question the righteousness of the judg- 
ment. 

Will anybody say that the master's life 
is in more danger from the slave than the 
slave's from the master, that this dispro- 
portionate retribution is meted out '? Those 
who countenance such legislation will do 
well to ponder the solemn words of an an- 
cient book, inspired by One who is no 
respecter of persons : 

" If I have refused justice to my man-servant or maid- 
servant, 
"Wlien they had a cause with me, 
What shall I do when God riseth up 1 
And when he visiteth, what shall I answer hira 1 
Did not he that made mc in the womb make him 1 i 
Did not the same (iod fashion us in the womb 1 " 

JoiiSl : 13—16 



CHAPTER IX. 



MODERATE CORRECTION AND ACCIDENTAL 
DEATH — STATE V. CASTLEMAN. 

The author remarks that the record of 
the folloAving trial was read by her a little 
time before Avriting the account of the death 
of Uncle Tom. The shocking particulars 
haunted her mind and were in her thoughts 
when the following sentence was MTitten : 

What man has nerve to do, man has not nerve 
to hear. What brother man and brother Christian 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



101 



must suffer, cannot be told us, even in our secret 
chaiuber, it so harrows up the soul. And yet, 
my country, these things are done under the 
shadow of thy laws ! Christ, thy church sees 
them almost in silence ! 

It is given precisely as prepared by Dr. 
G. Bailey, the very liberal and fair-minded 
editor of the National Era. 

From the National Era, IVasliington, November 6, 1851. 
HOMICIDE CASE IN CLARKE COUNTY, VIRGINIA. 

Some time since, the newspapers of Virginia 
contained an account of a horrible tragedy, enacted 
in Clarke County, of that state. A slave of 
Colonel James Castleman, it was stated, had been 
chained by the neck, and whipped to death by his 
master, on the charge of stealing. The whole 
neigiiborhood in which the transaction occurred 
was incensed ; the Virginia papers abounded in 
denunciations of the cruel act ; and the people 
of the North were called upon to bear witness to 
the justice which would surely be meted out in a 
slave state to the master of a slave. We did not 
publish the account. The case was horrible ; it 
was, we were confident, exceptional ; it should 
not be taken as evidence of the genei-al treatment 
of slaves ; we chose to delay any notice of it till 
the courts should pronounce their judgment, and 
we could announce at once the crime and its pun- 
ishment, so that the state might stand acquitted 
of the foul deed. 

Those who were so shocked at the transaction 
will be surprised and mortified to hear that the 
actors in it have been tried and acquitted; and 
when they read the following account of the trial 
and ver4ict, published at the instance of the 
friends of the accused, their mortification will 
deepen into bitter indignation : 

from the "Spirit of Jefferson." 

"Colonel James Castleman. — The following 
statement, understood to have been drawn up by 
counsel, since the trial, has been placed by tlie 
friends of this gentleman in our hands for publi- 
cation : 

" At the Circuit Superior Court of Clarke 
County, coimnencing on the 13th of October, 
Judge Samuels presiding, James Castleman and 
his son Stephen D. Castleman were indicted 
jointly for the murder of negro Lewis, property of 
the latter. By advice of their counsel, the parties 
elected to be tried separately, and the attorney 
for the commonwealth directed that James Cas- 
tleman should be tried first. 

" It was proved, on this trial, that for many 
months previous to the occurrence the money- 
drawer of the tavern kept by Stephen D. Castleman, 
and the liquors kept in large quantities in his cellar, 
had been pillaged from time to time, until the thefts 
had attained tu a considerable amount. Suspicion 
had, fi'om various causes, been dii'eeted to Lewis, 
and another negro, named Reuben (a blacksmith), 
the property of James Castleman ; but by the aid 
of two of the house-servants they had eluded the 
most vigilant watch. 

" On the 20th of August last, in the afternoon, 
S. D. Castleman accidentally discovered 'a clue, 
by means of which, and through one of the house- 
servants implicated, he was enabled fully to de- 
tect the depredators, and to ascertain the manner 
ia which the theft had been committed. He im- 



mediately sent for his father, living near him, and 
after communicating what hie had discovered, it 
was determined that the offenders should be pun- 
ished at once, and before they should know of the 
discovery that had been made. 

" Lewis was punished first ; and in a manner, as 
was fully shovsTi, to preclude all risk of injury to 
his person, by sti-ipes with a broad leathern strap. 
He was punished severely, but to an extent by no 
means disproportionate to his offence ; nor was it 
pretended, in any quarter, that this punishment 
implicated either his life or health. He confessed 
the oflence, and admitted that it had been effected 
by false keys, furnished by the blacksmith, Reu- 
ben. 

" The latter sen^ant was punished immediately 
afterAvards. It was believed that he was the 
principal offender, and he was found to be more 
obdurate and contumacious than Lewis had been 
in reference to the offence. Thus it was proved, 
both by the prosecution and the defence, tliat he 
was punished with gi-eater severity than his ac- 
complice. It resulted in a like confession on his 
part, and he produced the false key, one fashioned 
by himself, by which the theft had been effected 
" It was further shown, on the trial, that Lewis 
was whipped in the upper room of a warehouse, 
connected with Stephen Castleman's store, and 
near the public road, where he was at work at the 
time ; that after he had been flogged, to secure 
his person, whilst they went after Reuben, he was 
confined by a chain around his neck, which was 
attached to a joist above his head. The length of 
this chain, the breadth and thickness of the joist, 
its height from the floor, and the circlet of chain 
on the neck, were accurately measured ; and it 
was thus shown that the chain unoccupied by the 
circlet and the joist was a foot and a half longer 
than the space between the shoulders of the man 
and the joist above, or to that extent the chain 
hung loose above him ; that the circlet (which was 
fastened so as to prevent its contraction) rested 
on the shoulders and breast, the chain being suf- 
ficiently drawn only to prevent being slipped over 
his head, and that there was no other place in the 
room to which he could be fastened, except to one 
of the joists above. His hands were tied in front ; 
a white man, who had been at work with Lewis 
during the day, was left with him by the Messrs. 
Castleman, the better to insure his detention, whilst 
they were absent after Reuben. It was proved by 
this man (who was a witness for the prosecution) 
that Lewis asked for a box to stand on, or for 
something that he could jump off from ; that after 
the Castlemans had left him he expressed a fear 
that when they came back he would be whipped 
again ; and said, if he had a knife, and coidd get 
one hand loose, he would cut his throat. The 
witness stated that the negro ' stood firm on his 
feet,' that he could turn freely in whatever di- 
rection he wished, and that he made no complaint 
of the mode of his confinement. This man stated 
that he remained with Lewis about half an hour, 
and then left there to go home. 

" After punishing Reuben, the Castlemans re- 
turned to the warehouse, bringing him with them ; 
their object being to confront the two men, in the 
hope that by further examination of them jointly 
all their accomplices might be detected. 

" They were not absent more than half an hour. 
When they entered the room above, Lewis vras 
found hanging by the neck, his feet thrown behind 



■L* 



102 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



him, Iiis knees a few inches from the floor, and his 
lirad thrown forward — the body warm and sup- 
ple (or relaxed), but life Avas extinct. 

"It was proved by the surgeons who made a post- 
mortem examination before the coroner's inquest 
that the death Avas caused by strangulation by 
hano-ing ; and other eminent surgeons were ex- 
amined to show, from the appearance of the brain 
and its Ijlood-vessels after death (as exhibited at 
the post-mortem examination), that the subject 
could not have fainted before strangulation. 

" After the evidence was finished on botli sides, 
the jury from their box, and of their own motion, 
v.ithout a word from counsel on either side, in- 
formed the court that they had agreed upon their 
verdict. The counsel assented to its being thus 
received, and a verdict of " not guilty " was im- 
mediately rendered. The attorney for the com- 
monwealth then informed the court that all the 
evidence for the prosecution had been laid before 
che jury ; and as no new evidence could be offered 
on the trial of Stephen I). C^astleman, he sub- 
mitted to the court the propriety of entering a 
nolle prosequi. The judge replied that the case had 
been fully and fairly laid before the jury upon the 
evidence ; that the court was not only satisfied 
v/ith the verdict, but, if any other had been ren- 
dered, it must have been set aside ; and that if no 
fiu-t!ier evidence was to be adduced on the trial of 
Stephen, the attorney for the commonwealth 
would exercise a proper discretion in entering a 
nolle proseijui as to him, and the court would ap- 
prove its being done. A nolle prosequi was en- 
tered accordingly, and both gentlemen discharged. 

" It may be added that two days were consumed 
in exhibiting the evidence, and that the trial was 
l)y a jury of Clarke County. Both the parties 
liud been on bail from the time of their arrest, and 
^vere continued on bail whilst the trial was de- 
pending." 

Let us admit that the e^-idence does not prove 
the legal crime of homicide : what candid man 
can doubt, after reading this co? parte version of it, 
that the slave died in consequence of the punish- 
ment inflicted upon him ? 

In criminal prosecutions the federal constitu- 
tion guarantees to the accused the right to a pub- 
lic trial by an impartial jury; the right to be 
iiifdvmed of the nature and cause of tlie accusa- 
tion ; to be confronted with the witnesses against 
liiui ; to have compulsory process for obtaining 
witness in his favor ; and to have the assistance 
<jf counsel ; guarantees necessary to secure inno- 
cence against hasty or vindictive judgment, — a1> 
soliitely necessary to prevent injustice. Grant that 
th(!y vvere not intended fur shivt^s ; every master of 
a slave must feel that they are still morally bind- 
ing u])on him. lie is the sole judge ; he alone 
deti'rniincs the offence, the ja-oof requisite to es- 
taltlisli it, and the amount 'of the punishment. 
The slave then lias a peculiar claim upon him for 
justice. When charged with a crime, common 
humanity nnjuires that he should be informed of 
it, tliat he should beconfronted with the witnesses 
against liim, that he should be permitted to show 
evidence in flavor of his innocence. 

J!ut how was poor Lewis treated? The son of 
Castleman said ho laid discovered who stole the 
money ; and it was forthwith " determined that 
the offenders should be punished at once, and be- 
fore tkcy should know of the dn^coviry that had been 
made.'^ Punished without a hearing ! Punished 



on the testimony of a house-servant, the nature of 
which does not appear to have been inquired inta 
by the court ! Not a word is said which au- 
thorizes the belief that any careful examination 
was made, as it respects their guilt. LeAvis and 
Reuben Avere assumed, on loose evidence, Avithout 
deliberate inA-estigation, to be guilty ; and then, 
without allowing them to attempt to show their 
evidence, they Avere whipped, until a confession 
of guilt was extorted by bodily pain, 
is this Virginia justice 1 

Lewis was punished Avith "a brnad leathern 
strap," — he was " punished severely :" this vre 
do not need to be told. A " broad leathern stmp" 
is well adapted to severity of punishment. " Nor 
Avas it pretended," the account says, "in any 
Quarter, that this punishment implicated cither 
his life or his health." This is false ; it Avas ex- 
pressly stated in the newspaper accounts at the 
time, and such Avas the general impression in the 
neighborhood, that the punishment did vei-y se- 
verely implicate his life. But more of this anon. 

LcAvis was left. A chain was fastened around 
his neck, so as not to choke him, and secured to 
the joist above, leaving a slack of about a foot and 
a half. Remaining in an upright positi(m. he Avas 
secure against strangulation, but he could neither 
sit nor kneel ; and should he faint, he Avould be 
choked to death. The account says that they 
fastened him thus for the purpose of securing 
him. If this had been the sole object, it could 
have been accomj^lished by safer and less cruel 
methods, as every reader must know. This mode 
of securing him was intended probably to intimi- 
date him, and, at the same time, afforded some 
gratification to the vindictive feeling Avhich con- 
trolled the actors in this foul transaction. The 
man Avhom they left to Avatch LcAvis said that, 
after remaining there about half an hour, he went 
home ; and LcAvis was then alive. The Castle- 
mans say that, after punishing Reuben, they re- 
tui'ned, having been absent not more than half nu 
hour, and they found him hanging by the neck, 
dead. We direct attention to this part of the 
testimony, to shoAV hoAv loose the statements Avero 
Avhich went to make up the evidence. 

AYhy was LcAvis chained at all, and a man left 
to watch him .' " To secure him," say the Castle- 
mans. Is it customary to chain slaves in this 
manner, and set a watch over tiiem, after severe 
punishment, to prevent their running aAvay ? If 
the punishment of LcAvis had not been unusual, 
and if he had not been threatened with another 
infliction on their return, there would have been 
no necessity for chaining him. 

The testimony of tiie man left to watch repre- 
sents him as desperate, apparently, with pain and 
friglit. " LcAvis asked for a box to stand on :" 
why I Was ho not suffering from pain and ex- 
haustion, and did he not wish to rest himself, 
Avitliout danger of sIoav strangulation ! Again : 
lie asked for " sometliing he could jumpoff from ;" 
" after the Castlenuxns left, he exjiressed a fear 
when they came l)ack that he AA'ould be Avhinped 
a"-aiu ; and said, if he had a knife, and could get 
one hand loose, ho Avould cut his throat." 

The punislnnent that could drive him to such 
desperation must iiave been horrible. 

lloAV long tiiey Avere absent avo know not, for 

the testimony on tliis point is contradictory. 

They found him hanging by the neck, dead, "^ his 

feet thrown behind liim, his knees a few inches 

[ from the Hour, and his head thrown fcrAvard," :— 



f • 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



103 



iTe 



,ast the position he would naturally fall into, had 
Jie sunk from exhaustion. They wish it to appear 
that he hung himself. Coul(J this be proved (we 
need hardly say that it is not) , it would relieve 
but slightly the dark picture of their guilt. The 
probability is that he sank, exhausted by suffering, 
fatigue and fear. As to the testimony of " sur- 
geons," founded upon a post-mortem examination 
of the brain and blood-vessels, " that the subject 
could not have fainted before strangulation," it is 
not worthy of consideration. We know some- 
thing of the fallacies and fooleries of such ex- 
aminations. 

From all we can learn, the only evidence relied 
on by the prosecution was that white man em- 
ployed by the Castlemans. He was dependent 
upon them for work. Other evidence might have 
been obtained ; why it was not is for the prosecut- 
ing attorney to explain. To prove what we say, 
and to show that justice has not been done in this 
horrible affair, we publish the following commu- 
nication from an old and highly-respectable citizen 
of this place, and who is very far from being an 
Abolitionist. The slave-holders whom he men- 
tions are well known here, and would have 
promptly appeared in the case, had the prosecu- 
tion, which was aware of their readiness, sum- 
moned them. 

" To the Editor of the Era: 

" I see that Castleman, who lately had a trial 
for whipping a slave to death, in Virginia, was 
' triumphantly acquitted,'' — as many expected. 
There are three persons in this city, with whom I 
am acquainted, who staid at Castleman's the 
same night in which this aAvful tragedy was 
enacted. They heard the dreadful lashing and 
the heart-rending screams and entreaties of the 
sufferer. They implored the only white man they 
could find on the premises, not engaged in the 
bloody work, to interpose ; but for a long time he 
refused, on the ground that he was a dependent, 
and was afraid to give offence ; and that, more- 
over, they had been drinking, and he was in fear 
for his own life, should he say a word that would 
be displeasing to them. He did, however, ven- 
ture, and returned and reported the cruel manner 
in which the slaves were chained, and lashed, and 
secured in a blacksmith's vice. In the morning, 
when they ascertained that one of the slaves was 
dead, they were so shocked and indignant that 
they refused to eat in the house, and reproached 
Castleman with his cruelty. lie expressed his 
regret thtit the slave had died, and especially as 
he had ascertained that he ivas innocent of the ac- 
cusation fur which he had suffered. The idea was 
that he had fainted from exhaustion ; and, the 
chain being round his neck, he was strangled. 
The persons I refer to are themselves slave-holders, 
— hut their feelings were so harrowed and lace- 
rated that they could not sleep (two of them are 
ladies) ; and for many niglits afterwards their rest 
was disturbed, and then- dreams made frightful, 
by the appalling recollection. 

" These persons would have been material wit- 
nesses, and would have willingly attended on the 
part of the prosecution. The knowledge they had 
of the case was communicated to the proper au- 
thorities, yet their attendance was not required. 
The only witness was that dependent who con- 
sidered his own life in danger. 

"Yours, &c., J. F." 

The acoDunt, as published by the friends of the 



accused parties, shows a case of extreme cruelty. 
The statements made by our correspondent prove 
that the truth has not been fully revealed, and 
that justice has been baffled. The result of the 
trial shows how irresponsible is the power of a 
master over his slave ; and that whatever security 
the latter has is to be sought in the humanity of 
the former, not in the guarantees of law. Against 
the cruelty of an inhuman master he has really no 
safeguard. 

Our conduct in relation to this case, deferring 
all notice of it in our columns till a legal investi- 
gation could be had, shows that we are not dis- 
posed to be captious towards our slave-holding 
countrymen. In no unkind spirit have we ex- 
amined this lamentable case ; but we must expose 
the utter repugnance of the slave system to the 
proper administration of justice. The newspapers 
of Virginia generally publish the account from the 
Spirit of Jeffcrso?i, without comment. They are 
evidently not satisfied that justice was done ; 
they doubtless will deny that the accused were 
guilty of homicide, legally ; but they will not 
deny that they were guilty of an atrocity which 
should brand them forever, in a Chi-istian country. 



CHAPTER X. 

PRINCIPLES ESTABLISHED. — STATE V. LE- 
GREE; A CASE NOT IN THE BOOKS. 

From a review of all the legal cases 
which have hitherto heen presented, and of 
the principles established in the judicial 
decisions upon them, the following facts 
must be apparent to the reader : 

First, That masters do, now and then, 
kill slaves by the torture. 

Second, That the fact of so killing a 
slave is not of itself held presumption of 
murder, in slave jurisprudence. 

Third, That the slave in the act of resist- 
ance to his master may always be killed. 

From these things it will be seen to fol- 
low, that, if 'the facts of the death of Tom 
had been fully proved by two white wit- 
nesses, in open court, Legree could not have 
been held by any consistent interpreter of 
slave-law to be a murderer ; for Tom w^as 
in the act of resistance to the will of his 
master. His master had laid a command 
on him, in the presence of other slaves. 
Tom had deliberately refused to obey the 
command. The master commenced chas- 
tisement, to reduce him to obedience. And 
it is evident, at the first glance, to every 
one, that, if the law does not sustain him in 
enforcing obedience in such a case, there is 
an end of the whole slave power. No 
Southern court would dare to decide that 
Leo-ree did wrong to continue the punish- 
ment, as long as Tom continued the insub- 
ordination. Legree stood hy him every 



104 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



moment of the time^ pressing him to yield, 
and offering to let him go as soon as he did 
yield. Tom's resistance was insurrection. 
It was an example which could not be 
allowed, for a moment, on any Southern 
plantation. By the express words of the 
constitution of Georgia, and by the under- 
standing and usage of all slave-law, the 
power of life and death is always left in the 
hands of the master, in exigences like this. 
This is not a case like that of Souther v. 
The Commonwealth. The victim of Souther 
was not in a state of resistance or insurrec- 
tion. The punishment, in his case, was a 
simple vengeance for a past offence, and not 
an attempt to reduce him to subordination. 
There is no principle of slave jurispru- 
dence by which a man could be pronounced 
a murderer, for acting as Legree did, in his 
circumstances. Everybody must see that 
such an admission would strike at the found- 
ations of the slave system. To be sure, 
Tom was in a state of insurrection for con- 
science' sake. But the law does not, and 
cannot, contemplate that the negro shall 
have a conscience independent of his mas- 
ter's. To allow that the negro may refuse 
to obey his master whenever he thinks that 
obedience would be wrong, would be to pro- 
duce universal anarchy. If Tom had been 
allowed to disobey his master in this case, 
for conscience' sake, the next day Sihnbo 
would, have had a case of conscience, and 
Quimbo the next. Several of them might 
very justly have thought that it was a sin 
to work as they did. The mulatto Avoman 
would have remembered that the command of 
God forbade her to take another husband. 
Motliers might have considered that it was 
more their duty to stay at home and take 
care of their children, when they were 
young and feeble, than to work for Mr. 
Legree in the cotton-field. There would 
be no end to the havoc made upon cotton- 
growing operations, were the negro alloAved 
the right of maintaining his own conscience 
on moral subjects. If the slave system is a 
right system, and ought to be maintained, 
Mr. Legree ought not to be blamed for his 
conduct in this case ; for he did only what 
was alisolutely essential to maintain the 
system ; and Tom died in fanatical and fool- 
hardy resistance to "the powers that be, 
which are ordained of God." He followed 
a sentimental impulse of his desperately 
depraved heart, and neglected those "solid 
to^ichings of the written word," which, as 
recently elucidated, have proved so refresh- 
ing to eminent political men. 



CHAPTER XI. 

THE TRIUMPH Of JUSTICE OVER LAW, 

Having been obliged to record so many 
trials in which justice has been turned away 
backward by the hand of law, and equity 
and common humanity have been kept out 
by the bolt and bar of logic, it is a relief to 
the mind to find one recent trial recorded, 
in North. Carolina, in vv'hich the nobler 
feelings of the human heart have burst over 
formalized limits, and where the prosecution 
appears to have been conducted by men, 
who Avere not ashamed of possessing in their 
bosoms that very dangerous and most illog- 
ical agitator, a human heart. It is true 
that, in giving this trial, very sorrowful, 
but inevitable, inferences will force them- 
selves U2)on the mind, as to that state of 
public feeling which allowed such outrages 
to be perpetrated in open daylight, in the 
capital of Nofth Carolina, upon a hapless 
woman. It would seem that the public 
Avere too truly instructed in the awful doc- 
trine pronounced by Judge Ruffin, that 

" THE POWER OF THE MASTER MUST BE 

ABSOLUTE," to think of interfering Avhile 
the poor creature was dragged, barefoot and 
bleeding, at a horse's neck, at the rate of 
five miles an hour, through the streets of 
Raleigh. It seems, also, that the most 
horrible brutalities and enormities that 
could be conceived of were witnessed^ with- 
out any efficient interference, by a numbei 
of the citizens, among whom we see the 
name of the Hon. W. H. HayAVOod, of Ra- 
leigh. It is a comfort to find the attorney- 
general, in this case, speaking as a man 
ought to speak. Certainly there can be 
no occasion to Avish to pervert or overstate 
the dread workings of the slave system, oi 
to leave out the few comforting and encour- 
aKino- features, however small the ^ncour- 
agement of them may be. 

The case is noAV presented, as narrated 
from the published reports, by Dr. Bailey, 
editor of the National Era ; a man Avhose 
candor and fairness need no indorsing, as 
every line that he Avrites speaks for itself 

The reader may at first bo surprised to 
find slave testimony in the court, till he 
recollects that it is a slaA'e that is on trial, 
the testimony of slaves being only null .^ 
Avhen it concerns Avhites. 

AN' INTERESTING TRIAL. 

We find in one of the Raleigh (North Caro- 
lina) papers, of June 5, 1851, a report of an 
interesting trial, at the spring term of the Su- 
perior Court. Mima, a slave, was Indicted for '^ 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



105 



the murder of her master, William Smith, of 
Johnston County, on the* night of the 29th of 
November, 1850. The evidence for the prose- 
cution was Sidney, a slave-boy, twelve years 
old, who testified that, in the night, he and a 
slave-girl, named Jane, were roused from sleep 
by the call of their master, Smith, who had re- 
turned home. Tliey went out, and found ^lima 
tied to his horse's neck, with two ropes, one 
round her neck, the other round her hands. 
Deceased carried her into the house, jerking the 
rope fastened to her neck, and tied her to a post. 
He called for something to eat, threw her a piece 
of bread, and, after he had done, beat her on her 
naked back with a large piece of light-wood, 
giving her many hard blows. In a short time, 
deceased went out of the house, for a special pur- 

Sose, witness accompanying him with a torch- 
ght, and hearing him say that he intended " to 
use the prisoner up." The light was extin- 
guished, and he reentered the house for the pur- 
pose of lighting it. Jane was there ; but th« 
prisoner had been untied, and was not there. 
While lighting his torch, he heard blows outside, 
and heard the deceased cry out, two or three times, 
" 0, Leah ! 0, Leah !" Witness and Jane went 
out, saw the deceased bloody and struggling, were 
frightened, ran back, and shut themselves up. 
Leah, it seems, was mother of the prisoner, and 
had run off two years, on account of cruel treat- 
ment by the deceased. 

Smith was speechless and unconscious till he 
died, the following morning, of the wounds in- 
flicted on him. 

It was proved on the trial that Carroll, a white 
man, living about a mile from the house of the 
deceased, and whose wife was said to be the ille- 
gitimate daughter of Smith, had in his possession, 
the morning of the murder, the receipt given the 
deceased by sheriff High, the day before, for jail 
fees, and a note for thirty-five dollars, due deceased 
from one Wiley Price, which Carroll collected a 
short time thereafter ; also the chest-keys of the 
deceased ; and no proof was offered to show how 
Carroll came into possession of these articles. 

The following portion of the testimony discloses 
facts so horrible, and so disgraceful to the people 
who tolerated, in broad daylight, conduct which 
would have shamed the devil, that we copy it 
just as we find it in the Raleigh paper. The 
scene, remember, is the city of Raleigh. 

" The defence was then opened. James Harris, 
C. W. D. Ilutchings, and Hon. W. H. Haywood, 
of Raleigh ; John Cooper, of Wake ; Joseph Hane 
and others, of Johnston, were examined for the 
prisoner. The substance of their testimony was 
as follows : On the forenoon of Friday, 2yth of 
November last, deceased took prisoner from Ra- 
leigh jail, tied her round the neck and Avrist ; 
ropes were then latched to the horse's neck ; he 
cursed the prisoner several times, got on his horse, 
and started off; when he got opposite the Tele- 
graph ofHce, on Fayetteville-street, he pulled her 
shoes and stockings off, cursed her again, went 
off in a swift trot, the prisoner running after him, 
doing apparently all she could to keep up ; passed 
round by Peck's store ; prisoner seemed very 
humble and submissive; took down the street east 
of the capitol, going at the rate of five miles an 
hour; continued this gait until he passed 0. 
Rork's corner, about half or three-quarters of a 
mile from the capitol ; that he reached Cooper's 
(oae of the witnesses), thirteen miles from Ra- 



leigh, about four o'clock, P. M. : that it was rain- 
ing very hard ; deceased got off his horse, turned 
it loose with prisoner tied to its neck ; witness 
went to take deceased's horse to stable ; heard 
great lamentations at the house ; hurried back ; 
saw his little daughter running through the rain 
from the house, much frightened ; got there ; 
deceased was gouging prisoner in the eyes, and 
she making outcries ; made him stop ; became 
vexed, and insisted upon leaving ; did leave in a 
short time, in the rain, sun about an hour high; 
when he left, prisoner was tied as she was before ; 
her arms and fingers were very much swollen ; the 
rope around her wrist was small, and had sunk 
deep into the flesh, almost covered with it; that 
around the neck was large, and tied in a slip- 
knot ; deceased would jerk it every now and then ; 
when jerked, it would choke prisoner ; she was 
barefoot and bleeding ; deceased was met some 
time after dark, in about six miles of home, being 
twenty- four or twenty-five from Raleigh." 

Why did they not strike the monster to the 
earth, and punish him for his infernal brutality? 

The attorney-general conducted the prosecution 
with evident loathing. The defence argued; first, 
that the evidence was insuflScient to fasten the 
crime upon the prisoner ; secondly, that, should 
the jury be satisfied beyond a rational doubt that 
the prisoner committed the act charged, it would 
yet be only manslaughter. 

" A single bloAV between equals Avould mitigate 
a killing instanter from murder to manslaughter. 
It could not, in law, be anything more, if done 
under the furor brevis of passion. But the rule 
was different as between master and slave. It 
was necessary that this should be, to preseiTe the 
subordination of the slave. The prisoner's coun- 
sel then examined the authorities at length, and 
contended that the prisoner's case came within 
the rule laid down in The State v. Will (1 Dev. 
and Bat. 121). The rule there given by Judge 
Gaston is this : ' If a slave, in defence of his 
life, and under circumstances strongly calculated 
to excite his passions of terror and resentment^ 
kill his overseer or master, the homicide is, by 
such circumstances, mitigated to manslaughter.' 
The cruelties of the deceased to the prisoner were 
grievous and long-continued. They would have 
shocked a barbarian. The savage loves and thirsts 
for blood ; but the acts of civilized life have not 
afforded him such refinement of" torture as was 
here exhibited." 

The attorney-general, after discussing tlie law, 
appealed to the jury " not to suffer the prejudice 
which the counsel for the defence had attempted 
to create against the deceased [tvhose conduct, he 
admitted, was disgraceful to human nature) to in- 
fluence their judgments in deciding whether the 
act of the prisoner was criminal or not, and what 
degree of criminality attached to it. He desired 
the prisoner to have a fair and impartial trial. He 
wished her to receive the benefit of every rational 
doubt. It ivas her right, however humble her condi- 
tion ; he hoped he had not that heart, as he certainly 
had not the right by virtue of his office, to ask in her 
case for anything more than he would ask from the 
highest and proudest of the land on trial, that the 
jury should decide according to the evidence, and 
vindicate the violated law." 

These were honorable sentiments. 

After an able charge by Judge Ellis, the jury 
retired, and, after having remained out several 
hours, returned with a verdict of Not Guiltt. Of 



106 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



course, we see not how they could hesitate to come 
to this verdict at once. 

The correspondent who furnishes the Register 
with a report of tlie case says : 

"It excited an intense interest in the commu- 
nity in which it occurred, and, although it devel- 
ops a series of cruelties shocking to human 
nature, the result of the trial, nevertheless, vindi- 
cates the benignity and justice of our laws tow- 
ards that class of our population whose condi- 
tion Northern fanaticism has so carefully and 
grossly misrepresented, for their own purposes of 
selfishness, agitation, and crime." 

We have no disposition to misrepresent the 
condition of the slaves, or to disparage the laws 
of North Carolina ; but we ask, with a sincere 
desire to know the truth. Do the laws of North 
Carolina allow a master to practise such horrible 
cruelties upon his slaves as Smith was guilty of, 
•ind would the public sentiment of the city of Ra- 
/eigh permit a repetition of such enormities as 
were perpetrated in its streets, in the light of 
day, by that miscreant 1 

In conclusion, as the accounts of these 
various trials contain so many shocking in- 
cidents and particulars the author desires 
to enter a caution against certain mistaken 
uses which may be made of them, hj well- 
intending persons. The crimes themselves, 
which form the foundation of the trials, are 
not to be considered and spoken of as speci- 
mens of the common working of the slave 
system. They are, it is true, the logical 
and legitimate fruits of a system which 
makes every individual owner an irrespons- 
. ible despot. But the actual number of 
them, compared with the whole number of 
masters, we take pleasure in saying, is 
small. It is an injury to the cause of 
freedom to ground the argument against 
slavery upon the frequency with which 
such scenes as these occur. It misleads the 
popular mind as to the real issue of the 
subject. To hear many men talk, one 
would think that they supposed that unless 
negroes actually were whipped or burned 
alive at the rate of two or three dozen a 
week, there was no harm in slavery. They 
seem to see nothing in the system but its 
gross bodily abuses. If these are absent, 
they think there is no harm in it. They do 
uot consider that the twelve hours' torture 
of some poor victim, bleeding away his 
life, drop hj drop, under the hands of a 
Souther, is only a symbol of tliat more 
atrocious process by Avhich the divine, im- 
mortal soul is mangled, burned, lacerated, 
thrown down, stamped upon, and suffocated, 
by the fiend-like force of the tyrant Slav- 
ery. And as, when the torturing Avork was 
done, and the poor soul flew up to the judg- 
ment-seat, to stand there in awful witness, 
there >vas not a vestige of humanity left in 



that dishonored body, nor anything by 
which it could be said, " See, this was a 
man!" — so, when Slavery has finished 
her legitimate work upon the soul, and 
trodden out every spark of manliness, and 
honor, and self-respect, and natural affec- 
tion, and conscience, and religious sentiment, 
then there is nothing left in the soul, 
by which to say, " This was a man ! " 
and it becomes necessary for judges to con- 
struct grave legal arguments to prove that 
the slave is a human being. 

Such extreme cases of bodily abuse from 
the despotic power of slavery are compara- 
tively rare. Perhaps they may be paral- 
leled by cases brought to light in the crim- 
inal jurisprudence of other countries. They 
might, perhaps, have happened anywhere; 
at any rate, we will concede that they 
might. But where under the sun did such 
TRIALS, of such cases, ever take place, 
in any nation professing to be free and 
Christian? The reader of English history 
will perhaps recur to the trials under Judge 
Jeffries, as a parallel. A moment's reflec- 
tion will convince him that there is no 
parallel between the cases. The decisions 
of Jeffries were the decisions of a monster, 
who violently wrested law from its legiti- 
mate course, to gratify his own fiendish 
nature. The decisions of American slave- 
law have been, for the most part, the deci- 
sions of honorable and humane men, who 
have wrested from their natural course the 
most humane feelings, to fulfil the mandates 
of a cruel law. 

In the case of Jeffi'ies, the sacred forms 
of the administration of justice were violat- 
ed. In the case of the American decisions, 
every form has been maintained. Revolt- 
ing to humanity as these decisions appear, 
they are strictly logical and legal. 

Therefore, again, we say, Where, ever, in 
any nation professing to be civilized and 
Christian, did such trials, of such cases, 
take place ? When were ever such legal 
arguments made 7 Wlien, ever, such legal 
principles judicially affirmed? Was ever 
such a trial held in England as that in 
Virginia, of Souther v. The Common- 
wealth 7 Was it ever necessary in Eng- 
land for a judge to declare on the bench, 
contrary to the opinion of a loAver court," 
that the death of an apprentice, by twelve 
hours' torture from his, master, di d'amomit 
to murder in the fii'st degree 7 Was such a 
decision, if given, accompanied by the af- 
firmation of the principle, that any amoiint 
of torture inflicted by the master, short of 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM's CABIN. 



107 



the point of death, wag not indictable? 
Not being read in English law, the writer 
cannot sa j ; but there is strong impression 
from within that such a decision as this 
would have shaken the whole island of 
Great Britain; and that such a case as 
Souther v. The CommomveaUh would 
never have been forgotten under the 
sun. Yet it is probable that very few per- 
sons in the United States ever heard of the 
case, or ever would have heard of it, had it 
not.laeen quoted by the New York Courier 
and Enquirer as an overwhelming ex- 
ample of legal humanity. 

The horror of the whole matter is, that 
more than one such case should ever need 
to happen in a country, in order to make 
the whole community feel, as one man, that 
such power ought not to be left in the hands 
of a master. How many such cases do 
people toish to have happen? — how many 
tnust happen, before they will learn that 
utter despotic power is not to be trusted in 
any hands'? If one white man's son or 
brother had been treated in this way, under 
the law of apprenticeship, the whole coun- 
try would have trembled, from Louisiana to 
Maine, till that law had been altered. They 
forget that the black man has also a father. 
It is "He that sitteth upon the circle of 
the hea\'Bn3, who bringeth the princes to 
nothing, and maketh the judges of the earth 
as vanity."' He hath said that " When he 
maketh inquisition for blood, he forgettbth 
NOT the cry of the humble." That blood 
which has fallen so despised to the earth, — 
that blood which lawyers have quibbled over, 
in the quiet of legal nonchalance, discussing 
in great ease whether it fell by murder in the 
first or second degree, — HE will one day 
reckon for as the blood of his own child. 
He " is not slack concerning his promises, 
as some men count slackness, but is long- 
suffering to usward;" but the day of ven- 
geance is surely coming, and the year of 
his redeemed is in his heart. 

Another court will^ sit upon these trials, 
when the Son of Man shall come in his glory. 
It will be not alone Souther, and such as he, 
that will be arraigned there ; but all those in 
this nation, north and south, who have abetted 
the system, and made the laws which jiade 
Souther what he was. In that court negro 
testimony will be received, if never before ; 
and the judges and the counsellors, and the 
chief men, and the mighty men, marshalled 
to that awful bar, will say to the mountains 
and the rocks. " Fall on us and hide us 
from the face of Him that sitteth on 



the throne, and from the wrath of the 
Lamb." 

The wrath of the Lamb ! Think of it ! 
Think that Jesus Christ has been present, 
a witness. — a silent witness through every 
such scene of torture and anguish, — a silent 
witness in every such court, calmly hearing 
the evidence given in, the lawyers pleading, 
the bills filed, and cases appealed! And 
think what a heart Jesus Christ has, and 
with what age-long patience he has sufiered ? 
What awful depths are there in that word, 
LONG-SUFFERIN-G ! and what must be that 
wrath, when, after ages of endurance, this 
dread accumulation of Avrong and anguish 
comes up at last to judgment ! 



CHAPTER XL 

A COMPARISON OF THE ROMAN LAW OP 
SLAVERY WIT? THE AMERICAN. 

The writer has expressed the opinion 
that the American law of slavery, taken 
throughout, fs a more severe one than that 
of any other civilized nation, ancient or 
modern, if we except, perhaps, that of 
the Spartans. She has not at hand the 
means of comparing French and Spanish 
slave-codes ; but, as it is a common remark 
that Roman slavery was much more severe 
than any that has ever existed in America, 
it will be well to compare the Roman with 
the American law. We therefore present 
a description of the Roman slave-law, as 
quoted by William Jay, Esq., from Blair's 
^Inquiry itito the State of Slavery among 
the Romans,^' gj^ing such references to 
American authorities as will enable the 
reader to make his own comparison, and to 
draw his own inferences. 

I. The slave had no protection against the avarice, 
rage, or lust of the master, ivhose authority leas 
founded in absolute property ; and the bond?nan 
laas viewed less as a human being subject to arbitrary 
dominion, than as an inferior animal, depcTideni 
wholly on the will of his owner. 

See law of South Carolina, in Stroud's 
'■^Sketch of the Laics of Slavery,''^ p. 23. 

' Slaves shall be deemed, sold, taken, reputed 

and adjudged in law to be chattels per- ^ srev. Dig. 

sonal in the hands of their owners and 22a Prince's 

possessors, and their executors, admin- _,^'f; '^: 
!.^ J • i, 11 -ii. Cobb's Dig. 

istrators and assigns, to all intents, 972. 

constructions, and purposes whatever. 

A slave is one who is in the lou. cirii CoA^ 
power of a master to whom he art. 35. stiwia'a 
belongs Sketch, psa 



108 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



Such obedience is the consequence only 

Judge iiuf- of" uncontrolled authority over the body. 
uTttie^ca^j'of i'l'Gre is nothing else which can op- 
rue State v. crate to produce the eifect. The power 
Mann. \Vhee- gf ^^e niaster must be absolute, to ren- 
^veryi 240. ^^'^ t'^^ submission of the slave perfect. 

II. At first, the master possessed the uncontrolled 
power of life and death. 

Judge Clarke, in case of ^^M * Very early period in 

State of .Miss. v. Jones. Virginia, the power or lite over 

Wheeler, 252. slavcs was given by statute. 

m. He might kill, mutilate or torture his slaves, 
for any or no offence ; he wight force them to become 
gladiators or prostituies. 

The privilege of killing is now some- 
what abridged; as to mutilation and tor- 
ture, see the case of Souther v. The Com- 
montveallh, 7 Grattan.^ 673, qu'oted in 
Chapter III., above. Also State v. Mann^ 
in the same chapter, from Wheeler.^ p. 244. 

IV. The temporary unions of male with female 
slaves were formed and dissolved at his command ; 
fa/nilies and friends were separated when he pleased. 

See the decision of Judge Mathews in 
the case of Girod v. Lewis, Wheeler, 199 : 

It is clear, that slaves have no legal capacity to 
assent to any contract. With the consent of their 
master, they may marry, and their moral power 
to agree to such a contract or connection as that 
of marriage cannot be doubted ; but whilst in a 
state of slavery it cannot produce any civil effect, 
because slaves are deprived of all civil rights. 

See also the chapter below on " the sep- 
aration of families," and the files of any 
southern newspaper, passim. 

V. The laics recognized no obligation upon the 
mvners of slaves, to furnish them ivith food and 
clothing, or to take care of them in sickness. 

The extent to which this deficiency in 
the Roman law has been supplied in the 
American, by '^protective acts,'' has been 
exhibited above.* 

VI. Slaves could have no property but hy the suf- 
ferance of their master, for whom they acquired 
everytliing, and with whom they could form no en- 
gagements which could he binding on him. 

The following chapter will show how far 
American legislation is in advance of that 
of the Romans, in that it makes it a penal 
oiFence on the part of the master to permit 
his slave to hold property, and a crime 
on the ])art of the slave to be so permitted. 
For the present purpose, we give an extract 
from the Civil code of Louisiana, as quoted 
by Judge Stroud : 



• See also the case of State v. Abram, 10 Ala. 928. lU. 
B. Dig. p. 449. "Tho master or ovor.secr, and not the 
clave, 18 tho proper judjje whctlier tho slave is too sick to 
be able to labi^r. The latter cannot, therefore, resist tho 
oedar of the former to go to work." 



A slave is one who is in the power of a mastef 
to whom he belongs. The master may sell him, • 
dispose of his person, his industry, (,j^.j, ^^^ 
and his labor ; he can do nothing, Article 35.' 
possess nothing, nor acquire anything Stroud, p. 22. 
but what must belong to his master. 

According to Judge RuflBn, a slave is 
"one doomed in his own person, and his 
posterity, to live without knowl- -mi-ier's Law 
edge, and Avithout the capacity to •^o^'^'suTe v'. - 
make anything his own, and to ^^*^- 
toil that another may reap the fruits." 

With reference to the binding power of 
engagements between master and slave, the 
following decisions from the Uijitgd States 
Digest are in point (7, p. 449) : 

All the acquisitions of the slave i* possession 
are the property of his master, not- * 
withstanding the promise of his mas- ve^.'^o^u*^^ 
ter that the slave shall have certain of ' 424. 
them. 

A slave paid money which he had earned over 
and above his wages, for thjB purchase of his 
children into the hands of B, and B purchased 
such children with the money. Held that 
the master of such slave was entitled to ' " 
recover the money of B. 

Vii. The master might transfer his rights by 
either sale or gift, or might bequeath them by will. 

Slaves shall be deemed, sold, taken, reputed 
and adjudged in law, to be chattels Law of s. Car- 
personal in the hands of their owners oi'ia- Cobb'j 
and possessors, and their executors, '°*^'' ^'^' 
administrators, and assigns, to all intents, con- 
structions, and purposes whatsoever. 

VIII. A master selling, giving, or bequeathing 
a slave, sometimes made it a provision that he should 
never be carried abroad, or that he should be 7nanu- 
mittcd on a fixed day ; or that, on the other hand, 
he should never be emancipated, or that he should be 
kept in chains for life. 

We hardly think that a provision that*- a 

slave should never be emancipated, or that 

he should be kept in chains for 

^'i'hX' u.^'.^' life, would be sustained. A pro- 

ucp. 1, 5 u. s. vision that the slave should not 

Jjig. 792, § 5. , . , i r xi i- i. 

be earned out 01 the state, or 
sold, and that on the happening of either 
ev'ent he should \fR free, has been sustained. 
The remainder of Blair's account of Ro- 
man slavery is devoted rather to the practices 
of masters than the state of the law itself 
Surely, the writer is not called upon to 
exhibit in tlie society of enlightened, repub- 
lican and Christian America, in the nine- 
teenth century, a parallel to the atrocities 
committed in pagan Rome, under the scep- 
tre of the persecuting Ca;sars, when the 
amphitheatre was the favorite resort of the 
most refined of her citizens, as well as the 
great " school of morals" for the multitude. 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



109 



A fevf references only will show, as far as 
we desire to show, how much safer it is now 
to trust man with absolute power over his 
fellow, than it was then. 

IX. While slaves turned the handmill they were 
generally chained, and. had a broad wooden collar, to 
■prevail them from eating the grain. The furca, 
which in later language means a gibbet, tvas, in older 
dialect, used to denote a wooden fork or collar, wJdch 
was made to bear upon their shoulders, or around 
their necks, as a mark of disgrace, as much as an 
uneasy burden. 

The reader has already seen, in Chapter 
v., that this instrument of degradation has 
been in use, in our own day, in certain of 
the slave stateS, under the express sanction 
and protection of statute laws ; although the 
material is different, and the construction 
doubtless improved by modern ingenuity. 

X. Fetters and chains were much used for pun- 
ishment (fr restraint, and were, in some instances, 
worn by slaves during life, through the sole author- 
ity of the master. Porters at the gates of the rich 
were generally chained. Field laborers worked for 
the most part in irons posterior to the first ages of 
the republic. 

The Legislature of South Carolina spec- 
ially sanctions the same practices, by except- 
ing them in the ^'■'protective enactment,^'' 
which inflicts the penalty of one hundred 
pounds " in case any person shall wilfully 
cut out the tongue," &c., of a slave, " or 
shall inflict any other cruel punishment, 
other than by whipping or beating with- 
a horse-whip, cowskin, switch, or small stick, 
or hij putting irons on, or confining or 
imprisoning such slave." 

XI. Some persons v^de it their business to catch 
runaway slaves. 

That such a profession, constituted by the 
highest legislative authority in the nation, 
and rendered respectable by the commenda- 
tion expressed or implied of statesmen and 
divines, and of newspapers political and re- 
ligious, exists in our midst, especially in 
the free states, is a fact which is, day by 
day, making itself too apparent to need tes- 
timony. The matter seems, however, to be 
managed in a more perfectly open and busi- 
ness-like manner in the State of Alabama 
than elsewhere. Mr. Jay cites the follow- 
ing advertisement from the Sumj>ter County 
(Ala.) Whig: 

NEGRO DOGS. 

The undersigned having bought the entire pack 
of Negro Dogs (of the Hay and Allen stock) , he 
now proposes to catch runaway negroes. His 
charges will be Three Dollars per day for hunting, 
and Fifteen Dollars for catching a runaway. He 



resides three and one half, miles north of Living- 
ston, near the lower Jones' Blafl'road. 

William Gambei,. 
Nov. 6, 1845. — 6m. 

^he following is copied, verbatim et lit- 
eratim, and with the pictorial embellish- 
ments, from The Dadeinlle (Ala.) Ban- 
7ier, of November 10th, 1852. The 
Dadeville Banner is " devoted to politics, 
literature, education, agriculture, 4"^." 

NOTICE. 

The undersigned having an excel- ^-- ^ 

• lentpack of Hounds, for trailing and^=i:^^ 
catching runaway slaves, informs the public that 
his prices in future will be as follows for such 
services : 
For each day employed in hunting or 

trailing, $2.50 

For catching each slave, _ - - 10.00 
For going over ten miles and catching 

slaves, 20.00 

If sent for, the above prices will be exacted in 
cash. The subscriber resides one mile and a 
half south of Dadeville, Ala. 

B. Black. 

Dadeville, Sept. 1, 1852. • Itf 

XTI. The runaivay, when taken, was severely 
punished by authority of the master, or by the judge, 
at his desire ; sometimes ivith crucifixion, amputa- 
tion of a foot, or by being sent to fight as a gladia- 
tor with wild beasts ; but most frequently by being 
branded on the brow with letters indicative of his 
crime. 

That severe punishment would be the lot 
of the recaptured runaway, every one would 
suppose, from the " absolute j)ower " of the 
master to inflict it. That it is inflicted in 
many cases, it is equally easy and needless 
to prove. The peculiar forms of punish- 
ment mentioned above are now very much 
out of vogue, but the following advertise- 
ment by Mr. Micajah Ricks, in the Raleigh 
(N. C.) Standard of July 18th, 1838, 
shows that something of classic taste in tor- 
ture still lingers in our degenerate days. 

Ran away, a negro woman and two children ; 
a few days before she went off, I burnt her with 
a hot iron, on the left side of her face. I tried to 
make the letter M. 

It is charming to notice the na'if be- 
trayal of literary pride on the part of Mr. 
Ricks. He did not wish that letter M to be 
taken as a specimen of what he could do in 
the way of writing. The creature would 
not hold still, and he fears the M may be 
ilegible. 

The above is only one of a long list of 
advertisements of maimed, cropped and 
branded negroes, in the book of Mr. "Weld, 
entitled American Slavery as It Is, p. 77. 



no 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



XIII. Cntei, rnaxd s sometimes hired torturers 
by profession, or had such persons in their estab- 
lishments, to assist them in punishing their slaves. 
The noses and ears and teeth of slaves were often 
in danger from an enraged owner; and sometimes 
the eyes of a great offender were fut out. Crucifix- 
. on icas very frecptrnthj made the fate of a wretched 
ilave for a trifling misconduct, or from mere 
reprice. 

For justification of suet practices as 
these, we refcK again to tliat horriblQ list of 
maimeil and mutilated men, advertised by- 
slaveholders themselves, in Weld's Ameri- 
can Slavery/ as It Is, p. 77. We recall the 
reader's attention to the evidence of the 
monster Kephart, given in Part I. As to 
crucifixion, we presume that there are 
wretches whose religious scruples would de- 
ter them from this particular form of torture, 
who would not hesitate to inflict equal cruel- 
ties by other means ; as the Greek pirate, 
during a massacre in the season of Lent, was 
conscience-stricken at having tasted a drop of 
blood. We presume ? — Let any one but read 
again, if he can. the sickening; details of that 
twelve hours' torture of Souther's slave, 
and say how much more merciful is Ameri- 
can slavery than Roman. 

The last item in Blair's description of 
Roman slavery is the following : 

By a decree passed by the Senate, if a master 
u^as ?niirdered when his slaves might possibly have 
aided him, all his household within reach were held 
as implicated, and deserving of death ; and Tacitus 
relates an instance in whidi a family of four hundred 
were all executed. 

To this alone, of all the atrocities of the 
slavery of old heathen Rome, do we fiiil to 
find a parallel in the slavery of the United 
States of America. 

There are other respects, in which Amer- 
ican lea;islation has reached a refinement in 
tyranny of which the despots of those early 
days never conceived. The following is the 
language of Gibbon : 

Hope, the best comfort of our impei'fect con- 
dition, was not denied to the Roman slave ; and if 
be had any opportunity of rendering himself either 
useful or agreeable, he might very naturally expect 
that the diligence and fidelity of a few years would 
be rewarded with the inestimable gift of freedom. 
• * * Without destroying the distinction of 
ranks, a distant prospect of freedt)m and honors 
was pi-esented even to those whom pride and pre- 
judice almost disdained to number among the 
human species.* 

The yctutlis of promising genius were in- 
structed in the arts and sciences, and their price 
was ascertained by the degree of their skill and 
talents. Almost every profession, either liberal 
or meciianical, might be found in the household of 
an opulent senator, f 

* GiLlion's " Decline and Fall." Cbap. ii. t ToW. 



The following chapter will show how 
"the best comfort" which Gibbcn knew for 
human adversity is taken away from the 
American slave ; how he is denied the com- 
monest privileges of education and mental 
improvement, and how the whole tendency 
of the unhappy system, under which he is 
in bondage, is to take from him the conso- 
lations of religion itself, and to degrade him 
from our common humanity, and common 
brotherhood with the Son of God. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

THE MEX BETTER THAN THEIR LAWS. 

Judgment is turned away backward, 
And Justice standeth afar off; 
For Truth is fallen in the street, 
And Equity cannot enter. 
Yea, Truth faileth ; 

And HE THAT DEPARTETH FROM EVIL MAKETH HIMSELF A 

PREv. Isaiah 59; 14, 15. 

There is one very remarkable class of 
laws yet to be considered. 

So full of cruelty and of vmmerciful se- 
verity is the slave-code, — such an atrocity 
is the institution of which it is the legal 
definition, — that there are multitudes of 
individuals too generous and too just to be 
willing to go to the full extent of its restric- 
tions and deprivations. 

A generous man, instead of regarding 
the poor slave as a piece of property, dead, 
and void of rights, is tempted to regard him 
rather as a helpless younger brother, or as 
a defenceless child, and to extend to him, 
by his own good right arm, that protection 
and those rights which the law denies him. 
A religious man, who, by the theory of his 
belief, regards all men as brothers, and con- 
siders his Christian slave, with himself, as a 
member of Jesus Christ, — as of one body, 
one spirit, and called in one hope of his 
calling, — cannot willingly see him " doomed 
to live without knowledge," without the 
power of reading the written Word, and to 
raise up his childi'cn after him in the same 
darkness. 

Hence, if left to itself, individual hu- 
manity would, in many cases, practically 
abrogate the slave-code. Individual human- 
ity would teach the slave to read and write, 
— would build school-houses for 'his chil- 
dren, and would, in very, very many cases, 
enfranchise him. 

The result of all this has been foreseen. 
It has been foreseen that the result of edu- 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



Ill 



cation would bi3 general intelligence ; that 
the result of inteUigence would be a knowl- 
edo-e of personal rights ; and that an inquiry 
into the doctrine of personal rights would 
be fatal to the system. It has been foreseen, 
also, that the example of disinterestedness 
and generosity, in emancipation, might carry 
with it a generous contagion, until it should 
become universal ; that the example of edu- 
cated and emancipated slaves would prove a 
dangerous excitement to those still in bondage. 

For this reason, the American slave-code, 
which, as we have already seen, embraces, 
substantially, all the barbarities of that of 
ancient Rome, has had added to it a set of 
laws more cruel than any which ancient and 
heathen Rome ever knew, — laws (^ei.^ned 
to shut against the slave his last rvfxuge, — 
the humanity of his master. The master, 
in ancient Rome, might give his slave what- 
ever advantages of education he chose, or at 
any time emancipate him, and the state did 
not interfere to prevent * 

But in America the laws, throughout all 
the slave states, most rigorotisly forbid, in 
the first place, the education of the slave. 
We do not profess to give all these laws, but 
a few striking specimens may be presented. 
Our authority is Judge Stroud's "Sketch 
of the Laws of Slavery." 

The legislature of South Carolina, in 
1740, enounced the following preamble : — 
Stroud's Sketch, " Whcrcas, the having of slaves 
p- ^^- taught to write, or suffering 
them to be employed in writing, may be at- 
tended with o-rea? incon'veniences ;'''' and 
enacted that the crime of teaching a slave to 
write, or of employing a slave as a scribe, 
should be punished by a fine of one hundred 
j)ounds, current money. If the reader will 
turn now to the infamous " protective " 
statute, enacted by the same legislature, in 
the same year, he will find that the sa7ne 
penalty has been appointed for the cutting 
out of the tongue, putting out of the eye, 
cruel scalding, &c., of any slave, as for the 
offence of teaching him to write ! That is 
to say, that to teach him to Avrite, and to put 
out his eyes, are to be regarded as equally 
reprehensible. 

That there might be no doubt of the 
"great and fundamental pohcy" of the 
state, and that there' might be full security 
against the '■'great inconveniences^^ of 
" having of slaves taught to write," it was 



* In and after the reign of Augustus, certain restrictive 
regulations were passed, designed to prevent an increase 
of unworthy citizens by emancipation. They had, how- 
eyer, nothing like the stringent force of American la^vs. 



enacted, in 1800, " That assemblies of slaves, 
free negroes, kc. * * * * for the 
purpose of mental instruction, in a con- 
fined or secret place, &c. &c., is [are] de- 
clared to be an unlawful meeting ; " and the 
officers are required to enter such confined 
places, and disperse the "unlawful assem- 
blage," inflicting, at their discretion, ^-such 
corporal punishment^ not exceeding twenty 
lashes, upon such slaves, free stroucvs sketch, 
negroes, &c., as they may judge ^;,,^^sDiS; 
necessary for deterring them, pp- 254^-5. 
from -the like unlawful assemblage in 
future.''^ 

The statute-book of Virginia is adorned 
with a law similar to the one last ^"gg'^'sg.PP" 
quoted. 

The offence of teaching a slave to write 
was early punished, in Georgia, as in South 
Carolina, by a pecuniary fine. But the 
city of Savannah seems to have found this 
penalty insufficient to protect it from ' ^ great 
inconveniences" and we learn, by a quot- 
ation in the work of Judge Stroud from 
a number of "The Portfoho," that "the 
city has passed an ordinance, by which any 
person that teaches any person of color, 
slave or free, to read or write, or causes 
such person to be so taught, is gtroud's sketch, 
subjected to a fine of thuty dol- pp- ^9, so. 
lars for each offence ; and every person of 
color who shall keep a school, to teach 
reading or writing, is subject to a fine of 
thirty dollars, or to be imprisoned ten days, 
and whipped thirty -nine lashes." 

Secondly. In regard to religious privi- 
leges : 

The State of Georgia has enacted a law, 
" To protect religious societies in the exer- 
cise of their religious duties." This law, 
after appointing rigorous penalties for the 
offence of interrupting or disturbing a con- 
gregation of vahite persons, concludes in the 
following words : 

No congregation, or company of negroes, 
shall, nndev pretence of divine icorship, stroud, p. 92. 
assemble themselves, contrary to the Prince's Digest, 
act regulating patrols. ^' 

" The act regulating patrols," as quoced 
by the editor of Prince's Digest, empowers 
every justice of the peace to disperse ANT 
assembly or meeti?ig of slaves „ 

, . , '' ,. 11 Stroud, p. 93. 

which fnay aisturb the peace, irince's Digest, 
&c., of his majesty's subjects, ^''^^'' 
and permits that every slave found at such 
a meeting shall " itrmiediately be corrected, 
"WITHOUT TRIAL, by receiving on the bare 
back twenty-five stripes with a whip, 
sjcitch. or couskin.'^ 



112 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



The history of legislation in South Caro- 
lina is significant. An act was passed in 
1800, containing the following section : 

Ifc shall not be lawful for any number of 

slaves, free negroes, mulattoes or mestizoes, even 
in company with white persons, to meet together 
Stroud p. 93. ^^^ assemble for the purpose of men- 
2 Brevard's tal instruction or religious worship, 
Dig. 254, 255. either before the rising of the sun, or 
after the going down of the same. And all magis- 
trates, sheriffs, militia officers, &c. &c., are hereby 
vested with power, &c., for dispersing such 
assemblies, &c. 

The law just quoted seems somehow to 
have had a prejudicial effect upon the reli- 
gious interests of the " slaves, free negroes," 
&c., specified in it; for, three years after- 
wards, on the petition of certain religious 
societies, a '•'• i^otective act'''' was passed, 
which should secure them this great re- 
Ugioiis privilege ; to wit, that it should be 
unlawful, before nine o'clock, " to break 
into a place of meeting, wherein shall be 
assembled the members of any religious so- 
ciety of this state, prov'ided a majority of 
them shall be white persons, or otherwise 
to disturb their devotion, unless such per- 
son shall have first obtained * * * * 
a warrant, &c." 

Thirdly. It appears that many masters, 
who are disposed to treat their slaves gen- 
erously, have allowed them to accumulate 
property, to raise, domestic animals for their 
own use, and, in the case of intelligent 
servants, to go at large, to hire their OAvn 
time, and to trade upon their own account. 
Upon all these practices the law comes 
down, with unmerciful severity. A penalty 
is inflicted on the owner, but, with a rigor 
quite accordant with the tenor of slave-law 
the offence is considered, in law, as that of 
the slave, rather than that of the master ; 
80 that, if the master is generous enough not 
to regard the penalty which is imposed upon 
himself, he may be restrained by the fear 
of bringing a greater evil upon his depend- 
ent. These laws are, in some cases, so con- 
structed as to make it for the interest of the 
lowest and most brutal part of society that 
they be enforced, by offering half the profits 
to the informer. We give the following, as 
specimens of slave legislation on this sub- 
ject : 

The law of South Carolina : 

It shall not be lawful for any slave to buy, 
sell, trade, &c., for any goods, &c., without a 
license from the owner, &c.; nor shall any slave bo 
permitted to keep any boat, periaugor,* or canoe, 



Stroud, p. 47 



I. t. Poriagua. 



or raise and breed, for the benefit of such slave, 
any horses, mares, cattle, sheep, or hogs, under 
pain of forfeiting all the goods, &c., and all the 
boats, periaugers, or canoes, horses, mares, cattle, 
sheep or hogs. And it shall be law- „. , .„ 

c \ c 1. X i Stroud, pp. 46, 

tul tor any person whatsoever to 47. james' Di 
seize and take away from any slave s=3t, 385. 386. 
all such ^oods, &c., boats, &c. &c., Actofi740. 
and to deliver the same into the hands of any jus- 
tice of the peace, nearest to the place where the 
seizure shall be made ; and such justice shall take 
the oath of the person making such seizure, con- 
cerning the manner thereof; and if tlie said jus- 
tice shall be satisfied that such seizure has been 
made according to law, he shall pronounce and 
declare the goods so seized to be forfeited, and 
order the same to be sold at public outcry, one 
half of the moneys arising from such sale to go to 
the state, and the other half to him or them that 
sue for the same. 

The laws in many other states are similar 
to the above ; but the State of Georgia has 
an additional provision, against per- 2 Cobb's 
mitting the slave to hire himself to ^'s- ^■^i- 
another for his own benefit ; a penalty of 
thirty dollars is imposed for every weekly 
offence, on the part of the master, unless 
the labor be done on his own premises. 
Savannah, Augusta, and Sunbury, are places 
excepted. 

In Virginia, "if the master shall permit 
his slave to hire himself out," the 
slave is to be apprehended, (fcc.,"" 
and the master to be fined. 

In an early act of the legislature of the 
orthodox and Presbyterian State of North 
Carolina, it is gratifying to see how the judi- 
cious course of public policy is made to 
subserve the i^jterests of Christian charity, 
— how, in a single ingenious sentence, pro- 
vision is made for punishing the offender 
against society, rewarding the patriotic in- 
former, and feeding the poor and destitute : 

All horses, cattle, hogs or sheep, that, one 
month after the passing of this act, shall 
belong to any slave, or be of any slave's sketch^47. 
mark, in this state, shall be seized and 
sold by the county wardens, and by them applied, 
the one-half to the support of the poor of the 
county, and the other half to the informer. 

In Mississippi a fine of fifty dollars is 
imposed upon the master who permits his 
slave to cultivate cotton for his own 
use ; or who licenses his slave to 
go at large and trade as a freeman ; or who 
is convicted of pernjitting his slave to keep 
" stock of (iny description.'^ 

To show how the above law has, been in- 
terpreted by the highest judicial tribunal of ■ 
the sovereign State of Mississippi, we repeat 
here a portion of a decision of Chief Justice 
Sharkey, which we have elsewhere given 
more in full 



Stroud, p. 4a. 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



113 



Independent of the principles laid down in ad- 
judicated cases, our statute-law prohibits slaves 
from owning certain kinds of property ; and it 
may be inferred that the legislature supposed 
they were extending the act as far as it could be 
necessary to exclude them from owning any prop- 
erty, as the prohibition includes that kind of 
property which they would most likely be per- 
mitted to own without interruption, to wit : hogs, 
horses, cattle, &c. They cannot be prohibited 
from holding such property in consequence of its 
being of a dangerous or offensive character, but be- 
cause it ivas deemed impolitic for them to hold prop- 
erty of any description. 

It was asserted, at the beginning of this 
head, that the permission of the master to a 
?lave to hire his own time is, by law, con- 
sidered the ojQfence of the slave ; the slave 
being subject to prosecution therefor, not 
the master. This is evident from the tenor 
of some of the laws quoted and alluded to 
above. It will be still further illustrated by 
the following decisions of the courts of North 
Carolina. They are copied from the Sup- 
plement to the U. S. Digest, vol. n. p. 798 : 

139. An indictment charging that a certain 

negro did hire her own time, 
'■"''^5^Sii^22l!'^" contrary to the form of the stat- 
' " ' ute, &c., is defective and must 
be quashed, because it was omitted to be charged 
that she ivas permitted by her master to go at large, 
johich is one essential part of the offence. 

140. Under the first clause of the thirty-first 
section of the 111th chapterof the Revised Statutes, 
prohibiting masters from hiring to slaves their 
own time, the master is not indictable; he is only 
subject to a penalty of forty dollars. Nor is the 
master indictable under the second clause of that 
section ; the process being against the slave, not 
against the master. — lb. 

142. To constitute the offence under section 32 
(Rev. Stat. c. cxi. ^ 32) it is not necessary that 
the slave should have hired his time ; it is suffi- 
cient if the master permits him to go at large as 
a freeman. 

This is maintaining the ground that 
" ^/te master can do no wrong " with great 
consistency and thoroughness. But it is in 
perfect keeping, both in form and spirit, 
with the whole course of slave-law, which 
always upholds the supremacy of the master, 
and always depresses the slave. 

Fourthly. Stringent laws against eman- 
cipation exist m nearly all the slave states. 

In four of the states, — South Carolina, 
Stroud, 147. Prince's ^^eorgia, Alabama, and Mis- 
Dig. 456. James- Dig. sissippi, — emancipation cau- 

393. Toulmin's Dig. . -S^ ' jv. ^ i ^ ^ ^ 

«:J2. Miss. Rev. Code, not DC enected, cxccpt Dy a 
^^^' special act of the legislature 

of the state. 

In Georgia, the offence oi setting free 
" any slave, or slaves, in any other manner 
and form than the one prescribed," was pun- 
ishable, according to the law of 1801, by 
8 



the forfeiture of two hundred dollars, to be 
recovered by action or indictment ; the 
slaves in question still remaining, " to all 
intents and purposes, as Tnuch in a state 
of slavery as before they were manu- 
mitted.^^ 

Believers in human progress will be in- 
terested to know that since the law of 1801 
there has been a reform introduced into this 
part of the legislation of the republic of 
Georgia. In 1818, a new law was passed, 
which, as will be seen, contains a grand 
remedy for the abuses of the old. In this 
it is provided, with endless variety of spe- 
cifications and synonyms, as if to " let sus- 
picion double-lock the door " against any 
possible evasion, that, "All and every will, 
testament and deed, whether by way of 
trust or otherwise, contract, or agreement, 
or stipulation, or other instrument in writing 
or by parol, made and executed for the 
purpose of effecting, or endeavoring to effect, 
the manumission of any slave or slaves, 
either directly ... or indirectly, or vir- 
tually, &c. &c., shall be, and the same are 
hereby, declared to be utterly null and 
void." And the guilty author of the out- 
rage against the peace of the state, contem- 
plated in such deed, &c. &c., " and all and 
every person or persons concerned in giving 
or attempting to give effect thereto, . . . 
in any way or manner whatsoever, shall be 
severally liable to a penalty not exceeding 
one thousand dollars." 

It would be quite anomalous in slave-law, 
and contrary to the " great and fundamental 
policy " of slave states, if the negroes who^, 
not having the fear of God before their eye&, 
but being instigated by the devil, should be 
guilty of being thus manumitted, were suf- 
fered to go unpunished; accordingly, the law 
very properly and judiciously provides 
that " each and every slave or slaves in 
whose behalf such will or testament, &c. 
&c. &c., shall have been made, shall be 
liable to be arrested by war- „, ., c, . u 

P 1 7 . ■ 7 Stroud's Sketch, pp. 

rant, &;c. ; and, being there- 147—8. Prince'sDig. 
of convicted, &c., shall be *^^" 
liable to be sold as a slave or slaves by pub- 
lic outcry ; and the proceeds of such slaves 
shall be appropriated, &c. &c." 

Judge Stroud gives the following account 
of the law of Mississippi : 

The emancipation must be by an instrument in 
ivriting, a last will or deed, &c., pt^oud's Sketch, U9. 
under seal, attested by at least two miss. Kev. Code, ass 
credible witnesses, or acknowledged —6 (Act June 18, 
in the court of the county or cor- ^ 
poration where the emancipator resides ; prooj 
satisfactory to theGeneral Assembly must be ad- 



114 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



(luced that the elaye has done sorm meritorious act 
for the benefit of his master, or rendered some distin- 
guished ser dec' to the state; all which circumstances 
are l;ut pre-requisites, and are of no efficacy until a 
special act of assembly sanctions the emancipation ; 
to which may be added, as has been already stated, 
a saving of the rights of creditors, and the protec- 
tion of the ividow^s thirds. 

The same pre-requisite of " meritorious 
services^ to be adjudged of and allowed by 
the county court," is exacted by an act of 
the General Assembly of North Carolina ; 
and all slaves emancipated contrary to the 
provisions of this act are to be committed to 
the jail of the county, and at the next court 
held for that county are to be sold to the 
highest bidder. 

But the law of North Carolina does not 
refuse opportunity for repentance, even after 
the crime has been proved : accordingly, 

The sheriff is directed, five days before the time 

a. j> oi » », for the sale of the emancipated negro, 

Stroud's Sketch, , . ,. . •,• ^, .1 ° 

148. Haywood's to give notice, in vsTiting, to the per- 

Manuai,525,526, ggn by whom the emancipation was 

^^^' ^^^- made, to the end, 

and with the hope that, smitten by remorse 
of conscience, and brought to a sense of his 
guilt before God and man, 

such person may, if he thinks proper, renew 
his claim to the negro so emancipated by him ; on 
failure to do which, the sale is to be made by the 
sheriff, and one-fifth part of the net proceeds is to 
become the property of the freeholder by whom 
the apprehension was made, and the remaining 
four-fifths are to be paid into the public treasury. 

It is proper to add that we have given 
examples of the laws of states Avhose legis- 
lation on this subject has been most severe. 

a^ , The laws of Virginia, Maryland, 
Stroud, pp. ,-. . ^.^ , ,0 ? J . ) 

148—154. jNlissouri, Kentucky and Louisiana, 
are much less stringent, 

A striking case, which shows how inex- 
orably the law contends with the kind de- 
signs of the master, is on record in the 
reports of legal decisions in the State of 
Mississippi. The circumstances of the case 
have been thus briefly stated in the New 

York Evening Post, edited by Mr. Wil- 
liam Cullen Bryant. They are a romance 
of themselves. 

A man of the name of Elisha Brazealle, a 
planter in Jefferson County, Mississippi, was at- 
tacked with a loathsome disease. During his ill- 
ness he was faithfully nursed by a mulatto slave, 
to whose assiduous attentions he felt that he owed 
his life, lie was duly impressed by her devotion, 
and soon after his recovery took her to Ohio, and 
had her educated. She was very intelligent, and 
improved her advantages so rapidly that when he 
visited her again he determined to marry her. He 
bxecuted a deed for her emancipation, and had it 



recorded both in the States of Ohio and Mlfisia 
sippi, and made her his wife. 

Mr, Brazealle returned with her to Missis 
sippi, and in process of time had a son. After a 
few years he sickened and died, leaving a will, in 
which, after reciting the deed of emancipation, he 
declared his intention to ratify it, and devised all 
his property to this lad, acknowledging him in the 
will to be such. 

Some poor and distant relations in North Car- 
olina, whom he did not know, and for whom he 
did not care, hearing of his death, came on to Mis- 
sissippi, and claimed the property thus devised. 
They instituted a suit for its recovery, and the 
case (it is reported in Howard's Mississippi Re- 
ports, vol. II., p. 837) came before Judge Sharkey, 
our new consul at Havana. He decided it, and 
in that decision declared the act of emancipati 3D 
an offence against morality, and pernicious and 
detestable as an example. He set aside the will, 
gave the property of Brazealle to his distant rela- 
tions, condemned Brazealle' s son,, and his wife, that 
son's mother, again to bondage, and made them 
the slaves of these North Carolina kinsmen, as 
part of the assets of the estate. 

Chief Justice Sharkey, after narrating 
the circumstances of the case, declares the 
validity of the deed of emancipation to be 
the main question in the controversy. He 
then argues that, although according to 
principles of national comity ' ' contracts 
are to be construed according to the laws 
of the country or state where they are 
made," yet these principles are not to be 
followed when they lead to conclusions in 
conflict with ' ' the great and fundamental 
pohcy of the state." What tliis " great and 
fundamental policy" is, in Mississippi, 
may be gathered fi'om the remainder of 
the decision, which we give in full. ■ 

Let us apply these principles to the deed of 
emancipation. To give it validity would be, in 
the first place, a violation of the declared policy, 
and contrary to a positive law of the state. 

The policy of a state is indicated by the gen- 
eral course of legislation on a given subject ; and 
we find that free negroes are deemed offensive, 
because they are not permitted to emigrate to or 
remain in the state. They are allowed few privi- 
leges, and subject to heavy penalties for offences. 
They are required to leave the state within thirty 
days after notice, and in the mean time give secu- 
rity for good behavior ; and those of them who can 
lawfully remain must register and carry with 
them their certificates, or thej may be committed 
to jail. It would also violate a positive law, 
passed by the legislature, expressly to maintain 
this settled policy, and to prevent emancipation. 
No owner can emancipate his slave, but by a deed 
or will properly attested, or acknowledged in court, 
and proof to the legislature that such slave has 
performed some meritorious act for the benefit of 
the master, or some distinguished service for the 
state ; and the deed or will can have no validity 
until ratified by special act of legislature. It is 
believed that this law and policy are too essen- 
tially important to the interests ot our citizens t« 
permit them to be evaded. 



I 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



115 



The state of the case shows conclusively that 
the contract had its origin in an offence against 
morality, pernicious and detestable as an example. 
But, above all, it seems to have been planned and 
executed with a fixed design to evade the rigor of 
the laws of this stat6. The acts of the party in 
going to Ohio with the slaves, and tJaere execut- 
ing the deed, and his immediate return with them 
to this state, point with unerring certainty to his 
purpose and object. The laws of this state can- 
not be thus defrauded of their operation by one of 
our OAvn citizens. If we could have any doubts 
about the principle, the case reported in 1 Ran- 
dolph, 15, would remove them. 

As we think the validity of the deed must 
depend upon the laws of this state, it becomes 
unnecessary to inquire whether it could have any 
force by the laws of Ohio. If it were even valid 
there, it can have no force here. The consequence 
is, that the negroes, John Monroe and his mother, 
are still slaves, and a part of the estate of Elisha 
Brazealle. They have not acquired a right to 
their freedom under the will ; for, even if the 
clause in the will were sufficient for that purpose, 
their emancipation has not been consummated by 
an act of the legislature. 

John Monroe, being a slave, cannot take the 
property as devisee ; and I apprehend it is equal- 
I}' clear that it cannot be held in trust for him. 
4 Desans. Rep. 266. Independent of the princi- 

{)le8 laid down in adjudicated cases, our statute 
aw prohibits slaves from owning certain kinds of 
property ; and it may be inferred that the legis- 
lature supposed they were extending the act as 
far as it could be necessary to exclude them from 
owning any property, as the prohibition includes 
that kind of property which they would most 
likely be permitted to own vrithout interruption , 
to wit, hogs, horses, cattle, &c. They cannot be 
prohibited from holding such property in conse- 
quence of its being of a dangerous or offensive 
character, but because it was deemed impolitic 
for them to hold property of any description. It 
follows, therefore, that his heirs are entitled to 
the property. 

As the deed was void, and the devisee could 
not take under the will, the heirs might, perhaps, 
have had a remedy at law ; but, as an account 
must be taken for the rents and profits, and for 
the final settlement of the estate, I see na good 
reason why they should be sent back to law. The 
remedy is, doubtless, more full and complete than 
it could be at law. The decree of the chancellor 
overruling the demurrer must be affirmed, and the 
cause remanded for further proceedings. 

The Chief Justice Sharkey who pro- 
nounced this decision is stated by the 
Evening Post to have been a principal 
agent in the passage of the severe law 
under which this horrible inhumanity was 
perpetrated. 

Nothing more forcibly shows the abso- 
lute despotism of the slave-law over all the 
kindest feelings and intentions of the mas- 
ter, and the determination of courts to 
carry these severities to their full lengths, 
than this cruel deed, which precipitated a 
young man who had been educated to con- 
Bider himself free, aiwi his mother, «n edu- 



cated woman, back into the bottomless abyss 
of slavery. Had this case been chosen for 
the theme of a novel, or a tragedy, the 
world would have cried out upon it as a 
plot of monstrous improbability. As it 
stands in the law-book, it is only a speci- 
men of that awful kind of truth, stranger 
than fiction, which is all the time evolving, 
in one form or another, from the workings 
of this anomalous system. 

This view of the subject is a very im- 
portant one, and ought to be earnestly and 
gravely pondered by those in foreign coun- 
tries, who are too apt to fasten their con- 
demnation and opprobrium rather on the 
person of the slave-holder than on the hor- 
rors of the legal system. In some slave 
states it seems as if there was very little 
that the benevolent owner could do which 
should permanently benefit his slave, unless 
he should seek to alter the Imcs. Here 
it is that the highest obligation of the 
Southern Christian lies. Nor will the 
world or God hold them guiltless who, with 
the elective franchise in their hands, and 
the full power to speak, write and discuss, 
suffer this monstrous system of legalized 
cruelty to go on from age to age. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

THE HEBREW SLAVE-LAW COMPARED WITH 
THE AMERICAN SLAVE-LAW. 

Having compared the American law with 
the Roman, we will now compare it with 
one other code of slave-laws, to wit, the 
Hebrew. 

This comparison is the more important, 
because American slavery has been defended 
on the ground of God's permitting Hebrew 
slavery. 

The inquiry now arises, "VMiat kind of 
slavery was it that was permitted among the 
Hebrews 7 for in different nations very dif- 
ferent systems have been called by the 
general name of slavery. 

That the patriarchal state of servitude 
which existed in the time of Abraham was 
a very different tiling from American slav- 
ery, a few gi-aphic incidents in the scripture 
narrative show ; for we read that when the 
angels came to visit Abraham, although he 
had three hundred servants born in his 
house, it is said that Abraham hasted, and 
took a calf, and killed it, and gave it to a 
joung man to dress ; and that he told Sarah 



116 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



to take three measures of meal and knead 
it into cakes ; and that, when all was done, 
he himself set it before his guests. 

From various other incidents which ap- 
pear in the patriarchal narrative, it would 
seem that these servants bore more the re- 
lation of the members of a Scotch clan to 
their feudal lord than that of an American 
slave to his master ; — thus it seems that if 
Abraham had died without children, his head 
servant would have been his heir. — Gen. 
15: 3. 

Of what species, then, was the slavery 
which God permitted among the Hebrews 7 
By what laws was it regulated? 

In the New Testament the whole Hebrew 
system of administration is spoken of as a 
relatively imperfect one, and as superseded 
by the Christian dispensation. — Heb. 8 : 13. 

We are taught thus to regard the Hebrew 
system as an educational system, by which 
a debased, half-civilized race, which had been 
degraded by slavery in its worst form among 
the Egyptians, was gradually elevated to 
refinement and humanity. 

As they went from the land of Egypt, it 
would appear that the most disgusting per- 
sonal habits, the most unheard-of and un- 
natural impurities, prevailed among them ; 
so that it was necessary to make laws with 
relation to things of which Christianity has 
banished the very name from the earth. 

Beside all this, polygamy, war and slav- 
ery, were the universal custom of nations. 

It is represented in the New Testament 
that God, in educating this people, proceeded 
in the same gradual manner in which a wise 
father would proceed with a family of children. 

He selected a few of the most vital points 
of evil practice, and forbade them by positive 
statute, under rigorous penalties. ' 

The worship of any other god was^ by 
the Jewish law, constituted high treason 
and rigorously punished with death. 

As the knowledge of the true God and re 
ligious instruction could not then, as now, be 
aflforded by printing and books, one day in the 
week had to be set apart for preserving in 
the minds of the people a sense of His being, 
and their obligations to Him. The devoting of 
this day to any other purpose was also pun- 
ished with death ; and the reason is obvious, 
that its sacredness was the principal means 
relied on for preserving the allegiance of the 
nation to their king and God, and its dese- 
cration, of course, led directly to high trea- 
son against the head of the state. 

With regard to many other practices which 
prevailed among the Jews, as among other 



heathen nations, we find the Divine Being 
taking the same course which wise human 
legislators have taken. 

When Lycurgus wished to banish money 
and its attendant luxuries from Sparta, he 
did not forbid it by direct statute-law, but 
he instituted a currency so clumsy and un- 
comfortable that, as we are informed by Rol- 
lin, it took a cart and pair of oxen to carry 
home the price of a very moderate estate. 

In the same manner the Divine Being 
surrounded the customs of polygamy, war, 
blood-revenge and slavery, with regulations 
which gradually and certainly tended to 
abolish them entirely. 

No one would pretend that the laws which 
God estabhshed in relation to polygamy, 
cities of refuge, &c., have any application 
to Christian nations now. 

The following summary of some of these 
laws of the Mosaic code is given by Dr. C. 
E. Stowe, Professor of Bibhcal Literature 
in Andover Theological Seminary : 

1. It commanded a Hebrew, even though a mar- 
ried man, with wife and children living, to take the 
childless widow of a deceased brother, and beget 
children with her. — Deut. 25 : 5 — 10. 

2. The Hebrews, under certain restrictions, were 
allowed to make concubines, or wives for a limited 
time, of women taken in war. — Deut. 21 : 10 — 19. 

3. A Hebrew who already had a wife was al- 
lowed to take another also, pronded he still con- 
tinued his intercourse with the first as her hus- 
band, and treated her kindly and affectionately. — 
Exodus 21: 9—11. 

4. By the Mosaic law, the nearest relative of a 
murdered Hebrew could pursue and slay the mur- 
derer, imless he could escape to the city of refuge ; 
and the same permission was given in case of 
accidental homicide. — Num. 35 : 9 — 39. , 

5. The Israelites were commanded to extermi 
nate the Canaanites, men, women and children. — 
Deut. 9 : 12 ; 20 : 16—18. 

Any one, or all, of the above practices, can be 
justified by the Mosaic law, as well as the practice 
of slave-liolding. 

Each of these laws, although in its time it was 
an ameliorating law, designed to take the place of 
some barbarous abuse, and to bo a connecting link 
by which some higlier ytate of society might be 
introduced, belongs confessedly to that system 
which St. J'aul says made nothing perfect. 
They are a part of the commandment which he 
says was annulled for tlie weakness and unprofit- 
ableness thereof, and whicli, in the time whicli ho 
vrrote, was waxing old, and ready to vanish away. 
And Clirist himself says, with regard to certain 
permissions of this system, tliat they were given on 
account of the " hardness of their hearts," — be- 
cause the attempt to enforce a more stringent sys- 
tem at that time, OAving to huma^ dgpravity, 
would have only produced greater abuses. 

The following view of the Hebrew laws 
of slavery is compiled from Barnes' work 
on slavery, and from Professor Stowe's 
manuscript lectures. 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



117 



The legislation commenced by making the 
great and common source of slavery — kid- 
napping — a capital crime. 

The enactment is as follows : "He that 
stealeth a man and selleth him, or if he be 
found in his hand, he shall surely be put to 
death." —Exodus 21 : 16. 

The sources from wliich slaves were to 
be obtained were thus reduced to two. : first, 
the voluntary sale of an individual by him- 
self, which certainly does not come under 
the designation of involuntary servitude ; 
second, the appropriation of captives taken 
in war, and the buying from the heathen. 

With regard to the servitude of the 
Hebrew by a voluntary sale of himself, such 
servitude, by the statute-law of the land, 
came to an end once in seven years ; so that 
the worst that could be made of it was that 
it was a voluntary contract to labor for a 
certain time. 

With regard to the sejvants bought of the 
heathen, or of foreigners in the land, there 
was a statute by which their servitude was 
annulled once in fifty years. 

It has been supposed, from a disconnected 
view of one particular passage in the Mosaic 
code, that God directly countenanced the 
treating of a slave, who was a stranger and 
foreigner, with more rigor and severity than 
a Hebrew slave. That this was not the 
case will appear from the following enact- 
ments, which have express reference to 
strangers : 

The stranger that dwelleth with you shall be 
unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt 
love him as thyself. — Lev. 19 : 34. 

Thou shalt neither vex a stranger nor oppress 
him ; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. 
— Exodus 22: 21. 

Thou shalt not oppress a stranger, for ye know 
the heart of a stranger. — Exodus 23 : 9. 

The Lord year God regardeth not persons. He 
doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and 
the vridow, and loveth the stranger in giving him 
food and raiment ; love ye therefore the stranger. 
-- Deut. 10 : 17—19. 

Judge righteously between every man and his 
brother, and the stranger that is with him. — 
Deut. 1 : 16. 

Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the 
stranger. — Deut. 27 : 19. 

Instead of making slavery an oppressive 
institution with reojard to the strano;er, it was 
made by God a system within which heathen 
were adopted into the Jewish state, educated 
and instructed in the worship of the true 
God, and in due time emancipated. 

In the first place, they tVere protected by 
law from personal violence. The loss of an 
eye or a tooth, through the tiolence of his 
master, took the slave out of that master's 



power entirely, and gave him his liberty. 
Then, further than this, if a master's con- 
duct towards a slave was such as to induce 
him to run away, it was enjoined that no- 
body should assist in retaking him, and that 
he should dwell wherever he chose in the 
land, without molestation. Third, the law 
secured to the slave a very considerable por- 
tion of time, which was to be at his own 
disposal. Every seventh year was to be at 
his own disposal. — Lev. 25 : 4 — 6. Every 
seventh day was, of course, secured to him. 
— Ex. 20 : 10. 

The servant had the privilege of attend- 
ing the three great national festivals, when 
all the males of the nation were required 
to appear before God in Jerusalem. — Ex. 
34: 23. 

Each of these festivals, it is computed, 
took up about three weeks. 

The slave also was to be a guest in the 
family festivals. In Deut. 12 : 12, it is 
said, "Ye shall rejoice before the Lord 
your God, ye, and your sons, and your 
daughters, and your men-servants, and your 
maid-servants, and the Levite that is within 
your gates." 

Dr. Barnes estimates that the whole 
amount of time which a servant could have 
to himself would amount to about twenty- 
three years out of fifty, or nearly one-half 
his time. 

Again, the servant was placed on an ex- 
act equality with his master in all that con- 
cerned his religious relations. 

Now. if we recollect that in the time of 
Moses the God and the king of the nation 
were one and the same person, and that the 
civil and religious relation were one and the 
same, it will appear that the slave and his 
master stood on an equahty in their civil 
relation with regard to the state. 

Thus, in Deuteronomy 29, is described a 
solemn national convocation, which took 
place before the death of Moses, when the 
whole nation were called upon, after a 
solemn review of their national history, to 
renew their constitutional oath of allegiance 
to their supreme Magistrate and Lord. 

On this occasion, Moses addressed them 
thus : — "Ye stand this day, all of you, 
before the Lord your God ; your captains of 
your tribes, your elders, and your officers, 
with all the men of Israel, your little ones, 
your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy 
camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the 
drawer of thy water ; that thoit shouldest 
enter mto covenant with the Lord thy God, 
and into his oath, which the Lord thy God 
maketh with thee this day." 



118 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



How different is this from the cool and 

explicit declaration of South Carolina with 

regard to the position of the American 

slave : — " A slave is not generally regarded 

as lesrally capable of beinsr 

Wheeler's Law •,!■ *l /• j1 t * 

of Slavery, p. witfim the pcuce of the state. 
2^^- He is not a citizen, and is not in 
that character entitled to her protection." 

In all the religious services, which, as we 
have seen by the constitution of the nation, 
were civil services, the slave and the master 
mingled on terms of strict equality. There 
was none of the distinction which appertains 
to a distinct class or caste. " There was 
no special service appointed for them at 
unusual seasons. There were no particular 
seats assigned to them, to keep up the idea 
that they were a degraded class. There 
was no withholding from them the instruc- 
tion which the word of God gave about the 
equal rights of mankind." 

Fifthly. It was always contemplated that 
the slave would, as a matter of course, 
choose the Jewish religion, and the service 
of God, and enter willingly into all the ob- 
ligations and services of the Jewish polity. 

Mr. Barnes cites the words of Maimoni- 
des, to show how this was commonly un- 
derstood by the Hebrews. — Inquiry into 
the Scriptural Views of Slavery. By Al- 
bert Barnes, p. 132. 

Whether a servant be born in the power of 
an Israelite, or whether he be purchased from the 
heathen, the master is to bring them both into the 
covenant. 

But he that is in the house is entered on the 
eighth day ; and he that is bought with money, 
on the day on which his master receives liim, un- 
less the slave be unwilling. For, if the master 
receive a gi'own slave, and he be unwilling, his 
master is to bear with him, to seek to win him 
over by instruction, and by love and kindness, for 
one year. After which, should he refuse so long, 
it is forbidden to keep him longer than a year. 
And the master must send him back to the strang- 
ers from whence he came. For the God of Jacob 
will not accept any other than the worship of a 
willing heart. — Maimon. Hilcoth Miloth, chap. 
I., sec. 8. 

A sixth fundamental arrangement with 
regard to the Hebrew slave was that he 
could never be sold. Concerning this Mr. 
Barnes remarks : 

A man, in certain circumstances, might he 
bought by a Hebrew ; but when once bought, that 
was an end of the matter. There is not the 
slightest evidence that any Hebrew ever sold 
a slave ; and any provision contemplating that 
was unknown to the constitution of the Counuon- 
wealth. It is said of Abraham that he had " ser- 
vants bought with money ;" but there is no record 
of his having ever sold one, nor is there any ac- 
count of its ever having been done by Isaac or 



Jacob. The only instance of a sale of this kind 
among the patriarchs is that act of the brothers of 
Joseph, which is held up to so strong reprobation, 
by which they sold him to the Ishmaelites. Per- 
mission is given in the law of Moses to huy a 
servant, but none is given to sell him again ; and 
the fact that no such permission is givem is fall 
proof that it was not contemplated. When he 
entered into that relation, it became certain that 
there could be no change, unless it was voluntary 
on his part (comp. Ex. 21 : 5, 6), or unless his 
master gave him his freedom, until the not dis- 
tant period fixed by law when he could be free. 
There is no arrangement in the law of Moses by 
which servants were to be taken in pajonent of 
their master's debts, by which they were to be 
given as pledges, by which they were to be con- 
signed to the keeping of others, or by which they 
were to be given away as presents. There are no 
instances occurring in the Jewish history in which 
any of these things were done. Tliis law is posi- 
tive in regard to the Hebrew servant, and the 
principle of the law would apply to all others. 
Lev. 25 : 42. — " They shall not be sold as bond 
men." In all these respects there was a marked 
difference, and there was doubtless intended to be, 
between the estimate afiSxed to servants and to 
property. — Inquiry, &c., p. 133 — 4. 

As to the practical workings of this sys- 
tem, as they are developed in the incidents 
of sacred history, they are precisely what 
we should expect from such a system of 
laws. For instance, we find it mentioned 
incidentally in the ninth chapter of the first 
book of Samuel, that when Saul and his ser- 
vant came to see Samuel, that Samuel, in 
anticipation of his being crowned king, made 
a great feast for him ; and in verse twenty- 
second the history says : " And Samuel 
took Saul and his servant ., and brought 
them into the parlor, and made tliem sit 
in the chiefest place." 

We read, also, in 2 Samuel 9 : 10, of a 
servant of Saul who had large estates, and 
twenty servants of his own. 

We find, in 1 Chron. 2 : 34, the follow- 
ing incident related : " Now, Sheshan had 
no sons, but daughters. And Sheshan had 
a servant, an Eg3rptian, whose name was 
Jarha. And Sheshan gave liis daughter to 
Jarha, his servant, to wife." 

Does this resemble American slavery ? 

We find, moreover, that this conncctioni 
was not considered at all disgraceful, for the 
son of this very daughter was enrolled 
among the valiant men of David's army. — 
1 Chron. 2 : 41. 

In fine, we are not surprised to discover 
that the institutions of INIoses in effect so 
obhtcratcd all the characteristics of slavery, 
that it had ceased to exist among the Jews 
long before the time of Christ. Mr. Barnes 
asks : 

On what evidence would a man rely to prove 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM's CABLST. 



119 



that slavery existed at all in the land in the time 
of the later prophets of the Maccabees, or when 
the Saviour appeared? There are abundant 
proofs, as we shall see, that it existed in Greeco 
and Rome ; but what is the evidence that it ex- 
isted in Judea 1 So far as I have been able to 
ascertain, there are no declarations that it did to 
bo found in the canonical books of the Old Tes- 
tament, or in Josephus. There are no allusions 
to laws and customs which imply that it was prev- 
alent. There are no coins or medals which sup- 
pose it. There are no facts which do not admit 
of an easy explanation on the supposition that 
slavery had ceased. — ■ Inquiry, &c., p. 226. 

Two objections have been urged to the 
interpretations which have been given of two 
of the enactments before quoted. 

1. It is said that the enactment, " Thou 
shalt not return to his master the servant 
that has escaped," &c., relates only to ser- 
vants escaping from heathen masters to the 
Jewish nation. 

The following remarks on this passage 
are from Prof Stowe's lectures: 

Deuteronomy 23 : 15, 16. — These words 
make a statute which, like every other stat- 
ute, is to be strictly construed. There is 
nothing in the language to hmit its mean- 
ing ; there is nothing in the connection in 
which it stands to limit its meaning ; nor 
is there anything in the history of the Mo- 
saic legislation to limit the application of 
this statute to the case of servants escaping 
from foreign masters. The assumption that 
it is thus limited is wholly gratuitous, and, 
so far as the Bible is concerned, unsustained 
by any evi<ience whatever. It is said that 
it would 1)6 absurd for Moses to enact such 
a law while servitude existed among the 
Hebrews. It would indeed be absurd, were 
it the object of the Mosaic legislation to sus- 
tain and perpetuate slavery ; but, if it were 
the object of Moses to limit and to restrain, 
and finally to extinguish slavery, this statute 
was admirably adapted to his purpose. 
That it was the object of Moses to extin- 
guish, and not to perpetuate, slavery, is per- 
fectly clear from the whole course of his 
legislation on the subject. Every slave 
was to have all the religious privileges 
and instruction to which his master's chil- 
dren were entitled. Every seventh year 
released the Hebrew slave, and every fiftieth 
year produced universal emancipation. If 
a master, by an accidental or an angry 
blow, deprived the slave of a tooth, the 
slave, by that act, was forever free. And 
so, by the statute in question, if the slave 
felt himself oppressed, he could make 
his escape, and, though the master was 
not forbidden to retake him if he could, 



every one was forbidden to aid his master in 
doing it. This statute, in fact, made the 
servitude voluntary, and that was what 
Moses intended. 

Moses dealt with slavery precisely as he 
dealt with polygamy and Avith war : with- 
out directly prohibiting, he so restricted as 
to destroy it ; instead of cutting down the 
poison-tree, he girdled it, and left it to die 
of itself There is a statute in regard to 
military expeditions precisely analogous to 
this celebrated fugitive slave law. Had 
Moses designed to perpetuate a warlike 
spirit among the Hebrews, the statute would 
have been preeminently absurd ; but, if it 
was his design to crush it, and to render 
foreign wars almost impossible, the statute 
was exactly adapted to his purpose. It 
rendered foreign military service, in effect, 
entirely voluntary, just as the fugitive law 
rendered domestic servitude, in effect, 
voluntary. 

The law may be found at length in Deu- 
teronomy 20 : 5 — 10 ; and let it be care- 
fully read and compared with the fugitive 
slave law already adverted to. Just when 
the men are drawn up ready for the expe- 
dition, — just at the moment when even the 
hearts of brave men are apt to fail them, — 
the officers are commanded to address the 
soldiers thus : , 

' ' What man of you is there that hath built a 
new house, and hath not dedicated it ? Let him 
go and return to his house, lest he die in the bat- 
tle, and another man dedicate it. 

" And what man is he that hath planted a vine- 
yard and hath not yet eaten of it ? Let him also 
go and return to his house, lest he die in the bat- 
tle, and another man eat of it. 

" And what man is there that hath betrothed a 
wife, and hath not taken her ? Let him go and 
return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, 
and another man take her." 

And the ofiBcers shall speak further unto the 
people, and they shall say, " What man is there 
that is fearful and faint-hearted? Let him go 
and return unto his house, lest his brethren's 
heart faint, as well as his heart." 

Now, consider that the Hebrews were ex- 
clusively an agricultural people, that warlike 
parties necessarily consist mainly of young 
men, and that by this statute every man 
who had built a house which he had not 
yet lived in, and every man who had plant- 
ed a vineyard from which he had not yet 
gathered fruit, and every man who had en- 
gaged a wife whom he had not yet married, 
and every one who felt timid and faint- 
hearted, was permitted and commanded to 
go home, — how many would there probably 
be left 1 Especially when the officers, in- 



120 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



gtead of exciting their military ardor by 
visions of glory and of splendor, were com- 
manded to repeat it over and over again 
that they would probably die in the battle 
and never get home, and hold this idea up 
before them as if it were the only idea suit- 
able for their purpose, how excessively ab- 
surd is the whole statute considered as a 
military law, — just as absurd as the Mosaic 
fugitive law, understood in its widest appli- 
cation, is, considered as a slave law ! 

It is clearly the object of this military 
law to put an end to military expeditions ; 
for, with this law in force, such expeditions 
must always be entirely volunteer expedi- 
tions. Just as clearly was it the object of 
the fugitive slave law to put an end to com- 
pulsory servitude; for, with that law in 
force, the servitude must, in effect, be, to a 
great extent, voluntary, — and that is just 
what the legislator intended. There is no 
possibility of limiting the law, on account 
of its absurdity, when understood in its 
widest sense, except by proving that the 
Mosaic legislation was designed to perpetu- 
ate and not to limit slavery ; and this cer- 
tainly cannot be proved, for it is directly 
contrary to the plain matter of fact. 

I repeat it, then, again : there is nothing 
in the language of this statute, there is 
nothing in the connection in which it stands, 
there is nothing in the history of the Mo- 
saic legislation on this subject, to limit the 
application of the law to the case of ser- 
vants escaping from foreign masters; but 
every consideration, from every legitimate 
source, leads us to a conclusion directly the 
opposite. Such a limitation is the arbitrary, 
unsupported stet voluntas pro ratione as- 
sumption of the commentator, and nothing 
else. The only shadow of a philological 
argument that I can see, for limiting the 
statute, is found in the use of the words to 
thee^ in the fifteenth verse. It may be said 
that the pronoun thee is used in a national 
and not individual sense, implying an es- 
cape from some other nation to the He- 
brews. But, examine the statute imme- 
diately preceding this, and observe the use 
of the pronoun thee in the thirteenth verse. 
Most obviously, the pronouns in these 
statutes arc used with reference to the indi- 
viduals addressed, and not in a collective 
or national sense exclusively ; very rarely, 
if ever, can this sense be given to them 
in the way claimed by the argument re- 
ferred to. 

2. It is said that the proclamation, "Thou 
shalt proclaim liberty through the laud to 



all the inhabitants thereof," related only tc 
Hebrew slaves. This assumption is based 
entirely on the supposition that the slave 
was not considered, in Hebrew law, as a 
person, as an inhabitant of the land, and a 
member of the state; but we have just 
proved that in the most solemn transaction 
of the state the hewer of wood and drawer 
of water is expressly designated as being 
just as much an actor and participator as 
his master ; and it would be absurd to sup- 
pose that, in a statute addressed to all the 
inhabitants of the land, he is not included 
as an inhabitant. 

Barnes enforces this idea by some pages 
of quotations from Jewish writers, which 
will fully satisfy any one who reads his 
work. 

From a review, then, of all that relates 
to the Hebrew slave-law, it will appear that 
it was a very well-considered and wisely- 
adapted system of education and gradual 
emancipation. No rational man can doubt 
that if the same laws were enacted and the 
same practices prevailed with regard to 
slavery in the United States, that the system 
of American slavery might be considered, to 
all intents and purposes, practically at an 
end. If there is any doubt of this fact, and 
it is still thought that the permission of 
slavery among the Hebrews justifies Ameri- 
can slavery, in all fairness the experiment 
of making the two systems alike ought to 
be tried, and we should then see what would 
be the result. 



CHAPTER XV. 

6LAVERY IS DESPOTISM. 

It is always important, in discussing a 
thing, to keep before our minds exactly what 
it is. 

The only means of understanding pre- 
cisely Avhat a civil institution is are aD 
examination of the laws which regulate it. 
In different ages and nations, very different 
things have been called by the name of 
slavery. Patriarchal servitude was one 
thing, Hebrew servitude was another, Greek 
and Roman servitude still a third : and these 
institutions differed very nuich from each 
other. What, then, is American slavery, 
as we have seen it exhibited by law, and by 
the decisions of courts 'I 

Let us begin by stating what it is not. 

1. It is not apprenticeship. 

2. It is not guardianship. 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



121 



3. It is in no sense a system for the 
education of a weaker race by a stronger. 

4. The happiness of the governed is in no 
sense its object. 

5. The temporal improvement or the eter- 
nal well-being of the governed is in no sense 
its object. 

The object of it has been distinctly stated 
in one sentence, by Judge Ruffin, — " The 
end is the profit of the master, his security, 
and the public safety." 

Slavery, then, is absolute despotism, of 
the most unmitigated form. 

It would, however, be doing injustice to 
the absolutism of any civilized country to 
liken American slavery to it. The absolute 
governments of Europe none of them pre- 
tend to be founded on a propej^ty right of 
the governor to the persons and entire capa- 
bilities of the governed. 

This is a form of despotism which exists 
only in some of the most savage countries 
of the world ; as, for example, in Dahomey. 

The European absolutism or despotism, 
now, does, to some extent, recognize the 
happiness and welfare of the governed as 
the foundation of government ; and the ruler 
is considered as invested with power for the 
benefit of the people ; and his right to rule 
is supposed to be in somewhat predicated 
upon the idea that he better understands how 
to promote the good of the people than they 
themselves do. No government in the civ- 
ilized world now presents the pure despotic 
idea, as it existed in the old days of, the 
Persian and Assyrian rule. 

The arguments which defend slavery 
must be substantially the same as those 
which defend despotism of any other kind ; 
and the objections which are to be urged 
against it are precisely those which can be 
urged against despotism of any other kind. 
The customs and practices to which it gives 
rise are precisely those to which despotisms 
in all ages have given rise. 

Is the slave suspected of a crime ? His 
master has the power to examine him by 
torture (see State v. Castleman). His mas- 
ter has, in fact, in most cases, the power of 
life and death, owing to the exclusion of the 
slave's evidence. He has the power of ban- 
ishing the slave, at any time, and without 
giving an account to anybody, to an exile 
as dreadful as that of Siberia, and to labors 
as severe as those of the galleys. He has 
also unhmited power over the character of 
his slave. He can accuse him of any crime, 
yet withhold from him all right of trial or 
investigation, and sell him into captivity, 



with his name blackened by an unexamined 
imputation. 

These are all abuses for which despotic 
governments are blamed. They are powers 
which good men who are despotic rulers are 
beginning to disuse ; but, under the flag of 
every slave-holding state, and under the flag 
of the whole United States in the District 
of Columbia, they are committed indiscrim- 
inately to men of any character. 

But the worst kind of despotism has been 
said to be that which extends ahke over the 
body and over the soul ; which can bind the 
hberty of the conscience, and deprive a man. 
of all right of choice in respect to the man- 
ner in which he shall learn the will of God, 
and worship Him. In other days, kings on 
their thrones, and cottagers by their fire- 
sides, alike trembled before a despotism 
which declared itself able to bind and to 
loose, to open and to shut the kingdom of 
heaven. 

Yet this power to control the conscience, 
to control the religious privileges, and all 
the opportunities which man has of acquaint- 
anceship with his Maker, and of learning to 
do his will, is, under the flag of every slave 
state, and under the flag of the United 
States, placed in the hands of any men, of 
any character, who can afibrd to pay for it. 

It is a most awful and most solemn truth 
that the greatest republic in the world does 
sustain under her national flag the worst 
system of despotism which can possibly 
exist. 

With regard to one point to which we 
have adverted, — the power of the master to 
deprive the slave of a legal trial while accus- 
ing him of crime, — a very striking instance 
has occurred in the District of Columbia, 
within a year or two. The particulars of 
the case, as stated, at the time, in several 
papers, were briefly these : A gentleman in 
Washington, our national capital, — an elder 
in the Presbyterian church, — held a female 
slave, who had, for some years, supported a 
good character in a Baptist church of that 
city. He accused her of an attempt to poi- 
son his family, and immediately placed her 
in the hands of a slave-dealer, who took her 
over and imprisoned her in the slave-pen at 
Alexandria, to await the departure of a 
coffle. The poor girl had a mother, who 
felt as any mother would naturally feel. 

When apprized of the situation of her 
daughter, she flew to the pen, and, with 
tears, besought an interview with her only 
child; but she was cruelly repulsed, and told 
to be gone ! She then tried to see the elder, 



122 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. 



, but failed. Slie liad the promise of money 
sufficient to purchase her daughter, but the 
Q-WTier would listen to no terms of compro- 
mise. . 

^ In her distress, the mother repaired to a 
lawyer in the city, and begged him to give 
form to her petition in writing. She stated 
to him what she wished to have said, and he 
arranged it for her in such a form as she 
herself might have presented it in, had not 
the benefits of education been denied Iier. 
The following is the letter : 



Mr. 



Washington, July 25, 1851. 



SfR : I address you as a rich Christian freeman 
Stfid father, while I am myself but a poor slave- 
mother ! I come to plead with you for an only child 
whom I love, who is a professor of the Christian 
religion with yourself, and a member of a Chris- 
tian church ; and who, by your act of ownership, 
now pines in her imprisonment in a loathsome 
man-warehouse, where she is held for sale ! I 
come to plead with you for the exercise of that 
blessed law, " Whatsoever ye would that men 
should do unto you, do ye even so to them." 

With great labor, I have found friends who are 
willing to aid me in the purchase of my child, to 
save us from a cruel separation. You, asa/a^/ic?', 
can judge of my feelings when I was told that 
you had decreed her banishment to distant as well 
as to hope/ess bondage ! 

For nearly six years my child has done for you 
the hard labor of a slave ; from the age of sixteen 
to twenty-two, she has done the hard work of your 
chamber, kitchen, cellar, and stables. By night 
and by day, your will and your commands have 
been her highest law ; and all this has been unre- 
quited toil. If in all this time her scanty allow- 
ance of tea and coffee has been sweetened, it has 
been at the cost of her slave-mother, and not at 
yours. 

You are an office-bearer in the church, and a 
man of prai/er. As such, and as the absolute 
owner of my child, I ask candidly whether she 
has enjoyed such mild and gentle treatment, and 
amiable example, as she ought to Jiave had, to 
encourage her in her monotonous bondage 1 Has 
she received at your hands, in faithful religious 
instruction in the Word of God, a full and fair 
compensation for all lier toil ■? It is not to me alone 
that you must answer these questions. You ac- 
knowledge the high authority of His laws who 
preached a deliverance to the captive, and who 
commands you to give to your servant " that which 
is just and equal." 0! I entreat you, withhold 
not, at this trying hour, from my child that which 
win cut oil' her last hope, and which may endanger 
your own soul ! 

It has been said that you charge my daughter 
with crime. Can this be really so? Can it be 
that you would set aside the obligations of honor 
and good citizenship, — tliat you would dare to sell 
the guilty one away for money, rather than bring 
her to trial, whicli you know she is ready to mei^t ! 
What would you say, if you were accused of guilt, 
and refused a trial ? Is not her fair name as pre- 
cious to her, in the church to which she belongs, 
as yours can be to you 1 



Suppose, now, for a mcmnnt, that ymir daugh- 
ter, whom you love, instead of mine, was in these 
hot days incarcerated in a ncgro-pcn, subject to 
my control, fed on the coarsest food, committed 
to the entire will of a brute, denied tlie privilege 
commonly allowed even to the murderer — that of - 
seeing the face of his friends? 0! then, you 
would feel! Feel soon, then, for a poor slave- 
mother and her child, and do for us as you shall 
wish you had dune when we shall meet befoEe 
the Great Judge , and when it shall be your great- 
est joy to say, " I did let the oppressed "free." 

Ellen Brown. 

The girl, however, was sent off to the 
Southern market. 

The writer has received these mcidents 
from the gentleman who wrote the letter. 
Whether the course pursued by the master 
was strictly legal is a point upon which we 
are not entirely certain ; that it was a course 
in Avhich the law did not in fact interfere is 
quite plain, and it is also very apparent that 
it was a course against which public senti- 
ment did not remonstrate. The man who 
exercised this power was a professedly reli- 
gious man, enjoying a position of importance 
in a Christian church ; and it does not ap- 
pear, from any movements in the Christian 
community about him, that they did not 
consider his course a justifiable one. 

Yet is not this kind of power the very 
one at which we are so shocked when we see 
it exercised by foreign despots 7 

Do we not read with shuddering that in 
Russia, or in Austria, a man accused of 
crime is seized upon, separated from his 
friends, allowed no opportunities of trial or 
of self-defence, but hurried off to Siberia, or 
some other dreaded exile ? 

Why is despotism any Avorse in the gov- 
ernor of a state than in a private individual ? 

There is a great controversy now going 
on in the world between the despotic and 
the republican principle. All the common 
arguments used in support of slavery are 
arguments that apply with equal strength 
to despotic government, and there are som.e 
arguments in favor of despotic governments 
that do not apply to individual slavery. 

There are arguments, and quite' plausible 
ones, in favor of despotic government. No- 
body can deny that it possesses a certain 
kind of efficiency, compactness, and prompt- 
ness of movement, Avliich cannot, from the 
nature of things, belong to a repuWic. Des-. 
potism has established and sustained much 
more efficient- systems of police than ever a 
republic did. The late King of Prussia, by 
the possession of absolute despotic power 
was enabled to carry out a much more effi- 



I 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM's CABIN. 



123 



cient system of popular education than we 
ever have succeeded in carrying out in 
America. He districted his kingdom in the 
most thorough manner, and obliged every 
parent, whether he would or not, to have his 
children thoroughly educated. 

If we reply to all this, as we do, that the 
possession of absolute power in a man qual- 
ified to use it right is undoubtedly calcu- 
lated for the good of the state, but that there 
are so few men that know how to use it, 
that this form of government is not, on the 
whole, a safe one, then we have stated an 
argument that goes to overthrow slavery as 
much as it does a despotic government ; for 
certainly the chances are much greater of 
finding one man, in the course of fifty years, 
who is capable of wisely using this power, 
than of finding thousands of men every 
day in our streets, who can be trusted with 
such power. It is a painful and most seri- 
ous fact, that America trusts to the hands 
of the most brutal men of her country, 
equally with the best, that despotic power 
which she thinks an unsafe thing even in 
the hands of the enlightened, educated and 
cultivated Emperor of the Russias. 

"With all our republican prejudices, we 
cannot deny that Nicholas is a man of talent, 
with a mind liberalized by education ; we 
have been informed, also, that he is a man 
of serious and religious character : — he cer- 
tainly, acting as he does in the eye of all 
the world, must have great restraint upon 
him from public opinion, and a high sense of 
character. But who is the man to whom 
American laws intrust powers more absolute 
than those of Nicholas of Russia, or Ferdi- 
nand of Naples ? He may have been a 
pirate on the high seas ; he may be a drunk- 
ard ; he may, like Souther, have been con- 



* » 

victed of a brutality at which humanity turns 
pale ; but, for all that, American slave-law 
will none the less trust him with this irre- 
sponsible power, — power over the body, and 
power over the soul. 

On which side, then, stands the American 
nation, in the great controversy which is 
now going on between self-government and 
despotism ? On which side does America 
stand, in the great controversy for liberty of 
conscience 7 

Do foreign governments exclude their 
population from the reading of the Bible ? 

— The slave of America is excluded by the 
most effectual means possible. Do we say, 
" Ah ! but we read the Bible to our slaves, 
and present the gospel orally ? " — This is 
.precisely what rehgious despotism in Italy 
says. Do we say that we have no objection 
to our slaves readmg the Bible, if they will 
stop there ; but that with this there will come 
in a flood of general intelligence, which will 
upset the existing state of things 1 — This is 
precisely what is said in Italy. 

Do we say we should be willing that the 
slave should read his Bible, but that he, in 
his ignorance, will draw false and erroneous 
conclusions from it, and for that reason we 
prefer to impart its truths to him orally 'i 

— This, also, is precisely what the rehgious 
despotism of Europe says. 

Do we say, in our vain-glory, that despotic 
government dreads the coming in of any- 
thing calculated to elevate and educate the 
people ? — And is there not the same di'ead 
through all the despotic slave governments 
of America 7 

On which side, then, does the American 
nation stand, in the great, last question of 
the age 7 



* 



PAET III. 



CHAPTER I. 

DOES PUBLIC OPINION PROTECT THE SLAVE 1 

The utter inefficiency of the law to pro- 
tect the slave in any respect has been sho^>Ti. 

But it is claimed that, precisely because 
the law aifords the slave no protection, 
therefore public opinion is the more strenu- 
ous in his behalf. 

Nothing more frequently strikes the eye, 
in running over judicial proceedings in the 
courts of slave states, than announcements of 
the utter inutihty of the law to rectify some 
glaring injustice towards this unhappy race, 
coupled with congratulatory remarks on 
that beneficent state of public sentiment 
which is to supply entirely this acknowl- 
edged deficiency of the law. 

On this point it may, perhaps, be sufii- 
cient to ask the reader, whether North or 
South, to review in his own mind the judi- 
cial documents which we have presented, and 
ask himself what inference is to be drawn, 
as to the state of public sentiment, from 
the cases there presented, — from the pleas 
of lawyers, the decisions of judges, the facts 
sworn to by witnesses, and the general style 
and spirit of the whole proceedings. 

In order to appreciate this more fully, let 
us compare a trial in a free state with a 
trial in a slave state. 

In the free State of Massachusetts, a man 
of standing, learning and high connections, 
murdered another man. He did not torture 
him, but Avith one blow sent him in a 
moment from life. The murderer had every 
advantage of position, of friends ; it may be 
said, indeed, that he had the sympatliy of 
the whole United States ; yet how calmly, 
with Avhat unmoved and awful composure, 
did the judicial examination proceed ! The 
murderer was condcnmcd to die — what a 
sensation shook tlie country ! Even sover- 
eign states assumed the attitude of petition- 
ers for him. 

There was a voice of entreaty, from Maine 



to New Orleans. There were remonstrances, 
and there were threats ; but still, with what 
passionless calmness retributive justice held 
on its way ! Though the men who were 
her instruments were men of merciful and 
bleeding hearts, yet they bowed in silence 
to her sublime will. In spite of all that 
influence and wealth and power could do, a 
cultivated and intelligent man, from the first 
rank of society, suffered the same penalty 
that would fall on any other man who vio- 
lated the sanctity of human life. 

Now, compare this with a trial in a slave 
state. In Virginia, Souther also murdered 
a man ; but he did not murder him by one 
merciful blow, but by twelve hours of torture 
so horrible that few readers could bear even 
the description of it. It was a mode of 
death which, to use the language that Cicero 
in his day applied to crucifixion, "ought 
to be forever removed from the sight, hear- 
ing, and from the very thoughts of man- 
kind." And to this horrible scene two 
white men were witnesses ! 

Observe the mode in which these two 
cases were tried, and the general sensation 
they produced. Hear the lawyers, in this 
case of Souther, coolly debating whether it 
can be considered any crime at all. Hear 
the decision of the inferior court, that it is 
murder in the second degree, and appor- 
tioning as its reward five years of imprison- 
ment. See the horrible butcher coming up 
to the Superior Court in the attitude of an 
injured man ! See the case recorded as that 
of Souther versus The Cojnnionwealth, 
and let us ask any intelligent man, North 
or South, what sort of public sentiment does 
this show ! 

Does it show a belief that the negro is a 
man 1 Does it not show decidedly that he is 
not considered as a man 1 Consider further 
the horrible principle which, reiiffiinied in 
the case, is the law of the land in Virginia. 
It is the policy of the law, in respect to 
the relation of master and slave, and for 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



125 



the sake of securing- proper subordination 
on the part of the slave, to protect the 
master from prosecution in all such cases, 
even if the whipping and punishment be 
tnalicious, cruel and excessive! 

When the most cultivated and intelligent 
men in the state formally, calmly and 
without any apparent perception of saying 
anything inhuman, utter such an astounding 
decision as this, Tvhat can be thought of it '? 
If they do not consider this cruel, what is 
cruel 7 And, if their feelings are so blunted 
as to see no cruelty in such a decision, what 
hope is there of any protection to the slave? 

This law is a plain and distinct permis- 
sion to such wretches as Souther to inflict 
upon the helpless slave any torture they 
may choose, without any accusation or 
mpeachment of crime. It distinctly tells 
rfouther, and the white witnesses who saw 
his deed, and every other low, unprincipled 
man in the court, that it is the policy of 
the law to protect him in malicious, cruel 
and excessive punishments. 

Whut sort of an education is this for the 
intelligent and cultivated men of a state to 
communicate to the lower and less-educated 
class ? Suppose it to be solemnly announced 
in Massachusetts, with respect to free laborers 
or apprentices, that it is the policy of the 
law, for the sake of producing subordination, 
to protect the master in inflicting any pun- 
ishment, however .cruel, malicious and ex- 
cessive, short of death. We cannot imagine 
such a principle declared, without a rebel- 
lion and a storm of popular excitement to 
which that of Bunker Hill was calmness 
itself: — but, supposing the State of Massa- 
chusetts were so "twice dead and plucked up 
by the roots" as to allow such a decision to 
pass without comment concerning her work- 
ing classes, — suppose it did pass, and be- 
come an active, operative reality, what kind 
of an educational influence would it exert 
upon the commonwealth 7 What kind of 
an estimate of the working classes would it 
show in the minds of those who make and 
execute the law? 

What an immediate development of vil- 
lany and brutality would be brought out 
by such a law, avowedly made to protect 
men in cruelty ! Cannot men be cruel 
enough, without all the majesty of law 
being brought into operation to sanction it, 
and make it reputable % 

And suppose it were said, in vindication 
of such a law, "0, of course, no respect- 
able, humane man would ever think of taking 
sidvantage of it." Should we not think the 



old State of Massachusetts sunk very low, 
to have on her legal records direct assur- 
ances of protection to deeds Avhich no decent 
man would ever do ? 

And, when this shocking permission la 
brought in review at the judgment-seat of 
Christ, and the awful Judge shall say to its 
makers, aiders, and abettors. Where is thy 
brother ? — when all the souls that have 
called from under the altar, " How long, 
Lord, dost thou not judge and avenge our 
blood," shall rise around tke judgment-seat 
as a great cloud of witnesses, and the judg- 
ment is set and the books are opened, — what 
answer will be made for such laws and de- 
cisions as these 7 

Will they tell the great Judge that it was 
necessary to preserve the slave system, — 
that it could not be preserved without them ? 

Will they dare look upon those eyes, 
which are as a flame of fire, with any such 
avowal 7 

Will He not answer, as with a voice of 
thunders, "Ye have killed the poor and 
needy, and ye have forgotten that the Lord 
was his helper "7 

The deadly sin of slavery is its denial of 
humanity to man. This has been the sin 
of oppression, in every age. To tread down, 
to vilify and crush, the image of God, in 
the person of the poor and lowly, has been 
the great sin of man since the creation of 
the world. Against this sin all the proph- 
ets of ancient times poured forth their 
thunders. A still stronger witness was 
borne against this sin when God, in Jesus 
Christ, took human nature, and made each 
human being a brother of the Lord. But 
the last and most sublime witness shall be 
borne when a Man shall judge the whole 
earth — a Man who shall acknowledge for 
His brother the meanest slave, equally with 
the proudest master. 

In most singular and afiecting terms it is 
asserted in the Bible that the Father hath 
committed all judgment to the Son, because 
HE IS THE Son of Man. That human 
nature, which, in the person of the poor 
slave, has been despised and rejected, scofied 
and scorned, scourged and tortured, shall in 
that day be glorified ; and it shall appear 
the most fearful of sins to have made 
light of the sacredness of humanity, as these 
laws and institutions of slavery have done. 
The fact is, that the whole system of slave- 
law, and the whole practice of the slave 
system, and the public sentiment that is 
formed by it, are alike based on the gi'eatest 
of all heresies, a denial of equal human 



126 



BEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



brotherhood. A whole race has been thrown 
out of the range of human existence, their 
immortality disregarded, their dignity as 
children of God scoflFed at, their brotherhood 
with Christ treated as a fable, and all the 
law and public sentiment and practice with 
regard to them such as could be justified 
only on supposition that they were a race of 
inferior animals. 

It is because the negro is considered an 
inferior animal, and not worthy of any bet- 
ter treatment, that the system which relates 
to him and the treatment which falls to him 
are considered humane. 

Take any class of white men, however 
uneducated, and place them under the same 
system of laws, and make their civil con- 
dition in all respects like that of the negro, 
and would it not be considered the most 
outrageous cruelty? 

Suppose the slave-law were enacted with 
regard to all the Irish in our country, and 
they were parcelled off as the property of 
any man who had money enough to buy 
them. Suppose their right to vote, their 
right to bring suit in any case, their right 
to bear testimony in courts of justice, their 
right to contract a legal marriage, their 
right to hold property or to make contracts 
of any sort, were all by one stroke of law 
blotted out. Furthermore, suppose it was 
forbidden to teach them to read and write, 
and that their children to all ages were 
*' doomed to live without knowledge." Sup- 
pose that, in judicial proceedings, it were 
solemnly declared, with regard to them, that 
the mere beati?ig o? an Irishman, "apart 
from any circumstances of cruelty, or any 
attempt to kill," was no offence against the 
peace of the state. Suppose that it were de- 
clared that, for the better preservation of 
subjection among them, the law would pro- 
tect the master in any kind of punishment 
inflicted, even if it should appear to be 
malicious, cruel and excessive; and suppose 
that monsters like Souther, in availing them- 
selves of this permission, should occasionally 
torture Irishmen to death, but still this cir- 
cumstance should not be deemed of sufficient 
importance to call for any restriction on the 
part of the "master. Suppose it should be 
coolly said, " yes, Irishmen are occasion- 
ally tortured to death, we know ; but it is 
not by any means a general occurrence ; in 
fact, no men of position in society would do 
it; and when cases of the kind do occur, they 
are indignantly frowned upon." 

Suppose it should be stated that the rea- 
B<Hi that the law restraining the power of 



the master cannot be made any more strin- 
gent is, that the general system cannot be 
maintained without allowing this extent of 
power to the master. 

Suppose that, having got all the Irishmen 
in the country down into this condition, they 
should maintain that such was the public 
sentiment of humanity with regard to them 
as abundantly to supply the want of all 
legal rights, and to make their condition, on 
the whole, happier than if they were free. 
Should we not say that a public sentiment 
which saw no cruelty in thus depriving a 
whole race of every right dear to manhood 
could see no cruelty in anything, and had 
proved itself wholly unfit to judge upon the 
subject? What man would not rather see 
his children in the grave than see them 
slaves? What man, who, should he wake 
to-morrow morning in the condition of an 
American slave, would not wish himself in 
the grave ? And yet all the defendei"s of 
slavery start from the point that this legal 
condition is not of itself a cruelty ! They 
would hold it the last excess of cruelty with 
regard to themselves, or any white man ; 
why do they call it no cruelty at all with 
regard to the negro? 

The writer in defence of slavery in Fra- 
ser's Magaziyie justifies this depriving of 
a whole class of any legal rights, by urging 
that "the good" there is in human nature 
will supply the deficiencies of human legis- 
lation." This remark is one most signifi- 
cant, powerful index of the state of public 
sentiment, produced even in a generous 
mind, by the slave system. This writer 
thinks the good there is in human nature 
will supply the absence of all legal rights 
to thousands and millions of human beings. 
He thinks it right to risk their bodies and 
their souls on the good there is in human 
nature ; yet this very man would not send 
a fifty-dollar bill through the post-office, in 
an unsealed letter, trusting to " the good 
there is in human nature." 

Would this man dare to place his children 
in the position of slaves, and trust them to 
" the good in human nature " ? 

Would he buy an estate from the most 
honorable man of his acquaintance, and have 
no legal record of the deed, trusting to "the 
good in human nature"? And if "the 
good in human nature" will not suffice for 
him and his children, how will it sufiice for 
his brother and his brother's children ? Is 
his happiness of any more importiince in 
God's sight than his brother's happiness, 
that liis must be secured by legal bolts, and 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



127 



bonds, and bars, and his brother's left to 
"the good there is in human nature"? 
Never are we so impressed with the utter 
deadness of public sentiment to protect the 
slave, as when we see such opinions as these 
uttered by men of a naturally generous and 
noble cbai-acter. 

The most striking and the most painful 
examples of the perversion of public senti- 
ment, with regard to the negro race, are 
often given in the writings of men of hu- 
manity, amiableness and piety. 

That devoted laborer for the slave, the 
Kev. Charles 0. Jones, thus expresses his 
sense of the importance of one African 
soul: 

Were it now revealed to ns that the most ex- 
tensive system of instruction which we could 
devise, requiring a vast amount of labor and pro- 
tracted through ages, would result in the tender 
mercy of our God in the salvation of the soul of 
one poor African, we should feel warranted in 
cheerfully entering upon our Avork, with all its 
C06ts and sacrifices. 

What a noble, what a sublime spirit, is 
here breathed ! Does it not show a mind 
capable of the very highest impulses ? 

And yet, if we look over his whole writings, 
•we shall see painfully how the moral sense 
of the finest mind may be perverted by con- 
stant familiarity with such a system. 

We find him constructing an appeal to 
masters to have their slaves orally instructed 
in religion. In many passages he speaks 
of oral instruction as confessedly an imper- 
fect species of instruction, very much in- 
ferior to that which results from personal 
reading and examination of the Word of 
God. He says, in one place, that in order 
to do much good it must be begun very 
early in life, and intimates that people in 
advanced years can acquire very little from 
it ; and yet he decidedly expresses his 
opinion that slavery is an institution with 
which no Christian has cause to interfere. 

The slaves, according to his own showing, 
are cut off from the best means for the sal- 
vation of their souls, and restricted to one 
of a very inferior nature. They are placed 
under restriction which makes their souls as 
dependent upon othei-s for spiritual food as 
a man without hands is dependent upon 
others for bodily food. He recognizes the 
fact, which his own experience must show 
him, that the slave is at all times liable to 
pass into the hands of those who will not 
take the trouble thus to feed his soul ; nay, 
if we may judge from his urgent appeals to 
masters, he perceives around him many who, 



having spiritually cut off the slave's hands, 
refuse to feed him. He sees that, by the 
operation of this law as a matter of fa«t, 
thousands are placed in situations where the 
perdition of the soul is almost certain, and 
yet he declares that he does not feel called 
upon at all to interfere with their civil con- 
dition ! 

But, if the soul of every poor African is 
of that inestimable worth which Mr. Jones 
believes, does it not follow that he ought to 
have the very best means for getting to 
heaven which it is possible to give him ? 
And is not he who can read the Bible foi 
himself in a better condition than he who is 
dependent upon the reading of another? If 
it be said that such teaching cannot be 
afforded, because it makes them unsafe prop- 
erty, ought not a clergyman like Mr. Jones 
to meet this objection in his own expressive 
language : 

Were it now revealed to us that the most ex 
tensive system of instruction which we could 
devise, requiring a vast amount of labor and pro- 
tracted through ages, would result in the tender 
mercy of our God in the salvation of the soul of 
one poor African, we should feel warranted in 
cheerfully entering upon our work, with all its 
costs and sacrifices. 

Should not a clergyman, like Mr. Jones, 
tell masters that they should risk the loss 
of all things seen and temporal, rather than 
incur the hazard of bringing eternal ruin 
on these souls 1 All the arguments which 
Mr. Jones so eloquently used with masters, 
to persuade them to give then- slaves oral 
instruction, would apply with double force 
to show their obligation to give the slave 
the power of reading the Bible for himself 

Again, we come to hear Mr. Jones telling 
masters of the power they have over the 
souls of their servants, and we hear him 
say, 

We may, according to the power lodged in our 
hands, forbid religious meetings and religious in- 
struction on our own plantations ; we may forbid 
our servants going to church at all, or only to such 
churches as we may select for them. We may 
literally shut up the kingdom of heaven against 
men, and suffer not them that are entering to go 



And, when we hear Mr, Jones say all this, 
and then consider that he must see and 
know this awful power is often lodged in 
the hands of wholly irreligious men, in the 
hands of men of the most profligate charac- 
ter, we can- account for his thinking such a 
system right only by attributing it to that 
blinding, deadening influence which th« 



128 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



public sentiment of slavery exerts even over 

the best-constituted minds. 

Neither Mr. Jones nor any other Christ- 
ian minister would feel it right that the 
eternal happiness of their own children 
should be thus placed in the power of any 
man who should have money to pay for them. 
How, then, can they think it right that this 
power be given in the case of their African 
brother ? 

Does this not show that, even in case of 
the most humane and Christian people, who 
theoretically believe in the equality of all 
souls before God, a constant familiarity with 
slavery works a practical infidelity on this 
point ; and that they give their assent to 
laws which practically declare that the sal- 
vation of the servant's soul is of less con- 
sequence than the salvation of the property 
relation ? 

Let us not be thought invidious or un- 
charitable in saying, that where slavery ex- 
^ts there are so many causes necessarily 
uniting to corrupt public sentiment with re- 
gard to the slave, that the best-constituted 
minds cannot trust themselves in it. In the 
northern and free states public sentiment 
has been, and is, to this day, fatally infected 
by the influence of a past and the proximity 
of a present system of slavery. Hence 
the injustice with which the negro in many 
of our states is treated. Hence, too, 
those apologies for slavery, and defences 
of it, which issue from Northern presses, 
and even Northern pulpits. If even at the 
North the remains of slavery can produce 
such baleful eifects in corrupting public sen- 
timent, how much more must this be the 
case where this institution is in full force ! 

The whole American nation is, in some 
sense, under a paralysis of public sentiment 
on this subject. It was said by a heathen 
writer that the gods gave us a fearful power 
when they gave us the faculty of becoming 
accustomed to things. This power has proved 
a fearful one indeed in America. We have 
got used to things which might stir the dead 
in their graves. 

When but a small portion of the things 
daily done in America has been told in Eng- 
land, and France, and Italy, and Germany, 
there has been a perfect shriek and outcry 
of horror. America alone remains cool, and 
asks, " What is the matter? " 

Europe answers back, "Why, we have 
heard that men are sold like cattle in your 
country." 

"Of course they are," says America ; 
" but what then ? " 



" We have heard," says Europe, "that 
milhons of men are forbidden to read and 
write in your country." 

" We know that," says America; "but 
what is this outcry about 7 " 

"We have heard," says Europe, "that 
Christian girls are sold to shame in your 
markets ! " 

" .That is n't quite as it should be," says 
America ; " but still what is this excitement 
about ? " 

" We hear that three millions of your 
people can have no legal marriage ties,' 
says Europe. 

" Certainly that is true," returns Amer- 
ica ; "but you made such an outcry, we 
thought you saw some great cruelty going 
on." 

" And you profess to be a free country ! '• 
says indignant Europe. 

' ' Certainly we are the freest and most 
enlightened country in the world, — what 
are you talking about 7 " says America. 

" You send your missionaries to Christ- 
ianize us," says Turkey ; "and our religion 
has abohshed this horrible system." 

" You ! you are all heathen over there, 
— what business have you to talk 7 " an- 
swers America. 

Many people seem really to have thought 
that nothing but horrible exaggerations of 
the system of slavery could have produced 
the sensation which has recently been felt in 
all modern Europe. They do not know 
that the thing they have become accustomed 
to, and handled so freely in every discus- 
sion, seems to all other nations the sum and 
essejice of villany. Modern Europe, open- 
ing her eyes and looking on the legal theory 
of the slave system, on the laws and inter- 
pretations of law which define it, says to 
America, in the language of the indignant 
Othello, If thou wilt justify a thing like 
this, 

" Never pray more ; abandon all rcraorss ; 
On Horror's head horrors accumulate ; 
Do deeds to make heaven weep, all earth amazed; 
For nothing canst thou to damnation add 
Greater than this." 

There is an awful state of familiarity with 
evil which the apostle calls being " dead in 
trespasses and sins," wliere truth has been 
resisted, and evil perseveringly defended, 
and the convictions of conscience stifled, and 
the voice of God's Holy Spirit bidden to 
depart. There is an awful paralysis of the 
moral sense, when deeds unholiest and 
crimes most fearful cease any longer to aSect 
the nerve. That paralysis, always a fearful 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



129 



indication of the death and dissolution of 
nations, is a doubly dangerous disease in a 
republic, whose onlj power is in intelligence, 
justice and virtue. 



CHAPTER II. 

PUBLIC OPINION FORMED BY EDUCATION. 

Rev. Charles C. Jones, in his interest- 
ing work on the Religious Instruction of 
Negroes, has a passage which so peculiarly 
describes that influence of public opinion 
which we have been endeavoring to illustrate, 
that we shall copy it. 

Habits of feeling and prejudices in relation to 
any subject are wont to take their rise out of our 
education or circumstances. Every man knows 
their influence to be great in shaping opinions 
and conduct, and ofttimes how unwittingly they 
are formed ; that while we may be unconscious 
of their existence, they may grow with our growth 
and strengthen with our strength. Familiarity 
converts deformity into comeliness. Hence we 
are not always the best, judges of our condition. 
Another may remark inconveniences, and, indeed, 
peal evils, in It, of which we may be said to have 
been all our lives scarcely conscious. So, also, 
evils which, upon first acquaintance, revolted our 
whole nature, and appeared Intolerable, custom 
almost makes us forget oven to see. Men passing 
out of one state of society into another encounter 
a thousand things to which they feel that they 
can never be reconciled ; yet, shortly after, their 
sensibilities become dulled, — a change passes 
over them, they scarcely know how. They have 
accommodated themselves to their new circum- 
stances and relations, — they are Romans in Rome. 

Let us now inquire what are the educa- 
tional influences Avhich bear upon the mind 
educated in constant familiarity with the 
slave system. 

Take any child of ingenuous mind and of 
generous heart, and educate him under the 
Influences of slavery, and what are the things 
which go to form his character 7 An anec- 
dote which a lady related to the writer may 
be in point in this place. In giving an ac- 
count of some of the things which induced 
her to remove her family from under the 
influence of slavery, she related the follow- 
ing incident : Looking out of her nursery 
window one day, she saw her daughter, 
about three years of age, seated in her little 
carriage, with six or eight young negro 
children harnessed into it for horses. Two 
or three of the older slaves were standing 
around their little mistress, and one of them, 
putting a whip into her hand, said, " There, 
Misse, whip 'em Avell ; make 'em go, — they 're 
all your niggers." 
is >*K - 9 



"What a moral and religious lesson was 
this for that young soul ! The mother was 
a judicious woman, who never would herself 
have taught such a thing ; but the whole 
influence of slave society had burnt it into 
the soul of every negro, and through them it 
was communicated to the child. 

As soon as a child is old enough to read the 
newspapers, he sees in every column such 
notices as the following from a late Rich- 
mond Whig, and other papers. 

liARGE SAI.E OF NEGROES, HORSES, 
MULES, CATTLE, &c. 

The subscriber, under a decree of the Circuit 
Superior Court for Fluvanna County, will proceed 
to sell, by public auction, at the late residence of 
William Gait, deceased, on Tuesday, the 30th 
day of November, and Wedxesday, the 1st day 
of December next, beginning at" 11 o'clock, the 
negroes, stock, &c., of all kinds, belonging to the 
estate, consisting of 175 negroes, amongst whom are 
SOME Carpenters and Blacksmiths, — 10 horses, 
33 mules, 100 head of cattle, 100 sheep, 200 hogs, 
1500 barrels com, oats, fodder, &c., the planta- 
tion and shop tools of all kinds. 

The Negroes will be sold for cash ; the other 
property on a credit of nine months, the purchaser 
giving bond, with approved security. 

James Galt, Administrator of 

Oct. 19, William Gait, deceased. 

From the Nashville Gazette, Nov. 23, 
1852 : 

GREAT SALE OF NEGROES, MULES, CAT 
TLB, Sic. 

On Tuesday, the 21st day of December next, at 
the Plantation of the late N. A. McNairy, on the 
Franklin Turnpike, on account of Mrs. C. B. 
McNairy, Executrix, we will offer at Public Sale 

FIFTY YALTJABLE NEGROES. 



These Negroes are good 
will be sold in families, 
chase will do well to see 
sale. 

Also, TEN FINE WoRK 

ONE Jennet, Milch Cows 
Hogs, 1200 barrels Corn 
Two Wagons, One Cart, 



Plantation Negroes, and 

Those wishing to pup- 

them before the day of 

Mules, two Jacks and 
AND Calyes, Cattle, Stock 
, Oats, Hay, Fodder, ka. 
Farming Utensils, &c. 



From the Neioherry Sentinel : 

FOR SALE. 

The subscriber will sell at Auction, on the 15th 
of this month, at the Plantation on which he 
resides, distant eleven miles from the Town of 
Newberry, and near the Laurens Railroad, 

22 Young and Likely Negroes; 

comprising able-bodied field-hands, good cooks, 
house-servants, and an excellent blacksmith ; — 
about 1500 bushels of corn, a quantity of fodder, 
hogs, mules, sheep, neat cattle, household and 
kitchen furniture, and other property. — Term. 
made public on day of Sale. 

M. C. Gary. 

Dec. 1. 

(^ Laurensville Herald copy till day of saJ»- 



130 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



From the South Carolinian, Oct. 21, 
1852 : 

ESTATE SAIiE OF VALUABLE PROP- 
ERTY. 

The undersigned, as Administrator of the Estate 
of Col. T. Rapdell, deceased, will sell, on Mox- 
DAY, the 20th December nest, all the personal 
property belonging to said estate, consisting of 
56 Negroes, Stock, Corn, Fodder, &c. &c. The 
sale will take place at the residence of the de- 
ceased, on Sandy River, 10 miles West of Ches- 
terville. 

Terms of Sale : The negroes on a credit of 12 
months, with interest from day of sale, and two 
good sureties. The other property will be sold 
for cash. Samuel J. Raj^dell. 

Sept. 2. 

See, also, New Orleans Bee, Oct. 28. 
After advertising the landed estate of Mad- 
eline Lanoux, deceased, comes the following 
enumeration of chattels : 

Twelve slaves, men and women ; a small, quite 
new schooner ; a ferrying flat-boat ; some cows, 
calves, heifers and sheep ; a lot of household fur- 
niture ; the contents of a store, consisting of hard- 
vrare, crockery ware, groceries, dry goods, etc. 

Now, suppose all parents to be as pious 
and benevolent as Mr. Jones, — a thing not 
at all to be hoped for, as things are ; — and 
suppose them to try their very best to 
impress on the child a conviction that all 
souls are of equal value in the sight of God ; 
that the negro soul is as truly beloved of 
Christ, and ransomed with his blood, as the 
master's; and is there any such thing as 
making him believe or reahze if? Will he 
believe that that which he sees, every week, 
advertised with hogs, and horses, and fod- 
der, and cotton-seed, and refuse furniture, 
— bedsteads, tables and chairs, — is indeed 
so divine a thing? We will suppose that 
the little child knows some pious slave ; 
that he sees him at the communion-table, 
partaking, in a far-off, solitary manner, of 
the Sacramental bread and wine. He sees 
his pious fiither and mother recognize the 
slave as a Christian brother ; they tell him 
that he is an " heir of God, a joint heir with 
Jesus Christ;" and the next week he sees 
him advertised in the paper, in company with 
a lot of hogs, stock and fodder. Can the 
child possibly believe in what his Christian 
parents have told him, when he sees this 7 
We have spoken now of only the common 
advertisements of the paper; but suppose 
the child to live in some districts of tlie 
country, and advertisements of a still more 
degrading character meet his eye. In the 
State of Alabama, a newspaper devoted to 
politics, literature and education, has a 



standing weekly advertisement of which this 
is a copy : 



NOTICE. 



^ ^ The undersigned having an excel- 
£=» lent pack of Hoitnds, for trailing 



and catching runaway slaves, informs the public 
that his prices in future will be as follows for 
sucli services : 
For each day employed in hunting or 

trailing, - - - - - - $2.50 

For catching each slave, - - - 10.00 
For going over ten miles, and catching 

slaves, 20.00 

If sent for, the above prices will be exacted in 
cash. The subscriber resides one mile and a half 
south of Dadeville, Ala. -r, -d 

Dadeville, Sept. 1, 1852. 1-tf 

The reader will see, by the printer's sign 
at the bottom, that it is a season advertise- 
ment, and, therefore, would meet the eye 
of the child week after week. The paper 
from which we have cut this contains 
among its extracts passages from Dickens' 
Household Words, from Professor Felton's 
article in the Christia7i Examiner on the 
relation of the sexes, and a most beautiful 
and chivalrous appeal from the eloquent 
senator Soule on the legal rights of women. 
Let us now ask, since this paper is devoted 
to education, what sort of an educational 
influence such advertisements have. And, 
of course, such an establishment is not kept 
up without patronage. Where there are 
negro-hunters advertising in a paper, there 
are also negro-hunts, and there are dogs 
being trained to hunt ; and all this process 
goes on before the eyes of children ; and 
what sort of an education is it 7 

The writer has received an account of the 
way in which dogs are tranied for this busi- 
ness. The information has been communi- 
cated to the gentleman who writes it by a 
negro man, who, having been always accus- 
tomed to see Jt done, described it with as little 
sense of there being anything out of the way 
in it as if the dosis had been trained to catch 
raccoons. It came to the writer in a recent 
letter from the South. 

The way to train 'em (says tlio man) *.s to 
take those yer pups, — any kind o' pups will do, — 
fox-hounds, bull-dogs, most any ; — i)ut take tho 
pups, ami keep 'cm shut up, and don't let 'em never 
see a nigger till they get big enough to be larncd. 
When tlio pups gits old enough to bo set on to 
things, then make 'cm run alter a nigger ; and 
when they cotchcs him, give 'em meat. Toll the 
nigger to run as hard as he can, and git up in a 
tree, so as to larn the dogS'to tree 'em ; then take 
the shoe of a nigger, and larn 'em to lind t!ie nig- 
ger it belongs to ; then a rag of his clothes ; and 
so on. AUers bo earful to tree tho nigger, and 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



131 



teach the dog to wait and bark under the tree 
till you come up and give him his meat. 

See also the following advertisement from 
the Ouachita Register^ a newspaper dated 
"Monroe, La., Tuesday evening, June 1, 
1852." 

NEGRO DOGS. 

The undersigned would respectfully inform the 
citizens of Ouachita and adjacent parishes, that 
he has located about 2.^ miles east of John 
White's, on the road leading from Monroe to Bast- 
rop, and that he has a fine pack of Dogs for catch- 
ing negroes. Persons wishing negroes caught 
will do Avell to give him a call. He can always 
be found at his stand when not engaged in hunt- 
ing, and even then information of his whereabouts 
can always be had of some one on the premises. 

Terms. — Five dollars per day and found, when 
there is no track pointed out. When the track 
is shown, twenty-five dollars will be charged for 
catching the negro. jj ^_ ^^^^^ 



Monroe, Feb. 17, 1852. 



15-3m 



Now, do not all the scenes likely to be 
enacted under this head form a fine educa- 
tion for the children of a Christian nation ? 
and can we wonder if children so formed see 
no cruelty in slavery ? Can children real- 
ize that creatures who are thus hunted are 
the children of one heavenly Father with 
themselves 7 . 

But suppose the boy grows up to be a 
man, and attends the courts of justice, and 
hears intelligent, learned men declaring 
from the bench that " the mere beating of a 
slave, unaccompanied by any circumstances 
of cruelty, or an attempt to kill, is no breach 
of the peace of the state." Suppose he hears 
it decided in the same place that no insult or 
outrage upon any slave is considered worthy 
of legal redress, unless it impairs his prop- 
erty value. Suppose he hears, as he would 
in Virginia, that it is the policy of the law 
to protect the master even in inflicting cruel, 
malicious and excessive punishment upon 
the slave. Suppose a slave is murdered, 
and he hears the lawyers arguing that it 
cannot be considered a murder, because 
the slave, in law, is not considered a human 
being; and then suppose the case is ap- 
pealed to a superior court, and he hears 
the judge expending his forces on a long 
and eloquent dissertation to prove that the 
slave is a human being ; at least, that he is 
as much so as a lunatic, an idiot, or an 
unborn child, and that, therefore, he can be 
murdered. (See JuHge Clark's speech, on 
p. 75 .) Suppose he sees that all the admin- 
istration of law with regard to the slave 
proceeds on the idea that he is absolutely 



nothing more than a bale of merchandise. 
Suppose he hears such language as tliis, 
which occurs in the reasonings of the Braze- 
alle case, and which is a fair sample of the 
manner in which such subjects are ordina- 
rily discussed. "The slave has no more 
political capacity, no more right to purchase, jj 
hold or transfer property, than the mule in 
his plough; he is in himself but a mere 
chattel, — the subject of absolute owner- 
ship." Suppose he sees on the statute- 
book such sentences as these, from the civil 
code of Louisiana : 

Art. 2500. The latent defects of slaves and ani- 
mals are divided into two classes, — vices of body 
and vices of character. " 

Art. 2501. The vices of body are distinguished 
into absolute and relative. 

Art. 2502. The absolute vices of slaves are lep- 
rosy, madness and epilepsy. 

Art. 2503. The absolute vices of horses and . 
mules are short wind, glanders, and founder. 

The influence of this language is made all 
the stronger on the young mind from tha 
fact that it is not the language of contempt, 
or of passion, but of calm, matter-of-fact, 
legal statement. 

What eifect must be produced on the mind 
of the young man when he comes to see 
that, however atrocious and however well- 
proved be the murder of a slave, the mur- 
derer uniformly escapes ; and that, though 
the cases where the slave has fallen a vic- 
tim to passions of the white are so multi- 
plied, yet the fact of an execution for such a 
crime is yet almost unknown in the country? 
Does not all this tend to produce exactly 
that estimate of the value of negro life and 
happiness which Frederic Douglass says was 
expressed by a common proverb among the 
white boys where he was brought up : " It's 
worth sixpence to kill a nigger, and sixpence 
more to bury him " '? 

We see the public sentiment which has 
been formed by this kind of education ex- 
hibited by the following paragraph from the 
Cambridge Democrat, Md.. Oct. 27, 1852. 
That paper quotes the following frrm the 
Wooduille Rejntblicaii, of Mississippi. It 
seems a Mr. Joshua Johns had killed a 
slave, and had been sentenced therefor to - 
the penitentiary for two years. The Jir- 
piiblicati thus laments his hard lot : 

STATE V. JOSHUA JOHNS. 

This cause resulted in the conviction of Johns, 
and his sentence to the penitentiary for two yearai ; 
Although every member of the jui-y, together witli^ 
the bar, and the public generally, signed a poti- * 
tiou to the governor for young Joluis' pardon, yet '; 



132 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



there was no fault to find with the verdict of the 
jury. The extreme youth of Johns, and the cir- 
Cttiiistances in which the killing occurred, enlisted 
universal sympathy in his favor. There is no 
doulit that the negi-o had provoked hini to the 
deed Iiy tlie use of insolent language ; but how 
often must it l)e told that words are no justifica- 
tion for blows? There are wjowy persons — and 
we regret to say it — wltn think they have the same 
* right to shoot a negro, if he insults them, or even 
runs from them, that they have to shoot down a dog ; 
but there are laws for the protection of the slave 
as well as the master, and the sooner the error 
ahove alhuJed to is removed, the better vdW it be for 
both parties. 

The unfortunate youth who has now entailed 
upon himself tlie penalty of the law, we doubt not, 
had no idea that tliere existed such penalty ; and 
even if he was aware of the fact, tlio repeated in- 
sults and taunts of the negro go far to mitigate 
the crime. Johns was defended by I. D. Gildart, 
Esq., wlio pro!)ably did all that could have been 
eflected in his defence. 

The Democrat adds : 

We learn from Mr. Curry, deputy sheriff, of 
Wilkinson County, that Johns has been pardoned 
by the governor. We are gratified to hear it. 

This error above alluded to, of thinking 
it is as innocent to shoot down a negro as a 
dog, is one, v^e fairly admit, for which young 
Johns ought not to be very severely blamed. 
He has been educated in a system of things 
of which this opinion is the inevitable result; 
and he, individually, is far less guilty for it, 
than are those men who support the sys- 
tem of laws, and keep up the educational 
influences, which lead young Southern men 
directly to this conclusion. Johns may be, 
for aught we know, as generous-hearted and 
as just naturally as any young man living ; 
but the horrible system under wdiich he has 
been educated has rendered him incapable 
of distinguishing what either generosity or 
justice is. as applied to the negro. 

Tiie public sentiment of the slave states 
is the sentiment of men who have been thus 
educated, and in all that concerns the negro 
it is utterly blunted and paralyzed. What 
would seem to them injustice and hon-ible 
■wi'ong in the case of white persons, is the 
coolest matter of course in relation to slaves. 

As this educational influence descends 
from generation to generation, the moral 
sense ])ecomes more and more blunted, and 
tlie power of discriminating right from 
wrojig, in what relates to the subject race, 
more and more enfeebled. 

Thus, if we read the writings of distin- 
guished men who were slave-holders about 
the time of our American Revolution, what 
clear views do we find e.xprcssed of the in- 
/ustice of slavery, what strong language of 



reprobation do we find apj^lied to it ! Nothing 
more forcible could possibly be said in rela- 
tion to ii<i evils than by quoting the language 
of such men as Washington, Jefferson, and 
Patrick Henry. In those days there were 
no men of that high class of mind who 
thought of such a thing as defending slavery 
on principle ; now there are an abundance of 
the most distinguished men, North and 
South, statesmen, civilians, men of letters, 
even clergymen, who in various degrees 
palliate it, apologize for or openly defend 
it. And what is the cause of this, except 
that educational influences have corrupted 
public sentiment, and deprived them of the 
power of just judgment? 77/e public 
ojnnioji even of free America^ with regard 
to slavery^ is behind that of all other 
civilized nations. 

When the hoWers of slaves assert that 
they are, as a general thing, humanely 
treated, what do they mean ? Not that they 
would consider such treatment humane if 
given to themselves and their chikben, — no, 
indeed ! — but it is humane for slaves. 

They do, in effect, place the negro below 
the range of humanity, and on a level with 
brutes, and then graduate all their ideas of 
humanity accordingly. 

They'Avould not needlessly kick or abuse 
a dog or a negro. They may pet a dog, 
and they often do a negro. Men have been 
found who fancied having their horses cle- i 
gantly lodged in marble stables, and to eat \ 
out of sculptured mangers, but they thoughb 
them horses still ; and, with all the indul- 
gences with which good-natured masters 
sometimes surround the slave, he is to them 
but a negro still, and 7iot a man. 

In what has been said in this chapter, and 
in what appears incidentally in all the facta 
cited throughout this volume, there is abun- 
dant proof that, notwithstanding there be fre- 
quent and most noble instances of generosity 
towards the negro, and although the senti- 
ment of honorable men and the voice of 
Christian charity does everywhere protest 
against what it feels to be inhumanity, yet 
the popular sentiment engendered by the 
system must necessarily fall deplorably 
short of giving anything like sufiicient pro- 
tection to the riglits of the slave. It will 
appear in the succeeding chapters, as it must 
already have appeared to reflecting minds, 
that the whole course of educational influence 
upon the mind of the slave-master is such as 
to deaden his mind to those appeals wliich 
come from the negro as a fellow-man and a 
brother. 



KEY TO UNCLE TOm's CABIN. 



133 



CHAPTER III. 

SEPARATION OP FAMILIES- 

"What must tho difference be," said Dr. Worthington, 
with startling energy, " between Isabel and her servants ! 
To her it is loss of position, fortune, the fair hopes of life, 
perhaps even health ; for she must inevitably break down 
under the unaccustomed labor and privations she will have 
to undergo. But to them it is merely a change of ynasters " / 

" Yes, for tlie neighbors won't allow any of the families 
to be separated." 

" Of course not. We read of such things in novels some- 
times. But I have yet to see it in real life, except in 
rare eases, or where the slave has been guilty of some mis- 
demeanor, or crime, for which, in the North, he would 
have been imprisoned, perhaps for life." — Cabin and Par- 
lor, by J. Thornton Randolph, p. 39. 

********* 

" But they 'ro going to sell us all to Georgia, I say. 
How are we to escape that 1 " 

" Spec dare some mistake in dat," replied Uncle Peter, 
stoutly. " I nebber knew of sich a ting in dese parts, 
'cept where some niggar 'd been berry bad." — Hid. 

By such graphic touches as the above 
does Mr. Thornton Randolph represent to 
us the patriarchal stability and security of 
the slave population in the Old Dominion. 
Such a thing as a slave being sold out of 
the state has never been heard of by Dr. 
Worthington, except in rare cases for some 
crime ; and old Uncle Peter never heard of 
such a thing in his life. 

Are these representations true ? 

The worst abuse of the system of slavery 
is its outrage upon the family ; and, as the 
■writer views the subject, it is one which is 
more notorious and undeniable than any 
other. 

Yet it is upon this point that the most 
stringent and earnest denial has been made 
to the representations of "Uncle Tom's 
Cabin," either indirectly, as by the romance- 
writer above, or more directly in the asser- 
tions of newspapers, both at the North and 
at the South. When made at the North, they 
indicate, to say the least, very great igno- 
rance of the subject ; when made at the 
South, they certainly do very great injustice 
to the general character of the Southerner 
for truth and honesty. All sections of 
country have fliults pecuhar to themselves. 
The fault of the South, as a general thing, 
has not been cowardly evasion and deception. 
It was with utter surprisv> that the author 
read the following sentences in an article in 
Fraser's Magazine^ professing to come 
trom a South Carolinian. 

!Mrs. Stowo's favoi-ite illustration of the master's 
power to the injury of the slave is the separation 
of ^milies. We are told of infants of ten months 
old being sold from tlie arras of tlieir mothers, and 
of men whose hal)it it is to raise childi'cn to sell 
away from their mother as soon as they are old 
eJiough to be separated. Wjre our views of this 



feature of slavery derived from Mrs. Stowe's book, 
we should regard the families of slaves as utterly 
unsettled and vagrant. 

And again : 

We feel confident that, if statistics could be 
had to throw light upon this subject, we should 
find that there is less separation of families among 
the negroes than occurs with almost any other 
class of persons. 

As the author of the article, however, is 
evidently a man of honor, and expresses 
many most noble and praiseworthy senti- 
ments, it cannot be supposed that these 
statements were put forth with any view to 
misrepresent or to deceive. They are only 
to be regarded as evidences of the facility 
with which a sanguine mind often overlooks 
the most glaring facts that make against a 
favorite idea or theory, or which are un- 
favorable in their bearings on one's own 
country or family. Thus the citizens of 
some place notoriously unhealthy will come 
to believe, and assert, with the utmost sin- 
cerity, that there is actually less sickness 
in their town than any other of its size 
in the known world. Thus parents often 
think their children perfectly immaculate 
in just those particulars in which others 
see them to be most faulty. This solution 
of the phenomena is a natural and amiable 
one, and enables us to retain our respect for 
our Southern brethren. 

There is another circumstance, also, to ha 
taken into account, in reading such asser- 
tions as these. It is evident, from the 
pamphlet in question, that the writer is one 
of the few who regard the possession of ab- 
solute irresponsible power as the highest of 
motives to moderation and temperance in its 
use. Such men are commonly associated 
in friendship and family connection with 
others of similar views, and are very apt to 
Ml into the error of judging others by 
themselves, and thinking that a thing may 
do for all the world because it operates well 
in their immediate circle. Also it cannot 
but be a fact that the various circumstances 
which- from infancy conspire to degrade and 
depress the negro in the eyes of a Southern- 
born man, — the constant habit of speaking 
of them, and hearing them spoken of, and ' 
seeinof them advertised, as mere articles of 
property, often in connection with horses, 
mules, fodder, swine, kc. as they are almost 
daily in every Southern paper, — must tend, 
even in the best-constituted minds, to pro- 
duce a certain obtuseness with regard to the 
interests, sufferings and affections, of such 
aa do not partieuiarly belong to himself, 



134 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



•which will pecularly unfit him for estimating 
their condition. The author has often been 
singularly struck with this fact, in the letters 
of Southern friends ; in which, upon one 
page, the J will make some assertion regard- 
ing the condition of Southern negroes, and 
then go on, and in other connections state 
facts which apparently contradict them all. 
We can all be aware how this familiarity 
would operate Avith ourselves. Were we 
called upon to state how often our neighbors' 
cows Avere separated from their calves, or 
how often their household furniture and 
other effects are scattered and dispersed by 
executor's sales, Ave should be inclined to say 
that it was not a misfortune of very common 
occurrence. 

But let us open two South Carolina papers, 
published in the very state where this gen- 
tleman is residing, and read the advertise- 
ments FOR OXE AVEEK. The author has 
slightly abridged them. 

COMMISSIOXER'S SALE OF 12 LIKELY 
KEGROES. 

Fairfield District. 
R. "W. Murray and wife and! 
others f 

In Equity. 
William Wriglit and wife 
and others. 

In pursuance of an Order of the Court of 
Equity made in the above case at July Term, 
1852, 1 will sell at public outcry, to the highest 
bidder, before the Court House in Wirmsboro, on 
the first Monday in January next, 

12 VERY LIKELY NEGROES, 

belonging to the estate of INlicajah Mobley, de- 
ceased, late of Fairfield District. 

These Negroes consist chiefly of young boys 
and girls, and are said to be very likely. 

Terms of Sale, &c. 

W. R. Robertson, 
C.E.F.D 

Commissioner's Office, 

VVinn.sboro, Nov. 30 

Dec. 2 42 s4. 



ice, > 

),1S52. X 

42 



ADMIXISTRATOR'S SALE. 

Will be sold at pul)lic outcry, to the highest 
bidder, nn Tuesday, the 21st day of December 
next, at the late residence of Mrs. M. P. llabb, 
deceased, all of the personal estate of said de- 
ceased, consisting in part of about 

2,000 Bushels of Corn. 

25,000 pounds of Fudder. 

Wheat — Cotton Seed. 

Horses, Mules, Cattle, Hogs, Sheep. 

There will, in all proljahility, be sold at the 
eame time and place S'jvcral likely Young Negroes. 

The Terms of Sale will be — all sums under 
Twenty-five Dollars, Cash. All sums of Twenty- 
five Dollars and over, twelve months' credit, with 
interest from day of Sale, secured by note and 
two approved sureties. William S. Rabb, 

Administrator. 

Nov. 11. 39 x2 



COMMISSIOXER'S SALE OF LAND AND 
X EG ROES. 

Fairfield District. 

James E. Caldwell, 

Admr., with the Will 

annexed, of Jacob Gibson, 

deceased, y In Equity 

V. 

Jason D. Gibson 
and others. 

In pursuance of the order of sale made in the 
above case, 1 will sell at public outcry, to the 
highest bidder, before the Court House in Winna- 
boro, on the first Monday in January next, and 
the day following, ti,-^ following real and personal 
estate of Jacob Gibson, deceased, late of Fair- 
field District, to wit : 

The Plantation on which the testator lived at 
the time of his death, containing 661 Acres, more 
or less, lying on the waters of Wateree Creek, and 
bounded by lands of Samuel Johnston, Theodore 
S. DuBose, Edward P. Mobley, and B. R. Cockrell. 
This plantation will be sold in two separate tracts, 
plats of which will be exhibited on the day of 
sale : 

46 prime likely negroes, 

consisting of Wagoners, Blacksmiths, Cooks, House 
Servants, d^c. W. R. Robertson, 

C. E. F.D. 

Commissioner's Office, ) 

Winnsboro, 29th Nov. 1852. 5 



ESTATE SALE.— FIFTY PRIME NEGROES. 
BY J. & L. T. LEV IX. 

On the first Monday in January next I will sell, 
before the Court House in Columbia, 50 of as 
Likely Negroes as have ever been exposed to public 
sale, belonging to the estate of A. P. Vinson, de- 
ceased. The Negroes have been well cared for, 
and well managed in every respect. Persons wish- 
ing to purchase will not, it is confidently believed, 
have a better opportunity to supply themselves. 

J. H. Adams, 
Executor. 

Nov. 18 40 x3 



ADMIXISTRATOR'S SALE. 

Will be sold on the 15th Decemlx!r next, at the 
late residence of Samuel Moore, deceased, in York 
District, all the personal property of said deceased, 
consisting of ; 

35 likely negroes, 
a quantity of Cotton and Corn, Horses and IMules, 
Farming Tools, Household and Kitchen Furniture, 
with many other articles. 

S.VilUEL E. MOOKE, 
Administrator. 
Nov. 18 40 x4t. 



ADMINISTRATOR'S SALE. 

Will bo sold at public outcry, to the highest 
bidder, on Tuesday, the 14th day of December 
next, at the late residence of Rolwrt W. Durlnun, 
deceased, in Fairfield District, all of the personal 
estate of said deceased : consisting in part as fol- 
lows : 

50 PRIME likely NEGROES. 

About 3,000 Bushels of Corn. 
A largo quantity of Fodder. 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. 



135 



Wlieat, Oats, Cow Peas, Rye, Cotton Seed, 
Horses, Mules, Cattle, Hogs, Sheep. 

C. H. Durham, 
Nov. 23. Administrator. 

SHERIFF'S SALE. 

By virtue of sundry executions to me directed, 
I will sell at Fairfield Court House, on the first 
Monday, and the day following, in December next, 
within the legal hours of sale, to the highest bid- 
der, for cash, the following property. Purchasers 
to pay for titles : 

2 Negroes, levied upon as the property of Allen 
R. Crankfield, at the suit of Alexander Brodie, et al. 

2 Horses and 1 Jennet, levied upon as the prop- 
erty of Allen R. CrankHeld, at the suit of Alexan- 
der Brodie. 

2 Mules, levied upon as the property of Allen 
R. Crankfield, at the suit of Temperance E. Miller 
and J. W. Miller. 

1 pair of Cart Wheels, levied upon as the prop- 
erty of Allen R. Crankfield, at the suit of Tem- 
perance E. Miller and J. W. Miller. 

1 Chest of Drawers, levied upon as the property 
of Allen R. Crankfield, at the suit of Temperance 
E. Miller and J. W. Miller. 

1 Bedstead, levied upon as the property of Allen 
R. Crankfield, at the suit of Temperance E. Miller 
and J. W. Miller. 

I Negro, l9\'ied upon as the property of R. J. 
Gladney, at the suit of James Camak. 

1 Negro, levied upon as the property of Geo. 
McCormick, at the suit of W. M. Phifer. 

1 Riding Saddle, to be sold under an assignment 
of G. W. Boulware to J. B. Mickle, in the case of 
Geo. Murphy, Jr., v. G. W. Boulware. 

R. E. Ellison, 
Sherirs Office, > S. F. D. 

Nov. 19 1852. ^ 

Nov. 20 37 fxtf 



COMMISSIONER'S SALE. 



"1 



i 



In Equity. 



John A. Crumpton, 
and others, 

V. 

Zachariah C. Crumpton 

In pursuance of the Decretal order made in this 
case, I will sell at public outcry to the highest 
bidder, before tlie Court House door in Winnslioro, 
on the first Monday in December next, three 
separate tracts or parcels of land, belonging to 
the estate of Zachariah Crumpton, deceased. 

I will also sell, at the same time and place, five 
OR SIX LIKELY YouNG Negroes, sold as the property 
of the said Zachariali Crumpton, deceased, by 
virtue of the authority aforesaid. 
■The Terms of sale are as follows, &c. &c. 

W. R. ROBETSOX, 

Commissioner's Office, > C. E. F. D. 

Winnsboro, Nov. 8, 1852. \ 

Nov 11 30 x3 



ESTATE SALE OF VALUABLE PROPERTY. 

The undersigned, as Administrator of the Estate 
of Col. T. Randell, deceased, will sell, on Monday 
the 20th December next, all the personal property 
belonging to said estate, consisting of 
5G NEGROES, 

STOCK, CORN, FODDER, ETC. ETC. 

Terms of sale, &c. &c. 

Samuel J. Raxdell. 
Sep. 2 29 xlG 



The Tri-ioeekly South Carolinian^ pub- 
lished at Columbia, S. C, has this motto : 

" Be JUST AND FEAR NOT ; LET ALL THE ENDS THOU 
AIm'sT AT BE THY CoUNTRV's, THY God's, AND 

Truth's." 

In the number dated December 23d, 
1852, is found a " Reply of the Women of 
Vircrinia to the Women of Engjland." con- 
tammg this sentmient : 

Believe us, we deeply, prayerfully, stutJij God's 
holy word; we are fully persuaded that our in- 
stitutions are in accordance with it. 

After which, in other columns, come tho 
ten advertisements following : 

SHERIFF'S SALES FOR JANUARY 2, 1853. 

By virtue of sundry writs of fieri facias, to me 
directed, will be sold before the Cofirt House in 
Columbia, within the legal hours, on the first 
Monday and Tuesday in January next. 

Seventy-four acres of Land, more or less, in 
Richland District, bounded on the north and east 
by Lorick's, and on the south and west by Thomas 
Trapp. 

Also, Ten Head of Cattle, Twenty-five Head of 
Hogs, and Two Hundred Bushels of Corn, levied 
on as the property of jM. A. Wilson, at the suit 
of Samuel Gardner v. M. A. Wilson. 

Seven Negroes, named Grace, Frances, Edmund, 
Charlotte, Emuline, Thomas and Charles, levied 
on as the property of Bartholomew Turnipseed, 
at the suit of A. F. Dubard, J. S. Lever, Bank of 
the State and others, v. B. Turnipseed. 

450 acres of Land, more or less, in Richland 
District, bounded on the north, &c. &c. 



LARGE SALE OF REAL AND PERSONAL 
PROPERTY— ESTATE SALE. 

On Monday, the (7th) seventh day of February 
next, I will sell at Auction, without reserve, at the 
Plantation, near Linden, all the Horses, Mules, 
Wagons, Farming Utensils, Corn, Fodder, &c. 

And on the following Monday (14th), the four- 
teenth day of February next, at the Court House, 
at Linden, in Marengo County, Alabama, I vrill 
sell at public auction, without reserve, to tho 
highest bidder, 

110 PRIME AND LIKELY NEGROES, 

belonging to the Estate of the late John Robinson, 
of South Carolina. 

Among the Negroes are four valuable Carpen- 
ters, and a very superior Blacksmith. 



NEGROES FOR SALE. 

By permission of Peter Wylie, Esq., Ordinary 
for Chester District, I will sell, at public auction, 
before the Court House, in Chesterville, on the 
first Monday in February next, 

FORTY LIKELY NEGROES, 

belonging to the Estate of F. W. Davie. 

W. D. DeSaussure, Executor. 
Dec. 23. 56 ■ ftds. 



ESTATE SALE OF FURNITURE, &c., BY J. 
&. L. T. LEVIN. 

Will be sold, at our store, on Thursday, the 6th 
day of January next, all the Household and Kitch 



136 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



en Furniture, belonging to the Estate of B. L. 
McLaughlin, deceased, consisting in part of 

Hair Seat Chairs, Sofas and Rockers, Piano, 
Mahogany Dining, Tea, and Card Tables ; Carpets, 
Rugs, Andirons, Fenders, Shovel and Tongs, Man- 
tel Ornaments, Clocks, Side Board, Bureaus, Ma- 
hogany Bedsteads, Feather Beds and Mattresses, 
Wash Stands, Curtains, fine Cordial Stand, Glass- 
ware, Crockery, and a great variety of articles for 
family use. 

Terms cash. 

ALSO, 

A Negro Man, named Leonard, belonging to 
same. 
Terms, &c. 

ALSO, 

At same time, a quantity of New Brick, belong- 
ing to Estate of A. S. Johnstone, deceased. 
Dec. 21. 53 Jtds. 



GREAT SALE OF NEGROES AND THE SA- 
LUDA FA'CTORY, BY J. & L. T. LEVIN. 

On Thursday, December 30, at 11 o'clock, will 
be sold at the Court House in Columbia, 

ONE HUNDRED VALUABLE NEGROES. 

It is seldom such an opportunity occurs as now 
offers. Among them are only four beyond 45 
years old, and none above 50. There are twenty- 
five prime young men, between sixteen and thirty ; 
forty of the most likely young women, and as fine 
a set of children as can be shown! ! 

Terms, &c. Dec. 18, '52. 



XEGROES AT AUCTION. — BY J. & L. T. 
LEVIN. 

Will be sold, on Monday, the 3d January next, 
at the Court House, at 10 o'clock, 

22 LIKELY NEGROES, the larger number of which 
are young and desirable. Among them are Field 
Hands, Hostlers and Carriage Drivers, House Ser- 
vants, &c., and of the following ages: Robinson 
40, Elsey 34, Yanaky 13, Sylla 11, Anikee 8, Rob- 
inson 6, Candy 3, Inflmt 9, Thomas 35, Die 38, 
Amey 18, Eldridge 13, Charles G, Sarah 60, Baket 
50, Mary 18, Betty IG, Guy 12, Tilla 9, Lydia 24, 
Rachel 4, Scipio 2. 

The above Negroes are sold for the purpose of 
making some other investment of the proceeds ; 
the sale will, therefore, be positive. 

Terms. — A credit of one, two, and three yeare, 
for notes payable at either of the Banks, with two 
or more approved endorsers, with interest from 
date. Purchasers to pay for papers. Doc 8 43 

'^' Black River Watchman will copy the above, 
and forward bill to the auctioneers for payment. 

Poor little Scip. ! 



LIKELY AND VALUABLE GIRL, AT PRI- 
tf VATE SALE. 

H^ A LIKELY GIRL, al)()ut Seventeen years old 
(raised in the up-country), a good Ji'urse and 
House Servant, can wash and iron, and do plain 
cooking, and is warranted sound and Iieaitliy. 
She may l)e soon at our office, where she will re- 
main until sold. Allen & Phillii's, 
Dec. 15, '49. Auctioneers & Com. Agents. 



PLANTATION AND NEGROES FOR SALE. 

The subscriber, having located in Columbia, 
offers for sale his Plantation in St. Matthew's 



Parish, six miles from the Railroad, containing 
1,500 acres, now in a high state of cultivation, 
with Dwelling House and all necessary Out-build- 



50 Likely Negroes, with provisions, &c. 

The terms will be accommodating. Persona 
desirous to purchase can call upon the subscriber 
in Columbia, or on his son at the Plantation. 

Dec. 6 41. T. J. Goodwvn. 



FOR SALE. 

A likely negro boy, about twenty-one years 
old, a good wagoner and field hand. Apply at 
this office. Dec. 20 52. 

Now, it is scarcely possible that a person 
who has been accustomed to see such adver- 
tisements from boyhood, and to pass them 
over with as much indifference as we p;is3 
over advertisements of sofas and chairs for 
sale, could possibly receive the shock from 
them which one wholly unaccustomed to 
such a mode of considering and disposing of 
human beings would receive. They make 
no impression upon him. His own family 
servants, and those of his friends, are not in 
the market, and he does not realize that any 
are. Under the advertisements, a hundred 
such scenes as those described in " Uncle 
Tom" may have been acting in his very 
vicinity. When Mr. Dickens drew pictures 
of the want and wretchedness of London 
life, perhaps a similar incredulity might 
have been expressed within the silken cur- 
tains of many a brilliant parlor. They 
had never seen such things, and they had 
always lived in London. But, for all that, 
the writings of Dickens awoke in noble and 
aristocratic bosoms the sense of a common 
humanity with the lowly, and led them to 
feel how much misery might exist in their 
immediate vicinity, of which they were 
entirely unaware. They have never accused 
him as a libeller of his country, though he 
did make manifest much of the suffering, 
sorrow and abuse, which were in it. The 
author is led ^earnestly to entreat that the 
writer of this very paper would examine 
the "statistics" of the American internnl 
slave-trade; that he would look over the 
exchange files of some newspaper, and, for 
a month or two, endeavor to keep some 
inventory of the number of human beings, 
with hearj;s, hopes and affections, like his 
own, who are constantly subjected to all the 
uncertainties and mutations of property rela- 
tion. The writer is sure that he could not 
do it long without a generous desire being 
excited in his bosom to become, not an apol- 
ogist for, but a reformer of, these institu- 
tions of his country. 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



137 



These papers 'of South Carohna are not 
exceptional ones : they may be matched by 
hundreds of papers from any other state. 

Let the reader now stop one minute, and 
look over again these two weeks' advertise- 
ments. This is not novel-writing — this is 
fact. See these human beings tumbled pro- 
miscuously out before the public with 
horses, mules, second-hand buggies, cotton- 
seed, bedsteads, &c. &c.; and Christian 
ladies, in the same newspaper, saying that 
they prayerfully study God's word, and 
believe their institutions have his sanction ! 
Does he suppose that here, in these two 
weeks, there have been no scenes of suffering? 
Imagine the distress of these families — the 
nights of anxiety of these mothers and 
children, wives and husbands, when these 
sales are about to take place ! Imagine the 
scenes of the sales ! A young lady, a friend 
of the writer, who spent a winter in Caro- 
lina, described to her the sale of a woman 
and her children. When the little girl, 
seven years of age, was put on the block, 
she fell into spasms with fear and excitement. 
She was taken off — recovered and put 
back — the spasms came back — three times 
the experiment was tried, and at last the 
sale of the cliild was deferred ! 

See also the following, from Dr. Elwood 
Harvey, editor of a western paper, to th5 
Pennsylvania Freeman. Dec. 25, 1846. 

We attended a sale of land and other property, 
near Petersburg, Tirginia, and unexpectedly saw 
slaves sold at public auction. The slaves were 
told they would not be sold, and were collected 
in front of the quarters, gazing on the assembled 
multitude. The land being sold, the auctioneer's 
loud voice was heard, " Bring up the niggers!'''' 
A shade of astonishment and afiright passed over 
their faces, as they stared first at each other, and 
then at the crowd of purchasers, whose attention 
was now directed to them. When the horrible 
truth was revealed to their minds that they were 
to be sold, and nearest relations and friends parted 
forever, the efiect was indescribably agonizing. 
Women snatched up their babes, and ran scream- 
ing into the huts. Children hid behind the huts 
and trees, and the men stood in mute despair. 
The auctioneer stood on the portico of the house, 
and the " men and boys" were ranging in the 
yard for inspection. It was announced that no 
warranty of soundness was given, and purchasers 
must examine for themselves. A few old men 
were sold at prices from thirteen to twenty-five 
dollars, and it was painful to see old men, bowed 
with years of toil and suffering, stand up to be the 
jest of brutal tn^ants, and to hear them tell their 
disease and worthlessness, fearing that they would 
be bought by traders for the southern market. 

A white boy, about fifteen years old, was placed 
on the stand. His hair was bro\vn and straight, 
his skin exactly the same hue as other white per- 
sons and no discernible trace of negro features 
in hh countenance. 



Some vulgar jests were passed on his color, and 
two hundred dollars was bid for him ; but the audi- 
ence said " that it was not enough to begin on for 
such a likely young nigger." Several remarked 
that they " would not have him as a gift.') Some 
said a white nigger was more trouble than he was 
worth. One man said it was wrong to sell white 
people. I asked him if it was more wrong than 
to sell black people. He made no reply. Before 
he was sold, his mother rushed from the house 
upon the portico, crj'ing, in frantic grief, " My 
son, ! my boy, they will take away my dear — " 
Here her voice was lost, as she was rudely pushed 
back and the door closed. The sale was not for a 
moment interrnpted, and none of the crowd ap- 
peared to be in the least affected by the scene. 
The poor boy, afraid to cry before so many stran- 
gers, who showed no signs of sympathy or pity, 
trembled, and wiped the tears from his cheeKs 
with his sleeves. He was sold for about two 
hundred and fifty dollars. During the sale, the 
quarters resounded with cries and lanlentations 
that made my heart ache. A woman was next 
called by name. She gave her infant one wild 
embrace before leaving it with an old woman, and 
hastened mechanically to obey the call ; but 
stopped, threw her arms aloft, screamed and was 
unable to move. 

One of my companions touched my shoulder 
and said, " Come, let us leave here ; I can bear no 
more." We left the ground. The man who 
drove our carriage from Petersburg had two sons 
who belonged to the estate — small boys. He 
obtained a promise that they should not be sold. 
He was asked if they were his only children ; he 
answered, "All that's left of eight." Three 
others had been sold to the south, and he would 
never see or hear from them again. 

As Northern people do not see such things, 
they should hear oi them often enough to keep 
them awake to the sufferings of the victims of 
their indifference. 

Such are the common incidents, not the 
admitted cftielties, of an institution which 
people have brought themselves to feel is in 
accordance with God's word ! 

Suppose it be conceded now that " the ' 
family relation is protected, as far as possi- 
ble.^' The question still arises. How far is 
it possible ? Advertisements of sales to the 
number of those we have quoted, more or 
less, appear from week to week in the same 
papers, in the same neighborhood : and pro- 
fessional traders make it their business to 
attend them, and buy up victims. Now, if 
the inhabitants of a given neighborhood 
charge themselves with the care to see that 1^" 
no families are separated in this whirl of ^ 
auctioneering, one would fancy that they 
could have very little else to do. It is a 
fact, and a most honorable one to our com- 
mon human nature, that the distress and 
anguish of these poor, helpless creatures 
does often raise up for them friends among 
the generous-hearted. Southern men often 
go to the extent of their means, and beyond 
their meanSj to arrest the cruel operationa 



138 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



of trade, and relieve cases of individual dis- 
tress. There are men at the South who 
could tell, if thej would, how, when they 
have spent the last dollar that they thought 
they could afford on one week, they have 
been importuned by precisely such a case 
the next, and been unable to meet it. There 
are masters at the South who could tell, if 
they would, how they have stood and bid 
against a trader, to redeem some poor slave 
of their own, till the bidding was perfectly 
ruinous, and they have been obliged to give 
up by sheer necessity. Good-natured auc- 
tioneers know very well how they have often 
been entreated to connive at keeping a poor 
fellow out of the trader's clutches ; and how 
sometimes they succeed, and sometimes they 
do not. 

The very struggle and effort which gen- 
erous Southern men make to stop the regu- 
lar course of trade only shows them the 
hopelessness of the effort. We fully con- 
cede that many of them do as much or more 
than any of us would do under similar cir- 
cumstances ; and yet they know that what 
they do amounts, after all, to the merest 
trifle. 

But let us still further reason upon the 
testimony of advertisements. What is to be 
understood by the following, of the Mem- 
phis Eagle and Inquirer^ Saturday, Nov. 
13, 1852? Under the editorial motto, 
" Liberty and Union, now and forever," 
come the following illustrations : 

NO. I. 

75 NEGROES. 

^^ I have just received from the East 75 
J^ assorted A No. 1 negroes. Call soon, if 
^M . you want to get the first choice. 

Bexj. Little. 

NO. II. 

CASH FOR NEGROES. 

/*® I will pay as high cash prices for a few 
■^^ likely young negroes as any trader in this 
^rs ^^ city. Also, will receive and sell on commis- 
sion at Byrd Hill's, old stand, on Adams-street, 
Memphis. Bknj. Little. 

NO. III. 

500 NEGROES WANTED. 

We will pay the highest cash price 
for all good negroes offered. We in- 
vite all those having negroes for sale 
to call on us at our Mart, opposite the lower 
steamboat landing. We will also have a large 
lot of Virginia negroes for sale in the Fall. We 
have as safe a jail as any in the country, where 
we can keep negroes safe for those tliat wish tliem 
kept. Bolton, Dickins & Co. 

Under the head of advertisements No. 1, 
let us humbly inquire what " assorted A 
No. 1 Negroes ^^ means. Is it likely that 



it means negroes sold in families ? What is 
meant by the invitation, " Call soon if you 
want to get the first choice " ? 

So much for Advertisement No. 1. Let 
us now propound a few questions to the 
initiated on No. 2. What does Mr. Benja- 
min Little mean by saying that he " icill 
■pay as high a cash price for a feio likely 
young negroes as any trader in the 
city ' ' 7 Do families commonly consist ex- 
clusively of " likely young negi^oes " 7 

On the third advertisement we are also 
desirous of some information. INIessrs. 
Bolton, Dickins & Co. state that they 
expect to receive a large lot of Virginia 
negroes in the fall. 

Unfortunate Messrs. Bolton, Dickins & 
Co. ! Do you suppose that Virginia fami- 
lies will sell their negroes ? Have you read 
Mr. J. Thornton Randolph's last novel, 
and have you not learned that old Virginia 
families never sell to traders ? and, more 
than that, that they always club together 
and buy up the negroes that are for sale in 
their neighborhood, and the traders w^hen 
they appear on the ground are hustled off 
with very little ceremony? One would 
really think that you had got your impres- 
sions on the subject from '• Uncle Tom's 
Cabin." For we are told that all who de- 
rive their views of slavery from this book 
"regard the families of slaves as utterly 
unsettled and vagrant." * 

•But, before we recover from our astonish- 
ment on reading this, we take up the 
Natchez (Mississippi) Coiirier of Nov. 
20th, 1852, and there read : 

NEGROES. 

The undersigned would respectfully state ^j^ 
to the public that he has leased the stand in jA 
the Forks of the Eoad, near Natchez, for a ^ y , 
term of years, and that he intends to keep a lar^e 
lot of NEGROES on hand during tlie year. He 
will sell as low or lower than any other trader at 
this place or in New Orleans. 

He has just arrived from Virginia with a very 
likely lot of Field Men and Women ; also. House 
Servants, three Cooks, and a Carpenter. Call and 
see. 

A fine Buggy Horse, a Saddle Horse and a 
Carryall, on hand, and for sale. 

Tuos. G. James. 

Natchez, Sept. 28, 1852. 

Where in the world did this lucky Mr. 
Tiios, G. James get this likely "H'irginia 
"assortment " '? Probably in some county 
which Mr. Thornton Randolph never visited. 
And had no families been sc])arated to form 



* Article in Fraser^s Magazine for October, hy a South 
Caroliuian. 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



139 



the assortment ? We hear of a lot of field 
men and women. Where are their children 7 
We hear of a lot of house-servants, — r of 
"three cooks," and "one carpenter," as 
•well as a "fine buggy horse." Had these 
unfortunate cooks and carpenters no rela- 
tions 7 Did no sad natural tears stream 
doAvn their dark cheeks, when they were 
being "assorted" for the Natchez market? 
Does no mournful heart among them yearn 
to the song of 

" 0, carry mo back to old Virginny " 1 

Still further, we see in the same paper the 
following : 

SliAVESI SLA VES : SLAVES : 

^9 Fresh Arrivals Weekly. — Having estab- 
Jt\ lished ourselves at the Forks of the Road, 
^y near Natchez, for a term of years, we have 
now on hand, and intend to keep throughout the 
entire year, a large and well-selected stock of 
Negroes, consisting of field-hands, house servants, 
mechanics, cooks, seamstresses, washers, ironers, 
etc., Avhich we can and will sell as low or lower 
than any other house here or in New Orleans. 

Persons wishing to purchase would do well to 
call on us before making purchases elsewhere, as 
our regular arrivals will keep us supplied with a 
good and general assortment. Our terms are 
liberal. Give us a call. 

Griffin & Pullam. 
Natchez, Oct. 15, 1852.-6m. 
Free Trader and Concordia Intelligencer copy 
as above. 

Indeed ! Messrs. GriflSn and Pullam, it 
seems, are equally fortunate ! They are 
having fresh supplies weekly, and are going 
to keep a large, well-selected stock con- 
stantly on hand, to wit, " field-hands, house- 
servants, mechanics, cooks, seamstresses, 
washers, ironers, etc." 

Let us respectfully inquire what is the 
process by which a trader acquires a well- 
selected stock. He goes to Virginia to select. 
He has had orders, say, for one dozen cooks, 
for half a dozen carpenters, for so many 
house-servants, &c. &c. Each one of these 
individuals have their own ties ; besides 
being cooks, carpenters and house-servants, 
they are also fathers, mothers, husbands, 
wives ; but what of that 7 They must be 
selected — it is an assortment that is wanted. 
The gentleman who has ordered a cook does 
not, of course, want her five children ; and 
the planter who has ordered a carpenter does 
not want the cook, his wife. A carpenter 
is an expensive article, at any rate, as they 
cost from a thousand to fifteen hundred dol- 
lars ; and a man who has to pay out this 
sum for him cannot always afford himself 
the luxury of indulging his humanitv • and 



as to the children, they must be left in the 
slave-raising state. For, when the ready- 
raised article is imported weekly into 
Natchez or New Orleans, is it likely that 
the inhabitants will encumber themselves 
with the labor of raising children 7 No, there 
must be division of labor in all well-ordered 
business. The northern slave states raise 
the article, and the southern ones con- 
sume it. 

The extracts have been taken from the 
papers of the more southern states. If, now, 
the reader has any curiosity to explore the 
selecting process in the northern states, the 
daily prints will further enlighten him. In 
the Daily Virginian of Nov. 19, 1852, 
Mr. J. B. McLendon thus announces to the 
Old Dominion that he has settled himself 
down to attend to the selecting process : 

IVEGROEES %VA1VTD. 

The subscriber, having located in Lynchburg, is 
giving the highest cash prices for negroes between 
the ages of 10 and 30 years. Those having 
negroes for sale may find it to their interest to 
call on him at the Washington Hotel, Lynchburg, 
or address him by letter. 

All communications will receive prompt atten- 
tion. J. B. McLendon. 

nov. 5-dly. 

Mr. McLendon distinctly announces that 
he is not going to take any children under 
ten years of age, nor any grown people over 
thirty. Likely young negroes are what he 
is after : — families, of course, never separ- 
ated ! 

Again, in the same paper, Mr. Seth 
Woodroof is desirous of keeping up the 
recollection in the community that he also 
is in the market, as it would appear he has 
been, some time past. He, likewise, wanv>3 
negroes between ten and thirty years of age ; 
but his views turn rather on mechanics, 
blacksmiths, and carpenters, — witness hia 
hand : 

NEGROES WANTED. 

The subscriber continues in market for Negroes, 
of both sexes, betiveen the ages of 10 and 30 
years, including Mechanics, such as Blacksmiths, 
Carpenters, and will pay the highest market prices 
in cash. His office is a newly erected brick build- 
ing on 1st or Lynch street, immediately in rear of 
the Farmers' Bank, where he is prepared (having 
erected buildings with that view) to board negroes 
sent to Lynchburg for sale or otherwise on aa 
moderate terms, and keep them as secure, as if 
they were placed in the jail of the Corporation. 

aug 26. Seth Woodroof. 

There is no manner of doubt that this 
Mr. Seth Woodroof is a gentleman of hu- 
manity, and wishes to avoid the separation 



140 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. 



of families as nmch as possible. Doubt- 
less he ardently wishes that all his black- 
smiths and carpenters would be considerate, 
and never have any children under ten years 
of age ; but, if the thoughtless dogs have got 
them, what 's a humane man to do 7 He has 
to fill out Mr. This, That, and the Other's 
order, — that's a clear case; and therefore 
John and Sam must take their last look 
at their babies, as Unc!e Tom did of his 
when he stood by the rough trundle-bed 
and dropped into it great, useless tears. 

Nay, my friends, don't curse poor Mr. 
Seth Woodroof, because he docs the horrible, 
loathsome work of tearing up the living 
human heart, to make twine and shoe-strings 
for you ! It 's disagreeable business enough, 
he will tell you, sometimes ; and, if you must 
have him to do it for you, treat him civilly, 
and don't pretend that you are any better 
than he. 

But the good trade is not confined to the 
Old Dominion, by any means. See the fol- 
lowing extract from a Tennessee paper, the 
Nashville Gazette, Nov. 23, 1852, where 
Mr. A. A. McLean, general agent in this 
kind of business, thus makes known his 
wants and intentions : 

WANTED. 

I want to purchase immediately 25 likely 
NEGEOES, — male and female, — between the 
ages' of lb and 25 years; for which I will pay 
the highest price in cash. 

A. A. McLean, General Agent, 

nov 9 Cherry Street. 

^Ir. McLean, it seems, only wants those 
between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five. 
This advertisement is twice repeated in the 
same paper, from Avhich fact we may con- 
jecture that the gentleman is very much in 
earnest in his wants, and entertains rather 
confident expectations that somebody will 
be^ willing to sell. Further, the same gen- 
tleman states another want. 

WANTED. 

I want to purchase, immediately, a Negro man, 
Carpenter, and will give a good price. ,. 

sept 29 A. A. McLean, Gcnl Agent. 

Mr. McLean docs not advertise for his 
wife and children, or where this same car- 
penter is to be sent, — whether to the New 
Orleans market, or up the Red River, or 
off" to some far bayou of the Mississippi, 
jaever to look upon wife or child again. But, 
again, Mr. McLean in the same paper tells 
us of another Avant : 

AVAXTED IM MEDIATELY. 

A Wet Nurse. Any price Avill be given for one 
of good character, constitution, &c. Apply to 
A. A. McLean, Gen I Agent. 



And what is to be done with the baby of 
this wet nurse ? Perhaps, at the moment 
that Mr. McLean is advertising for her, she 
is hushing the little thing in her bosom, and 
thinking, as many another mother has done, 
that it is about the brighest, prettiest little 
baby that ever was born; for, singularly 
enough, even black mothers do fall into this 
delusion sometimes. No matter for all this, 
— she is wanted for a wet nurse ! Aunt 
Prue can take her baby, and raise it on 
coi-n-cake, and what not. Ofi" with her to 
Mr. McLean ! 

See, also, the following advertisement of 
the good State of Alabama, Avhich shows 
how the trade is thriving there. Mr. S. N. 
Brown, in the Advertise?' and Gazette, 
]\Iontgomery, Alabama, holds forth as fol- 
lows: 

NEGROES FOR SALE. 

S.N. Brown takes this method of informing his 
old patrons, and others waiting to purchase Slaves, 
that he has now on hand, of his own selection 
and purchasing, a lot of likely young Negroes, 
consisting of Men, Boys, and Women, Field Hands, 
and superior House Servants, which he offers 
and will sell as low as the times will warrant. 
Office on Market-street, above the Montgomery 
Hall, at Lindsay's Old Stand, where he intends to 
keep slaves for sale on his own account, and not 
on commission, — therefore thinks he can give 
satisfaction to those who patronize him. 

Montgomery, Ala., Sept. 13, 1852. twtf (j) 

Where were these boys and gii-ls of Mr. 
Brown selected, let us ask. Hoav did their 
fathers and mothers feel when they were 
" selected'^ ? Emmeline was taken out of 
one family, and George out of another. The 
judicious trader has travelled through wide 
regions of country, leaving in his track 
Availing and anguish. A little incident, 
Avhich has recently been the rounds of the 
papers, may perhaps illustrate some of the 
scenes he has occasioned : 

INCIDENT OF SLAAT:RA'. 

A negro woman belonging to Geo. M. Garrison, 
of Polk Co., killed four of her children, by cutting 
their throats while they Avere asleep, on Thursday 
night, the 2d inst., and then put an end to her 
own existence by cutting her throat. Ilcr master 
knows of no cause for the horrid act, unless it bo 
that she lieard him speak of selling hor and two 
of her children, and keeping the others. 

The uncertainty of the master in this 
case is edifying. He knoAvs that negroes 
cannot be expected to ha\-e the feelings of 
cultivated popple ; — and yet, here is a case 
where the creature really acts unaccountably, 
and he can't think of any cause except that 
he was going to sell her from her children. 

But, compose yourself, dear reader ; there 
was no great harm done. These were all 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM's CABIN. 



141 



poor people's cliiWren, and some of them, 
though not all, were black ; and that makes 
all the difference in the world, you know ! 

But Mr. Brown is not alone in Montgom- 
ery. Mr. J. W. Lindsey wishes to remind 
the people of his depot. 

100 NEGROES FOR SALE, 

At my depot, on Commerce-street, immediately 
between the Exchp.nge Hotel and F. M. Gilmer, 
Jr.'s Warehouse, where I will be receiving, from 
time to time, large lots of Negroes during the sea- 
son, and will sell on as accommodating terms as 
any house in this city. I would respectfully 
request my old customers and friends to call and 
examine my f took. Jno. W. Lindsey. 

Montgomerj, Nov. 2, 1852. 

Mr. Lindsey is going to be receiving, 
from time to time, all the season, and will 
sell as cheap as anybody ; so there 's no fear 
of the supply's falling off. And, lo ! in the 
same paper, Messrs. Sanders & Foster press 
their claims also on the pubhc notice. 

NEGROES FOR SALE. 

The undersigned have bought out the well-known 
establishment of Eckles & Brown, where they have 
now on liand a large lot of likely young Negroea, 
to wit : Men, Women, Boys and Girls, good field-' 
hands. Also, several good House Servants and 
Mechanics of all kinds. The subscribers intend 
to keep constantly on hand a large assortment of 
Negroes, comprising every description. Persons 
wishing to purchase will find it much to their 
interest to call and examine previous to buying 
elsewhere. S^vnders & Foster. 

April 13. 

Messrs. Sanders & Foster are going to 
have an assortment also. All their negroes 
arc to be young and likely ; the trashy old 
fathers and mothers are all thrown aside like 
a heap of pig- weed, after one has been Aveed- 
ing a garden. 

Query : Are these Messrs. Sanders & 
Foster, and J. AV. Lindsey. and S. N. 
Brown, and McLean, and Woodroof, and 
McLendou, all members of the church, 
in good and regular standing? Does the 
question shock you ? Why so 7 Why 
should they not be 7 The Bev. Dr. Smylie, 
of INIississippi, in a document endorsed by 
two presbyteries, says distinctly that the 
Bible gives a right to buy and sell slaves.* 

If the Bible guarantees this right, and 
sanctions this trade, why should it shock you 
to see the slave-trader at the coimnunion- 



* " If language can convey a clear and definite mean- 
ing at all, I know not how it can more unequivocally or 
more plainly present to the mind any thought or idea 
than the twenty-fifth chapter of Leviticus clearly or une- 
quivocally establishes the fact that slavery or bondage 
was sanctioned by God himself ; and that ' buying, selling, 
holding and bequeathing ' slaves, as property, are regula- 
tions which were established by MJcaself." — Smylie on 
Slavery. 



table ? Do you feel that there is blood on 
his hands, — the blood of human hearts, 
which he has torn asunder ? Do you shud- 
der when he touches the communion-bread, 
and when he drinks the cup which " who- 
soever drinketh unworthily drinketh damna- 
tion to himself"? But who makes the 
trader ? Do not you ? Do you think that 
the trader's profession is a healthy one for 
the soul? Do you think the scenes with 
which he must be familiar, and the deeds he 
must do, in order to keep up an assortment 
of negroes for your convenience, are such 
things as Jesus Christ approves ? Do you 
think they tend to promote his growth in 
grace, and to secure his soul's salvation? 
Or is it so important for you to have assorted 
negroes that the traders must not only be 
turned out of good society in this life, but 
run the risk of going to hell forever, for 
your accommodation ? 

But let us search the Southern papers, 
and see if we cannot find some evidence of 
that humanity which avoids the separation 
of families, as far as possible. In the 
Argus, published at Weston, Missouri, 
Nov. 5, 1852, see the following : 

A NEGRO FOR SALE. 

I wish to sell a black girl about 24 years old, a 
good cook and washer, handy with a needle, can 
spin and weave. I wish to sell her in the neigh- 
borhood of Camden Point ; if not sold there in a 
short time, I will hunt the best market ; or I will 
trade her for two small ones, a boy and girl. 

M. DOYAL. 

Considerate Mr, Doyal ! He is opposed 
to the separation of families, and, therefore, 
wishes to sell this woman in the neighbor- 
hood of Camden Point, where her family 
ties are, — perhaps her husband and chil- 
dren, her brothers, or sisters. He will not 
separate her from her family if it is possi- 
ble to avoid it ; that is to say, if he can get 
as much for her without ; but, if he can't, 
he will ^'■hunt the best market J'' What 
more would you have of Mr. Doyal ? 

How speeds the blessed trade in the State 
of Maryland? — Let us take the Baltimore 
^i^?i of Nov. 23, 1852. 

Mr. J. S. Donovan thus advertises the 
Christian pubhc of the accommodations of 
his jail : 

CASH FOR NEGROES. 

The undersigned continues, at his old stand, 
No. 13 Camden St., to pay the highest price for 
Negroes. Persons bringing Negroes by railroad 
or steamboat will find it very convenient to secure 
their Negroes, as my Jail is adjoining the Rail- 
road Depot and near the Steamboat Landings. 
Negroes received for safe keeping. 

J. S. Donovan. 



142 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



Messrs. B. :M. & W. L. Campbell, ia the 
respectable old stand of Slatter. advertise as 
follows : 



SLAVES WANTED. 

We are at all times purchasing Slaves, paying 
the highest cash prices. Persons wishing to sell 
will please call at 242 Pratt St. (Slatter's old 
stand). Communications attended to. 

B. M. & W. L. Campbell. 

In another column, however, Mr. John 
Denning has his season advertisement, in 
terms which border on the sublime : 

5000 N^EGROES AVAIVTED. ' 

I will pay the highest prices, in cash, for 5000 
Negroes, with good titles, slaves for life or for a 
terra of years, in large or small families, or single 
negroes. I will also purchase Negroes restricted 
to remain in the State, that sustain good charac- 
ters. Families never separated. Persons having 
Slaves for sale will please call and see me, as I 
am always in the market with the cash. Com- 
munications promptly attended to, and liberal 
commissions paid, by Johx N. Dexnixg, No. 18 
S. Frederick street, between Baltimore and Second 
streets, Baltimore, Maryland. Trees in front of 
the house. 

Mr. John Denning, also, is a man of hu- 
manity. He never separates families. Don't 
you see it in his advertisement ? If a man 
offers him a wife without her husband, Mr. 
John Denning won't buy her. 0, no ! His 
five thousand are all unbroken families ; he 
never takes any other; and he transports 
them whole and entire. This is a comfort 
to reflect upon, certainly. 

See, also, the Democrat^ published in 
Cambridge, Maryland, Dec. 8, 1852. A 
gentleman gives this pictorial representation 
of himself, with the proclamation to the 
slave-holders of Dorchester and adjacent 
counties that he is again in the market : 

XEGROES \VANTED. 

I wish to inform the slave-holders of 
^X. Dorchester and the adjacent counties that I 
J^ am again in the JMavket. Persons having 
■-•** negroes that are slaves for life to dispose 
of will find it to their interest to see me before 
they soil, as I am determined to pay the highest 
prices in cash tliat tlie Soutlicrn market will jus- 
tify. I can be found at A. Hall's Hotel in Easton, 
•where I will remain until the Ih-st day of July 
next. Communications addressed to me at Easton, 
or information given to \V"m. Bell in Cambridge, 
will meet with prompt attention.' 

Wm. IIarker. 

Mr. IIarker is very accommodating. He 
keeps himself informed as to the state of the 
southern market, and will give the xoxy 
highest price that it will justify. Moreover, 
he will be on hand till July, and will answer 
any letters from the adjoining country on 



the subject. On one point he ought to be 
spoken to. He has not advertised that he 
does not separate families. It is a mere 
matter of taste, to be sure ; but then some 
well-disposed people like to see it on a 
j trader's card, thinking it has a more credit- 
able appearance ; and, probably, Mr. IIarker, 
if he reflects a little, will put it in ne.\t time. 
It takes up very httle room, and makes a 
good appearance. 

We are occasionally reminded, by the 
advertisements for runaways, to how small 
an extent it is found possible to avoid the 
separation of flimilies ; as in the Richtnond 
Whig oil^oy. 5, 1852: 

*10 REWARD. 

We are requested by Henry P. Davis to offer a 
reward of $10 for the apprehension of a negro 
man named Hen'ry, who ran away from tlie said 
Davis' farm near Petersburg, on Thursday, the 
27th October. Said slave came from near Lynch- 
burg, Va., purchased of Cock, and lias a 

wife in Halifix county, Ya. He has recently 
been employed on the South Side Railroad. He 
may be in the neighborhood of his wife. 

PuLLi.Aii & Davis, Aucts., Richmond. 

It seems to strike the advertiser as possi- 
ble that Henry may be in the neighborhood 
of his wife. We should not at all wonder 
if he were. 

The reader, by this time, is in possession 
of some of those statistics of which the 
South Carolinian speaks, when he says, 

We feel confident, if statistics could be had, to 
throw light upon the suljject, we shovi^,find that 
there is less separation of fomilies ^mong the 
negi'oes than occurs with almost any other class 
of persons. 

In order to give some little further idea 
of the extent to which this kind of property 
is continually changing hands, see the fol- 
lowing calculation, which has been made 
from sixty-four Southern newspapers, taken 
very much at random. The papers were all 
•published in the last two weeks of the month 
of November, 1852. 

The negroes are advertised sometimes by 
name, sometimes in definite numbers, and 
sometimes in "lots," "assortments," and 
other indefinite terms. AVe present the 
result of this estimate, fivr as it must fall 
from a fs|^ representation of the facts, in a 
tabular form. 

Here is recorded, in onli/ elcvcfi j^'^po's, 
the sale of eight hundred forty-nine slaves 
in two weeks in Virginia ; the state where 
INIr. J. Thornton Randolph describes such 
an event as a separation of families being a 
thing that " wc read of in ;« or eZs sometimes." 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



143 





2 


It 




1. 


States where 
published. 






13 


§1 




d 8 

IT 


6 « 


7 


"•a 


Virginia, 


849 


15 


Kentucky, 
Tennessee, 


5 

8 


238 
385 


1 
4 


7 
17 


S. Carolina, 


12 


852 


2 


7 


Georgia, 


6 


98 


2 





Alabama, 


10 


549 


5 


5 


Mississippi, 
Louisiana, 


8 
4 


6G9 
4G0 


5 

4 


6 
35 




G4 


4100 


30 


92 



In South Carolina, where the writer in 
Fraser^s Magazine dates from, we have 
during these same two weeks a sale of eight 
hundred and fiftj-two recorded by one dozen 
papers. Verily, we must apply to the news- 
papers of his state the same language which 
he applies to " Uncle Tom's Cabin :" " Were 
our views of the system of slavery to be 
derived from these papers, we should regard 
the families of slaves as utterly unsettled 
and vr.grant." 

The total, in sixty-four papers, in differ- 
ent states, for only two weeks, is four thou- 
sand one hundred, besides ninety-two lots, 
as they are called. 

And now, who is he who compares the 
hopeless, returnless separation of the negro 
from his f imily, to the voluntary separation 
of the freeman, whom necessary business in- 
terest takes for a while fx*om the bosom of 
his family 7 Is not the lot of the slave 
bitter enough, w ithout this last of mockeries 
and worst of ins alts'? Well may they say, 
in their anguish, " Our soul is exceedingly 
filled with the S(!orning of them that are at 
ease, and with the contempt of the proud ! " 

From the poor negro, exposed to bitterest 
separation, the law jealously takes away the 
power of writing. For him the gulf of sep- 
aration yawns black and hopeless, with no 
redeeming signal Ignorant of geography, 
he knows not wluther he is going, or where 
he is, or how to direct a letter. To all in- 
tents and purposes, it is a separation hope- 
- less as that of death, and as final. 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE SLAVE-TRADE. 

What is it that constitutes the vital force 
>f the institution of slavery in this country ? 



Slavery, being an unnatural and unhealth- 
ful condition of society, being a most waste- 
ful and impoverishing mode of cultivating 
the soil, would speedily run itself out in a 
community, and become so unprofitable as 
to fall into disuse, were it not kept alive by 
some unnatural process. 

What has that process been in America ? 
Why has that healing course of nature which 
cured this awful wound in all the northern 
states stopped short on Mason & Dixon's 
line ?• In Delaware, Maryland, Virginia 
and Kentucky, slave labor long ago impov- 
erished the soil almost beyond recovery, 
and became entirely unprofitable. In all 
these states it is well known that the ques- 
tion of emancipation has been urgently pre- 
sented. It has been discussed in legisla- 
tures, and Southern men have poured forth 
on the institution of slavery such anathemas 
as only Southern men can pour forth. All 
that has ever been said of it at the North 
has been said in four-fold thunders in these 
Southern discussions. The State of Ken- 
tucky once came within one vote, in her 
legislature, of taking measures for gradual 
emancipation. The State of Virginia has 
come almost equally near, and Maryland 
has long been waiting at the door. There 
was a time when no one doubted that all 
these states would soon be free states ; and 
what is now the reason that they are not ? 
Why are these discussions now silenced, and 
why does this noble determination now ret- 
rograde ? The answer is in a word. It is 
the extension of slave territory, the open- 
ing of a great southern slave-market, and 
the organization of a great internal slave- 
trade, that has arrested the progress of 
emancipation. 

While these states were beginning to look 
upon the slave as one who might possibly 
yet become a man, while they mechtated 
giving to him and his wife and children the 
inestimable blessings of liberty, this great 
southern slave-mart was opened. It began 
by the addition of Missouri as slave territory, 
and the votes of two Northern men were 
those which decided this great question. 
Then, by Ihe assent and concurrence of 
Northern men, jcame in all the immense ac- 
quisition of slave territory which now opens - 
so boundless a market to tempt the avarice 
and cupidity of the northern slave-raising 
states. 

This acquisition of territory has deferred 
perhaps for indefinite ages the emancipation 
of a race. It has condemned to sorrow and 



144 



KEY CO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



heart-brealdng separation, to groans and 
mailings, hundreds of thousands of slave 
families ; it has built, through all the South- 
ern States, slave-warehouses, with all their 
ghastly furnishings of gags, and thumb- 
screws, and cowhides; it' has organized 
unnumbered slave-coffles, clanking their 
chains and filing in mournful march through 
this land of liberty. 

This accession of slave territory hardened 
the heart of the master. It changed what 
was before, in comparison, a kindly relation, 
into the most horrible and inhuman of trades. 

The planter whose slaves had grown up 
around him, and whom he had learned to 
look upon almost as men and women, saw 
on every sable forehead now nothing but its 
market value. This man was a thousand 
dollars, and this eight hundred. The black 
baby in its mother's arms wa.s a hundred- 
dollar bill, and nothing more. All those 
nobler traits of mind and heart which should 
have made the slave a brother became only 
so many stamps on his merchandise. Is the 
slave intelligent ? — Good ! that raises his 
price two hundred dollars. Is he conscien- 
tious and faithful 7 — Good ! stamp it down 
in his certificate ; it 's worth two hundred 
dollars more. Is he religious 1 Does that 
Holy Spirit of God, whose name we men- 
tion with reverence and fear, make that 
despised form His temple 7 — Let that also 
be put down in the estimate of his market 
value, and the gift of the Holy Ghost shall be 
sold for money. Is he a minister of God 7 — 
Nevertheless, he has his price in the market. 
From the church and from the communion- 
table the Christian brother and sister are 
taken to make up the slave-coffle. And 
woman, with her tenderness, her gentleness, 
her beauty, — Avoman, to whom mixed blood 
of the black and the white have given graces 
perilous for a slave, — what is her accursed 
lot, in this dreadful commerce 7 — The next 
few chapters will disclose facts on this subject 
which ought to wring the heart of every 
Christian mother, if, indeed, she be worthy 
of that holiest name. 

But we will not deal in assertions merely. 
We have stated the thing to be proved ; let us 
show the facts which prove it. 

The existence of this fearful traffic is 
known to many, — the particulars and 
dreadful extent of it realized but by few. 

Let us enter a little more particularly on 
them. The slave-exporting states are Mary- 
land, Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, 
Tennessee and Missouri. These are slave- 
raising states, and the others are slave-con- 



suming states. We have shown, in the pre- 
ceding chapters, the kind of advertisements 
which are usual in those srotes ; but, as we 
wish to produce on the minds of our readers 
something of the impression which has been 
produced on our own mind by their multi- 
plicity and abundance, we shall add a few 
more here. For the State of Virginia, see 
all the following : 

Kanawha Republican, Oct. 20, 1852, 
Charleston, Va. At the head — Liberty, 
with a banner, " Drapeait, sajis Tacked 

CASH FOR XEGROES. 

The subscriber wishes to purchase a few yo.mg 
NEGROES, frojn 12 to 25 years of age, for wLioh 
the highest market price will be paid in cash. A 
few lines addressed to hira through the Post Ofb-^e, 
Kanawha 0. H., or a personal application, will 
be promptly attended to. Jas. L. Fickllv. 

Oct. 20, '53. — 3t 

Alexandria Gazette, Oct. 28th : 

CASH FOR NEGROES. 

1 wish to purchase immediately, for the South, 
any number of NEGROES, from 10 to 30 years of 
age, for which I will pay the very highest cadh . 
price. All communications promptly attended to. 

Joseph Bruin 

West End, Alexandria, Va., Oct. 26. — tf 

Lynchburg Virginian, Nov. 18 : 

NEGROES AVAXTED. 

The subscriber, having located in Lynchburg, is 
giving the highest cash prices for negroes, between 
the ages of 10 and 30 years. Those having negroea 
for sale may find it to their interest to call on him 
at the Washington Hotel, Lynchburg, or address 
him by letter. 

All communications will receive prompt atten- 
tion. J. B. McLexdox. 

Nov. 5. — dly 

Rockingham Register, Nov. 13 : 

CASH FOR NEGROES. 

I wish ta purchase a number of NEGROES of 
both sexes and all ages, for the Southern market, 
for which I will pay the highest cash prices. 
Letters addressed to me at AVinchester, Virginia, 
will be promptly attended to. 

H. J. McDaxiel, Agent 

Nov. 24, 1846. — tf for Wm. Crow. 

Richmond Whig, Nov. 16 : 

PULLIAM & DAVIS, 

AUCTIONEERS FOR THE SALE OF NEGROES. 

D. M. PuLi-iAM. Hector Davis. 

The subscribers continue to sell Negroes, at 
their office, on AVall-street. From tJicir cxpcri- 
ence in the business, they can safely insure the 
highest prices, for all negroes intrusted to their 
care. They will make sales of negroes in estates, 
and would say to Commissioners, Executors ami 
Administrators, that they will make their sales on 
favorable terms. They are prepared to board and 
lodge negroes comfortably at 25 cents per day. 



KEY TO UNCLE XDM S CABIN. 



145 



NOTICE. — CASH FOR SLAVES. 

Tliose who wish to sell slaves in Buckingham 
and the adjacent counties in Virginia, by applica- 
tion to Anderson D. Abraham, Sr., or his son, 
Anderson D. Abraham, Jr., they will find sale, at 
the highest cash prices, for one hundred t,nd fifty 
to two hundred slaves. One or the other of the 
above parties will be found, for the next eight 
months, at their residence in the aforesaid county 
and state. Address Anderson D. Abraham, Sr., 
Maysville Post Office, White Oak Grove, Buck- 
ingham County, Va. 

Winchester Republicafi, June 29, 1852 : 

XEGROES WANTED. 

The subscriber having located himself in Win- 
chester, Va., wishes to purchase a large number 
of SLAVES of both sexes, for which he will give 
the highest price in cash. Persons wishing to 
dispose of Slaves will find it to their advantage 
to give him a call before selling. 

All communications addressed to him at the 
Taylor Hotel, Winchester, Va., will meet with 
prompt attention. Elijah INIcDowel, 

Agent for B. M. & Wm. L. Campbell, 

Dec. 27, 1851. — ly of Baltimore. 



For Maryland : 

Port Tobacco Times, Oct., '52 : 

SLAVES WANTED. 

The subscriber is permanently located at !Mid- 
DfjEviLLE, Charles County (immediately on the 
road from Port Tobacco to AUen's Fresh) , where 
he will be pleased to buy any Slaves that are for 
Bale. The extreme value will be given at all 
times, and liberal commissions paid for informa- 
tion leading to a purchase. Apply personally, or 
by letter addressed to Allen's Fresh, Charles 
County. John G. Campbell. 

mddleville, AprU 14, 1852. 

Cambridge (Md.) Democrat. October 
2T, 1852 : 

NEGROES AVANTED. 

I wish to inform the slave-holders of Dorches- 
ter and the adjacent counties thac I am ngain in 
the market. Persons having neOToes that are 
slaves for life to dispose of will find it to their in- 
terest to see me tefore they sell, as I am deter- 
mined to pay the highest prices in cash that the 
kiouthern market will justify. I can be found at 
A. Hall's Hotel, in Easton, where I will remain 
■ntil the first day of July next. Communications 
addressed to me at Easton, or information given 
to Wm. BeU, in Cambridge, will meet with prompt 
attention. 

I will be at John Bradshaw's Hotel, in Cam- 
Iridge, everv Monday. Wm. Harkek. 

Oct.6, 1§52. — 3m 

The Westminster Carroltmiian, Oct. 
22, 1852 : 

25 NEGROES W^ ANTED. 

The undersigned wishes to purchase 25 LIKELY 
YOUNG NEGROES, for which the highest cash 
10 



prices will be paid. All communications ad- 
dressed to me in Baltimore will be punctually at- 
tended to. Lewis Wlnters, 
Jan. 2. — tf 



For Tennessee the following : 
Nashville True Whig, Oct. 20tli, '52 ; 

FOR SAL.E. 

21 likely Negroes, of difierent ages. 

Oct. G. A. A. ^McLean, Gen. Agent. 



AVANTED. 

I want to purchase, immediately, a Negro man, 
Carpenter, and will give a good price. 

Oct. 6. A. A. McLean, Gen. Agent 

Nashville Gazette, October 22 : 

FOR SALE. 

SEVERAL likely girls from 10 to 18 years old. 
a woman 24, a very valuable woman 25 years old, 
with three very likely children. * 

Williams & Glovkr 

Oct. 16th, 1852. A. B. o. 



WANTED. 

I want to purchase Tvventy-ive LIKELY 
NEGROES, between the ages of I8 and 25 years, 
male and female, for which I will pay the highest 
price LN cash. A. A. McLean. 

Oct. 20. Cherry Street. 

The Blemphis Paily Eagle and E71- 
quirer : 

500 NEGROES AVANTED. 

We will pajthe highest cash price for all good 
negroes oflfcred. We invite all those having 
negroes for sale to call on us at our mart, opposite 
the lo>ver steamboat landing. We wUl also have 
a large lot of Virginia negroes for sale in the Pall. 
TVe have as safe a jail as any in the country, 
where we can keep negroes safe for those that 
wish them kept. Bolton, Dickins & Co. 

je 13 — d & w 



LAND AND NEGROES FOR SALE. 

A good bargain will be given in about 400 acres 
of Land ; 200 acres are in a fine state of cultiva- 
tion, fronting the Railroad about ten miles from 
Memphis. Together with 18 or 20 likely negroes, 
consisting of men, women, boys and giris. Good 
time will be given on a portion of the purchase 
money. J. M. Provlne. 

Oct. 17. — Im. 

Clarksville Chronicle, Dec. 3, 1852: 

NEGROES WANTED. 

We wish to hire 25 good Steam Boat hands for 
the New Orleans and Louisville trade. We will 
pay very full prices for the Season, commencina: 
about the 15th November. 

McClitrb & Crozibr, Agents 

Sept. 10th, 1852. — Im S. B. BeUpoor 



146 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



1 



Missouri : 



The Daily St. Louis Times, October 
14. 1852 : 

REUBEX BARTIiETT, 

On Chesnut, between Sixth and Seventh streets, 
near the city jail, will pay the highest price in 
ca«h for all good negroes offered. There are also 
other buyers to be found in the office very anxious 
to pui-chase, who will pay the highest prices given 
in cash. 

Negroes boarded at the lowest rates. 

jy 15 — 6m. 

MEGROES. 

BLAKELY and McAFEE having dissolved co- 
partnership by mutual consent, the subscriber 
will at all times pay the highest cash prices for 
negroes of every description. Will also attend to 
the sale of negroes on commission, having a jail 
and yard fitted up expressly for boarding them. 

J^ Negroes for sale at all times. 

3 A. B. McAfee, 93 Olive street. 



OKE HUNDRED NEGROES WANTED. 

Having just returned from Kentucky, I wish to 
purchase, us soon as possible, one hundred likely 
negroes, consisting of men, women, boys and girls, 
for which I will pay at all times from fifty to one 
hundred dollars on the head more money than any 
ather trading man in the city of St. Louis, or the 
State of JMissom-i. I can at' all times be found at 
Barnum's City Hotel, St. Louis, Mo. 

jel2d&wly. John Mattinglt. 

From another St. Louis paper : 

NEGROES Wanted. 

I will pay at all times the highest price in cash 
for all good negroes offered. I am buying for the 
Memphis and Louisiana markets, ajid can afford 
to pay, and will pay, as high as any trading maji 
in this State. All those having negroea to sell 
will do well to give me a call at No. 210, corner 
of Sixth and Wash streets, St Louis, Mo. 

Tuos. DicKKs, 
of the firm of Bolton, Dickins & Co. 

©18 — Gm* 



We ask you, Christian reader, vre beg 
you to think, what sort of scenes are going 
on in Virginia under these advertisements 1 
You see that they are carefully worded so as 
to take only the young people ; and they are 
only a specimen of the standing, season ad- 
vertisements which are among the most com- 
mon things in the Virginia papers. A suc- 
ceeding chapter will open to the reader the 
interior of these slave-prisons, and show him 
something of the daily incidents of this kind 
of trade. Now let us look at the corre- 
sponding advertisements in the southern 
states. The coffles made up in Virginia 
and other states are thus announced in the 
southern market. 

From the Natchez (Mississippi) Free 
Trader, Nov. 20 : 

NEGROES FOR SALE. 

The undersigned have just arrived, direct from 
Richmond, Va., with a large and likely lot of 
Negroes, consisting of Field Hands, House 
Servants, Seamstresses, Cooks, Washers and 
Ironers, a first-rate brick mason, and other me- 
chanics, which they now offer for sale at the Forks 
of the Road, near Natchez (Miss.), on the most 
accommodating terms. 

They will continue to receive fresh supplies 
from Richmond, Va., during the season, and will 
be able to furnish to any order any description of 
Negroes sold in Richmond. 

Persons -wishing to purchase would do well to 
give us a call before purchasing elsewhere. 

nov20-6m Matthews, Branton & Co 



ONE HUNDRED NEGROES AVANTED. 

Having just returned from Kentucky, I wish to 
purchase one hundred likely Negroes, consisting 
of men and women, boys and girls, for vs-hich I 
will pay in cash from fifty to one hundred dollars 
more than any other trading man in the city of 
St. Louis or the State of Missouri. I can at all 
times be found at Barnum's City Hotel, St. Louis, 
Mo. John Mattingly. 

jel4d&wly 

B. M. liYNCH, 

No. 104 Locust street, St. Louis, Missouri, 
Is prepared to pay the higliest prices in cash for 
good and likely negroes, or will furnish boarding 
(or others, in comfortable quarters and under se- 
cure fastenings. He will also attend to the sale 
and purchase of negroes on commission. 
g^ Negroes for sale at all times. &w 



To The Public. 

NEGROES BOUGHT AND SOLD, 

Robert S. Adams & Moses J. Wicks have this 
day associated themselves under the name and 
style of Adams & Wicks, for the purpose of buy- 
ing and Belling Negroes, in the city of Aberdeen, 
and elsewhere. They have »an Agent who has 
been purchasing Negroes for them in the Old 
States for the last two months. One of the firm, 
Ro>>ert S. Adams, haves this day for North Caro- 
lina and Virginwi, and will buy a large number of 
negroes for this market. They will keep at their 
depot in Aberdeen, during the coming fall and 
winter, a large lot of choice Negroes, wliich they 
will sell low for cash, or for bills on Mobile. 
Robert S. Adams, 
MosEa J, VficKS. 
Aberdeen, Miss. , May 7th, 1852. 



slaves: SLAVES! SLAVES I 

Fresh arrivals weekly. — Having established 
ourselves at the Forks of the Road, near Nat<;hez, 
for a term of years, we have now on hand, and in- 
tend to keep throughout the entire year, a larg« 
and well-selected stock of Negroes, consisting of 
field-hands, house servants, mechanics, cooks, 
seamstresses, washers, ironers, etc., which weca* 
sell and will sell as low or lower than any other 
house hero or in New Orleans. 

Persons wisliing to purchase would do well *• 
call on us before making purchases elsewhefe, as 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



owe regular anivals will keep us supplied with a 
good and general assortment. Our terms are lib- 
eral. Give us a call. 

Griffin & Pullvm. 
Natchez, Oct. 16, 1852. 6m 



NEGROES FOR SALE. 

I have just returned to my stand, at the Forks 
of the Road, with fifty likely young NEGROES 
for sale. " H. H. Elam. 

sept 22 

NOTICE. 

The undersigned would respectfully state to the 
public that he has leased the stand in the Forks 
of the Road, near Natchez, for a terra of years, and 
that he intends to keep a large lot of NEGROES on 
hand during the year. He will sell as low, or 
lower, than any other trader at this place or in 
New Orleans. 

He has just arrived from Virginia, with a very 
likely lot of field men and women and house ser- 
vants, three cooks, a carpenter and a fine buggy 
horse, and a saddle-horse and carryall. Call and 
Boe. Thos. G. Jaues. 

Daily Orleanian^ Oct. 19, 1852 : 

W. F. TANXEHILIi, 

No. 159 Gravier Street. 
SLAVES! SLAVES! SLAVES! 
Constantly on hand, bought and sold on com- 
mission, at most reasonable prices. — Field hands, 
cooks, washers and ironers, and general house 
servants. City reference given, if required. 
Oct 14 

DEPOT D'ESCLAVES 

DE LA NOUVELLE-ORLEANS. 
No. 68, RUE Baronne. 

Wii. F. Tanxehu-l & Co. ont constamment en 
mains un assortiment complet d'ESCL^vES hien 
choisis A VENDRE. Aussi, vente et achat d'esclaves 
par commission. 

Nous avons actuellement en mains un grand 
nombre de xegres a louer auxmois, parmi I'esquels 
Be trouvent des jeunes garcons, dome^tiques de 
maison, cuisinieres, blanchisseuses et repas- 
seuses, nourices, etc. 

REFERENCES : 

Wright, Williams & Co. Moon, Titus & Co. 
Williams, Phillips & Co. S. 0. Nelson & Co. 
Mosea Greenwood. E. W. Diggs. 3ms 

New Orleans Daily Crescent^ Oct. 21, 
1852 : 

SLAVES. 

jAJfES White, No. 73 Baronne street, New Or- 
leans, will give strict attention to receiving, board- 
ing and selling SLAVES consigned to him. He 
will also buy and sell on commission. References : 
Messrs. Robson & Allen, McRea, Coflman & Co., 
Pregram, Bryan & Co. sep 23 



NEGROES WANTED. 

Fifteen or twenty good Negro INIen wanted to 
go on a Plantation. The best of wages will be 
given until the first of January, 1853. 

Apply to Thomas G. Mackey So Co., 

5 Canal street, comer of Magazine, 
•epll up stairs. 



14T 

From another number of the Mississipjn 

Free Trader is taken the tbllowinof : 

o 

NEGROES. 

The undersigned would respectfully state to the 
public that he has a lot of about forty-five now 
on hand, having tliis day received a lot of twenty- 
five direct from Virginia, two or three good cooks, 
a carriage driver," a good house boy, a fiddler, a 
fine semnstress and a likely lot of field men and 
women ; all of whom he will sell at a small profit. 
He wishes to close out and go on to Virginia 
after a lot for the fall trade. Call and see. 

Thomas G. Jajies. 

The slave-raising business of the northern 
states has been variously alluded to and re- 
cognized, both in the business statistics of 
the states, and occasionally in the speeches 
of patriotic men, who have justly mourned 
over it as a degratlation to their country. In 
1841, the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery 
Society addressed to the executive com- 
mittee of the American And- Slavery Society 
some inquiries on the internal American 
slave-trade. 

A labored investigation was made at that 
time, the results of which were published in 
London ; and from that volume are made the 
following extracts : 

The Virginia Times (a weekly newspaper, 
published at Wheeling, Virginia) estimates, in 
1836, the number of slaves exported for sale from 
that state alone, during " the twelve months pr&- 
ceding," at forty thousand, the aggregate value 
of whom is computed at twenty-four millions of 
dollars. 

Allowing for Virginia one-half of the whole ex 
portation during the period in question, and wb 
have the appalling sum total of eighJy thousana 
slaves exported in a single year from the breeding 
states. _ We cannot decide with certainty what 
proportion of the above number was furnished by 
each of the breeding states, but Maryland ranks 
next to Virginia in point of numbers. North Caro- 
lina follows. Maryland, Kentucky North Carolina, 
then Tennessee and Delaware. 

The Natchez (Mississippi) Courier says " that 
the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama 
and Arkansas, imported ^wo hundred and fifty thou- 
sand slaves from the more northern states in the 
year 1836." 

This seems absolutely incredible, but it proba- 
bly includes all the slaves introduced by the im- 
migration of their masters. The following, from 
the Virginia Times, confirms this supposition. 
In the same paragraph which is referred to under 
the second query, it is said : 

" We have heard intelligent men estimate the 
number of slaves exported from Virginia, within 
the last twelve months, at a hundred and twenty 
thousand, each slave averaging at least sxi 
hundred dollars, making an aggregate of seventy- 
two million dollars. Of the number of slaves 
exported, not more than one-third have been sold; 
the others having been carried by their mastera, 
who have removed." 

Assuming one-third to be the proportion of the 



148 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



sold, tbere are more than eighty thousand im- 
ported for sale into the four States of Louisiana, 
Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas. Supposing 
one-half of eighty thousand to be sold into the 
other buying states, — S. Carolina, Georgia, and 
the territory of Florida, — and we are brought to 
the conclusion that more than a hundred and 
twenty thousand slaves were, for some years pre- 
vious to the great pecuniary pressure in 1837, ex- 
ported from the breeding to the consuming states. 
The Baltimore American gives the following 
irom a Mississippi paper of 1837 : 

"The report made by the committee of the 
citizens of Mobile, appointed at their meeting 
held on the 1st instant, on the subject of the ex- 
isting pecuniary pressure, states that so large 
has been the return of slave labor, that purchases 
by Alabama of that species of property from 
other states, since 1833, have amounted to about 
t^n million dollars annually. ^^ 

" Dealing in slaves," says the Baltimore (Mary- 
land) Register of 1829, has become a large busi- 
ness ; establishments are made in several places 
in Maryland and Virginia, at which they are sold 
like cattle. These places of deposit are strongly 
built, and well supplied with iron thumbscrews 
and gags, and ornumented with cowskins and 
other whips, oftentimes bloody." 

Professor Dew, now President of the University 
of William and Mary, in Virginia, in his review 
of the debate in the Virginia Ibgislature in 1831 — 
2, says (p. 120) : 

*' A full equivalent being left in the place of the 
slave (the purchase-money), this emigration be- 
comes an advantage to the state, and does not 
check the black population as much as at first 
view we might imagine ; because it furnishes 
every inducement to the master to attei\d to the 
negroes, to encourage breeding, and to cause the 
greatest number possible to be raised.^'' Again : 
'■^Yirginia is, in fact, a negro-raising state fir the 
other states.'" 

Mr. Goode, of Virginia, in his speech before the 
Virginia legislature, in January, 1832, said : 

" The superior usefulness of the slaves in the 
South will constitute an effectual demand, which 
will remove them from our limits. We shall send 
them from our state, because it will be our interest 
to do so. But gentlemen are alarmed lest the mar- 
kets of other states be closed against the introduction 
of our slaves. Sir, the demand for slave labor 
must increase,'''' <^c. 

In the debates of the Virginia Convention, in 
1?29, Judge Upshur g'aid : 

" The value of slaves as an article of property 
depends much on the state of the market abroad. 
In this view, it is the value of land abroad, and not 
of land here, which furnishes the ratio. Nothing 
is more fluctuating than the value of slaves. A 
late law of Louisiana reduced their value twenty- 
five per cent, in two hours after its passage was 
known. If it should be our lot, as I trust it will 
, be, to a-^re the country of Texas, their price will 
rise again.'''' 

Hon. Philip Doddridge, of Virginia, in his 
speech in tlio Virginia Convention, in 1829 (De- 
bates p. 89), said : 

'* The acquisition of Texas will greatly enhance 
th© Talue ot the property in question (Virginia 
slaves)." 

Rev. Dr. Graham, of Fayetteville, North Caro- 
lina, at a Colonization meeting held at that place 
iA the faU of 1837, said ; 



"Thei-e were nearly seven thousand slaves 
offered Li New Orleans market, last winter. From 
Virginia alone six thousand were annually sent to 
the South, and from Virginia and North Carolina 
there had gone to the South, in the last twenty 
years, three hundred thocsand sl.wes." 

Hon. Henry Clay, of Kentucky, in his speech 
before the Colonization Society, in 1829, says : 

"It is believed that nowhere in the farming 
portion of the United States would slave labor be 
generally employed, if the proprietor were not 
tempted to raise slaves by the high price of the 
southern markets, which keeps it up in his own." 

The Neiv York Journal of Commerce of Octo- 
ber 12th, 1835, contains a letter from a Virginian, 
whom the editor calls " a very good and sensible 
man," asserting that twenty thousand sla-voa h&d 
been driven to the South from Virginia that year, 
but little more than three-fourths of which had 
then elapsed. 

Mr. Gholson, of Virginia, in his speech in the 
legislature of that state, January 18, 1831 (see 
Richmond Whig) , says ; 

" It has always (perhaps erroneously) been 
considered, by steady and old-fashioned people, 
that the owner of land had a reasonable right to 
its annual profits ; the owner of orchards to their 
annual fruits ; the owner of brood mares to their 
product ; and the owner of female slaves to their 
increase. We have not the fine-spun intelligence 
nor legal acumen to discover the technical dis- 
tinctions dra^vn by gentlemen (that is, the distinc- 
tion between female slaves and brood mares). The 
legal maxim of partus sequitur ventrem is coeval 
with the existence of the right of property itself, 
and is founded in wisdom and justice. It is on the 
justice and inviolability of this maxim that the 
master foregoes the service of the female slave, 
has her nursed and attended during the period of 
her gestation, and raises the helpless infant off- 
spring. The value of the property ^us/(^es the ex- 
pense, and I do not hesitate to say that in its in- 
crease consists tnuch of our wealth.'" 

Can any comment on tlie state of public 
sentiment produced by slavery equal the 
simplfc reading of this extract, if we re- 
member that it was spoken in the Virginia 
legislature? One would think the cold 
cheek of Washington would redden in its 
grave for shame, that his native state had 
sunk so low. That there were Virginian 
hearts to feel this disgrace is evident from 
the following reply of Mr. Faulkner to Mr. 
Gholson, in the Virginia House of Dele- 
gates, 1832. See Richmond Whig : 

" But he (jNIr. Gholson) has labored to show 
that the abolition of slavery would be impolitic, 
because your slaves constitute the entire wealth 
of the state, all the productive capacity Virginia 
possesses ; and, sir, as things are, / believe he is 
correct. He says that the slaves constitute the 
entire available wealth of Eastern Virginia. Is 
it true that for two hundred years the only in- 
crease in the wealtli and resources of Virginia 
has been a remnant of the natural increase of 
this miserable race T Can it bo that on this 
increase she places her sole dependence ? Until I 
heard these declaraticms, I had not fully conceived 
tho horrible extent of this evil These gen- 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM'S CABIN, 



149 



tiemen state th* fact, which the history and 
present aspect of the commanwealth but too well 
eustain. What, sir! have you lived for two hun- 
dred years without personal effijrt or productive 
industry, in extravagance and indolence, sustained 
alone by the return from the sales of the in- 
crease of slaves, and retaining merely such a 
number as your now impoverished lands can 
sustain as stock ' " 

Mr. Thomas Jefferson Randolph in the Virginia 
legislature used the following language {Liberty 
Bell, p. 20) : 

" I agree with gentlemen in the necessity of 
arming the state for internal defence. I will unite 
with them in any effort to restore confidence to 
the public mind, and to conduce to the sense of 
the safety of our wives and our children. Yet, 
sir, I must ask upon whom is to fall the burden 
of this defence 1 Not upon the lordly masters of 
their hundred slaves, who will never turn out except 
to retire with their families when danger threatens. 
No, sir ; it is to fall upon the less wealthy class of 
our citizens, chiefly upon the non-slaveholder. I 
have kno\vn patrols turned out where there loas not 
a slave-holder among them ; and this is the practice 
of the coutitry. I have slept in times of alarm 
quiet in bed, without having a thought of care, 
while these individuals, o^vning none of this prop- 
erty themselves, were patrolling under a compul- 
sory process, for a pittance of seventy-five cents 
per twelve hours, the very curtilage of my house, 
and guarding that property which was alike dan- 
gerous to them and myself. After all, this is but 
an expedient. As this population becomes more 
numerous, it becomes less productive. Your 
guard must be increased, until finally its profits 
will not pay for the expense of its subjection. 
Slavery has the effect of lessening the free popu- 
lation of a country. 

'• The gentleman has spoken of the increase of 
the female slaves being a part of the profit. It is 
admitted ; but no great evil can be averted, no 
good attained, without some inconvenience. It 
may be questioned how far it is desirable to foster 
and encourage this branch of profit. It is a prac- 
tice, and an increasing practice, in parts of Vir- 
ginia, to rear slaves for market. How can an 
honorable mind, a patriot, and a lover of his 
country, bear to see this Ancient Dominion, ren- 
dered illustrious by the noble devotion and patri- 
otism of her sons in the cause of liberty, con- 
verted into one grand menagerie, where men are to 
reared for the market, like oxen for the shambles ? 
Is it better, is it not worse, than the slave-trade ; — 
that trade which enlisted the labor of the good 
and wise of every creed, and every clime, to 
abolish it 1 The trader receives the slave , a 
stranger in language, aspect and manners, from 
the merchant who has brought him from the in- 
terior The ties of father, mother, husband and 
cliild, have all been rent in twain ; before he re- 
ceives him, liis soul has become callous. But 
here, sir, individuals whom the master has known 
from infancy, whom he has seen sporting in the 
innocent gambols of childhood, who have been 
accustomed to look to him for protection, he tears 
from the mother's arms, and sells into a strange 
country, among strange people, subject to cruel 
taakuiasters. 

" lie has attempted to justify slavery here be- 
cause it exists in Africa, and has stated that it 
exists all o'^er the world. Upon the same prin- 
ciple, he could justify Mahometanism, with its 



plurality of wives, petty wars for plunder, rob- 
bery and murder, or any other of the abomina- 
tions and enormities of savage tobes. Does slav- 
ery exist in any part of civilised Europe 1 — No 
sir, in no part of it." 

The calculations in the volume from wliich 
•we have been quoting were made in the year 
1841. Since that time, the area of the 
southern slave-market has been doubled, and 
the trade has undeigone a proportional in- 
crease. Southern papers are fiill of its ad- 
vertisements. It is, in fact, the great trade 
of the country. From the single port of 
Baltimore, in the last two years, a thousand 
and thirty-three slaves have been shipped to 
the southern market, as is apparent from 
the following report of the custom-house 
officer : 

ABSTRACT OF THE NUMBER OF VESSELS CLEARED IN 
THE DISTRICT OF BALTIMORE FOR SOUTHERN PORTS, 
HAVING SLAVES ON BOARD, FROM JAN. 1, 1S51, TO 
NOVEMBER 20, 1852. 



Due. Denomina's.j 


Names of Vessels. ' 


Where Bound. 


No.. 


1851 










Jan. 6 


Sloop, 


Georgia, 


Norfolk, Va. 


16 


" 10 


" 


" 


" 


6 


" 11 


Bark, 


Elizabeth, 


New Orleans. 


92 


" 14 
" 17 
" 20 


Sloop, 


Gteorgia, 


Norfolk, Va. 


9 

6 

14 


Bark, 


Cora, 


New Orleans. 


Feb. 6 


" 


E. H. Chapin, 


" 


31 


" 8 


" 


Sarah Bridge, 


" 


34 


" 12 


Sloop, 


Georgia, 


Norfolk, Va. 


5 


" 24 


Schooner, 


IL A. Barling, 


New Orleans. 


37 


" 26 


Sloop, 


Georgia, 


Norfolk, Va. 


3 


" 28 


" 


" 


It 


42 


Mar. 10 


Ship, 


Edward Everett, 


New Orleans. 


20 


" 21 


Sloop, 


Georgia, 


Norfolk, Va. 


11 


" 19 


Bark, 


Baltimore, 


Savannah. 


13 


Apr. 1 


Sloop, 


Herald, 


Norfolk, Va. 


7 


" 2 


Brig, 


Waverley, 


New Orleans. 


31 


" 18 


Sloop, 


Baltimore, 


Arquia Creek, Va. 


4 


" 23 


Ship, 


Charles, 


New Orleans. 


25 


" 2S 


Sloop, 


Georgia, 


Norfolk, Va. 


5 


May 15 


" 


Herald, 


" 


27 


" 17 


Schooner, 


Brilliant, 


Charleston. 


1 


June 10 


Sloop, 


Herald, 


Norfolk, Va. 


3 


" 16 


" 


Georgia, 


" 


4 


" 20 


Schooner, 


Truth, 


Charleston. 


9 


" 21 


Ship, 


Herman, 


New Orleans. 


10 


July 19 


Schooner, 


Aurora S., 


Charleston. 


1 


Sept. 6 


Bark, 


Kirkwood, 


New Orleans. 


2 


Oct. i 


" 


Abbott Lord, 


" 


1 


" 11 


11 


Elizabeth, 


It 


to 


" 18 


Ship, 


Edward Everett, 


" 


12 


Oct. 20 


Sloop, 


Georgia, 


Norfolk, Va. 


1 


Nov. 13 


Ship, 


Eliza F. MasoB, 


New Orleans. 


57 


" 18 


Bark, 


Jlary Broughtons, 


" 


47 


Dec. 4 


Ship, 


Timalean, 


" 


22 


" 13 


Schooner, 


H. A. Barling, 


" 


45 


1852. 










Jan. 5 


Bark, 


Southerner, 


tc 


52 


Feb. 7 


Ship, 


Nathan Hooper, 


" 


51 


" 21 


1* 


Dumbarton, 


" 


22 


Mar. 27 


Sloop, 


falraetto. 


Charleston. 


36 


" 4 


11 


Jewess, 


Norfolk, Va. 


34 


Apr. 24 


It 


Palmetto, 


Charleston. 


8 


" 25 


Bark, 


Abbott Lord, 


New Orleans. 


36 


May 15 


Ship, 


Charles, 


" 


2 


June 12 


Sloop, 


Pampero, 


tt 


4 


July 3 


11 


Palmetto, 


Charleston. 


1 


" 6 


It 


Herald, 


Norfolk, Va. 


7 


« 6 


It 


.Maryland, 


Arquia Creek, Va. 


4 


Sept. 14 


" 


North Carolina, 


Norfolk, Va. 


15 


" 23 


Ship, 


America, 


New Orlearis. 


1 


Oct. 15 


!• 


Brandywine, 


" 


6 


" 18 


Sloop, 


Isabel, 


Charleston. 


1 


•' 28 


Schooner, 


Maryland, 


" 


12 


" 29 


11 


II. M. Gambrill, 


Savannah. 


11 


Sov. 1 


Ship, 


Jane Henderson, 


New Orleans. 


18 


" 6 


Sloop, 


Palmetto, 


Charleston. 


3 

1033 



150 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



If we look back to the advertisements, we 
shall see that the traders take only the 
jounger ones, between the ages of ten and 
thirty. But this is only one port, and only 
one mode of exporting ; for multitudes of 
them are sent in coffles over land • '4 yet 
Mr. J. Thornton Randolph represencs the 
negroes of Virginia as living in pastoral 
security, smoking their pipes under their 
own vines and fig-trees, the venerable pa- 
triarch of the flock declaring that "he neb- 
ber hab hear such a ting as a nigger sold to 
Georgia all his life, unless dat nigger did 
someting very bad." 

An affecting picture of the consequences 
of this traffic upon both master and slave is 
drawn by the committee of the volume from 
"which we have quoted. 

The writer cannot conclude this chapter 
better than by the language which they 
have used. 

This system bears with extreme severity upon 
tiie slave. It subjects him to a perpetual fear of 
being sold to the " soul-driver," which to the 
slave is the realization of all conceivable woes and 
horrors, more dreaded than death. An awful ap- 
prehension of this fate haunts the poor sufferer by 
day and by night, from his cradle to his grave. 
Suspense hangs like a thunder-cloudover his head. 
He knows that there is not a passing hour, wheth- 
er he wakes or sleeps, wliich may not be the 
LAST that he shall spend with his wife and chil- 
dren. Every day or week some acquaintance is 
snatched from his side, and thus the consciousness 
of his own danger is kept continually awake. 
" Surely my turn will come next," is his harrow- 
ing conviction ; for he knows that he was reai-ed 
for this, as the ox for the yoke, or the sheep for 
the slaughter. In this aspect, the slave's condi- 
tion is truly indescribable. Suspense, even when 
it relates to an event of no great moment, and 
" endureth but for a night," is hard to bear. But 
when it broods over all, absolutely all that is dear, 
chilling the present with its deep shade, and cast- 
ing its awful gloom over the future, it jnust break 
the heart ! Such is the suspense under which 
every slave in the breeding states lives. It poisons 
ail his little lot of bliss. If a flithor, he cannot 
go forth to his toil without bidding a mental f;xre- 
well to his wife and children. lie cannot return, 
weary and worn, from tlie field, with any certainty 
that he shall not find his home robbed and desolate. 
Nor can he seek his bed of straw and rags with- 
out the frightful misgiving that his wife may be 
torn from his arms before morning. Sliould a 
white stranger approach his master's mansion, he 
fears tliat the soul-driver has come, and awaits in 
terror the overseer's mandate, " You are sold ; fol- 
low that man." There is no being on earth whom 
the slaves of the breeding states regard Avith so 
much horror as tlie trader. He is to them what 
the prowling kidnapper is to their less vvrctcliod 
brethren in the wilds of Africa. The master knows 
this, and tliat there is no punishment so effectual 
to secure labor, or deter from misconduct, as the 
tlireat of being delivered to the soul-driver.* 



* This horribly expressive appellation is in commoa 
use among the slaves of the breeding states. 



Another consequence of this system is the prer- 
alence of licentiousness. This is indeed one of the 
foul features of slavery everywhere ; but it is espe- 
cially prevalent and indiscriminate where slave- 
breeding is conducted as a business. It grows di- 
rectly out of the system, and is inseparable from it. 
* * * The pecuniary inducement to general pol- 
lution must be very strong, since the larger the slave 
increase the greater the master's gains, and espe- 
cially since the mixed blood demands a considerably 
higher price than tlie pure black. 

The remainder of the extract contains spe- 
cifications too dreadful to be quoted. We can 
only refer the reader to the volume, p. 13. 

The poets of America, true to the holy 
soul of their divine art, have shed over soms 
of the horrid realities of this trade the 
pathetic light of poetry. Longfellow and 
Whittier have told us, in verses beautiful as 
strung pearls, yet sorrowful as a mother's 
tears, some of the incidents of this unnatural 
and ghastly traffic. For the sake of a com- 
mon humanity, let us hope that the first ex- 
tract describes no common event. 

THE QUADROON GIRL. 

The Slaver in the broad lagoon 

Lay moored with idle sail : 
He waited for the rising moon, 

And for the evening gale. 

Under the shore his boat was tied 

And all her listless crew 
Watched the gray alligator slide 

Into the still bayou. 

Odors of orange-flowers and spice 
Reached them, from time to time^ 

Like airs that breathe from Paradise 
Upon a world of crime. 

The Planter, under his roof of thatch, 
Smoked thoughtfully and slow ; 

The Slaver's thumb was on the latch. 
He seemed in haste to go. 

Ho said, " My ship at anchor rides 
s In yonder broad lagoon ; 
I only wait the evening tides, 
And the rising of the moon." 

Before them, with her face upraised, 

In timid attitude, 
Like one half curious, half amazed, 

A Quadroon maiden stood. 

Her eyes were large, and full of light, 
Her arms and neck wore bare ; 

No garment she wore, save a- kirtle bright. 
And her own long raven hair. 

And on her lips there played a smile 

As holy, meek, and faint, 
As lights in somo cathedral aisle 

The features of a saint. 

" The soil is barren, the farm is old," 
The thoughtful Planter said ; 

Then looked upon the Slaver's gold, 
And then upon the maid. 

Ilia heart within him was at strife 

With such accui-scd gains ; 
For he knew whoso passions gave her life. 

Whose blood ran in her veins. 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



But the voice of nature was too weak ; 

He took the glittering gold ! 
Then pale as death grew the maiden's cheek. 

Her hands as icy cold. 

The Slaver led her from the door, 

He led her by the hand. 
To be his slave and paramour 

In a strange and distant land ! 



THE FAREWELL 



•r A T"«GISnA SLAVE MOTHER TO HER DAUGHTEHS, SOLD INTO 
SOLTHEIW BONDAGE. 

Gone, gone, — sold and gone, 
To the rice-swamp dank and lone. 
Whore the slave-whip ceaseless swings, 
AVhere the noisome insect stings, 
Where the fever demon strews 
Poison with the falling Sews, 
AVhere the sickly sunbeams glare 
Ihrough the hot and misty air, — 
Gone, gone, — sold and gone. 
To the rice-swamp dank and lone, 
From Virginia's hills and waters, — 
Woe is me,*my stolen daughters I 

Gone, gone, — sold and gone. 
To the rice-swamp dank and lone. 
Ttore no mother's eye is near them. 
There no mother's ear can hear them ; 
Never, when the torturing lash 
Seams their back with many a gash. 
Shall a mother's kindness bless them. 
Or a mother's arms caress them. 
Gone, gone, &o. 

•'"' • Gone, gone, — sold and gone, 

To the rice-swamp dank and lone. 
0, when weary, sad, and slow, 
From the fields at night they go, 
Faint with toil, and racked with pain. 
To their cheerless homes again, — 
There no brother's voice shall greet them, 
There no father's welcome meet them. 
Gone, gone, &c. 

Gone, gone, — sold and gone. 
To the rice-iwamp dank and lone. 

From the tree whoso shadow lay 
On their childhood's place of play ; 

From the cool spring where they drank ; 

Rock, and hill, and rivulet bank ; 

From the solemn house of prayer. 

And the holy counsels there, — 
Gone, gone, &o. 

Crone, gone, — sold and gone. 
To the rice-swarnp dank and lon« ; 
Toiling through the weary day. 
And at night the spoiler's prey. 
0, that they had earlier died. 
Sleeping calmly, side by side. 
Where the tyrant's power is o'er. 
And the fetter galls no more ! 
Gone, gone, &c. 

Gone, gone, — sold and gone. 
To the rice-swamp dank and lone. 
By the holy love He beareth. 
By the bruised reed He spareth, 
0, may He, to whom alone 
All their cruel wrongs are known. 
Still their hope and refuge prove. 
With a more than mother's love * 
Gone, gone, &c. 

JoHK G. TVhittier. 



The following extract from a letter of 
Dr. Bailey, in tlie Era, 1847, presents a \iew 
of this subject more creditable to some Vir- 
ginia families. Maj the number that refuse 



151 

to part with slaves except by emancipation 
increase ! 

The sale of slaves to the south is carried to a 

r'eat extent. The slave-holders do not, go far as 
can learn, raise them for that special purposo. 
But, here ia a man with a score of slaves, located 
on an exhausted plantation. It must furnish sup. 
port for all ; but, while they increase, its capacity 
of supply decreases. The result is, he must eman- 
cipate or sell. But he has fallen into debt, and 
he sells to relieve himself from debt, and also from 
an excess of mouths. Or, he requires money to 
educate his children ; or, his negroes are sold un- 
der execution. From these and other causes, large 
numbers of slaves are continually disappearing 
fi'om the state, so that the next census will un- 
doubtedly show a marked diminution of the slave 
population. 

The season for this trade is generally from No- 
vemljer to April ; and some estimate that the aver- 
age number of slaves passing by the southern 
railroad weekly, during that period of six months, 
is at least two hundred. A slave-trader told me 
that he had known one hundred pass in a single 
night. But this is only one route. Large num- 
bers ai'e sent off westwardly, and also by sea, 
coastwise. The Davises, in Petersburg, are the 
great slave-dealers. They are Jews, who came to 
that place many years ago as poor pedlers ; and, 
I am informed, are members of a family which 
has its representatives in Philadelphia, New York, 
&c. ! These men are always in the market, giv- 
ing the highest price for slaves. During the sum- 
mer and fall they buy them up at low prices, trim, 
shave, wash them, fatten them so that they may 
look sleek, and sell them to great profit. It might 
not be unprofitable to inquire how much North- 
ern capital, and what firms in some of the North- 
ern cities, are connected with this detestable 
business. 

There are many planters here who cannot be 
persuaded to Sell their slaves. They have far 
more than they can find work for, and could at 
any time obtain a high price for them. The tempt- 
ation is strong, for they want more money and 
fewer dependants. But they resist it, and noth- 
ing can induce them to part with a single slave, 
though they know that they would be greatly the 
gainers in a pecuniary sense, were they to sell 
one-half of them. Such men are too good to be 
slave-holders. Would that they might see it their 
duty to go one step further, and become emanci- 
pators ! The majority of this class of planters 
are religious men, and this is the class to which 
generally are to be referred the various cases of 
emancipation iy ivill, of which from time to time 
we hear accounts. 



CHAPTER y. 

SELECT INCIDENTS OF LAWFUL TRADE, OR 
FACTS STRANGER THAN FICTION. 

The atrocious and sacrilegious system of 
breeding human beings for sale, and trading 
them like cattle in the market, fails to pro- 
duce the impression on the mind that it 
ought to produce, because it is lost in 
generalities. 



152 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



It is like the account of a great battle, in 
■which we learn, in round numbers, that ten 
thousand were killed and wounded, and 
throw the paper by without a thought. 

So, when we read of sixty or eighty thou- 
sand human beings being raised yearly and 
Bold in the market, it passes through our 
mind, but leaves no definite trace. 

Sterne says that when he would "realize 
the miseries of captivity, he had to turn his 
mind from the idea of hundreds of thousands 
lanojuishincr in dungeons, and bring before 
himself the picture of one poor, solitary cap- 
tive pining in his cell. In hke manner, we 
cannot give any idea of the horribly cruel 
and demoralizing effect of this trade, except 
by presenting facts in detail, each fact being 
a specimen of a class of facts. 

For a specimen of the public sentiment 
and the kind of morals and manners which 
this breeding and trading system produces, 
both in slaves and in their owners, the writer 
gives the following extracts from a recent 
letter of a friend in one of the Southern 
States. 

Dear Mrs. S: — The sable goddess who pre- 
sides over our bed and wash-stand is such a queer 
specimen of her race, that I would give a good 
deal to have you see her. Her whole appear- 
ance, as she goes giggling and curtseying about, 
is perfectly comical, and would lead a stranger to 
think her really deficient in intellect. This is, 
however, by no means the case. During our two 
months' acquaintance with her, we have seen 
many indications of sterling gqpd sense, that 
would do credit to many a white person with ten 
times her advantages. 

She is disposed to be very communicative ; — 
seems to feel that she has a claim upon our sym- 

O, in the very fact that we come from the 
I ; and we could undoubtedly gain no little 
knowledge of the practical workings of the "pe- 
culiar institution," if we thought proper to hold 
any protracted conversation with her. This, how- 
ever, would insure a visit from the authorities, 
requesting us to leave town in the next train of 
cars ; so we are forced to content ourselves with 
gleaning a few items, now and then, taking care 
to appear quite indifferent to her story, and to cut 
it short by despatching her on some trifling er- 
rand ; — being equally careful, however, to note 
down her peculiar expressions, as soon as she has 
disppeared. A copy of these I have thought you 
would like to see, especially as illustrating the 
views of the marriage institution which is a neces- 
sary result of the great human property relation 
system. 

A Southern lady, who thinks " negro senti- 
ment" very nnich exaggerated in "Uncle Tom's 
Cabin," iussurcs us tliat domestic attachments can- 
not be very strong, where one man will have two 
or three wives and families, on as many different 
plantations. (!) And tlio lady of our hotel tells us 
of her cook having received a message from her 
husband, that he lias another wife, and she may 
get aiother husband, with perfect indifference ; 



simply expressing a hope that " she won't find 
another here during the next month, us she must 
then be sent to her owner, in Georgia, and would 
be more unwilling to go." And yet, both of these 
ladies are quite religious, and highly resent any 
insinuation that the moral character of the slaves 
is not far above that of the free negroes at the 
North. _ 

With VioletiRtory, I will also enclose that of 
one of our waiteft ; in which, I think, you will be 
interested. 

Violet's father and mother both died, as she 
says, " 'fore I had any sense," leaving eleven 
children — all scattered. " To sabe my life. Missis, 
couldn't tell dis yer night where one of dem is. 
IMassa lib in Charleston. My first husband, — 
when we was young, — nice man ; he had seven 
children ; den he sold off to Florida — neber hear 
from him 'gain. Ole folks die. 0, dat's be my 
boderation, Missis, — when ole people be dead, den 
we be scattered all 'bout. Den I sold up here — 
now hab 'noder husband — hab four children up 
here. I lib bery easy when my young husband 
'libe — and we had children bery fast. But now 
dese yer ones tight fellers. Massa don't 'low us 
to raise noting; no pig — no goat — no dog — 
no noting; won't allow us raise, a bit of corn. 
We has to do jist de best we can. Dey don't gib ua 
a single grain but jist two homespun frocks — no 
coat 'tall. 

" Can't go to meetin, 'cause. Missis, get dis 
work done — den get dinner. In summer, I goes 
ebery Sunday ebening ; but dese yer short days, 
time done get dinner dishes washed, den time get 
supper. Gen'lly goes Baptist church." 

" Do your people usually go there V 

" Dere bees tree shares ob dem — Methodist 
gang. Baptist gang, 'Piscopal gang. Last sum- 
mer, use to hab right smart* meetins in our yard, 
Sunday night. ^lassa Johnson preach to us. Den 
he said couldn't hab two meetins — we might go 
to church." 

" Why ■?" 

" Gracious knows. I lubs to go to meetin 
allers — 'specially when dere 's good preaching — 
lubs to hab people talk good to me — likes to hab 
people read to me, too. 'Cause don't b'long to 
church, no reason why I shan't." 

" Does your master like to have others read to 
you 1 ' ' 

"He won't hinder — I an't bound tell him 
when folks reads to me. I hab my soul to sabe — 
he hab his soul to sabe. Our owners won't stand 
few minutes and read to us — dey tink it too great 
honor — dey 's bery hard on us. Brack preachers 
sometimes talk good to us, and pray wid us, — 
and pray a heap for dkm too. 

" I jest done hab great quarrel wid Dinah, down 
in de kitchen. I tells Dinah, ' De Avay you goes 
on spile all de women's character.' — She say she 
didn't care, she do what she please wid herself. 
Dinah, she slip away somehow from her first hus- 
band, and hab 'noder child 1)y Sambo (he b'long 
to Massa D.) ; so she and hor first husband dey 
fall out someliow. Dese yer men, yer know, is so 
queer, ^lissis, dey don't neber like sich tings. 

" Ye know. Missis, tings we lub, we don't like 
hab anybody else hab 'em. Such a ting sis dat, 
Missis, tetch your heart so, ef you don't mind, 
't will fret you almost to death. Ef my husband 



* Rit^ht srnnrt of — that is, a great many of — an idiom 
of Auglo-Ethiopia. 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



153 



was to slip away from me, Missis, dat ar way, it ud 
wake me right up. I 'm brack, but I would n't do 
80 to my husband, neider. What I hide behind 
de curtain now, I can't hide it behind (Je curtain 
when I stand before God — de whole world know 
it den. 

" Dinah's (second) husband say what she do 
for her first husband noting to him; — now, my 
husband don't feel so. He say he wouldn't do as 
Daniel do — he wouldn't buy tings for de oder 
children — dom as has de children might buy de 
tings for dem. Well, so dere dey is. — Dinah's 
first husband come up wheneber he can, to see 
his children, — and Sambo, he come up to see his 
child, and gib Dinah tings for it. 

" You know, Jlissis, Massa hab no nigger but 
me and one yellow girl, when he bought me and 
my four children. VN'ell, den Massa, he want me 
to breed ; so he say, ' Violet, you must take some 
nigger here in C 

" Den I say, ' No, Massa, I can't take any here.' 
Den he say, ' You must, Violet ;' 'cause you see 
he want me breed for him ; so he say plenty 
young fellers here, but I say I can't hab any ob 
dem. Well, den. Missis, he go do-wn Virginia, 
and he bring up two niggers, — and dey was 
pretty ole mea, — and Missis say, ' One of dem 's 
for you, Violet;' but I say, 'No, Missis, I can't 
'take one of dem, 'cause I don't lub 'em, and I 
can't hab one I don't lub.' Den Massa, he say, 
' You must take one of dese — and den, ef you can't 
htb him., you must find somebody else you can lub,' 
Den I say, ' 0, no, Massa ! I can't do dat — I can't 
liab one ebery day.' Well, den, by-and-by, Massa 
he buy tree more, and den Missis say, ' Now, Vio- 
let, ones dem is for you.' "I say, 'I do'no — 
maybe I can't lub one dem neider ;' but she say, 
' You must hab one ob dese.' Well, so Sam and I 
we lib along two year — he watchin my ways, 
and I watchin his waj's. 

" At last, one night, we was standin' by de 
wood-pile togeder, and de moon bery shine, and 
I do'no how 't was, Missis, he answer me, he 
wan't a wife, but he did n't know where ho get 
one. I say, plenty girls in G. He say, ' Yes — 
but maybe 1 shan't find any I like so well as 
you.' Den I say maybe he wouldn't like my 
ways, 'cause I 'se an ole woman, and I hab four 
children by my fii'st husband ; and anybody marry 
me, must be jest kind to dem childi-en as dey was 
to me, else I couldn't lub him. Den he say, ' Ef 
he had a woman 't had children,' — mind you, he 
did n't say me, — ' he would be jest as kind to de 
fiidldren as ho was to de moder, and dat 's 'cordin 
to how she do by him.' Well, so we went on 
from one ting to anoder, till at last we say we 'd 
take one anoder, and so we 've libed togeder eber 
since — and I 's had four children by him — and 
he neber slip away from me, nor I fx'om him." 

" How are you married in your yard ?" 

" We jest takes one anoder — we asks de white 
folks' leave — and den takes one anoder. Some 
folks, dey 's married by de book ; but den, what 's 
de use ? Dere 's my fus husband, we 'se married 
by de book, and he sold way off to Florida, and 
I 's here. Dey wants to do what dey please wid 
us, so dey don't want us to be married. Dey 
don't care what wo does, so we jest makes money 
for dem. 

"My fus husband, — he yiung. and he bcry 
kind to me, — 0, ]Missis, he be) y kind indeed. He 
Bet up all night and work, so as to make me com- 
liartable. 0, we got "long bery well when I hadj 



him ; but he sold way off Florida, and, sence 
then. Missis, / jest gone to noting. Dese yer 
white people dey hab here, dey won't 'low us 
noting — noting at all — jest gibs us food, and 
two suits a year — a broad stripe and a narrow 
stripe ; you '11 see 'em, Missis." — 

And we did " see 'em ;" for Violet brought us 
the " narrow stripe," with a request that we 
wouM fit it for her. There was just enough to 
cover her, but no hooks and eyes, cotton, or 
even lining ; these extras she must get as she 
can ; and yet her master receives from our host 
eight dollars per month for her 8er\'ices. We 
asked how she got the "broad stripe" mad« 
up. ^ 

"0, Missis, my husband, — he working now 
out on de farm, — so he hab 'lowance four pounds 
bacon and one peck of meal ebery week ; so he 
stinge heself, so as to gib me four pounds bacon 
to pay for making my frock." [Query. — Are 
there any husbands in refined circles who would 
do more than this 1 ] 

Once, finding us all three busily writing, Violet 
stood for some moments silently watching the 
mysterious motion of our pens, and then, in a 
tone of deepest sadness, said, 

" ! dat be great comfort. Missis. You can 
write to your friends all 'bout ebery ting, and so 
hab dem write to you. Our people can't do so. 
Wheder dey be 'live or dead, we can't neber 
know — only sometimes we hears dey be dead," 

What more expressive comment on the 
cruel laws that forbid the slave to be 
taught to write ! 

The history of the serving-man is thus 
given : 

George's father and mother belonged to some- 
body in Florida. During the war, two older sis- 
ters got on board an English vessel, and went to 
Halifax. His mother Avas very anxious to go with 
them, and take the whole family ; but her hus- 
band persuaded her to wait until the next ship 
sailed, when he thought he should be able to go 
too. By this delay opportunity of escape was 
lost, and the whole family were soon after sold 
for debt. George, one sister, and their mother, 
were bought by the same man. He says, " My 
old boss cry powerful when she (the mother) die ; 
say he'd rather lost two thousand dollars. She 
was part Indian — hair straight as yourn — and 
she was white as dat ar pillow." George married 
a woman in another yard. He gave this reason 
for it : " 'Cause, when a man sees his wife 'bused, 
he can't help feelin' it. When he heais his wife's 
'bused, 'tan't like as how it is when he sees it. 
Then I can fadge for her better than when she 's 
in my own yard." This wife was sold up coim- 
try, but after some years l>ecame " lame and sick 
— could n't do much — so her massa gabe her her 
time, and paid her fai-e to G." — [The sick and 
infirm are always provided for, you know.] — 
" Hadn't seen her for tree years," said George ; 
" but soon as I heard of it, went right down, — 
hired a house, and got some one to take care 
ob her, — and used to go to see her ebery tree 
months." He is a mechanic, and worked some- 
times all night to earn money to do this. His 
master asks twenty dollars per month for his ser- 
vices, and allows him fifty cents per week for 
clothes, etc. J. says, if he could only save, by 



154 



KEY TO UNCLE TOil's CABIN. 



VFOrkin^ nights, money enough to buy himself, he 
•would get some one he could trust to buy him ; 
•' den work hard as elier, till I could buy my 
children, den I 'd get away from dis yer." — 

" Where?" 

" ! Philadelphia — New York — somewhere 
North." 

" "Why, you 'd freeze to death." 

" 0, no, Missis ! I can bear cold. I want to go 
where I can belong to myself, and do as I want to. ' ' 

The following communication has been 
given to the writer bj Captain Austin 
Bearse, ship-master in Boston. Mr. Bearse 
is a native of Barnstable, Cape Cod. He is 
well known to our Boston citizens and mer- 
chants. 

I am a native of the State of ^Massachusetts. 
Bietween the years 1818 and 1830 I was, from time 
to time, mate on board of different vessels engaged 
in the coasting trade on the coast of South Carolina. 

It is well known that many New England ves- 
sels are in the habit of sjDending their winters on 
the southern coast in pursuit of this business. 
Our vessels used to run up the rivers for the rough 
rice and cotton of the plantations, which we took 
to Charleston. 

We often carried gangs of slaves to the planta- 
tions, as they had been ordered. These slaves were 
generally collected by slave-traders in the slave- 
pens in Charleston, — brought there by various 
causes, such as the death of owners and the division 
of estates, which threw them into the market. Some 
were sent as punishment for insubordination, or 
because the douiestic establishment was too large, 
or because persons moving to the North or West 
preferred selling their slaves to the trouble of car- 
rying them. . We had on board our vessels, from 
time to time, numbers of these slaves, — sometimes 
two or three, and sometimes as high as seventy or 
eighty. They were separated from their families 
and connections with as little concern as calves and 
pigs are selected out of a lot of domestic animals. 

Our vessels used to lie in a place called Poor 
Man's Hole, not far from the city. We used to 
allow the relations and friends of the slaves to 
come on board and stay all night with their friends, 
before the vessel sailed. 

In the morning it used to be my business to 
pull off the hatches and warn them that it was 
time to separate ; and the shrieks and heart-rend- 
ing cries at these times were enougli to make any- 
body's heart ache. 

In the year 1828, while mate of the brig Milton, 
from Boston, bound to New (_)rleans, the follow- 
ing incident occurred, which I shall never forget : 

The traders brought on Ijoard four quadroon 
men in handcuffs, to be stowed away for the New 
Orleans market. An old negro woman, more than 
®^S''''y years of age, came screaming after them, 
"My son, 0, my son, my son!" She seciued almost 
frantic, and wlien we had got more than a mile 
out in the harbor we heard her screaming yet. 

When we got into the Culf Stream, 1 came to the 
men, and took off their handcuffs. They were res- 
olute fellows, and they told me that I would see 
that they would never live to be slaves in New 
Orleans. One of the men was a carpenter, and one 
a blacksmith. Wc brought them into New Or- 
leans, and consigned them over to the agent. Tiie 
agent told the captain afterwards tliat in forty- 
eight hours after they came to New OAeans they 
Were all dead men, having every one killed them- 



selves, as they said they sfiould. One of them, I 
know, was bougjit for a fireman (n t!io steamer 
Post Boy, that went down to the Balize. He jumped 
over, and ;^vas drowned. 

The others, — one was sold to a blacksmith, and 
one to a carpenter. The particulars of their death 
I did n"t know, only that the agent told the captain 
that they were aU dead. 

There was a plantation at Coosahatchie, back 
of Charleston, S. C, ke'pt by a widow lady, who 
owned eighty negroes. She sent to Charleston, 
and bought a quadroon girl, very nearly white, for 
her son. We carried her up. She was more 
delicate than our other slaves, so that she was not 
put with them, but was carried up in the cabin. 

I have been on the rice-plantations on the river., 
and seen the cultivation of the rice. In the fall 
of the year, the plantation hands, both men and 
women, work all the time above their knees in 
water in the rice-ditches, pulling out the grass, to 
fit the ground for sowing the rice. Hands sold 
here from the city, having been bred mostlv to 
house-labor, find this very severe. The plantations 
are so deadly that white people cannot remain on 
them during the summer-time, except at a risk of 
life. The proprietors and their families are thera 
only thrijugh the winter, and the slaves are left in 
the summer entirely under the care of the cve]^ 
seers. Such overseers as I saw were generally a 
brutal, gambling, drinking set. 

I have seen slavery, in the course of my wandeu- 
ings. in almost all the countries in the world. I 
have been to Algiers, and seen slavery there. I 
have seen slavery in Smyrna, among the Turks. I 
was in Smyrna wlien our American consul ransomed 
a beautiful Greek girl in the slave-market. I saw 
her come aboard the brig Suffolk, when she came 
on board to be sent to America for her education. 
I have seen slavery in the Spanish and French 
ports, though I have not been on their plantations. 

My opini(m is that American slavery, as I have 
seen it in the internal slave-trade, as I have seen 
it on the rice and sugar plantations, and in the city 
of New Orleans, is full as bad as slavery in any 
country of the world, heathen or Christian. Peo- 
ple wlio go for visits or pleasure through the 
Southern States cannot possibly know those things 
which can be seen of slavery by ship-masters 
who run up into the back plantations of coun- 
tries, and who transport the slaves and produce of 
plantations. 

In my past days the system of slavery was not 
much discussed. I saw these things as others did, 
withc)ut interference. Because 1 no louder think 
it right to see these things in silence, 1 ti-ade no 
more south of Mason & IJixou's line. 

Austin Bearsb. 

The following account ■v\"as given to tho 
writer by Lewis Hayden. Hayden was a 
fugitive slave, who escaped from Kentucky 
by the assistance of a young lady named 
Delia Webster, and a man named Calvin 
Fairbanks. Both were imprisoned. Lewis 
Hayden has earned his own character as a 
free citizen of Boston, where he can fiiid 
an abundance of vouchers for his character. 

I ludonged to the Rev. Adam Runkin, a Pre*- 
bytorian minister in Lexington, Kentucky. 

My nu)ther was of mixed blood, — white and 
Indian. She married my father when he was 
working in a bagging factory near by. After a 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



155 



wlffle my father's owner moved off and took my 
father with him, which broke up the marriage. 
She was a very handsome woman. My master 
kept a large dairy, and she was the milk-woman. 
Lexington was a small town in those days, and 
the dairy was in tlie town. Back of the college 
was the Masonic lodge. A man who belonged to 
the lodge saw my mother when she was about 
her work. Ho made proposals of a base nature 
to her. When she would have nothing to say to 
him, he told her that she need not be so independ- 
ent, for if money could buy her he would have 
her. My mother told old mistress, and begged 
that master might not se'll her. But he did sell 
her. My mother had a high spirit, being part 
Indian. She would not consent to live with this 
man, as he wished ; and he sent her to prison, and 
had her flogged, and punished her in various ways, 
80 that at last she began to have crazy turns. When 
I read in " (Jncle Tom's Cabin" about Cassy, it 
put me in mind of my mother, and I wanted to 
tell Mrs. S about her. She tried to kill her- 
self several times, once with a knife and once by 
hanging. She had long, straight black hair, but 
after this it all turned white, like an old person's. 
When she had her raving turns she always talked 
about her children. The jailer told the owner 
that if he would let her go to her children, per- 
haps she would get quiet. They let her out one 
time, and she came to the place where we were. 
I miglit have been seven or eight years old, — 
don't know ray age exactly. I was not at home 
when she came. I came in and found her in one 
of the cabins near the kitchen. She sprung and 
oaught my arms, and seemed going to break them, 
and then said, " I '11 fix you so they '11 never get 
you ! " I screamed, for I thought she was going to 
kill me ; they came in and took me away. They tied 
her, and carried her off. Sometimes, when she was 
in her right mind, she used t'o tell me what things 
they had done to her. At last her owner sold her, 
for a small sum, to a man named Lackey. While 
with him she had another husband and several 
diildren. After a while this husband either died 
or was sold, I do not remember which. The man 
then si)kl lier to another person, named Bryant. 
My own f ither's owner now came and lived in the 
neighborhood of this man, and brought my mother 
with him. He had had another wife and family of 
children where he had been living. He and my 
mother came together again, and finished their 
days together. My mother almost recovered her 
mind in her last days. 

I never saw anything in Kentucky which made 
me suppose that ministers or professors of religion 
considered it any more wrong to separate the 
families of slaves by sale than to separate any 
domestic animals. 

Tliere may be ministers and professors of re- 
ligion wlio think it is wrong, but I never met with 
them. My master was a minister, and yet he 
sold my mother, as I have related. 

^riien he was going to leave Kentucky for Penn- 
sylvania, he sold all my brothers and sisters at 
auction. I stood by and saw them sold. When 
I was just going up on to the block, he swapped 
.sae off For a pair of -carriage-horses. I looked at 
Sliose horses with strange feelings. I had indulged 
hopes that master would take rae into Pennsyl- 
vania with him, and I should get free. How I 
looked at those horses, and walked round them, 
and thought for them I was sold ! 

It was commonly reported that my master had 



said in the pulpit that there was no more harm m 
separating a family of slaves than a litter of pigs. 
I did not hear him say it, and so cannot say 
whether this is true or not. 

It may seem strange, but it is a fact, — I had 
m-ore sympathy and kind advice, in my efforts to get 
my freedom, from gamblers and such sort of men, 
than Christians. Some of the gamblers were very 
kind to me: 

1 never knew a slave-trader that did not seem 
to think, in his heart, that the trade was a bad one. 
I knew a great many of them, such as Neal, 
McAnn, Cobb, Stone, Pulliam and Davis, &G. 
They were like Haley, — they meant to repent 
when they got through. 

Intelligent colored people in my circle of ac- 
quaintance, as a general thing, felt no security- 
whatever for their family ties. Some, it is true, 
who belonged to rich families, felt some security , 
but those of us who looked deeper, and knev/ how 
many were not rich that seemed so, and saw how 
fast money slipped away, were always miserable. 
The trader was all around, the slave-pens at 
hand, and we did not know what time any of us 
might be in it. Then there were the rice-swamps, 
and the sugar and cotton plantations ; we had 
had them held before us as terrors, by our masters 
and mistresses, all our lives. We knew about 
them all ; and when a friend was carried off, why, 
it was the same as death, for we could not write 
or hear, and never expected to see them again. 

I have one child who is buried in Kentucky, 
and that grave is pleasant to think of. I 've got 
another that is sold nobody knows where, and that 
I never can bear to think of. Lewis Haydkn'. 

The next history is a long one, and part 
of it transpired in a most public manner, in 
the face of our whole communitj. 

The history includes in it the whole 
account of that memorable capture of the 
Pearl, Avliich produced such a sensation in 
Washington in the year 1848. The author, 
however, will preface it with a short history 
of a slave woman who had six children em- 
barked in that ill-fated enterprise. 



CHAPTER VI. 

MiLLY Edmondson is an aged woman, 
now upwards of seventy. She has received 
the slave's inheritance of entire ignorance. 
She cannot read a letter of a book, nor write 
her own name ; but the writer must say that 
she was never so impressed with any presen- 
tation of the Christian rehgion as that which 
was made to her in the language and appear- 
ance of this woman during the few interviews 
that she had with her. The circumstances of 
the interviews will be detailed at length in 
the course of the story. 

Milly is above the middle height, of a 
large, full figure. She di-esses with the 
greatest attention to neatness. A plain 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



156 

Methodist cap shades her face, and the plain 
white Methodist handkerchief is folded across 
the bosom. A well-preserved stuflf gown, 
and clean white apron, with a white pocket- 
handkercliief pinned to her side, completes 
the inventory of the costume in which the 
writer usually saw her. She is a mulatto, 
and must once have been a very handsome 
one. Her eyes and smile are still uncom- 
monly beautiful, but there are deep-wrought 
lines of patient sorrow and weary endurance 
on her face, which tell that this lovely and 
noble-hearted woman has been all her^ life a 
slave. 

Milly Edmondson was kept by her owners 
and allowed to live with her husband, with 
the express understanding and agreement 
that her service and value was to consist in 
breeding up her own children to be sold in 
the slave-market. Her legal owner was a 
maiden lady of feeble capacity, who was set 
aside by the decision of court as incompetent 
to manage her affairs. 

The estate — that is to say, Milly Edmond- 
son and her children — was placed in the 
care of a guardian. It appears that Milly' s 
poor, infirm mistress was fond of her, and 
that Milly exercised over her much of that 
ascendency which a strong mind holds over 
a weak one. Milly' s husband, Paul Ed- 
3jiondson was a free man. A httle of her 
history, as she related it to the writer, will 
now be given in her own words : 

" Her mistress," she said, "was always 
kind to her ' poor thing ! ' but then she 
hadn't sperit ever to speak for herself, and 
her friends wouldn't let her have her own 
way. It always laid on my mind," she said, 
" that I was a slave. When I wan't more 
than fourteen years old, Missis was doing 
some work one day that she thought .she 
could n't trust me with, and she says to me, 
'Milly, now you see it's I that am the 
slave, and not you.' I says to her, ' Ah, 
Missis, I am a poor slave, for all that.' I 's 
sorry afterwards I said it, for I thought it 
seemed to hurt her feelings. 

" Well, after a while, when I got engaged 

to Paul, I loved Paul very much ; but I 

thought it wan't right to bring childi;en 

into the world to be slaves, and I told our 

■ folks that I was never going to marry, 

though I (lid love Paul. But that Avan't to 

be allowed," she said, with a mysterious air. 

" What do you mean 7" said I. 

" Well, they told me I must marry, or I 

should 1)0 turned out of the church — so it 

was," she added, with a significant nod. — 

" \^ ell, Paul and me, we was married, and 



we was happy enough, if it had n't been for 
that ; but when our first child was born I 
says to him, ' Ttere 't is, now, Paul, our 
troubles is begun; this child iyn't ours.' 
And every child I had,- it grew worse and 
worse. ' 0, Paul,' says I, ' what a thing 
it is to have children that is n't ours ! ' Paul 
he says to me, * Milly^ my dear, if they be 
God's children, it an't so much matter 
whether they be ours or no ; they may be 
heirs of the kingdom, Milly, for all that.' 
Well, when Paul's mistress died, she set him 
free, and he got him a little place out about 
fourteen miles from Washington.; and they 
let me live out there with him, and take 
home my tasks ; for they had that confi- 
dence in me that they always know'd that 
what I said I 'd do was as good done as if 
they 'd seen it done. I had mostly sewing ; 
sometimes a shirt to make in a day, — it was 
coarse like, you know, — or a pah' of sheets, 
or some such; but, whatever 't was, I always 
got it done. Then I had all my house-work 
and babies to take care of; and many 's the 
time, after ten o'clock, I 've took my chil- 
dren's clothes and washed 'em all out and 
ironed 'em late in the night, 'cause I 
couldn't never bear to see my children 
dirty, — always wanted to see 'em sweet 
and clean, and I brought 'em up and taught 
'em the very best ways I was able. But 
nobody knows what I suffered ; I never see 
a white man. come on to the place that I 
did n't think, ' There, now, he 's coming to 
look at my children ;' and when I, saw any 
white man going by, I 've called in my 
children and hid 'em, for fear he 'd see 'em 
and want to buy 'em. 0, ma'am, mine 's 
been a long sorrow, a long sorrow ! I 've 
borne this heavy cross a great many years." 

"But," said I, " the Lord has been with 
you." 

She answered, with very strong emphasis, 
" Ma'am, if the Lord had n't held me up. I ^ 
should n't have been alive this day. 0, 
sometimes my heart's been so heavy, it 
seemed as if I must die ; and then I 've 
been to the throne of grace, and when I 'd 
poured out all my sorrows there, I came 
away UglU^ and feltthat I could hvc a little 
longer." 

This language is exactly her own. She 
had often a forcible and peculiarly boautilul 
manner of expressing herself, Avhich im- 
pressed what she said strongly. 

Paul and Milly Edmondson were both 
devout communicants in the Methodist Epis- 
copal Chm-ch at Washington, and the testi- 
mony to their blamelcssness^of hfe and the 



KEY TO UNCLF TOM S CABIN. 



157 



Cotidstence of their piety is unanimous from 
aU who know them. In their simple cot- 
tage, made respectable by neatness and 
order, and hallowed by morning and evening 
prayer, they trained up th«ir children, to 
the best of their poor ability, in the nurture 
and admonition of the Lord, to be sold in 
the slave-market. They thought themselves 
only too happy, as one after another arrived 
at the age when they were to be sold, that 
they were hired to falnilies in their vicinity. 
and not thrown into the trader's pen to be 
drafted for the dreaded southern market ! 

The "mother, feeling, with a constant but 
repressed anguish, the weary burden of 
slavery which lay upon her, was accustomed, 
as she told the writer, thus to warn her 
daughters : 

" Now, girls, don't you never come to the 
sorrows that I have. Don't you never marry 
till you get your liberty. Don't you marry, 
to be mothers to children that anH your 
own." 

As a result of this education, some of her 
older daughters, in connection with the young 
men to whom they were engaged, raised the 
sum necessary to jjay for theu' freedom be- 
fore they were married. One of these young 
women, at the time that she paid for her 
freedom, was in such feeble health that the 
physician told her that she could njot live 
many months, and advised her to keep the 
money, and apply it to making herself as 
comfortable as she could. 

She answered, " If I had only two hours 
to live, I would pay do^vn that money to die 
free." 

If this was setting an extravagant value 
on liberty, it is not for an American to 
say so. 

All the sons and daughters of this fanaily 
were distinguished both for their physical 
and mental developments, and therefore 
were priced exceedingly high in the market. 
The whole family, rated by the market prices 
which ■ have been paid for certain members 
of it, might be estimated as an estate of 
fifteen thousand dollars. They were dis- 
tinguished for intelligence, honesty and 
faithfulness, but above all for the most 
devoted attachment to each other. These 
children, thus intelligent, were all held as 
slaves in the city of Washington, the very 
capital where our national government is 
conducted. Of course, the high estimate 
which their own mother taught them to 
pliwe upon liberty was in the way of being 
constantly strengthened and reinforced by 
such addresses, ct^Iebrations and speeches, 



on the subject of liberty, as every one know? 
are constantly being made, on one occasion or 
another, in our national capital. 

On the 13th day of April, the little 
schooner Pearl, commanded by Daniel 
Drayton, came to anchor in the Potomac 
river, at Washington. 

The news had just arrived of a revolution f 
in France, and the establishment of a demo- 
cratic government, and all Washington was 
turning out to celebrate the triumph of 
■Liberty. 

The trees in the avenue were fancifiilly 
hung with many-colored lanterns, — drums 
beat, bands of music played, the houses of 
the President and other high officials were 
illuminated, and men, women and children, 
were all turned out to see the procession, 
and to join in the shouts of liberty that rent 
the air. Of course, all the slaves of the 
city, lively, fanciful and sympathetic, most 
excitable as they are by music and by daz- 
zling spectacles, were everywhere listening, 
seeing, and rejoicing, in ignorant joy. All 
the heads of department, senators, represent- 
atives,- and dignitaries of all kinds, marched 
in procession to an open space on Penn- 
sylvania Avenue, and there delivered con- 
gratulatory addresses on the progress of 
universal freedom. With unheard-of im- 
prudence, the most earnest defenders of 
slave-holding institutions poured down on 
the listening crowd, both of black and white, 
bond and free, the most inflammatory and 
incendiary sentiments. Such, for example, 
as the following language of Hon. Frederick 
P. Stanton, of Tennessee: 

We do not, indeed, propagate our principles with 
the sword of power ; but there is one sense in 
which we are propagandists. We cannot help 
being so. Our example is contagious. In the 
section of this great country where I live, on the 
banks of the mighty Mississippi river, we have the 
true emblem of the tree of liberty. There ycu 
may see the giant cotton-wood spreading his 
branches widely to the winds of heaven. Some- 
titoes the current lays bare his roots, and you be- 
hold them extending far aroimd, and penetrating 
to an immense depth in the soil. When the sea- 
son of maturity comes, the air is filled with a cot- 
ton-like substance, which floats in every direction, 
bearing on its light wings the living seeds of 
the mighty tree. Thus the seeds of freedom have 
emanated from the tree of our liberties. They fill ^ 
the air. They are wafted to every part of tha 
habitable globe. And even in the ban'en sands 
of tyranny they are destined to take root. The 
tree of liberty will spring up everywhere, and 
nations shall recline in its shade. 

Senator Foote, of Mississippi, also, used 
this language : 
Such has ^ea the extraordinary course of eventa 



158 



KET TO \rSCLE TOM S CABIN. 



in France, and in Europe, within the last tveo 
months, that the more deliberately we surviy the 
ecene which has been spread out befi^>> us, and 
the more rigidly we scrutinize the coiu" ct of its 
actors, the more confident does our conviction be- 
come that the glorious work which has been so 
well begun cannot possibly fail of complete ac- 
complishment ; that the age of tyrants and 
SLAVERY is rapidly drawing to a close ; and that 
the happy period to be signalized by the universal 
emancipation of rnan from the fetters of civil op- 
j>ression, and the recognition in all countries of the 
great principles of popular sovereignty, equality, 
and BKOTHERuooD, is, at this moment, visibly com- 
mencing. 

Will any one be surprised, after this, that 
seventj-seven of the most intelligent young 
slaves, male and female, in Washington city, 
horestly taking Mr. Foote and his brother 
senators at their word, and believing that 
the age of tyrants and slavery was drawing 
to a close, banded together, and made an 
effort to obtain their part in this reig-n of 
universal brotherhood 1 

The schooner Pearl was lying in the 
harbor, and Captain Drayton was found to 
have the heart of a man. Perhaps he. too, had 
listened to the addresses on Pennsylvania 
Avenue, and thought, in the innocence of 
his heart, that a man who really did some- 
thing to promote universal emancipation 
was no worse than the men who only made 
speeches about it. 

At any rate, Drayton was persuaded to 
allow these seventy-seven slaves to secrete 
themselves in the hold of his vessel, and 
among them were six children of Paul and 
Milly Edmondson. The incidents of the rest 
of the narrative will now be given as ob- 
tained from Mary and Emily Edmondson, 
by the lady in whose family they have been 
placed by the writer for an education. 

Some few preliminaries may be necessary, 
in order to understand the account. 

A respectable colored man, by the name 
of .Daniel Bell, who had purchased his own 
freedom, resided in the city of Washington. 
His wife, with her eight children, were set 
free by her master, when on his death-bed. 
The heirs endeavored to break the will, on 
the ground that he was not of sound mind 
at the time of its preparation. The magis- 
trate, however, before whom it was executed, 
■ by his own personal knowledge of the com- 
petence of the man at the time, was cnaJjlcd 
to defeat their purpose ; — the family, there- 
fore, lived as free for some years. On the 
death of this magistrate, the heirs again 
brought the c;use into court, and, as it seemed 
likely to be decided against the family, they 
resolved to secure their legal rights by flight. 



and engaged passage on board the vessel of 
Captain Drayton. Many of their associates 
and friends, stirred up, perhaps, by the recent 
demonstrations in favtw of hberty, begged 
leave to accompany them, in their flight. 
The seeds of the cotton-wood were flying 
everywhere, and springing up in all hearts ; 
so that, on the eventful evening of the 15th 
of April, 1848, not less than seventy-seven 
men, women and children, with beating 
hearts, and anxious secrecy, stowed them- 
selves away in the hold of the little schooner, 
and Captain Drayton was so wicked that' he 
could not, for the life of him, say " Nay " 
to one of them. 

Richard Edmondson had long sought to 
buy his hberty; had toiled for it early and 
late ; but the price set upon him was so 
high that he despaired of ever earning it. 
On this evening, he and his three brothers 
thought, as the reign of universal brother- 
hood had begun, and the reign of tyrants and 
slavery come to an end, that they would take 
to themselves and their sisters that sacred 
gift of hberty, which all Washington had 
been informed, two evenings before, it was 
the peculiar province of America to give to 
all nations. Their two sisters, aged sixteen 
and fourteen, were hii'ed out in families in 
the city. On this evening Samuel Edmond- 
son called at the house where Emily lived, 
and told her of the projected plan. 

"But what will mother think?" said 
Emily. 

" Don't stop to think of her; she would 
rather we 'd be free than to spend time to 
talk about her." 

"Well, then, if Mary will go, I will." 

The airls give as a reason for wishing to 
escape, that though they had never suflored 
hardships or been treated unkindly, yet they 
knew they were liable at any time to be sold 
into rigorous bondage, and separated far from 
all they loved. 

They then all went on board the Pearl, 
which was lying a little way off' from tba 
place where vessels usually anchor. There 
they found a company of slaves, seventy- 
seven in number. 

At twelve o'clock at night the silent 
wings of the little schooner were spread, arid 
with her weight of fear and mystery she 
glided out into the stream. A fresh breeze 
sprang up, and by eleven o'clock ncxt,nigbt <j 
they had sailed two hundred miles fi-om ^ 
Washington, and began to think that hberty 
was gained. They anchored in a place callt^ 
Cornfield Harbor, intending to wait for day- 
hght. All laid down to sleep in peacetul 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



159 



(Security ,* lulled by the gentle rock of the [would do the same." The man turned to a 



bystander and said, " Han't she got good 
3pank7" 

But the most vehement excitement was 

against Drayton and Sayres, the captain and 

mate of the vessel. Ruffia^ns armed with 

dirk-knives and pistols crowded around them, 

infuriated set of armed men. ^In a moment, With the most horrid threats. One of them 



vessel and the rippling of the waters 

But at two o'clock at night they were 
roused by terrible noises on deck, scuffling, 
screaming, swearing and groaning. A 
steamer had pursued and overtaken them, 
and the little schooner was boarded by an 



the captain, mate and all the crew, were seized 
and bound, amid oaths and dreadful threats. 
As they, swearing and yelling, tore open 
the hatches on the defenceless prisoners be- 
low, Richard Edmondson stepped forward, 
and in a calm voice said to them, " Gentle- 
men, do yourselves no harm, for we are all 
here." With this exception, all was still 
among the slaves as despair could make it ; 
not a word was spoken in the whole com- 
pany. The men were all bound and placed 
on board the steamer ; the women were left 
on board the schooner, to be towed after. 

The explanation of their capture was this : 
In the morniu'^ after they had sailed, many 
families in Washington found their slaves 
missing, and the event created as great an 
excitement as the emancipation of France 
had, two days before. At that time they 
had listened in the most complacent manner 
to the announcement that the reign of slavery 
was near its close, because they had not the 
slightest idea that the language meant any- 
thing ; and thty were utterly confounded by 
this practical a[9lication of it. More than 
a hundred men, reountedupon horses, deter- 
mined to push out into the country, in pur- 
suit of these new disciples of the doctrine of 
universal eraanci patioa. Here a colored man, 
by the name of Judson Diggs, betrayed the 
whole plot. He ha^l been provoked, because, 
after having taken a poor woman, with her 
luggage, down to the boat, she was unable to 
pay the twenty-five cenlg that he demanded. 
So he toll these admiiers of universal 
brotherhood that they need not ride into the 
country, as their slaves had sailed down the 
river, and were fir enough off by this time. 
A steamer was immediately manned by two 
hundred armed men, and away they went 
in pursuit. 

When the cortege arrived with the cap- 
tured slaves, there was a most furious ex- 
citement in the city. The men were di-iven 
through the streets bound with ropes, two 
and two. Showers of taunts and jeers rained 
upon them from all sides. One man asked 
one of the girls if she " didn't feel pretty to 
be caught running away," and another asked 
her " if she was n"t sorry." She answered, 
" No, if it was to do again to-morrow, she 



struck so near Drayton as to cut his ear, 
which Emily noticed as bleeding. Mean- 
while there mingled in the crowd multitudes 
of the relatives of the captives, who, looking 
on them as so many doomed victims, bewailed 
and lamented them. A brother-in-law of 
the Edmondsons was so overcome when ho 
saw them that he fainted away and fell down 
in the street, and was carried home insen- 
sible. The sorrowful news spread to the 
cottage of Paul and Milly Edmondson; and. 
knowing that all their children were now 
probably doomed to thd southern market, 
they gave themselves up to sorrow. " ! 
what a day that was ! " said the old mother 
when describing that scene to the writer. 
'• Never a morsel of anything could I put into 
my mouth. * Paul and me we fasted and 
prayed before the Lord, night and day, for 
our poor children." 

The whole public sentiment of the com- 
munity was roused to the most intense in- 
dignation. It was repeated from mouth to 
mouth that they had been kindly treated 
and never abused ; and what could have in- 
duced them to try to get their liberty 7 All 
that Mr. Stanton had said of the insensible 
influence of American institutions, and all 
his pretty similes about the cotton- wood seeds, 
seemed entirely to have escaped the memory 
of the community, and they could see no- 
thing but the most unheard-of depravity in 
the attempt of those people to secure free- 
dom. It was strenuously advised by many 
that their owners should not forgive them, 

— that no mercy should be shown, but that 
they should be thrown into the hands of the 
traders, forthwith, for the southern market, 

— that Siberia of the irresponsible despots 
of America. 

^Vhen all the prisoners were lodged in 
jail, the o^wnei-s came to make oath to their 
property, and the property also was required 
to make oath to tlieir owners. Among them 
came the married sisters of Mary and Emily, 
but were not allowed to enter the prison. 
The girls looked through the iron grates of 
the third-story windows, and saw their sis- 
ters standing below in the yard weeping. 

The guardian of the Edmondsons, who 
acted in the place of the real owner, apparently 



160 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



touclied with their sorrow, promised their 
family and friends, who were anxious to 
purchase them, if possible, that they should 
have an opportunity the next morning. 
Perhai:)S he intended at the time to give 
them one ; but. as Bruin and Hill, the 
keepei's of the large slave wai-ehouse in 
Alexandria, offered him four thousand five 
hundred dollars for the six children, they 
were irrevocably sold before the next morn- 
ing. Bruin would listen to no terms which 
any of their friends could propose. The 
lady with whom Mary had lived offered a 
thousand dollars for her; but Bruin re- 
fused, saying he could get double that 
sum in the New Orleans market. He 
said he had had his eye upon the family for 
twelve years, and had the promise of them 
should they ever be sold. 

While the girls remained in the prison 
they had no beds* or chairs, and only one 
blanket each, though the nights were chilly ; 
but, understanding that the rooms below, 
where their brothers were confined, were 
still colder, and that no blankets were given 
them, they sent their own down to them. 
In the morning they were allowed to go 
down into the yard for a few moments; and 
then they used to run to the window of 
their brothers' room, to bid them good-morn- 
ing, and kiss them through the grate. 

At ten o'clock, Thursday night, the 
brothers were handcuffed, and, with their 
sisters, taken into carriages by their new 
owners, driven to Alexandria, and put into 
a prison called a Georgia Pen. The girls 
were put into a large room alone, in total 
darkness, without bed or blanket, where 
they spent the night in sobs and tears, in 
utter ignorance of their brothers' fate. At 
eight o'clock in the morning they were 
called to breakfast, when, to their great com- 
fort, they found their four brothers all in 
the same prison. 

They remained here about four weeks, 
being usually permitted by day to stay be- 
low with their brothers, and at night to re- 
turn to their own rooms. Their brothers 
had great anxieties about them, fearing they 
would be sold south. Samuel, in particu- 
lar, felt very sadly, as he had been the 
principal actor in getting them away. He 
often said he would gladly die for them, if 
that would save them from the fate he feitred. 
He used to weep a great deal, though he 
endeavored to restrain liis tears in their 
presence. 

While in the slave-prison they were rc- 
<luiro(J to wash for thirteen men, though 



their brothers performed a gi-eat share of 
the labor. Before they left, their size and 
height were measured by their owners. At 
length thej were again taken out, the 
brothers handcuffed, and all put on board a 
steamboat, where were about forty slaves, 
mostly men, and taken to Baltimore. The 
voyage occupied one day and a night. 
When arrived in Baltimore, they were 
thrown into a slave-pen kept by a partner 
of Bruin and Hill. He was a man of 
coarse habits, constantly using the most 
profane language, and grossly obscene and 
insulting in his remarks to women. Here 
they were forbidden to pray together, as 
they had previously been accustomed to do. 
But, by rising very early in the morning, they 
secured to themselves a little interval which 
they could employ, uninterrupted, in this 
manner. They, with four or five other 
women in the prison, used to meet together, 
before daybreak, to spread their sorrows be- 
fore the Refuge of the afflicted ; and in these 
prayers the hard-hearted slave-dealer Avas 
daily remembered. The brothers of Mary 
and Emily were very gentle and tender in 
their treatment of their sisters, which had 
an influence upon other men in their com- 
pany. _ 

At this place they became acquamted 
with Aunt Rachel, a most godly woman, 
about middle age, who had been sold into 
the prison away from her husband. The 
poor husband used ofter. to come to the 
prison and beg the trader to sell her to his 
owners, who he thoughi were willing to pur- 
chase her, if the price was not too high. But 
he was driven off with brutal threats and 
curses. They remained in Baltimore about 
three weeks. 

The friends in Washington, though hither- 
to unsuccessful _ in their efforts to redeem 
the family, were still exerting themselves in 
their behalf; and one evening a message 
was received from them by telegraph, 
statinf' that a person would arrive in the 
morning irain of cars prepared to bargain 
for the taraily, and that a part of the money 
wos now ready. But the trader w:ia in- 
exorable, and in the morning, an hour be- 
fore the cars were to arrive, tliey were all 
put on board the brig Union, ready to sail 
for New Orleans. The messenger came, 
and brought nine hundred dollars in money, 
the gift of a grandson of John Jacob Astor. 
This was finally appropriated to the ransom 
of Richard Edmondson, as his wife and 
children were said to be suffering in Wash- 
ington ; and the trader would not sell the 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



i^ 



girls to them upon any consideration, nor 
would he even suffer Richard to be brought 
back from the brig, which had not yet sailed. 
The bargain was, however, made, and the 
money deposited in Baltimore. 

On this brig the eleve^i women were put 
in one small apartment^ and the thirty or 
forty men in an adjoining one. Emily was 
very sea-sick most of the time, and her 
brothers feared she would die. They used 
to come and carry heP" out on deck and 
back again, buy little comforts for their sis- 
ters, and take all possible care of them. 

Frequently head winds blew them back, 
80 that they made very slow progress ; and 
in their prayer-meetings, which they held 
every night, they used to pray that head 
winds might blow them to New York ; and 
one of the sailors declared that if they 
could get within one hundred miles of New 
York, and the slaves would stand by him, 
he would make way with the captain, and 
pilot them into New York himself. 

When they arrived near Key West, they 
hoisted a signal for a pilot, the captain be- 
ing aware of the dangers of the place, and yet 
not knowing how to avoid them. As the 
pilot-boat approached, the slaves were all 
fastened below, and a heavy canvas thrown 
over the grated hatchway door, which en- 
tirely excluded all circulation of air, and 
almost produced suffocation. The captain 
and pilot had a long talk about the price, 
and some altercation ensued, the captain not 
being willing to give the price demanded by 
the pilot ; during which time there was great 
suffering below. The women became so ex- 
hausted that they were mostly helpless ; and 
the situation of the men was not much bet- 
ter, though they managed with . a stick to 
break some holes through the canvas on 
their side, so as to let in a little air, but a 
few only of the strongest could get there to 
enjoy it. Some of them shouted for help 
as long as their strength would permit ; and 
at length, after what seemed to them an 
almost interminable interview, the pilot left, 
refusing to assist them ; the canvas was re- 
moved, and the brig obliged to turn tack, 
and take another course. Then, one after 
another, as they got air and strength, crawled 
out on deck. Mary and Emily were carried 
out by their brothers as soon as they were 
able to do it. 

Soon after this the stock of provisions 
ran low, and the water failed, so that the 
slaves were restricted to a gill a day. The 
sailors were allowed a quart each, and often 
gave a pint of it to one of the Edmondsons 
for their sisters ; and they divided it with 



the other women, as they always did every 
nice thing they got in such ways. 

The day they arrived at the mouth of the 
Mississippi a terrible storm arose, and the 
waves rolled mountain high, so that, when 
the pilot- boat approached, it would sometimes 
seem to be entirely swallowed by the waves 
and again it would emerge, and again ap- 
pear wholly buried. At length they were 
towed into and up the river by a steamer, 
and there, for the first time, saw cotton 
plantations, and gangs of slaves at work on 
them. 

They arrived at New Orleans in the night, 
and about ten the next day were landed and 
marched to what they called the show-rooms, 
and, going out into the yard, saw a great 
many men and women sitting around, with 
such sad faces that Emily soon began to cry, 
upon which an overseer stepped up and 
struck her on the chin, and bade her " stop 
crying, or he would give her something to 
cry about." Then pointing, he told her 
' ' there was the calaboose, where they 
whipped those who did not behave them- 
selves ! " As soon as he turned away, a 
slave- woman came and told her to look cheer- 
ful, if she possibly could, as it would be far 
better for her. One of her brothers soon 
came to inquire what the woman had been 
saying to her; and when informed, en- 
couraged Emily to follow the advice, and 
endeavored to profit by it himself. 

That night all the four brothers had their 
hair cut close, their mustaches shaved off, 
and their usual clothino; exchanged for a 
blue jacket and pants, all of which so 
altered their appearance that at first their 
sisters did not know them. Then, for three 
successive days, they were all obliged to stand 
in an open porch fronting the street, for 
passers by to look at, except, when one was 
tired out, she might go in for a little time, 
and another take her place. Whenever 
buyers called, they were paraded in the auc- 
tion-room in rows, exposed to coarse jokes 
and taunts. When any one took a liking 
to any girl in the company, he would call 
her to him, take hold of her, open her 
mouth, look at her teeth, and handle hei 
person rudely, frequently making obscene 
remarks.; and she must stand and bear it^ 
without resistance. Mary and Emily com 
plained to their brothers that they could not 
submit to such treatment. They conversed 
about it with Wilson, a partner of Bruin 
and Hill, who had the charge of the slaves 
at this prison. After this they were treated 
with more decency. 

Another brother of the girls, named Ham- 



162 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



ilton, had been a slave in or near New Or- 
leans for sixteen years, and had j ust purchased 
his own freedom for one thousand dollars ; 
having once before eai'ned that sum for him- 
self, and then had it taken from him. Rich- 
ard being now really free, as the money was 
deposited in Baltimore for his ransom, found 
him out the next day after their arrival at 
New Orleans, and brought him to the prison 
to see his brothers and sisters. The meet- 
ing was overpoweringly affecting. 

He had never before seen his sister Emily, 
as he had been sold away from his parents 
before her birth. 

The girls' lodging-room was occupied at 
night by about twenty or thirty women, who 
all slept on the bare floor, with only a blan- 
ket each. After a few days, word was re- 
ceived (which was really i7icorreci), that 
half the money had been raiised for the 
redemption of Mary and Emily. After 
this they were allowed, upon their broth- 
ers' earnest request, to go to their free 
brother's house and spend their nights, 
and return in the mornings, as they had 
suffered greatly from the mosquitos and 
other insects, and their feet were swollen and 
sore. 

While at this prison, some horrible cases 
of cruelty came to their knowledge, and 
some of them under their own observation. 
Two persons, one woman and one boy, were 
whipped to death in the prison while they 
were there, though they were not in the 
same pen, or owned by the same trader, as 
themselves. 

None of the slaves were allowed to sleep 
in the day-time, and sometimes little children 
sitting- or standing idle all day would become 
so sleepy as not to be able to hold up their 
eyelids ; but, if they wore caught thus by the 
oveiseer, they were cruelly beaten. Mary 
and Emily used to watch the little ones, and 
let them sleep until they heard the over- 
seers coming, and then spring and rouse 
them in a moment. 

One young woman, who had been sold by 
the traders for the worst of purposes, was 
returned, not being fortunate (?) enough to 
Buit her purchaser ; amd^ as is their custom 
in such cases, was most cl'uclly flogged, — so 
much so that some of her flesh mortified, and 
her life was despaired of "Wlien Mary and 
Emily first arrived at New Orleans they saw 
and conversed with her. She was then just 
beginning to sit up ; was quite small, and 
very fine-looking, with beautiful straight 
hair, which was formerly long, but had been 
cut off short by her brutal tormentors. 



The overseer who flogged her said, in thefr 
hearing, that he would never flog another 
girl in that way — it was too much for any 
one to bear. They suggest that perhaps 
the reason why he promised this was be- 
cause he was obliged to be her nurse, and 
of course saw her sufferings. She was from 
Alexandria, but they have forgotten her 
name. 

One young man and woman of their com- 
pany in the prison, who were engaged to be 
married, and were sold to differe'ut owners, 
felt so distressed at their separation that 
they could not or did not labor well ; and 
the young man was soon sent back, with 
the complaint that he would not answer the 
purpose. Of course, the money was to be 
refunded, and he flogged. He was con- 
demned to be flogged each night for a week; 
and, after about two hundred lashes by the 
overseer, each one of the male slaves in the 
prison was required to come and lay on five 
lashes with all his strength, upon penalty of 
being flogged himself The young woman, 
too, was soon sent there, with a note from her 
new mistress, requesting that she might be 
whipped a certain number of lashes, and 
enclosing the money to pay for it; which 
request was readily complied with. 

While in New Orleans they saw gangs of 
women cleaning the streets, chained to- 
gether, some with a heavy iron ball attached 
to the chain ; a form of punishment fre- 
quently resorted to for household servants 
who had displeased their mistresses. 

Hamilton Edmondson, the brother who 
had purchased liis own freedom, made great 
efforts to get good homes for his brothei-s 
and sisters in New Orleans, so that they 
need not be far separated from each other. 
One day, Mr. Wilson, the overseer, took 
Samuel away Avith him in a carriage, and 
returned without him. The brothers and 
sisters soon found that he was sold, and 
gone they knew not whither ; but they were 
not allowed to weep, or even look sad, upon 
pain of severe punishment. The next day, 
however, to their great joy, he came to the 
prison himself, and told them he had a good 
home in the city with an Englishman, who 
had paid a thousand dollars for him. 

After remaining about three weeks in this 
prison, the Edmondsons were told that, in 
consequence of the prevalence of the yellow 
fever in the city, together with the- fact of 
their not being acclimated, it was deemed 
dangerous for th(?m to remain there longer ; 
— and, besides this, purchasci-s were loth to 
give good prices under these circumstaiiccs. 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



163 



Some of the slaves in tlie pen were already 
sick ; some of them old, poor or dirty, and 
for these reasons greatly exposed to sickness. 
Richard Edmondson had already been ran- 
somed, and ^must be sent kick ; -tinfily upon 
the whole, it was thought best to fit^ut and 
eend off a gang to Baltimore, vrithout delay. 

The Edmondsons received these tidings 
with joyful hearts, for they had not "^ yet 
been undeceived with regard to the raising 
of the money for their ransom. Their 
brother who was free procured for them 
many comforts for the voyage, such as a 
mattress, blankets, sheets and different kinds 
of food and drink ; and, accompanied to the 
vessel by their friends there, they embarked 
on the brig Union just at night, and were 
towed out of the river. The brig had 
nearly a full cargo of cotton, molasses, sugar, 
&e., and, of course, the space for the slaves 
was exceedingly limited. The place allotted 
the females was a little close, filthy room, 
perhaps eight or ten feet square, filled with 
cotton within two or three ieet of the top of 
the room, except the space directly under the 
hatchway door. Richard Edmondson kept 
his sisters upon deck with him, though with- 
out a shelter; prepared their food himself, 
made up their bed at night on the top of bar- 
rels, or wherever he could find a place, and 
then slept by their side. Sometimes a storm 
would arise in the middle of the night, when 
he would spring up and wake them, and, 
gathering up their bed and bedding, conduct 
them to a little kind of a pantry, where they 
could all three just stand, till the storm 
passed away. Sometimes he contrived to 
nwike a temporary shelter for them out of 
bits of boards, or something else on deck. 

After a voyage of sixteen days, they 
arrived at Baltimore, fully expecting that 
their days of slavery wore numbered. Here 
they were conducted back to the same old 
prison from which they had been taken a 
fe.AV weeks before, though they supposed it 
would be but,for an hour or two. Presently 
Mr. Bigelow, of Washington, came for 
Richard. When the girls found that they 
were not to be set free too, their grief and 
disappointment were unspeakable. But 
they were separated. — Richard to go to 
his home, his wife and children, and they 
to remain in the slave-prison. Wearisome 
days and nights again rolled on. In the 
mornings they were obliged to march round 
the yard to the music of fiddles, banjoes, kc. ; 
in the day-time they washed and ironed for 
the male slaves, slept some, and wept a great 
deal. After a few weeks their father came 
to visit them, accomp.iiiiuil by their sisicr 



His object was partly to ascertain what 
were the very lowest terms upon which their 
keeper would sell the girls, as he indulged 
a faint hope that in some way or other the 
money might be I'aised, if time enough were 
allowed. The trader declared he should 
soon send them to some other slave-market, 
but he would wait tAvo weeks, and, if the 
friends could raise the money in that time, 
they might have them. 

The night their father and sister spent in 
the prison with them, lie lay in the room 
over their heads ; and they could hear him 
groan all night, while their sister was weep- 
ing by their side. None of them closed 
their eyes in sleep. 

In the morning came again the wearisome 
routine of the slave-prison. Old Paul 
walked quietly into the yard, and sat down 
to see the poor slaves marched around. He 
had never seen his daughters in such cir- 
cumstances before, and his feelings quite 
overcame him. The yard was narrow, and 
the girls, as they walked by him, almost 
brushing him with their clothes, could just 
hear him groaning within himself, "0. my 
children, my children ! " 

After the breakfast, which none of them 
were ^able to eat, they parted with sad 
hearts, the father begging the keeper to send 
them to New Orleans, if the money could 
not be raised, as perhaps their brothers there 
might secure for them kind masters. 

Two or three weeks afterwards Bruin k 
Hill visited the prison, dissolved partnership 
with the trader, settled accounts, and took the 
Edmondsons again in then- own possession. 

The girls were roused about eleven o'clock 
at night, after they had fallen asleep, and 
told to get up directly, and prepare for going 
home. They had learned that the word of 
a slave-holder is not to be trusted, and feared 
they -were going to be sent to Richmond, 
Virginia, as there had been talk of it. They 
were soon on their way in the cars with 
Bruin, and arrived at Washington at a little 
past midnight. 

Their hearts throbbed high when, after 
these long months of weary captivity, they 
found themselves once more in the city 
where were their brothers, sigters and pa- 
rents. But they were permitted to see none 
of them, and were put into a carriage and* 
driven immediately to the slave-prison at 
Alexandria, where, about two o'clock at 
night, they found themselves in the same for- 
lorn old room in which they had begun their 
term of captivity ! 

This was the latter part of August. Agaiu 
they weie employed in washing ixuiimg and 



164 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIIT. 



sewing by day, and always locked up by 
niii-ht Sometimes they were allowed to 
sew m Bruin's house, and even to eat there. 
After they had been in Alexandria two or 
three weeks, their eldest married sister, not 
having heard from them for some time, came 
to see Bruin, to learu, if possible, something 
of their fate ; and her surprise and joy were 
great to see them once more, even there. 
After a few weeks their old father came again 
to see them. Hopeless as the idea of their 
emancipation seemed, he still clung to it. He 
had had some encouragement of assistance in 
Washington, and he purposed to go North 
to see if anything could be done thexj^^ and 
he was anxious to obtain from Bruin \vhat 
were the very lowest possible terms for which 
he would sell the girls. Bruin drew up his 
terms in the following document, which we 
subjoin: 

Alexandria, Va., Sept. 5, 1848. 

The bearer, Paul Edmondson, is the father of 
two girls, Mary Jane and Emily Catharine Ed- 
mondson. These ^irls have been purchased by 
us, and once sent fo the south ; and, upon the 
positive assurance that the money for them would 
be raised if they were brought back, they were 
returned. Nothing, it appears, has as yet been 
done in this respect by those who promised, and 
we are on the very eve of sending them south the 
second time ; and we are candid in saying that, if 
they go again, we will not regard any promises 
made in relation to them. The father wishes to 
raise money to pay for them ; and intends to ap- 
peal to the liberality of the humane and the good 
to aid him, and has requested us to state in writ- 
ing the conditioiis upon which we will sell his 
daughters. 

We expect to start our servants to the south in 
a few days ; if the sum of twelve hundred ($1200) 
dollars be raised and paid to us in fifteen days, or 
we be assured of that sum, then we will retain 
them fbr twenty-five days more, to give an oppor- 
tunity for the raising of the other thousand and 
fifty ($1050) dollars ; otherwise we shall be com- 
pelled to send them along with our other servants. 

Bruin & Hill. 

Paul took his papers, and parted from his 
/daughters sorrowfully. After this, the time 
to the girls dragged on in heavy suspense. 
Constantly they looked for letter or message, 
and prayed to God to raise them up a de- 
liverer from some quarter. But day after 
day and week after week passed, and the 
dreaded time drew near. The preliminaries 
for fitting up the gang for South Carolina 
commenced. Gay calico was bought for them 
to make up into "show dresses," in which 
they were to be exhibited on sale. They 
made them up with fiir sadder feelings than 
they would have sewed on their own shrouds. 
Hope had almost died out of their bosoms. 
A few days before the gang were to be sent 



off, their sister made them a sad farewell risit. 
They mingled their prayers and tears, and 
the girls made up little tokens of remem- 
brance to send by her as parting gifts to 
their brothers and sisters and aged father 
and mother, and with a farewell sadder than 
that of a death-bed the sisters parted. 

The evening before the coffle was to start 
drew on. Mary and Emily went to the 
house to bid Bruin's family good-by. Bruin 
had a little daughter who had been a pet and 
favorite with the girls. She clung round 
them, cried, and begged them not to go. 
Emily told her that, if she wished to have 
them stay, she must go and ask her father. 
Away ran the little pleader, full of her 
errand ; and was so very eainest in her im-^ 
portunities, that he, to pacify her, said he 
would consent to their remaining, if his part- 
ner, Captain Hill, would do so. At this 
time Bruin, bearing Mary crying aloud in 
the prison, went up to see her. AVith all the 
earnestness of despair, she made her last ap- 
peal to his feelings. She begged him to 
make the case his own, to think of his own 
dear little daughter, — what if she were ex- 
posed to be torn away from every friend on 
earth, and cut off from all hope of redemption, 
at the very moment, too, when deliverance was 
expected ! Bruin was not absolutely a man 
of stone, and this agonizing appeal brought 
tears to his eyes. He gave some encourage- 
ment that, if Hill would consent, they need 
not be sent off with the gang. A sleepless 
night followed, spent in weeping, groaning 
and prayer. Morning at last dawned, and, 
according to orders received the day before, 
they prepared themselves to go, and even 
put on their bonriets and shawls, and stood 
ready for the word to be given. "When the 
very last tear of hope was shed, and they 
were going out to join the gitng. Bruin's 
heart relented. He called them to him, and 
told them they might remain ! 0, how glad 
were their hearts made by this, as they might 
now hope on a little longer! Either the 
entreaties of little Martha or Mary's plea 
with Bruin had prevailed. 

Soon the gang was started on foot, — men, 
women and children, two and two, the men 
all handcuffed t02;ether, the ri";ht wrist of 
one to the left wrist of the other, and a chain 
passing through the middle from the hand- 
cuffs of one couple to those of the next. The 
women and children walked in the same 
manner throughout, handcuffed or chained. 
Drivers went before and at the side, to take 
up those who were sick or lame. They were 
obliged to set off sing-ing ! accompanied 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



165 



witli fiddles and banjoes ! — " For they that 
carried us away captive required of us a 
son^, and they that wasted us require^ 
of us mirthy And this is a scene of dai*y 
occurrence in a Christian country ! — and 
Christian ministers saj that the right to do 
these things is given by God himself ! ! 

Meanwhile poor old Paul Edmondson went 
northwaixl to supplicate aid. Any one who 
should have travelled in the cars at that 
time might have seen a venerable-looking 
black man, all whose air and attitude indi- 
cated a patient humility, and who seemed to 
carry a weight of overwhelming sorrow, like 
one who had long been acquainted with grief. 
That man was Paul Edmondson. 

Alone, friendless, unknown, and, worst of 
all, black, he came into the great bustling 
city of New York, to see if there was any 
one there who could give him twenty-five 
hundretl dollars to buy his daughters with. 
Can anybody realize what a poor man's feel- 
ings are, who visits a great, bustling, rich 
city, alone and unknown, for such an ob- 
ject! The writer has now, in a letter 
from a slave father and husband who was 
visiting Portland on a similar errand, a 
touching expression of it : 

I walked all day, till I was tired and discouraged. 

O ! Mrs. S , when I see so many people who 

Beeiu to have so many more things than they want 
or know what to do with, and then think that I 
have worked hard, till I am past forty, all my life, 
and don't own even my own wife and children, it 
makes me feel sick and discouraged ! 

So sick at heart and discouraged 'felt 
Paul Edmondson. He went to the Anti- 
Slavery Office, and made his case known. 
The sum was such a large one, and seemed to 
many so exorbitant, that, though they pitied 
the poor father, they were disheai'tened 
about i-aising ic. They wrote to Washing- 
ton to authenticate the particulars of the 
story, and wrote to Bruin and Hill to see 
if there could be any reduction of price. 
Meanwhile, the poor old man looked sadly 
from one adviser to another. He was re- 
commended to go to the Rev. H. W. Beecher, 
and tell his story. He inquired his way to 
his door, — ascended the steps to ring the 
door-bell, but his heart failed him, — he sat 
down on the steps weeping ! 

There Mr. Beecher found him. He took 
him in, and inquired his story. There was 
to be a public meeting that night, to raise 
money. The hapless father begged him to 
go and plead for his children. He did go, 
and spoke as if he were pleading for his own 
feiher and sisters. Otiuir clergymen fol- 



lowed in the same strain, — the meeting be- 
came enthusiastic, and the money was raised 
on the spot, and poor old Paul laid his head 
that night on a grateful pillow, — not to 
sleep, but to give thanks ! 

Meanwhile the gifls had been dragging 
on anxious days in the slave-prison. They 
were employed in sewing for Bruin's family, 
staying sometimes in tlw prison and some- 
times in the house. 

It is to be stated here that Mr. Bruin is 
a man of very difierent character from many 
in his trade. He is such a man as never 
would have been found in the profession of 
a slave-trader, had not the most respectable 
and religious part of the community defended 
the right to buy and sell, as being conferred 
by God himself. It is a fact, with regard to 
this man, that he was one of the earliest sub- 
scribers to the National Era, in the District 
of Columbia ; and, when a certain individual 
there brought himself into great peril by as- 
sisting fugitive slaves, and there was no one 
found to go bail for him, Mr. Bruin came 
forward and performed this kindness. 

While we abhor the horrible system and 
the horrible trade with our whole soul, there 
is no harm, we suppose, in wishing that such 
a man had a better occupation. Yet we can- 
not forbear reminding all such that, when 
we come to give our account at the judg- 
ment-seat of Christ, every man must speak 
for himself alone ; and that Christ will 
not accept as an apology for sin the word of 
all the ministers and all the synods in the 
country. He has given fair warning, '' Be- 
ware of false prophets ; " and if people will 
not beware of them, their blood is upon their 
own heads. . 

The girls, while under Mr. Bruin's care, 
were treated with as much kindness and con- 
sideration as could possibly consist with the 
design of selling them. There is no doubt 
that Bruin was personally friendly to them, 
and really wished most earnestly that they 
might be ransomed ; but then he did not see 
how he was to lose two thousand five hun- 
dred dollars. He had just the same dif- 
ficulty on this subject that some New Y^ork 
members of churches have had, when they 
have had slaves brought into their hands as 
security for Southern debts. He was sorry 
for them, and wished them well, and hoped 
Providence would provide for them when 
they were sold, but still he could not afibrd 
to lose his money ; and while such men re- 
main elders and communicants in churches 
in New York, we must not be surprised that 
there remain slave-trader's in Alexandria. 



166 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



It is one great art of the enemy of souls 
to lead men to compound for their partici- 
pation in one branch of sin bj their right- 
eous horror of another. The slave-trader 
has been the general scape-goat on whom all 
parties have vented thei§ indignation, while 
buying of him and selling to him. 

There is an awful warning given in the 
fiftieth Psalm to those who in word have 
professed religion and in deed consented to 
iniquity, where from the judgment-seat 
Christ is represented as thus addressing 
them : " What hast thou to do to declare my 
statutes, or that thou shouldst take my cove- 
nant into thy mouth, seeing thou hatest in- 
struction, and castest my words behind 
thee 7 When thou sawest a thief, then thou 
consentedst with him, and hast been par- 
taker with adulterers." 

One thing is certain, that all who do these 
things, openly or secretly, must, at last, 
make up their account with a Judge who 
is no respecter of persons, and who will just 
as soon condemn an elder in the church for 
slave-trading as a professed trader ; nay. He 
may make it more tolejhble for the Sodom 
and Gomorrah of the trao^. than for them, — 
for it may be, if the trader had the means of 
grace that they have had, that he would have 
repented long ago. 

But to return to our history. — The girls 
were sitting sewing near the open window 
of -their cage, when Emily said to Mary, 
" There, Mary, is that white man we have 
seen from the North. ' ' They both looked, and 
in a moment more saw their own dear father. 
They sprang and ran through the house and 
the office, and into the street, shouting as 
they ran, followed by Bruin, who said he 
thought the girls were crazy. In a moment 
they were in their fvther's arms, but ob- 
served that he trembled exceedingly, and 
that his voice was unsteady. They eagerly 
in( quired if the money was raised for their 
ransom. ^ Afraid of exciting their hopes too 
soon, before their free papers were signed, 
he said he would talk with them soon, and 
went into the office with Mr. Bruin and Mr. 
Chaplin. Mr. Bruin professed himself sin- 
cerely glad, as undoubtedly he was, that they 
had brought the money ; but seemed much 
hurt by the manner in which he had been 
spoken of by the Ilev. H. W. Beecher at the 
liberation meeting in New York, thinking 
it hard that no difference should be made 
between him and other traders, when he had 
shown himself so much more considerate and 
huraijne than the great bo<ly of them. He, 
however, counted over the money and signed 



the papers with great good will, taking out 
a five-dollar gold piece for each of the girls, 
as a parting present. 

The affair took longer than they supposed, 
and the time seemed an age to the poor girls, 
who were anxiously walking up and down 
outside the room, in ignorance of their fate. 
Could their father have brought the money '? 
Why did he tremble so? Could he have 
failed of the money, at last 7 Or could it be 
that their dear mother was dead, for they 
had heard that she was very ill ! 

At length a messenger came shouting to 
them, " You are free, you are free! " Emily 
thinks she sprang nearly to the ceiling over- 
head. They jumped, clapped their handa, 
laughed and shouted aloud. Soon their 
father came to them, embraced them tenderly 
and attempted to quiet them, and told them 
to prepare them to go and see their mother. 
This they did they know not how, but with 
considerable help fi-om the family, who al5 
seemed to rejoice in their joy. Their father 
procured a carriage to take them to the 
wharf, and, with joy overflowing all bounds, 
they bade a most affectionate farewell to 
each member of the family, not even omit- 
ting Bruin himself The "good that thero 
is in human nature " for once had the up- 
per hand, and all were moved to tears of 
sympathetic joy. Their father, with sub- 
dued tenderness, made great efforts to soothe 
their tumultuous feelings, ' and at length par- 
tially succeeded. When they arrived at 
Washington, a carriage was ready to take 
them to their sister's house. People of every 
rank and description came running together 
to get a sight of them. Their brothers 
caught them up in their arms, and ran 
about with them, almost frantic with joy. 
Their aged and venerated mother, raised up 
from a sick bed by the stimulus of the glad 
news, was there, Aveeping and giving thanks 
to God. Refreshments were prepared in 
their sister's house for all who called, and 
amid greetings and rejoicings, tears and 
gladness, prayers and thanksgivings, but 
without sleep, the night passed away, and- 
the morning of November 4, 1848, dawned 
upon them free and happy. 

This last spring, during the month of 
May, as t^c writer has already intimated, 
the aged mother of the Edmondson family 
came on to New York, and the reason of 
her coming may bo thus briefly explained. 
She had still one other daughter, the guide 
and support of her feeble age, or, as she calls 
her in her own expressive language, " the 
last drop of blood in her heart." She had 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM's CABIN. 



167 



also a son, twenty-one years of age, still a 
slave on a neighboiing plantation. The in- 
firm woman in whose name the estate was 
held was supposed to be drawing 'near to 
death, and the poor parents were distressed 
with the fear that, in case of this event, their 
two remaining children would be sold for 
the purpose of dividing the estate, and thus 
thrown into the dreaded southern market. 
No one can realize what a constant horror 
the slave-prisons and the slave-traders are 
to all the unfortunate families in the vicinity. 
Everything for which other parents look 
on their childr'^n with pleasure and pride is 
to these poor souls a source of anxiety and 
dismay, Ijecause it renders the child so much 
more a merchantable article. 

It is no wonder, therefore, that the light 
in Paul and Milly's cottage was overshad- 
owed by this terrible idea. 

The guardians of these children had given 
their father a written promise to sell them 
to him for a certain sum, and by hard beg- 
ging he had acquired a hundred dollars tow- 
ards the twelve hundred which were neces- 
sary. But he was now confined to his bed 
with sickness. After pouring out earnest 
prayers to the Helper of the helpless, Milly 
says, one day she said to Paul, " I tell ye, 
Paul, I 'm going up to New York myself, 
to see if I can't get that money." 

" Paul says tome, ' Why, Milly dear, how 
can you ? Ye an't fit to be off the bed, and 
ye 's never in the cars in your life.' 

" ' Never you fear, Paul,' says I; 'I shall 
go trusting in the Lord ; and the Lord, 
He '11 take me, and He '11 bring me, — that I 
know.' 

" So I went to the cars and got a white 
man to put me aboard ; and, sure enough, 
there I found two Bethel ministers ; and 
one set one side o' me, and one set the other, 
all the way ; and they got me my tickets, 
and looked after my things, and did every 
thing for me. There did n't anything hap- 
pen to me all the way. Sometimes, when I 
went to set down in the sitting'-rooms, peo- 
ple looked at me and moved off so scornful ! 
^Vell, I thought, I wish the Lord would give 
you a better mind." 

Emily and Mary, who had been at school 
in New York State, came to the city to 
meet their mother, and they brought her 
directly to the Rev. Henry W. Beecher's 
house, where the writer then was. 

The writer remembers now the scene 
when she first met this mother and daugh- 
ters. It must be recollected that they had 
ttot seen each other before for four years. 



One was sitting each side the mother, hold- 
ing her hand ; and the air of pride and filial 
affection with which they presented her was 
touching to behold. After being presented 
to the writer, she again sat down between 
them, took a hand of each, and looked very 
earnestly first on one and then on tlic other ; 
and then, looking up, said, with a smile, 
" 0, these children, — how they do lie round 
our hearts ! " 

She then explained to the writer all her 
sorrows and anxieties for the younger chil- 
dren. "Now, madam," she says, "that 
man that keeps the great trading-house at 
Alexandi'ia, that ma/i," she said, with a 
strong, indignant expression, "has sent to 
know if there 's any more of my children to 
be sold. That man said he wanted to see 
me ! Yes, ma'am, he said he 'd give twenty 
dollars to see me. I would n't see him, if 
he 'd give me a hundred! He sent for me 
to come and see him, when he had my daugh- 
ters in his prison. I would n't go to see 
him, — I did n't want to see them there ! " 

The two daughters, Emily and INIary, 
here became very muoli excited, and broke 
out in some very natural but bitter language 
against all slave-holders. " Hush, children ! 
you must forgive your enemies," she said. 
" But they 're so wicked ! " said the girls. 
" Ah, children, you must hate the sin, but 
love the si?ine?\" "Weil," said one of 
the girls, " mother, if I was taken again 
and made a slave of, I 'd kill myself" " I 
trust not, child, — that would be wicked." 
" But, mother, I should ; I know I never 
could bear it." " Bear it. my child?" she 
answered, " it 's they that bears the sorrow 
here is they that has the glories there." 

There was a deep, indescribable pathos of 
voice and manner as she said these words, 

— a solemnity and force, and yet a sweet- 
ness, that can never be forgotten. 

This poor slave-mother, whose whole hfe 
had been one long outrage on her holiest 
feelings, — who had been kept from the 
power to read God's Word, whose whole 
pilgrimage had been made one day of sor- 
row by the injustice of a Christian nation, 

— she had yet learned to solve the highest 
problem of Christian ethics, and to do what 
so few reformers can do, — hate the sin, but 
love the simiei' ! 

A great deal of interest was excited 
among the ladies in Brooklyn by this his- 
tory. Several large meetings were held in 
different parlors, in which the old mother re- 
lated her history with great simphcity and 
pathos, and a subscription for the re- 



168 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S' CABIN. 



demption of the remaining two of her 
family was soon on foot. It may be in- 
teresting to know that the subscription list 
was headed by the lovely and benevolent 
Jenny Lind Goldschmidt. 

Some of the ladies who listened to this 
touching story were so much interested in 
Mrs. Edmondson personally, they wished to 
have her daguerreotype taken ; both that 
they might be strengthened and refreshed 
by the sight of her placid countenance, and 
that they might see the beauty of true good- 
ness beaming there. 

She accordingly went to the rooms with 
them, with all the simplicity of a little child. 
" 0," said she, to one of the ladies, "you 
can't think how happy it 's made me to get 
here, where everybody is so kind to me ! 
Why, last night, when I went home, I was so 
happy I could n't sleep. I had to go and 
tell my Saviour, over and over again, how 
happy I was." 

A lady spoke to her about reading some- 
thing. " Law bless you, honey ! I can't 
read a letter." 

" Then," said another lady, "how have 
you learned so much of God, and heavenly 
things?" 

" Well, 'pears like a gift from above." 

" Can you have the Bible read to you ?" 

" Why, yes ; Paul, he reads a little, but 
then he has so much work all day, and 
when he gets home at night he's so tired ! 
and his eyes is bad. But then the Sperit 
teaches us." 

" Do you go much to meeting?" 

" Not much now, we live so far. In 
winter I can't never. But, ! what meet- 
ings I have had, alone in the corner, — my 
Saviour and only me!" The smile with 
which these words were spoken was a thing 
to b6 remembered. A little girl, daughter 
of one of the ladies, made some rather 
severe remarks about somebody in the da- 
guerreotype rooms, and her mother checked 
her. 

The old lady looked up, with her placid 
smile. " That puts me in mind," she said, 
" of what I heard a preacher say once. 
' My friends,' says he, ' if you know of any- 
thing that will make a brother's heart glad, 
run qnlck and tell it ; but if it is some- 
thing tliat will only cause a sigh, ' bottle it 
up, bottle it up ! ' 0, I often tell my cliil- 
dren, ' Bottle it up, bottle it up ! '" " 

When the writer came to part with the 
old lady, she said to her : " Well, good-by, 
my dear friend; remember and pray for 
me." 



"Pray for youf^'she said, earnestly. 
" Indeed I shall,— I can't help it." She 
then, raising her finger, said, in an emphatic 
tone, peculiar to the old of her race, " Tell 
you what ! we never gets no good bread 
ourselves till we begins to ask for our 
brethren.'''' 

The writer takes this opportunity to in- 
form all those friends, in different parts of 
the country, who generously contributed for 
the redemption of these children, that they 
are at last free ! 

The following extract from the letter 
of a lady in Washington may be interesting 
to them : 

I have seen the Edmondson parents, — Paul and 
his wife Milly. I have seen the free Edmond- 
sons, — mother, son, and daughter, — the very day 
after the great era oi free life commenced, while 
yet the inspiration was on them, while the 
mother's face was all light and love, the father's 
eyes moistened and glistening with tears, the 
son calm in conscious manhood and responsibility, 
the daughter (not more tha'n fifteen years old, 
I think) smiling a delightful appreciation of joy 
in the present and hope in the future, thus sud- 
denly and completely unfolded. 

Thus have we finished the account of on* 
of the families who were taken on board th? 
Pearl. We have another history to give, 
to which we cannot promise so fortunate a 
termination. 



CHAPTER yn. 



Among those unfortunates guilty of lov- 
ing freedom too well, was a be;iutiful young 
quadroon girl, named Emily Russell, whose 
mother is now living in New York. The 
writer has seen and conversed with her. She 
is a pious woman, highly esteemed and re- 
spected, a member of a Christian cliurch. 

By the avails of her own industry she pur- 
chased her freedom, and also redeemed from 
bondage some of her children. Emily was a 
resident of Washington, D. C, a place which 
belongs not to any state, but to the United 
States ; and there, under the laws of the 
United States, she was held as a slave. She 
was of a gentle disposition and amiable man- 
ners ; she had been early touched with a sense 
of religious things, and was on the very 
point of uniting herself with a Christian 
church ; but her heart yearned after her 
widowed mother and after freedom, ami so, 
on the fatal night when all the other poor 
victims sought the Pearl, the child Emily 
went also among them. 

How they were taken has already been 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN; 



169 



told. The sin of the poor girl was inexpiable. 
Because she longed for her mother's arms 
and for liberty, she could not be forgiven. 
Nothing would do for such a sin, but to throw 
her into the hands of the trader. She also 
was thrown into Bruin & Hill's jail, in 
Alexandi'ia. Her poor mother in New York 
received the following letter from her. Read 
it, Christian mother, and think what if your 
daughter had written it to you ! 

To Mrs. N.VXCV Cartwhight, New York. 

Alexandria, Jan. 22, 1850. 
My Dear ^Mother : I take this opportunity 
of writing you a few lines, to inform you that I 
am in Bruin' s Jail, and Aunt Sally and all of her 
children, and Aunt Uagar and all her children, 
and grandmother is almost crazy. My dear moth- 
er, will you please to come on as soon as you 
can? I expect to go away very shortly. 0, 
mother ! my dear mother ! come now and see your 
distressed and heart-broken daughter once more. 
Mother ! my dear mother ! do not forsake me, for 
I feel desolate ! Please to come now. 
Your daughter, 

Emily Russell. 

P, S. — If you do not come as far as Alexandria, 
come to Washington, and do what you can. 

That letter, blotted and tear-soiled, was 
brought by this poor washerwoman to some 
Christian friends in New York, and shown 
to them. " What do you suppose they will 
ask for her? " was her question. All that 
she had, — her little house, her little furni- 
ture, her small earnings, — all these poor 
Nancy was willing to throw in ; but all these 
were but as a drop to the bucket. 

The first thing to be done, then, was to 
ascertain what Emily could be redeemed for ; 
and, as it may be an interesting item of 
American trade, we give the reply of the 
traders in full : 

Alexandria, Jan. 31, 1850. 
Dear Sir : "When I received your letter I had 
not bought the negroes you spoke of, but since 
that time I have bought them. All I have to say 
about the matter is, that we paid very high for the 
negroes, and cannot afford to sell the girl Emily 
for less than EIGHTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS. 
This may seem a high price to you, but, cotton be- 
ing very high, consequently slaves are high. We 
have two or three offers for Emily from gentlemen 
from the south. She is said to be the finest-looking 
woman in this country. As for Hagar and her seven 
children, we will take two thousand five hundred 
dollars for them. Sally and her four children, 
we will take for them two thousand eight hundred 
dollars. You may seem a little surprised at the 
difference in prices, but the difference in the ne- 
groes makes the difference in price. We expect to 
start south with the negroes on the 8th February, 
and if you intend to do anything, you had better 
do it soon. Yours, respectfully, 

Bruin & Hill. 

This letter came to New York before the 



case of ,the Edmondsons had called the atten- 
tion of the community to this subject. The 
enormous price asked entirely discouraged 
effort, and before anything of impoi-tance 
was done they heard that the coffle ha£l de- 
parted, with Emily in it^ 

Hear, heavetfs ! and give ear, earth ! 
Let it be known, in all the countries (rf 
the earth, that the market-price of a 
beautiful Christian girl in America is from 

EIGHTEEN HUNDRED tO TWO THOUSAND 

DOLLARS ; and yet, judicatories in the 
church of Christ have said, in solemn con- 
clave, that American slavery as it I3 

IS NO EVIL ! * 

From the table of the sacrament and from 
the sanctuary of the church of Christ this 
girl was torn away, because her beauty was 
a salable article in the slave-market in New 
Orleans ! 

Perhaps some Northern apologist for 
slavery will say she was kindly treated here 
— not handcuffed by the wrist to a chain, 
and forced to walk, as articles less choice 
are ; that a wagon was provided, and that she 
rode; and that food abundant was given her 
to eat, and that her clothing was warm and 
comfortable, and therefore no harm was done. 
We have heard it told us, again and again, 
that there is no harm in slavery, if one is 
only warm enough, and full-fed, and com- 
fortable. It is true that the slave-woman 
has no protection from the foulest dishonor 
and the utmost insult that can be offered to 
womanhood, — none whatever in law or gos- 
pel ; but, so long as she has enough to eat and 
wear, our Christian fathers and mothers tell 
us it is not so bad ! 

Poor Emily could not think so. There 
was no eye to pity, and none to help. The 
food of her accursed lot did not nourish her ; 
the warmest clothing could not keep the 
chill of slavery from her heart. In the 
middle of the overland passage, sick, weary, 
heart-broken, the child laid her down and 
died. By that lonely pillow there was no moth- 
er. But there was one Friend, who loveth at 
all times, who is closer than a brother. Could 
our eyes be touched by the seal of faith, where 
others see only the lonely wilderness and 
the dying girl, we, perhaps, should see one 
clothed in celestial beauty, waiting for that 
short agony to be over, that He might redeem 
her from all iniquity, and present her fault- 
less before the presence of his Grace with 
exceeding joy ! 



* The words of the Qeor^a Annual Conference : J?«» 
solved, " That slavery, as it exists in the United States, 
is not a vafital evil." 



170 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



Even the hard-liearted trader was touched 
with her sad fate, and we are credibly in- 
formed that he said he was sorry he had 
taken her. 

Bruin & Hill wrote to New York that 
the girl Emily was dead. A friend of the 
family went with the letter, to break the 
news to her mother. Since she had given 
up all hope of redeeming her daughter from 
the dreadful doom to which she had been 
sold, the helpless mother had drooped like a 
stricken woman. She no longer lifted up 
her head, or seemed to take any interest in 
life. 

When the friend called on her, she 
asked, eagerly, 

" Have you heard anything from my 
daughter? " 

•'• Yes, I have," was the reply, " a letter 
from Bruin & Hill." 

'■'■ And what is the news? " 

He thought best to give a direct answer, 
— " Emily is deadP 

The poor mother clasped her hands, and, 
looking upwards, said, " The Lord be 
thanked ! He has heard my prayers at 
last!" 

And, now, will it be said this is an ex- 
ceptional case — it happens one time in a 
thousand? Though we know that this is 
the foulest of falsehoods, and that the case is 
only a specimen of what is acting every day 
in the American slave-trade, yet, for argu- 
ment's sake, let us, for once, admit it to 
be true. If only once in this nation, under 
the protection of our law, a Christian girl 
had been torn from the altar and the 
communion-table, and sold to foulest shame 
and dishonor, would that have been a light 
sin? Does not Christ say, "Inasmuch as 
ye have done it unto one of the least of 
these, ye have done it unto me " ? 0, 
words of woe for thee, America ! — words 
of woe for thee, church of Christ ! Hast 
thou trod them under foot and trampled 
them in the dust so long that Christ has 
forgotten them ? In the day of judgment 
every one of these words shall rise up, 
living and burning, as accusing angels to 
witness against thee. Art thou, church 
of Christ ! praying daily, " Thy kingdom 
come"? Barest thou pray, "Come, Lord 
Jesus, come quickly"? 0, what if He 
should come ? What if the Lord, whom ye 
seek, should suddenly come into his tem- 
ple ? If his soul was stirred within him 
when he found within his temple of old 
those that changed money, and sold sheep 
and oxen and doves, what will he say now. 



when h*e finds them selling body, blood and 
bones, of liis own people ? And is the 
Christian church, which justifies this enor- 
mous system, — which has used the awful 
name of her Redeemer to sanction the buy- 
ing, selling and trading in the souls of men, 
— is this church the bride of Christ ? Is 
she one with Christ, even as Christ is one 
with the Father ? 0, bitter mockery ! 
Does this church believe that every Chris- 
tian's body is a temple of the Holy Ghost? 
Or does she think those solemn words were 
idle breath, when, a thousand times, every 
day and week, in the midst of her, is this 
temple set up and sold at auction, to be 
bought by any godless, blasphemous man, 
who has money to pay for it ! 

As to poor Daniel Bell and his family, 
whose contested claim to freedom was the 
beginning of the whole trouble, a few mem- 
bers of it were redeemed, and the rest were 
plunged into the abyss of slavery. It would 
seem as if this event, like the sinking of a 
ship, drew into its maelstrom the fate of 
every unfortunate being who was in its vi- 
cinity. A poor, honest, hard-working slave- 
man, of the name of Thomas Ducket, had 
a wife who was on board the Pearl. Tom 
was supposed to know the men who counte- 
nanced the enterprise, and his master, there- 
fore, determined to sell him. He brought 
him to Washington for the purpose. Some 
in Washington doubted his legal right to 
bring a slave from Maryland for the pur- 
pose of selling him, and commenced legal 
proceedings to test the matter. While they 
were pending, the counsel for the master 
told the men who brought action against 
his client that Tom was anxious to be sold ; 
that he preferred being sold to the man who 
had purchased his wife and children, rather 
than to have his liberty. It was well known 
that Tom did not wish to be separated from 
his family, and the friends here, confiding in 
the representations made to them, consented 
to withdraw the proceedings. 

Some time after this, they received letters 
from poor Tom Ducket, dated ninety miles 
above New Orleans, complaining sadly of 
his condition, and making piteous appeals 
to hear from them respecting his wife and 
children. Upon inquiry, nothing could be 
learned respecting them. They had been 
sold and gone, — sold and gone, — no one 
knew whither ; and as a punishment to 
Tom for his contumacy in refusing to give the 
name of the man who had projected the 
expedition of the Pearl, he was denied 
the privilege of going oflF the place, and was 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. 171 



not allowed to talk vrith the other servants, 
his master fearing ^ conspirac j. In one of 
his letters he says, " I have seen more 
trouble here in one day than I have in all 
my life." In another, " I -syould be glad 
to hear from her [his wife], but I should 
be more glad to hear of her death than for 
her to come here." 



In his distress, Tom wrote a letter to Mr, 
Bigelow, of Washington. People who aro 
not in the habit of getting such documents 
have no idea of them. We give a fac 
simile of Tom's letter, with all its poor 
spelling, all its ignorance, helplessness, and 
misery. 






cf6i 









'fn- ^^^.^gs^'^v^^'^'^'*^'^*^-^^*'^^**^ m^^'^ny 










172 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM's CABIN. 






^Tl^i^^^Z- 





^ 







[Febmarf 18, 1852. 
Mr. BiGEiow. Dear Sir : ^ I write to let you 
know how 1 am getting along. Hard times here. 



I have not had one hour to go outside the place 
since I have been on it. I put my trust in the 
Lord to help me. 1 long to hoar from you all 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN 



173 



I written to hear from you all. Mr. Bigelow, I 
hope you will not forget me. You know it was 
not my fault that I am here. I hope you will 
name me to Mr. Geden, Mr. Chaplin, Mr. Bailey, 
to help me out of it. I believe that if they would 
make the least move to it that it could be done. 
I long to hear from my family how they are get- 
ting along. You will please to write to me just 
to let me know how they are getting along. You 
can write to me. 

I remain your humble servant, 

Thomas Ducket. 

You can direct your letters to Thomas Ducket, 
in care of Mr. Samuel T. Harrison, Louisiana, 
near Bayou Goula. For God's sake let me hear 
from you all. My wife and children are not out 
of my mind day nor night.] 



CHAPTER VIII. 



KIDNAPPING. 



The principle whicli declares tliat one 
human being may lawfully hold another as 
property leads directly to the trade in hu- 
man beings ; and that trade has, among 
its other horrible results, the temptation to 
the crime of kidnapping. 

The trader is generally a man of coarse 
nature and low associations, hard-hearted, 
and reckless of right or honor. He who is 
not so is an exception, rather than a speci- 
men. If he has anything good about him 
when he begins the business, it may well be 
seen that he is in a fair way to lose it. 

Around the trader are continually pass- 
ing and repassing men and women who 
would be worth to him thousands of dollars 
in the way of trade, — who belong to a 
class whose rights nobody respects, and 
who, if reduced to slavery, could not easily 
make their word good against him. The 
probability is that hundreds of free men and 
women and children are all the time being 
precipitated into slavery in this way. 

The recent case of Northrop^ tried in 
Washington, D. C, throws light on this 
fearful subject. The following account is 
abridged from the New York Times: 

Solomon Northrop is a free colored citizen of 
the United States ; he was bom in Essex county. 
New York, about the year 1808 ; became early a 
resident of Washington county, and married there 
in 1829. His fother and mother resided in the 
pounty of Washington about fifty years, till their 
decease, and were both free. With his vrife and 
children he resided atf Saratoga Springs in the 
winter of 1841, and while there was employed by 
two gentlemen to drive a team South, at the rate 
of a dollar a day. In fulfilment of his employ- 



ment, h§ proceeded to New Ycrk, and, having taken 
out free papers, to show that he was a citizen, he 
went on to Washington city, where he arrived the 
second day of April, the same year, and put up 
at Gadsby's Hotel. Soon after he arrived he felt 
unwell, and went to bed. 

While sufiering with severe pain, some persona 
came in, and, seeing the condition he was in, pro- 
posed to give him some medicine, and did so. 
This is the last t*iing of which he had any recol- 
lection, until he found himself chained to the floor 
of Williams' slave-pen in this city, and hand- 
cuffed. In the course of a few hours, James H. 
Burch, a slave-dealer, came in, and the colored 
man asked him to take the irons off from him, and 
wanted to know why they were put on. Burch 
told him it was none of his business. The colored 
man said he was free, and told where he was bom. 
Burch called in a man by the name of Ebenezer 
Rodbury, and they two stripped the man and laid 
him across a bench, Rodbury holding him down 
by his wrists. Burch whipped him with a pad- 
dle until he broke that, and then with a cat-o'- 
nine-tails, giving him a hundred lashes ; and he 
swore he would kill him if he ever stated to any 
one that he was a free man. From that time for- 
ward the man says he did not communicate the 
fact from fear, either that he was a free man, oi 
what his name was, until the last summer. He 
was kept in the slave-pen about ten days, when 
he, with others, was taken out of the pen in the 
night by Burch, handcuffed and shackled, and 
taken down the river by a steamboat, and then to 
Richmond, where he, with forty-eight others, was 
put on board the brig Orleans. There Burch left 
them. The brig sailed for New Orleans, and on 
arriving there, hefore she was fastened to the 
wharf, Theophilus Freeman, another slave-dealer, 
belonging in the city of New Orleans, and who in 
1833 had been a partner with Burch in the slave- 
trade, came to the wharf, and received the slaves 
as they were landed, under his direction. This 
man was immediately taken by Freeman and shut 
up in his pen in that city. He was taken sick 
with the small-pox immediately after getting 
there, and was sent to a hospital, where he lay 
two or three weeks. When he had sufficiently 
recovered to leave the hospital. Freeman declined 
to sell him to any person in that vicinity, and sold 
him to a Mr. Ford, who resided in Rapides Parish, 
Louisiana, where he was taken and lived more 
than a year, and worked as a carpenter, working 
with Ford at that business. 

Ford became involved, and had to sell him. A 
Mr. Tibaut became the purchaser. He, in a short 
time, sold him to Edwin Eppes, in Bayou Beouf, 
about one hundred and thirty miles from the 
mouth of Red river, where Eppes has retained 
him on a cotton plantation since the year 1843. 

To go back a step in the narrative, the man 
wrote a letter, in June, 1841, to Henry B. Nor- 
throp, of the State of New York, dated and post- 
marked at New Orleans, stating that he had been 
kidnapped and was on board a vessel, but was un- 
able to state what his destination was ; but re- 
questing Mr. N. to aid him in recovering his free- 
dom, if possible. Mr. N. was unable to do any- 
thing in his behalf, in consequence of not know- 
ing where he had gone, and not being able to find 
any trace of him. His place of residence re- 
mained unknown until the month of September 
last, when the following letter was received by 
his friends : 



174 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. 



Bayou Beouf, August, 1852. 
Mr. William Pent, or Mr. Lewis Parker. 

Gentlehex : It having been a long time since I 
have seen or heard frora you, and not knowing 
that you are living, it is with uncertainty that I 
write to you ; but the necessity of the case must 
be my excuse. Having been born free just across 
the river from you, I am certain you know me ; 
and I am here now a slave. I wish you to obtain 
free papers for me, and forward them to me at 
Marksville, Louisiana, Parish of Avovelles, and 
oblige Yours, Solomon Northrop. 

On receiving the above letter, Mr. N. applied to 
Governor Hunt, of New York, for such authority 
as was necessary for him to proceed to Louisiana 
as an agent to procure the liberation of Solomon. 
Proof of his freedom was furnished to Governor 
Hunt by affidavits of several gentlemen. General 
Clarke among others. Accordingly, in pursuance 
of the laws of New York, Henry B. Northrop was 
constituted an agent, to take such steps, by pro- 
curing evidence, retaining counsel, &c., as were 
necessary to secure the freedom of Solomon, and 
to execute all the duties of his agency. 

The result of Mr. Northrop' s agency was 
the establishing of the claim of Solomon 
Northrop to freedom, and the restoring him 
to his native land. 

It is a singular coincidence that this man 
was carried to a plantation in the Red river 
country, that same region where the scene 
of Tom's captivity was • laid ; and his ac- 
count of this plantation, his mode of life 
there, and some incidents which he describes, 
form a striking parallel to that history. 
We extract them from the article of the 
Times : 

The condition of this colored man during the 
nine years that he was in the hands of Eppes was of 
a character nearly approaching that described by 
Mrs. Stow* as the condition of " Uncle Tom" 
while in that region. During that whole period 
his hut contained neither a floor, nor a chair, nor 
a bed, nor a mattress, nor anything for him to lie 
upon, except a board about twelve inches wide, 
with a block of wood for his pillow, and with 
a single blanket to cover him, while the walls of 
his hut did not by any mear^ protect him from 
the inclemency of the weather. He was some- 
times compelled to perform acts revolting to hu- 
manity, and outrageous in the highest degree. 
On one occasion, a colored girl belonging to Eppes, 
about seventeen years of age, went one Sunday, 
without the permission of her master, to the near- 
est plantation, about half a mile distant, to visit 
another colored girl of her acquaintance. She re- 
turned in the course of two or three hours, and for 
that offence she was called up for punishment, 
which Suloinon was required to inflict. Eppes com- 
pelled him to drive four stakes into the ground at 
Buch distances tliat the hands and ankles of the girl 
might be tied to them, as she lay with her liice 
upon the ground; and, having thus fastened her 
down, he compelled him, while standing by him- 
Bclf, to inflict one hundred lashes upon her bare 
flesh, she being stripped naked. Having inflicted 
the hundred blows, Solomon refused to proceed any 
furtlier. Eppes tried to compel him to go ou, but 



he absolutely set him at defiance, and refused to 
murder the girl. Eppes then seized the whip, and 
applied it until he was too weary to continue it. 
Blood flowed from her neck to her feet, and 
in this condition she was compelled the next day 
to go into the field to work as a field-hand. She 
bears the marks still upon her body, although the 
punishment was inflicted four years ago. 

When Solomon was about to leave, under the 
care of Mr. Northrop, this girl came from behind 
her hut, unseen by her master, and, throwing her 
arms around the neck of Solomon, ci ai^'^ratulated 
liim on his escape from slavery, and his return to 
his family; at the same time, in language of de- 
spair, exclaiming, " But, God! what will be- 
come of me?" 

These statements regarding the condition of 
Solomon while with Eppes, and the punishment 
and brutal treatment of the colored girls', are 
taken from Solomon liimself. It has been stated 
that the nearest plantation was distant from 
that of Eppes a half-mile, and of course there 
could be no interference on the part of neigh- 
bors in any punishment, however cruel, or how 
ever well disposed to interfere they might be. 

Had not Northrop been able to write, aa 
few of the free blacks in the slave states 
are, his doom might have been sealed for 
life in this den of misery. 

Two cases recently tried in Baltimore also 
unfold facts of a similar nature. 

The following is from 

THE CASE OF RACHEL PARKER AND HER SISTER. 

It will be remembered that more than a year 
since a young colored woman, named jMary Eliza- 
beth Parker, was abducted from Chester county 
and conveyed to Baltimore, where she Avas sold as 
a slave, and transported to New Orleans. A few 
days after, her sister, Rachel Parker, was also 
abducted in like manner, taken to Baltimore, and 
detained there in consequence of the interference 
of her Chester county friende. In the first case, 
]\Iary Elizabeth was, by an arrangement with the 
individual who had her in charge, brouglit back to 
Baltimore, to await her trial on a petition for free- 
dom. So also with regard to Rachel. Both, after 
trial, — tlie proof in their favor being so over- 
whelming, — were discharged, and are now among 
their friends in Chester county. In this connec- 
tion we give the narratives of both females, ob- 
tallied since their release. 

Rachel Parker^s Narrative. 

" I was taken from Joseph C. Miller's about 
twelve o'clock on Tuesday (Dec. 30th, 1851), by 
two men who came up to the house by the back 
door. One came in and asked Mrs. Miller where 
Jesse McCreary lived, and then seized me bythe 
arm, and pulled me out of the house. Mrs. Miller 
called to her husband, who was in the/n;«/ porch, 
and he ran out and seized the man by the collar, 
and tried to stop him. The otlier, with an oath, 
then told him to take his hands off, and if he 
touched me he would kill him. He then told jMil- 
Icr that I belonged to Mr. Schoolfield, in Balti- 
more. They then hurried me to a wagon, where 
tliero was another large man, put me in, and drove 
ofl: 

"Mr. Miller ran across the field to head the 
wagon, and picked up a stake to run t'.u-oug>. the 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



17d 



wheel, when one ofc the men pulled out a sword (I 
tliink it was a sword, I never saw one), and threat- 
ened to cut Miller's arm off. Pollock's wagon 
being in the way, and he refusing to get out of 
the road, we turned off to the left. After we rode 
away, one of the men tore a hole in the back of 
the carriage, to look out to see if they were com- 
ing after us, and they said they wished they had 
given Miller and Pollock a blow. 

" We stopped at a tavern near the railroad, and 
I told the landlord (I think it was) that 1 was free. 
I also told several persons at the car-office ; and a 
very nice-looking man at the car-office was talking 
at the door, and he said he thought that they had 
better take me back again. One of the men did 
not come further than the tavern. I was taken to 
Baltimore, where we arrived about seven o'clock 
tlie same evening, and I was taken to jail. 

" The next morning, a man with large light- 
colored whiskers took me away by myself, and 
asked me if I was not Mr. Schoolfield's slave. I 
told him 1 was not ; he said that I was, and that 
if T did not say I was he would ' cowhide me and 
ealt lue, and put me in a dungeon.' I told him 
I was free, and that I would say nothing but the 
truth." 

Mary E. Parker's Narrative. 

" I was taken from Matthew Donnelly's on Sat- 
urday night (Dee. Gth, or 13th, 1851); was caught 
whilst out of doors, soon after I had cleared the 
supper-table, about seven o'clock, by two men, and 
put into a Avagon. One of them got into the 
wagon with me, and rode to Elkton, Md., where I 
was kept until Sunday night at twelve o'clock, 
when I left there in the cars for Baltimore, and 
ajrived there early on Monday morning. 

" At Elkton a man was brought in to see me, 
by one of the men, who said that I was not his 
father's slave. Afterwards, when on the way to 
Baltimore in the cars, a man told me that I must 
say that I was Mr. Schoolfield's slave, or he would 
shoot me, and pulled a 'rifle' out of his pocket 
and showed it to me, and also threatened to whip 
me. 

"On Monday morning, Mr. Schoolfield called 
at the jail in Baltimore to see me ; and on Tues- 
day morning he brought his wife and several other 
ladies to see me. I told them I did not know 
them, and then ]Mr. C. took me out of the room, 
and told me who they were, and took me back 
again, so that I might appear to know them. On 
the next Monday I was snipped to New Orleans. 

" It took about a month to get to New Orleans. 
After I had been there about a week, Mr. C. sold 
me to ]Madame C, who keeps a large flower-gar- 
den. She sends flowers to sell to the theatres, 
sells milk in market, &c. I went out to sell 
candy and flowers for her, when I lived with her. 
{ One evening, when I was coming home from the 
■ theatre, a watchman took me up, and I told him 
I was not a slave. He put me in the calaboose, 
and next morning took me before a magistrate, 
who sent for ^ladame C, who told him she bought 
me. He then sent for Mr. C, and told him he 
must account for how he got me. Mr. C. said that 
my mother and all the family were free, except 
me. The magistrate told me to go back to Mad- 
ame C, and he told Madame C. that she must 
not let me go out at night ; and he told Mr. C. 
tliat he must prove how he came by me. The 
magistrate afterwards called on Mrs. C, at her 
house, and had a long talk with her in the parlor. 
I Hfi ririf irr^-^-r --':r.t h.o said, as iaey were by them- 



selves. About a month afterwards, I was seat 
baci to Baltimore. I lived with Madame C. about 
six months. 

' ' ' There were six slaves came in the vessel with 
me to Baltimore, who belonged to Jlr. D., and 
were returned because they were sickly. 

" A man called to see me at the jail after I 
came back to Baltimore, and told me that I must 
say I was Mr. Schoolfield's slave, and that if I did 
not do it he would kill me the first time he got a 
chance. He said Rachel [her sister] said she 
came from Baltimore and was Mr. Schoolfield's 
slave. Afterwards some gentlemen called on me 
[Judge Campbell and Judge Bell, of Philadelphia, 
and William H. Norris, Esq., of Baltimore], and 
I told them I was Mr. Schoolfield's slave. They 
said they were my friends, and I must tell them 
the truth. I then told them who I was, and all 
about it. 

" When I was in New Orleans Mr. C. whipped 
me because I said that I was free." 

Elizabeth, by her own account above, was seized 
and taken from Pennsylvania, Dec. Gth or 13th, 
1851, which is confirmed by other testimony. 

It is conceded that such cases, when 
brought into Southern courts, are generally 
tried with great fairness and impartiality. 
The agent for Northrop' s release testifies to 
this, and it has been generally admitted fact. 
But it is probably only one case in a hundred 
that can get into court ; — of the multitudes 
who are drawn down in the ever-widening 
maelstrom only now and then one ever comes 
back to tell the tale. 

The succeeding chapter of advertisements 
will show the reader how many such victims 
there may probably be. 



CHAPTER IX. 



SLAVES AS THEY AKE, ON TESTIMONY OP 
OWNERS. 

The investigation into the actual con- 
dition of the slave population at the South 
is beset with many difficulties. So many 
things are said p7'o and con, — so many 
said in one connection and denied in another, 
— that the effect is very confusing. 

Thus, we are told that the state of the 
slaves is one of blissful contentment ; that 
they would not take freedom as a gift; 
that their family relations are only now and 
then invaded; that they are a stupid race, 
almost sunk to the condition of animals; 
that generally they are kindly treated. &c. 
&c. &c. 

In reading over some two hundi'cd South- 
em newspapers this fall, the author has been 
struck with the very graphic and circum- 
stantial pictures, which occur in all of them, 



176 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



describing fugitive slaves. From these de- 
scriptions one may learn a vast many things. 
The author vrill here give an assortment of 
them, taken at random. It is a comment- 
ary on the contented state of the slave 
population that the writer finds two or three 
always, and often many more, in every one 
of the hundreds of Southern papers ex- 
amined. 

In reading the following little sketches of 
"slaves as they are," let the reader no- 
tice : 

1. The color and complexion of the 
majority of them. 

2. That it is customary either to describe 
slaves by some scar, or to say " No scars 
recollected.''^- 

3. The intelligence of the parties adver- 
tised. 

4. The number that say they are free 
that are to be sold to pay jail-fees. 

Every one of these slaves has a history, — 
a history of woe and crime, degradation, 
endurance, and wrong. Let us open the 
chapter : 

South-side Democrat, Oct. 28, 1852. 
Petersburgh, Virginia : 

REAVARD. 

Twenty-five dollars, with the payment of all 
necessary expenses, will be given for the appre- 
hension and delivery of my man CHARLES, if 
taken on the Appomattox river, or within the pre- 
cincts of Petersburgh. He ran off about a week 
ago, and, if he leaves the neighborhood, will no 
doubt make for Farmville and Petersburgh. He is 
a, mulatto, rather below the medium height and 
size, but well proportioned, and very active and 
sensible. He is aged about 27 years, has a mild, 
submissive look, and will, no doubt, show the marks 
of a recent whipping, if taken. He must be de- 
livered to the care of Peebles, White, Davis & Co. 
R. H. DeJarnett, 

Oct. 25 — 3t. Lunenburgh. 

Poor Charles ! — - mulatto! — has a mild, 
submissive look, and will probably show 
marks of a recent whipping ! 

Kosciusko Chronicle, Nov. 24, 1852 : 

COMMITTED 

To the Jail of Attila County, on the 8th in- 
stant, a negro boy, who calls his name GREEN, 
and says he belongs to James Gray, of Winston 
County. Said boy is about 20 years old, yelloio 
complexion, round face, has ayscar on his face, one 
on his left thigh, and one in his left hand, is about 5 
feet 6 inches high. Had on when taken up a cot- 
ton check shirt, Linsey pants, now cloth cap, and 
was riding a large roan horse about 12 or 14 years 
old and thin in order. The owner is requested to 
come forward, prove property, pay charges, and 
take him away, or he will be sold to pay charges. 
E. B. Sanders, Jailer A. C. 

Oct. 12, 1842. nl2tf. 



Capitolian Vis-a- Vis, West Baton Rouge, 
Nov. 1, 1852 : 

«100 REWARD. 

Runaway from the subscriber, in Randolph 
County, on the 18th of October, a yellow boy, 
named JIM. This boy is 19 years old, a light 
mulatto with dirty sunburnt hair, inclined to be 
straight; he is just 5 feet 7 inches high, and 
slightly made. He had on when he left a black 
cloth cap, black cloth pantaloons, a plaided sack 
coat, a fine shirt, and brogan shoes. One hundred 
dollars will be paid for the recovery of the above- 
described boy, if taken out of the State, or fifty 
dollars if taken in the State. 

Mrs. S. P. Hall, 

Nov. 4, 1852. Huntsville, Mo. 

American Baptist, Dec. 20, 1852 : 

TWENTY DOLLARS RE\VARD FOR A 
PREACHER. 

The following paragraph , headed ' ' Twenty Dol- 
lars Reward," appeared in a recent number of the 
New Orleans Picayune : 

" Run away from the plantation of the under- 
signed the negro man Shedrick, a preacher, 5 feet 
9 inches high, about 40 years old, but looking not 
over 23, stamped N. E. on the breast, and having 
both small toes cut off. He is of a very dark com- 
plexion, with eyes small but bright, and a look 
quite insolent. He dresses good, and was arrested 
as a runaway at Donaldson ville, some three years 
ago. The aoove reward will be paid for his arrest, 
by addressing Messrs. Armant Brothers, St. James 
parish, or A. Miltenberger & Co., 30 Carondelet- 
street." 

Here is a preacher who is branded on the 
breast and has both toes cut off, — and will 
look insolent yet ! There 's depravity for 
you! 

Jefferson Inquirer, Nov. 27, 1852 : 

$100 DOLLARS REW^ARD. 

RAN A WAY from my plantation, in Bolivar 
County, Miss., a negro man named MAY, aged 
40 years, 5 feet 10 or 11 inches high, copper 
colored, and very straight ; his front teeth are 
good and stand a little open ; stout through the 
shoulders, and has some scars on his hack that show 
above the skin plain, caused by the whip; he fre- 
quently hiccups when eating, if he has not got 
water handy ; he was pursued into Ozark County, 
Mo., and there left. I will give the above reward 
for hiw <!onfinement in jail, so that I can get hinj. 
James H. Cousar, 
Victoria, Bolivar County, Mississippi. 

Nov. 13,1m. 

Delightful master to go back to, this man 
must be ! 

The Alabama Standard has for its 
motto : 

"Resistance to tyrants is obedience 
TO God." 

Date of Nov. 29th, this advertisement: 

COMMITTED 

To the Jail of Choctaw County, by Judge Young, 
of Marengo County, a RUNAWAY SLAVE, who 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



177 



calls his name BILLY, and says he belongs to the 
late William Johnson, and was in the employ- 
ment of John Jones, near Alexandria, La. He 
is about 5 feet 10 inches high, black, about 40 
years old, much scarred on the face and head, and 
tjvite intelligent. 

The owner is requested to come forward, prove 
his property, and take him from Jail, or he will 
be disposed of according to law. 

S. S. Houston, Jailer C. 0. 

December 1, 1852. 44-tf 

Query : Whether this "quite intelligent" 
Billy had n't been corrupted by hearing 
this incendiary motto of the Standard ? 

Knoxville (Tenn.) Register, Nov. 3d: 

L.OOK OUT FOR RUXAWAYS 1 1 
$25 REWARD I 

RANATVAY from the subscriber, on the night 
of the 2Gth July last, a negro woman named 
HARRIET. Said woman is about five feet five 
inches high, has prominent cheek-bones, large 
mouth and good front teeth, tolerably spare built, 
about 26 years old. We think it probable she is 
harbored by some negroes not far from John !My- 
natt's, in Knox Coonty, where she and they are 
likely making some arrangements to get to a free 
state ; or she may be concealed by some negroes 
(her connections) in Anderson County, near Clin- 
ton. I will give the above reward for her appre- 
hension and confinement in any prison in this 
state, or I will give fifty dollars for her confine- 
ment in any jail out of this state, so that I get 
her. H. B. GOENS, 

Nov. 3. 4m Clinton, Tenn. 

The Alexandria Gazette, November 
29, 1852, under the device of Liberty 
trampling on a tyi-ant, motto " Sic sem- 
per tyrannis^'' has the following : 

T^-^EWTY-FIVE DOLLARS REWARD. 

Ranaway from the subscriber, living in the 
County of Rappahannock, on Tuesday last, Daniel, 
a bright mulatto, about 5 feet 8 inches high, about 
35 years old, very intelligent, has been a wagoner 
for several years, and is pretty well acquainted 
from Richmond to Alexandria. He calls himself 
DANIEL T URNER ; his hair curls, without show- 
ing black blood, or wool; he has a scar on one cheek, 
end his left hand has been seriously injured by a pistol- 
shot, and he was shabbily dressed when last seen. 
I will give the above reward if taken oat of the 
county, and secured in jail, so tha't I get him 
again, or $10 if taken in the county. 

A. M. Willis. 

Rappahannock Co.,Ya., Nov. 29. — eolm. 

Another " very intelligent," straight- 
haired man. Who was his father ? 

The NeiD Orleans Daily Crescent, 
office No. 93 St. Charles-street ; Tuesday 
morning, December 13, 1852 : 

BROUGHT TO THE FIRST DISTRICT PO- 
LICE PRISON'. 

NANCY, a grifie, about 34 years old, 5 feet 1| 
inch high, a scar on left wrist ; says she belongs to 
Madame Wolf. 

12 



CHARLES HALL, a black, about 13 years old, 
5 feet 6 inches high ; says he is free, but supposed 
to be a slave. 

PHILOMONIA, a mulattress, about 10 years 
old, 4 feet 3 inches high ; says she is free, but sup- 
posed to be a slave. 

COLUJMBUS, a griffe, about 21 years old, 5 feet 
5| inches high ; says he is free, but supposed to be 
a slave. 

SEYMOUR, a black, about 21 years old, 5 feet 
1| inch high ; says he is free, but supposed to be 
a slave * 

The owners will please comply with the law 
respecting them. J Wokrall, Warden. 

New Orleans, Dec. 14, 1852. 

What chance for any of these poor fel- 
lows who say they are free 7 

$.50 REWARD. 

RANAWAY from the subscriber, living in 
Unionville, Frederick County, Md., on Sunday 
morning, the 17th instant, a DARK MULAnO 
GIRL, about 18 years of age, 5 feet 4 or 5 inches 
high, looks pleasant generally, talks very quick. 
converses tolerably well, and can read. It is sup- 
posed she had on, when she left, a red Merino 
dress, black Visette or plaid Shawl, and a purple 
calico Bonnet, as those articles are missing. 

A reward of Twenty-five Dollars will be given 
for her, if taken in the State, or Fifty Dollars if 
taken out of the State, and lodged in jail, so that 
I get her again. G. R. Sappixgton. 

Oct. 13. — 2m. 

Kosciusko Chronicle, Mississippi : 

TW^ENTY DOLLARS REWARD 

Will be paid for the delivery of the boy WALK- 
ER, aged about 28 years, about 5 feet 8 or 9 
inches high, black complexion, loose make, smiles 
when spoken to, has a mild, sweet voice, and fine 
teeth. Apply at 25 Tchoupitoulas-street, up 
stairs. ol2Gt. 

Walker has walked off, it seems. - Peace 
be with him ! 

825 REWARD. 

RANAWAY from the subscriber, living near 
White's Store, Anson County, on the 3d of May 
last, a bright mulatto boy, named BOB. Bob is 
about 5 feet high, will weigh 130 pounds, is about 
22 years old, and has some beard on his upper lip. 
His left leg is somewhat shorter than hi» right, 
causing him to hobble in his walk ; has a very 
broad face, and tvill show color like a white man. 
It is probable he has gone ofi" with some wagoner 
or trader, or he may have free papers and be pass- 
ing as a free man. He has straight hair. 

I will give a reward of TWENTY-Fl^T] DOI^ 
LARS for the apprehension and delivery to me of 
said boy, or for his confinement in any jail, so 
that I get him again. Clara Lockhart, 

By Adam Lockhart. 

June 30, 1852. 698 : 5 

Southern Standard, Oct. 16, 1852 : 
850 reward::: 

RANAWAY, or stolen, from the subscril>cr. 
living near Aberdeen, Miss., a light mulatto wo- 
manTof small size, and about 23 years old. She 
has hng, black, straight hair, and she xisually k*^ps 



178 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



it in good order. When she left she had on either 
a white dress, or a brown calico one with white 
spots or figures, and took with her a red handker- 
chief, and a red or pink sun-bonnet. She generally 
dresses very neatly. She generally calls herself 
Mary Ann Paine, — can read priiit, — has some 
freckles on her face and hands, — shoes No. 
4, — had a ring or two on her fingers. She is 
very intelligent, and converses well. The above 
reward will be given for her, if taken out of the 
State, and $25 if taken within the State. 

U. McAllister. 

Memphis (weekly) Appeal will insert to the 
amount of $5, and send account to this office. 

October 6th, 1853. 20 — tf. 

Much can be seen of this Mary Ann in 
this picture. The black, straight hair, 
usually kept in order, — the general neat- 
ness of dress, — the ring or two on the 
fingers, — the ability to read, — the fact of 
being intelligent and conversing well, are 
all to be noticed. 

$20 REWARD. 

Kanaway, on the 9th of last August, my ser- 
vant boy HENRY: he is 14 or 15 years old, a 
bright mulatto, has dark eyes, stoops a little, and 
stutters when confused. Had on, when he went 
away, white pantaloons, long blue summer coat, 
and a palm-leaf hat. I will give the above re- 
ward if he should be taken in the State of Vir- 
ginia, or i|30 if taken in either of the adjoining 
States, but in either case he must be so secured 
that I get him again. Edwin C. Fitzhugh. 

Oct. 7. — eotf. 

Poor Henry ! — only 14 or 15. 

COMMITTED 

To the Jail of Lowndes County, Mississippi, on 
the 9th of May, by Jno. K. Peirce, Esq., and 
taken up as a runaway slave by William S. Cox, 
a negro man, who says his name is ROLAND, and 
that he belongs to Ma]. Cathey, of INIarengo Co., 
Ala., was sold to him by Henry Williams, a negro 
trader from North Carolina. 

Said negro is about 35 years old, 5 feet 6 or 8 
inches high, dai'k complexion, weighs about 150 
pounds, middle finger on the right hand off at the 
second joint, and had on, when committed, a black 
silk liat, black drop d'cte dress coat, and white 
linsey pants. 

The owner is requested to come forward, prove 
property, pay charges, and take him away, or he 
will be dealt with according to law. 

L. II. Wjlleford, 

June 6, 1852. 19 — tf. Jailer. 

Richmond Semi-weekly Exami?ier, Oc- 
tober 29, 1852 : • 

FIFTY DOLLARS REW^ARD. 

Ranaway from the subscriber, residing in the 
County of Halifax, about the middle of last Au- 
gust, a Negro Man, Ned, aged some thirty or forty 
years, of medium height, copper color, full fore- 
licad, and cheek bones a little prominent. No 
scars recollected, except one gf his fingers — the 



little one, probably — is stiff and crooked. The 
man Ned was purchased in Richmond, of Mr. Rob- 
ert Goodwin, who resides near Frederick-Hall, 
in Louisa County, and has a luife in that vicinity. 
He has been seen in the neighborhood, and is sup- 
posed to have gone over the Mountains, and to be 
now at work as a free man at some of the Iron 
Works ; some one having given him free papers. 
The above reward vrill be given for the apprehen- 
sion of the slave Ned, and his delivery to R. H 
Dickinson & Bro., in Richmond, or to the under- 
signed, in Halifax, Virginia, or twenty-five if con- 
fined in any jail in the Commonwealth , so that 1 
get him. Jas. M. Chappell, 

[Firm of ChappeU & Tucker.] 
Aug. 10. — tf. 

This unfortunate copper-colored article is 
supposed to have gone after his wife. 

Kentucky Whig, Oct. 22, '52 : 

$200 REWARD. 

Ranaway from the subscriber, near Jlount 
Sterling, Ky., on the night of the 20th of October, 
a negro man named PORTER. Said boy is black, 
about 22 years old, very stout and active, weighs 
about 165 or 170 pounds. He is a smart fellow, 
converses well, without the negro accent ; no particur 
lar scars recollected. He had on a pair of coarse 
boots about half worn, no other clothing recol- 
lected. He was raised near Sharpsburg, in Bath 
county, by Harrison Caldwell, and may be lurk- 
ing in that neighborhood, but will probably 
endeavor to reach Ohio. 

I will pay the above-mentioned reward for him, 
if taken out of the State ; $50, if taken in any 
county bordering on the Ohio river ; or $25, if 
taken in this or any adjoining county, and 
secured so that I can get him. 

He is supposed to have ridden a yellow Horse, 
15 hands and one inch high, mane and tail both 
yellow, five years old, and paces well. 

October 21st, 1852. G. W. Proctor. 

" No partictilar scars recollected " ! 
St. Louis Times, Oct. 14, 1852 : 

NOTICE. 

Taken up and committed to Jail in the town of 
Rockbridge, Ozark county. Mo., on the Slst of 
August last, a runaway slave, who calls his name 
MOSES. Had on, when taken, a brown Jcanes 
pantaloons, old cotton shirt, blue frock-coat, an 
old rag tied round his head. He is about six feet 
high, dark complexion, a scar over the left eye, 
supposed to be about 27 years old. The owner is 
hereby notified to come forward, prove said negro, 
and pay all lawful charges incurred on liis account, 
or the said negro will bo sold at public auction 
for ready money at the Court House door in the 
town of Rockbridge, on MONDAY, the 13th of 
December next, according to law in such cases 
made and provided, this 9th of September, 1852. 

s23d & w. Robert IIicks, Sh'ff. 

Charleston Mercury, Oct. 15, 1852 : 

FIFTY DOLLARS REWARD. 

Runaway on Sunday the 6th inst., from the 
South Carolina Railroad Company, their negro 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



179 



man SAM, recently bought by them, with others, 
at Messrs. Cothran & SprouU's sale, at Aiken. He 
was raised in Cumberhmd County, North Caro- 
lina, and last brought from Richmond, Va. In 
height he is 5 feet GJ inches. Complexion copper 
color ; on the left arm and right leg sornewkal 
scarred. Countenance good. The above reward 
will be paid for his apprehension and lodgment in 
any one of the Jails of this or any neighboring 
State. J. D. Petsch, 

June 12. Sup't Transportation. 

Kosciusko Chronicle^ Nov. 24, ^52: 

COMMITTED 

To the Jail of Attila County, Miss., October 
the 7th, 1852, a negro boy, who calls his name 
HAMBLETON, and says he belongs to Parson 
William Young, of Pontotoc County ; is about 26 
or 27 years old, about 5 feet 8 inches high, rather 
dark complexion, has two or three marks on his 
back, a small scar on his left hip. Had on, when 
taken up, a pair of blue cotton pants, white cotton 
drawers, a new cotton shirt, a pair of kip boots, 
an old cloth cap and wool hat. The owner is 
requested to come forward, prove property, pay 
charges and take him away, or he Avill be dealt 
with as provided in such case. 

E. B. Sanders, Jailer A. C. 

Oct. 12, 1852. n 12tf. 

Frankfort Commonwealth, October 
21, 1852 : 

COMMITTED TO JAIL.. 

A negro boy, who calls his name ADAAf , was 
committed to the Muhlenburg Jail on the 24:th of 
July, 1852. Said boy is black ; about 16 or 17 
years old ; 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high ; will weigh 
about 150 lbs. He has lost a -part of the finger 
next to his little finger on the rigid hand ; also the 
great toe on his left foot. This boy says he belongs 
to Wm. iSIosley ; that said Mosley was moving to 
Mississippi from Virginia. He further states 
that he is lost, and not a runaway. His owner is 
requested to come fprward, prove property, pay 
expenses, and take him away, or he will be dis- 
posed of as the law directs. 

S. H. Deotsey, J. M. C. 

GreenvUle,Ky., Oct. 20, 1852. 



RUNAWAY SLAVE. 

A negro man arrested and placed in the Barren 
County Jail, Ky., on the 21st instant, calling 
himself HENRY, about 22 years old ; says he ran 
away from near Florence, Alabama, and belongs to 
John Calaway. He is about five feet eight inches 
high, dark, but not very black, rather thin visage, 
pointed nose, Jio scars perceivable, rather spare 
built ; says he has been runaway nearly throe 
months. The owner can get him by applying 
and paying the reward and expenses ; if not, he 
will be proceeded against according to law. This 
24th of August, 1852. Samuel Adwell, Jailer. 

Aug. 25, 1852. — Om 

In the same paper are two more poor 
fellows, "who probably have been sold to pay 
jail-fees, before now. 

NOTICE. 

Taken up by M. H. Brand as a runaway slave, 



on the 22d ult., in the city of Covington, Kenton 
county, Ky., a negro man calling himself 
CH.\RLES WARFIELD, about 30 years old, but 
looks older, about 6 feet high ; no particular 
marks : had no free papers, but he says he is free, 
and was horn in Pennsylvania, and in Fayette 
county. Said negro was lodged in jail on the said 
22d ult., and the owner or owners, if any, are 
hereby notified to come forward, prove property, 
and pay charges, and take him away. 

C. W. Hull, J. K. C. 
August 3, 1852. — 6m. 



COMMITTED 

To the Jail of Graves county, Ky., on the 4th 
inst., a negro man calling himself DAVE or 
DAVID. He says he is free, but formerly belonged 
to Samuel Brown, of Prince William county, 
Virginia. He is of black color, about 5 feet lO 
inches high, weighs about 180 lbs. ; supposed to 
be about 45 years old ; had on brown pants and 
striped shirt. He had in his possession an old 
rifle gun, an old pistol, and some old clothing. 
He also informs me that he has escaped from the 
Dyersburg Jail, Tennessee, where he had been 
confined some eight or nine months. The owner ia 
hereby notified to come forward, prove property 
pay charges, &c. 

L. B. HoLEFiELD, Jailer G. C. 

June 28, 1852. — w6m. 

Charleston Mercury, Oct. 29, 1852 : 

$200 REWARD. 

Ranaway from the subscriber, some time ia 
^larch last, his servant LYDIA, and is suspected 
of being in Charleston. I will give the above 
reward to any person who may apprehend her, 
and furnish evidence to conviction of the person 
supposed to harbor her, or §50 for having her 
lodged in any Jail so that I get her. Lydia is a 
Mulatto woman, twenty-five years of age, four 
feet eleven inches high, with straight black hair, 
which inclines to cxirl, her front teeth defective, and 
has been plugged ; the gold distinctly seen when 
talking; round face, a scar under her chin, and two 
fingers on one hand stiff at the first joints. 

June 16. tuths C. T. Scaife. 



$25 REWARD. 

Runaway from the subscriber, on or about the 
first of May last, his negro boy GEORGE, about 
18 years of age, about 5 feet high, well set, and 
speaks properly. He formerly belonged to jSIr. J. 
D. A. Murphy, living in Blackville ; has a mother 
belonging to a Mr. Lorrick, living in Lexington 
District. He is supposed to have a pass, and is 
likely to be lurking about Branchville or Charles- 
ton. 

The above reward will be paid to any one 
lodging George in any Jail in the State, so that I 
can get him. 

J. J. Andrews, Orangeburg C. H. 

Orangeburg, Aug. 7, 1852. bw Sept 11 



NOTICE. 

Committed to the Jail at Colleton District as a 
runaway, JORDAN, a negro man about thirty 
years of age, who says he belongs to Dobson 



180 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



Coely, of Pulaski County, Georgia. The owner 
has notice to prove propei-ty and take him away. 
L. W. McCants, Sheriff Colleton Dist. 
Walterboro, So. Ca., Sept. 7, 1852. 

The following are selected by the Com- 
mo7iwealth mostly from New Orleans papers. 
The characteristics of the slaves are inter- 
esting. 

TWENTY-FIVE DOLIiARS REWARD 

Will be paid by the undersigned for the appre- 
hension and delivery to any Jail in this city of 
the negro woman MARIAH, who ran away from 
the Phoenix House about the 15th of October last. 
Sha is about 45 years old, 5 feet 4 inches high, 
stout built, speaks French and English. Tfas 
purchased from Ohas. Deblanc. 

H. BiDWELL & Co., 16 Front Levee. 



FIFTY DOIiliARS REW^ARD. 

Ranaway about the 25th ult., ALLEN, a bright 
mulatto, aged about 22 years, 6 feet high, very 
well dressed, has an extremely careless gait, of 
slender build, and wore a moustache when he 
left; the property of J. P. Harrison, Esq., of this 
city. The above reward will be paid for his safe 
delivery at any safe place in the city. For fur- 
ther particulars apply at 10 Bank Place. 



ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS REWARD. 

We will give. the above reward for the appre- 
Hension of the light mulatto boy SEA BO URN, 
aged 20 years, about 5 feet 4 inches high ; is stout, 
well made, and remarkably active. He is some- 
what of a circus actor, by which he may easily 
be detected, as he is always showing his gymnastic 
qualifications. The said boy absented himself on 
the 3d inst. Besides the above reward, all rea- 
sonable expenses will be paid. 

W. & H. Stackhouse, 70 Tchoupitoulas. 



TW^ENTY-FIVE DOLLARS REAVARD. 

Tlie above reward will be paid for the appre- 
hension of the mulatto boy SEVERIN, aged 25 
years, 5 feet 6 or 8 inches high ; most of his front 
teeth are out, and the letters C. V. are marked on 
ei titer of his arms with India Ink He speaks French, 
English and Spanish, and was formerly owned by 
Mr. Courcell,in the Third District. I will pay, 
in addition to the above reward, $50 for such in- 
formation as will lead to the conviction of any 
person harboring said slave. 

John Ermon, comer Camp and Race sts. 



TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS REWARD. 

Ran away from the Chain Gang in Now Orleans, 
First Municipality, in February last, a negro boy 
named STEPHEN. He is about 5 feet 7 inches 
in lic.ight, a very light mulatto, with blue eyes and 
brownish hair, stoops a little in the shoulders, has 
a, cast- down look, and is very strongly built and 
muscular. He will not acknowledge his name or 
owner, is an habitual runaway, and was shot some- 
where in the ankk itlule endeavoring to escape from 
Baton Eouge Jail. The above rewiu-d, with all 



attendant expenses, will be paid on his delivery 
to me, or for his apprehension and commitment to 
any Jail from which I can get him. 

A. L. BlXGAMAX. 



TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS RE\VARD. 

The above reward vd]\ be given to the person 
who will lodge in one of the Jails of this city the 
slave SARAH, belonging to Mr. Guisonnet, cor- 
ner St. John Baptiste and Race streets ; said slave 
is aged about 28 years, 5 feet high, benevolent 
face, fine teeth, and speaking French and English. 
Captains of vessels and steamboats are hereby 
cautioned not to receive her on board, under 
penalty of the law. Avet Brothers, 

Corner Bienville and Old Levee streets. 

Lyjichhiirg Virginian^ Nov. 6th : 

TW^ENTY DOLLARS REW^ARD. 

Ranaway from the subscriber on the Virginia 
and Tennessee Railroad, in the county of Wythe, 
on the 20th of June, 1852, a negro man named 
CHARLES, 6 feet high, copper color, with sev-eral 
teeth out in front, about 35 years of age, rather 
slow to reply, but pleasing appearance ichen spoken 
to. He wore, when he left, a cloth cap and a 
blue cloth sack coat ; he was purchased in Tennes- 
see, 14 months ago, by Mr. M. Connell, of Lynch- 
burg, and carried to that place, where be 
remained until I purchased him 4 months ago. 
It is more than probable that he will make his way to 
Tennessee, as he has a wife noiv living there ; or he 
may perhaps return to Lynchburg, and lurk about 
there, as he has acquaintances there. The above 
reward will be paid if he is taken in the State 
and confined so that I get him again ; or I will 
pay a reward of $40, if taken out of the State and 
confined in Jail. George W. Ktijs. 

July 1. — di;c2twt3 

Winchester Republican {Yfi.\ Nov. 26: 

ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS REW.ARD. 

Ranaway from the subscriber, near Culpepper 
Ct. House, Va., about the 1st of October, a negro 
man named ALFRED, about five feet seven inches 
in height, about twenty-five years of age, uncom- 
monly muscular and active, complexion dark but 
not black, countenance mild and rather pleasant. 
He had a boil last winter on the middle joint of 
the middle or second finger of the right hand, 
which left the finger stiff in that joint, more visi- 
ble in opening his hand than in shutting it. //'.' 
has a ivife at Mr. Thomas G. Marshall's, near 
Farrowsvilk, in Fauquier County, and may be in 
that neighborhood, where he wishes to be sold, and 
where I am willing to sell him. 

I will give the above reward if he is taken out 
of the State and secured, so that I get him again ; 
or $50 if taken in the State, and secured in like 
manner. W. B. Sl.vugiiteb. 

October 29, 1852. 

From the Louisville Daily Journal, 
Oct. 23, 1852 : 

»100 REWARD. 

Ran away from the subscriber, in this city, on 
; Friday, May 28th, a nogro boy named WYATT. 



•KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



181 



Said boy is copper colored, 25 or 2G years old, 
about 5 feet 11 inches high, of large frame, slow 
and heavy gait, has very large hands and feet, 
small side-whiskers, a full head of hair which he 
combs to the side, quite a pleasing look, and is 
very likely. I recently purchased Wyatt from 
Mr. Garrett, of Garrett's Landing, Ky., and his 
wife is the 'property of Thos. G. Rowland, Esj. , of 
this city. I will pay the above reward for the 
apprehension and delivery of the boy to me if 
taken out of the State, or $50 if taken in tiie State. 
June 2 d&wtf David W. Yandell. 



*200 REWARD. 

TWO NEGROES. Ranaway from the subscri- 
ber, living in Louisville, on the 2d, one ne^o man 
and girl. The man's name is MILES. He is about 
5 feet 8 inches high, dark-brovra color, with a 
large scar upon his head, as if caused from a burn ; 
age about 25 years ; and had with him two carpet 
sacks, one of cloth, the other enamelled leather, 
also a pass from Louisville to Owenton, Owen 
county, Ky., and back. The girl's name is JULLA., 
and she is of light-brown color, short and heavy 
set, rather good looking, with a scar upon her fore- 
head; had on a plaid silk dress when she left, and 
took other clothes with her ; looks to be about 16 
years of age. 

The above reward will be pa^d for the man, if 
taken out of the State, or $100 for the girl; 
$100 for the man, if taken in the State, or $50 
for the girl. In either event, they are to be se- 
cured, so I sret them. t ttt t 

oct5d&wtf John W.Lynn. 

The following advertisements are all dated 
Shelby Co., Kentucky. 

JAILER'S XOTICE. 

Was committed to the Jail of Shelby county 
a negro woman, who says her name is JUDA ; 
darlj/Complexion ; twenty years of age ; some five 
feet high ; weighs about one hundred and twenty 
pounds ; no scars recollected, and says she belongs 
to James Wilson, living in Denmark, Tennessee. 
The owner of said slave is requested to come for- 
ward, prove property, pay charges, and take her 
away, or she will be dealt with as the law directs. 

W. H. E.VNES, 

oct27 — w4t Jailer Shelby county. 

JAILER'S NOTICE. 

Waa committed to the Jail of Shelby county, 
on the 28th ult., a negro boy, Avho says his name 
is JOHN W. LOYD ; of a bright complexion, 25 
years of age, will weigh about one hundred and 
fifty pounds, about five feet nine or ten inches 
high, three scars on his left leg, which teas caused by 
a dog-bite. The said boy John claims to be free. If 
he has any master, he is hereby notified to come 
forward, prove property, pay charges, and take 
liim away, ci he will be dealt with as the law 
directs. [nov3 — w4t 

Also — Committed at the same time a negro 
boy, who says his name is PATRICK, of a bright 
complexion, about 30 years of age, will weigh 
about one hundred and forty-five or fifty pounds ; 
about six feet high ; his face is very badly scarred, 
which he says was caused by being salivated. 



The disease caused him to lose the bone out of 
his nose, and his jaw-bone, also. Says he belongs 
to Dr. Wm. Cheathum, living in Nashville, Tenn. 
The owner of said slave is requested to come for- 
ward, prove property, pay charges, and take him 
away, or he wUl be dealt with as the law directs. 

[nov3 — w4t 

Also — Committed at the same time a negro 
boy, who says his name is CLAIBORXE ; dark 
complexion, 22 years of age, will weigh about 
one hundred and forty pounds, about five feet 
high ; no scars recollected ; says he belongs to Col. 
Rousell, living in De Soto county, Miss. The 
owner of said slave is requested to come forward, 
prove property, pay charges, and take him away, 
or he will be dealt with as the law directs. 

W. H. Eanes, 

novS — w4t ' Jailer of Shelby county 



JAILER'S XOTICE. 

Was committed to the Jail of Shelby county a 
negro boy, who says his name is GEORGE ; dark 
complexion, about twenty-five or thirty years of 
age, some five feet nine or ten inches high ; will 
weigh about one hundred and forty pounds, no 
scars, and says he belongs to Malley Bradford, 
living in Issaqueen county, Mississippi. The 
owner of said slave is requested to come forward , 
prove property, pay charges, and take him away, 
or he will be dealt with as the law directs. 

W. H. Eanes, 

novlO. — w4t Jailer of Shelby county. 



JAILER'S XOTICE. 

Was committed to the Jail of Shelby county, 
on the 30th ult., a negro woman, who says her 
name is NANCY, of a bright complexion, some 
twenty or twenty-one years of age, will weigh 
about one hundred and forty pounds, about five 
feet high, no scars, and says she belongs to John 
Pittman, living in Memphis, Tenn. The o^vner 
of said slave is requested to come forward, prove 
property, pay charges, and take her away, or she 
will be dealt with as the law directs. 

W. H. Eanes, 

novlO. — w4t Jailer of Shelby county. 

Negro property is decidedly " brisk" in 
this county. 

Natchez (Miss.) Free Trader.^ Novem- 
ber 6, 1852 : 

25 DOLLARS REWARD. 

Ranaway from the undersigned, on the 17tb 
day of October, 1852, a negro man by the name 
of ALLEN, about 23 years old, near 6 feet high, 
of dark mulatto color, no marks, save one, and that 
caused by the bite of a dog ; had on, when he left, 
lowell pants, and cotton shirt ; reads imperfect, 
can make a short calculation correctly, and can 
write some few words ; said negro has run away 
heretofore, and when taken up was in possession 
of a free pass. He is quick-spoken, lively, and 
smiles when in conversation. 

I will give the above reward to any one who 
will confine said negro in any Jail, so that I can 
get him. Tnos R. Cheats ah. 

nov6. — 3t 



182 

Nffwberry Sentinel {S. C), Nov. 17, 1852 : 

NOTICE : 

RANAWAY from the subscriber, on the 9th of 
July last, my Boy WILLIAM, a bright mulatto, 
about 26 years old, 5 feet 9 or 10 inches high, of 
slender make, quite intelligent, speaks quick when 
spoken to, and walks briskly. Said boy was brought 
from Virginia, and will frobably attempt to get back. 
Any information of said boy will be thankfully 
received. John M. Mars. 

Near Mollohon P. O.j Newberry Dist., S. 0. 

Nov. 3. 414t. 

Ij^" Raleigh Register and Richmond Enquirer 
will copy four times weekly, and send bills to this 
office. 

Greensboro' Patriot (N. C), Nov. 6 : 

10 DOLLARS RE%VARD. 

RANAWAY from my service, in February, 
1851, a colored man named EDWARD WINS- 
LOW, low, thick-set, part Indian, and a first rate 
fiddler. Said Winslow was sold out of Guilford 
jail, at February court, 1851, for his prison charges, 
for the term of five years. It is supposed that he 
is at work on the Railroad, somewhere in Davidson 
county. The above reward will be paid for his 
"*' apprehension and confinement in the jail of Guil- 
ford or any of the adjoining counties, so that I get 
him, or for his delivery to me in the south-east 
corner of Guilford. My post-office is Long's Mills, 
Randolph, N. C. P. 0. Smith. 

October 27, 1852. 702 — 5w. 

The New Orleans True Delta., of the 
11th ult, 1853, has the following editorial 
notice : 

The Great Raffle of a Trotting Horse and 
A Negro Servant. — The enterprising and go-a- 
head Col. Jennings has got a rafile under way 
now, which eclipses all his previous undertakings 
in that line. The prizes are the celebrated trot- 
ting horse "Star," buggy and harness, and a valu- 
able negro servant, — the latter valued at nine hun- 
dred dollars. See his advertisement in another 
column. 

The advertisement is as follows : 

RAFFIiE. 

MK. JOSEPH JENNINGS 

Respectfully informs his friends and the public, 
that, at the request of many of his acquaintances, 
he has been induced to purchase from Mr. Osborn, 
of Missouri, the celebrated dark bay horse " Star," 
age five years, square trotter, and warranted sound, 
with a new light trotting Buggy and Harness ; 
a/50 the stout mulatto girl " Sara/t," aged about tiven- 
ty years , general house servant, \i\\\\*i(\ at nine hun- 
dred dollars, and guaranteed ; will be raflh^d for at 4 
o'clock, P. M., February 1st, at any hotel selected 
by the subscribers. 

The a!)ovo is as represented, and those persons 
who may wish to engage in the usual pra(;tico of 
raffling will, I assure them, be perfectly satisfied 
with their destiny in this aflliir. 

Fifteen hundred chances, at $1 each. 

The whole is valued at its just worth, fifteen 
hundred dollars. 

The raffle will be qpnductcd by gentlemen se- 
lected by tlie interested subscribers present Five 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



nights allowed to complete the raffle. Both of 
above can be seen at my store. No. 78 Common- 
street, second door from Camp, at from 9 o'clock 
A.M., till half-past 2 P.M. 

Highest throw takes the first choice ; the lowest 
throw the remaining prize, and the fortunate win- 
ners to pay Twenty Dollars each, for the refresh- 
ments furnished for the occasion. 

Jan. 9. 2w. J. Jennings. 

Daily Courier (Natchez, Miss.), Nov. 
20, 1852 : 

T\VEXTY-FIVE DOLLARS REWARD. 

THE above reward will be given for the appre- 
hension and confinement in any jail of the negro 
man HARDY, who ran away from the subscriber, 
residing on Lake St. John, near Rifle Point, Con- 
cordia parish. La. , on the 9th August last. Hardy 
is a remarkably likely negro, entirely free from all 
marks, scars or blemishes, when he left home ; about 
six feet high, of black complexion (though quite 
light), fine countenance, unusually smooth skin, 
good head of hair, fine eyes and teeth. 

Address the subscriber at Rifle Point, Concordia 
Parish, La. ^ Robert Y. Jones. 

Oct. 30. — Im. . 

What an unfortunate master — lost an 
article entirely free from " marks, scars or 
blemishes " ! Such a raritjr ought to be 
choice ! 

Savannah Daily Georgian, 6th Sept., 
1852: 

ARRESTED, 

ABOUT three weeks ago, under suspicious cir- 
cumstances, a negro woman, who calls herself 
PHEBE, or PHILLIS. Says she is free, and lately 
from Beaufort District, South Carolina. Said 
woman is about 50 years of age, stout in statiu-e, 
mild-spoken, 5 feet 4 inches high, and Aveighs 
about 140 pounds. Having made diligent inquiry 
by letter, and from w^hat I can learn, said woman 
is a runaway. Any person ovraing said slave can 
get her by making application to me, properly 
authenticated. Waring Russell, 

Coun^Constable . 

Savannah, Oct. 25, 1852. T oct. 26. 



250 DOLLARS REAVARD. 

RANAWAY from Sparta, Ga., about the first 
of last year my boy GEORGE. He is a good car- 
penter, about 35 years : a bright mulatto, taU and 
quite likely. He toas brought about three 7/cars ago 
from St. Man/s, and had, u'hai he ran array, a 
wife there, or near there, bchmging to a Mr. Holzcn- 
dorff. I think he has told me he has been about 
Macon also. Ho had, and perhaps still has, a 
brother in Savannah, lie is very intclUgnit. I 
will give the altove reward for his confinement in 
some jail in the State, so that I can get him. Re- 
fer, for *any further information, to Rabun & 
Whitehead, Savannah, Ga. 

W. J. Sassn^tt. 

Oxford, Ga., Aug. 13th, 1852. tuthsSm. al7. 

From tlicsc advertisements, and hundreds 
of similar ones, one may learn the following 
thinsB : 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



is: 



1. That the arguments for the enslaving 
of the negro do not apply to a large part 
of the actual slaves. 

2. That they are not, in the estimation 
of their masters, very stupid. 

3. That they are not remarkably con- 
tented. 

4. That they have no particular reason 
to be so. 

5. That multitudes of men claiming to 
be free are constantly being sold into slavery. 

In respect to the complexion of these 
slaves, there are some points worthy of con- 
sideration. The writer adds the following 
advertisements, published by Wm. I. Bow- 
ditch, Esq., in his pamphlet " Slavery and 
the Constitution." 

From the Richmond (Va.) Whig: 

lOO DOL<t.ARS REWARD 

WILL be given for the apprehension of my ne- 
gro (?) Edmund Kenney. He has straight hair, 
and complexion so netfrli/ ivhite that it is believed a 
stranger would suppose there icas no African blood 
in him. He was with my boy Dick a short time 
since in Norfolk, and offered him for sale, and was 
apprehended, but escaped under pretence of being a 
while man ! Anderson Bowles. 

January 6, 1836. 

From the Republican Banner and Nash- 
ville Whig of July 14, 1849 : 

200 BOLLARS REWARD. 

RAN A WAY from the subscriber, on the 23d of 
Jiuic last, a bright mulatto woman, named Julia, 
about 25 years of age. She is of common size, 
nearly lohite, and very likely. She is a good seam- 
stress, and can read a little. She may attempt to 
pass for ivhite, — dresses fine. She took with her 
Anna, her child, 8 or 9 years old, and considsrably 

dai'ker than her mother She once 

belonged to a Mr. Helm, of Columbia, Tennessee. 

I will give a reward of $50 for said negro and 
child, if delivered to me, or confined in any jail in 
this state, so 1 ean get them ; §100, if caught in 
any other Slaverstate, and confined in a jail so that 
I can get them ; and $200, if caught in atiy Fi-ee 
state, and put in any good jail in Kentucky or 
Tennessee, so I can get them. 

A. W. JonxsoN. 

Nashville, July 9, 1849. 

The following three advertisements are 
taken from Alabama papers : 

R AAA WAY 

From the Subscriber, working on the plantation 
of Col. IL Tinker, a bright mulatto boy, named 
Alfred. Alfred is about 18 years old, pretty well 
grown, lias bkie eyes, light flaxen hair, skin disposed 
to freckle. He will try to pass as free-born. 

Green County, Ala. S. G. Stewart. 



100 DOLLARS RE\VARD. 

Ran away from the subscriber, a bright mulatto 
man-slave, named Sam. Light, sandy hair, blue 
eyes, ruddy complexion, — is so white as very easily 
to pass for a free white man. Edwln Peck. 

Mybilc, April 22, 1837. 



RANAW^AY, 

On the 15th of May, from me, a negro woman, 
named Fanny. Said woman is 2C years old ; is 
rather tall ; can read and write, and so forge 
passes for herself. Carried away with her a pair 
of ear-rings, — a Bible with a red cover ; is very 
pious. She prays a great deal, and was, as sup- 
posed, contented and happy. She is as ivhite as 
most white women, with straight, light hair, and blue 
eyes, and can pass herself for a white woman. I 
will give $500 for her apprehension and deliverj 
to me. She is very intelligent. 

Tuscaloosa, May 29, 1845. John Balch. 

From the Newhern (N. C.) Spectator : 

50 DOLLARS REWARD 

Will be given for the apprehension and delivery 
to me of the following slaves : — Samuel, and Judy 
his wife, with their four children, belonging to 
the estate of Sacker Dubberly, deceased. 

I will give $10 for the apprehension of William 
Dvbberly, a slave belonging to the estate. William 
is about 19 years old, quite white, and would not 
readily be taken for a slave. . John J. Lane. 

March 13, 1837. 

The next two advertisements we cut from 
the Neii^ Orleans Picayune of Sept. 2, 
1846: 

25 DOLLARS REWARD. 

Ranaway from the plantation of Madame Fergus 
Duplantier, on or about the 27th of June, 1846, a 
bright mulatto, named Ned, very stout built, about 
5 feet 11 inches high, speaks English and French, 
about 35 years old, waddles in his walk. He may 
try to pass himself for a white man, as he is of a 
very clear color, and has sandy hair. The above 
reward will be paid to whoever will bring him to 
MaJame Duplantier's plantation, Manehac, or 
lodge him in some jail where he can be conve- 
niently obtained. 



200 DOLLARS REWARD. 

Ran away from the subscriber, last November. 
a white negro man, about 35 years old, height 
about 5 feet 8 or 10 inches, blue eyes, has a yellow 
woolly head, very fair skin. 

These are the characteristics of three races. 
The copper-colored complexion shows the In- 
dian blood. The others are the mixed races 
of negroes and whites. It is known that the 
poor remains of Indian races have been in 
many cases forced into slavery. It is no 
less certain that white children have some- 
times been kidnapped and sold into slavery. 
Rev. George Bourne, of Virginia, Presbyte- 
rian minister, who wrote against slavery 
there as early as 1816, gives an account of 
a boy who was stolen from his parents at seven 
years of age, immersed in a tan-vat to change 
his complexion, tattooed and sold, and, after 
a captivity of fourteen years, succeeded in 
escaping. The tanning process is not neces- 
sary now, as a fair skin is no presumption 
against slavery. There is reason to think 



184 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



that the grandmother of poor Emily Rus- 
sell was a white cJtild^ stolen by kidnappers. 
That kidnappers may steal and sell white 
jhildren at the South now, is evident from 
these advertisements. 

The writer, within a week, has seen a 
fugitive quadroon mother, who had with her 
two children, — a boy of ten months, and a 
girl of three years. Both were surpassingly 
fair, and uncommonly beautiful. The girl 
had blue eyes and golden hair. The mother 
and those children were about to be sold for 
the division of an estate, which was the reason 
why she fled. When the mind once becomes 
fe,miliarized with the process of slavery, — of 
enslaving first black, then Indian, then mu- 
latto, then quadroon, and when blue eyes and 
golden hair are advertised as properties of 
negroes^ — what protection will there be for 
poor white people, especially as under the 
present fugitive law they can be carried 
away without a jury trial? 

A Governor of South Carolina openly de- 
clared, in 1835, that the laboring population 
of any country, bleached or unbleached, 
were a dangerous element, unless reduced 
to' slavery. Will not this be the result, then 7 



CHAPTER VIII. 

" POOR WHITE TRASH." 

When the public sentiment of Europe 
speaks in tones of indignation of the system 
of American slavery, the common reply has 
been, " Look at your own lower classes?'' 
The apologists of slavery have pointed Eng- 
land to her own poor. They have spoken 
of the heathenish ignorance, the vice, the 
darkness, of her crowded cities, — nay, even 
of her agricultural districts. 

Now, in the first place, a country where 
the population is not crowded, where the 
resources of the soil are more than sufficient 
for the inhabitants, — a country of recent 
origin, not burdened with the worn-out 
institutions and clumsy lumber of past ages, 
— ought not to be satisfied to do only as well 
as countries which have to struggle against 
all these evils. 

It is a poor defence for America to say to 
older countries, ' ' We are no worse than you 
are." She ought to be infinitely better. 

But it will appear that the institution of 

slavery has produced not only heathenish. 

" degraded, miserable slaves, but it produces 

a class of white people who are, by univer- 



sal admission, more heathenish, degraded, 
and miserable. The institution of slavery 
has accomplished the double feat, in America, 
not only of degrading and brutalizing her 
black working classes, but of producing, 
notwithstanding a fertile soil and abundant 
room, a poor Avhite population as degraded 
and brutal as ever existed in jpy of the most 
crowded districts of Europej^Pk 

The way that it is done can be made ap- 
parent in a few words. 1. The distribu- 
tion of the land into large plantations, and 
the consequent sparseness of settlement, 
make any system of common-school edu- 
cation impracticable. 2. The same cause 
operates with regard to the preaching of the 
gospel. 3. The degradation of the idea of 
labor, which results inevitably from en- 
slaving the working class, operates to a 
great extent in preventing respectable work- 
ing men of the middling classes from settling 
or remaining in slave states. Where carpen- 
ters, blacksmiths and masons, are advertised 
every week with their own tools, or in com- 
pany with horses, hogs and other cattle, 
there is necessarily such an estimate of the 
laboring class that intelligent, self-respecting 
mechanics, such as abound in the free states, 
must find much that is annoying and disa- 
greeable. They may endure it for a time, 
but with much uneasiness ; and they are glad 
of the first opportunity of emigration. 

Then, again, the filling up of all branches 
of mechanics and agriculture with slave lalx)i 
necessarily depresses free labor. Suppose, 
now, a family of poor whites in Carolina or 
Virginia, and the same family in Vermont 
or Maine ; how different the influences that 
come over them ! In Vermont or Maine, 
the children have the means of .education at 
hand in public schools, and they have all 
around them in society avenues of success 
that require only industry to make them 
available. The boys have their choice 
among all the different trades, for which the 
organization of free society makes a steady 
demand. The girls, animated by the spirit 
of the land in which they are born, think 
useful labor no disgrace, and find, with true 
female ingenuity, a hundred Avays of adding 
to the family stock. If there bo one mem- 
ber of a family in whom diviner gifts and 
higher longings seem a call for a more fin- 
ished course of education, then cheerfully 
the whole family unites its productive indus- 
try to give that one the wider education 
which his wider genius demands ; and thus 
have been given to the world such men aa 
Roger Sherman and Daniel Webster. 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. 



,185 



But take this same family and plant them 
in South Carolina or Virginia — how differ- 
ent the result ! No common school opens 
its doors to their children ; the only church, 
perhaps, is fifteen miles off, over a bad road. 
The whole atmosphere of the country in 
which they are born associates degradation 
and slavery with useful labor ; and the only 
standard of gentility is ability to live without 
work. What branch of useful labor opens 
a way to its sons 7 Would he be a black- 
smith? — The planters around him prefer to 
buy their blacksmiths in Virginia. Would 
he be a carpenter 7 — Each planter in his 
neighborhood owns one or two now. And 
so coopers and masons. Would he be a 
shoe-maker ? — The plantation shoes are made 
in Lynn and Natick, towns of New Eng- 
land. In fact, between the free labor of the 
North and the slave labor of the South, 
there is nothing for a poor white to do. 
Without schools or churches, these misera- 
ble families grow up heathen on a Christian 
soil, in idleness, vice, dirt and discomfort 
of all sorts. They are the pest of the 
neighborhood, the scoff and contempt or pity 
even of the slaves. The expressive phrase, 
so common in the mouths of the negroes, of 
" poor white trash," says all for this luckless 
race of beings that can be said. From this 
class spring a tribe of keepers of small grog- 
geries, and dealers, by a kind of contraband 
trade, with the negroes, in the stolen produce 
of plantations. Thriving and promising 
sons may perhaps hope to grow up into 
negro-traders, and thence be exalted into 
overseers of plantations. The utmost stretch 
of ambition is to compass money enough, by 
any of a variety of nondescript measures, 
to "buy a nigger or two," and begin to 
appear like other folks. Woe betide the 
unfortunate negro man or woman, carefully 
raised in some good religious family, when 
an execution or the death of their proprie- 
tors throws them into the market, and they 
are bought by a master and mistress of this 
class ! yftentimes the slave is infinitely 
the superit^r, in every respect, — in person, 
manners, education and morals ; but, for all 
that, the law guards the despotic authority 
of the owner quite as jealously. 

From all that would appear, in the case 
of Souther, which we have recorded, he 
must have been one of this class. We have 
certain indications, in the evidence, that the 
two white witnesses, who spent the whole 
day in gaping, unresisting survey of his 
diabolical .proceedings, were men of this 
order. It appears that the crime alleged 



against the poor victim was that of gettmg 
drunk and trading with these two very men, 
and that they were sent for probably by 
way of shelving them " what a nigger would 
get by trading with them." This circum- 
stance at once marks them out as belonging 
to that band of half-contraband traders who 
spring up among the mean whites, and occa- 
sion owners of slaves so much inconvenience 
by dealing with their hands. Can any 
words so forcibly show what sort of whit<; 
men these are, as the idea of their stand- 
ing in stupid, brutal curiosity, a whole day. 
as witnesses in such a hellish scene 1 . 

Conceive the misery of the slave who falls 
into the hands of such masters ! A clergy- 
man, now dead, communicated to the writer 
the following anecdote : In travelling in 
one of the Southern States, he put up for 
the night in a miserable log shanty, kept by 
a man of this class. All was dirt, discom- 
fort and utter barbarism. The man, his 
wife, and their stock of wild, neglected chil- 
dren, drank whiskey, loafed and predominat- 
ed over the miserable man and woman who 
did all the work and bore all the caprices of 
the whole establishment. He — the gentle- 
man — was not long in discovering that these 
slaves were in person, language, and in every 
respect, superior to their owners ; and all 
that he could get of comfort in this misera- 
ble abode was owing to their ministrations. 
Before he went away, they contrived to have 
a private interview, and begged him to buy 
them. They told him that they had been 
decently brought up in a respectable and 
refined family, and that their bondage was 
therefore the more inexpressibly galling. 
The poor creatures had waited on him with 
most assiduous care, tending his horse, 
brushing his boots, and anticipating all his 
wants, in the hope of inducing him to buy 
them. The clergyman said that he never 
so wished for money as when he saw the 
dejected visages with which they listened to 
his assurances that he was too poor to com- 
ply with their desires. 

This miserable class of whites form, in all 
the Southern States, a material for the most 
horrible and ferocious of mobs. Utterly 
ignorant, and inconceivably brutal, they aro 
like some blind, savage monster, which, 
when aroused, tramples heedlessly over 
everything in its way. 

Singular as it may appear, though slavery 
is the cause of the misery and degradation of 
this class, yet they are the most vehement 
and ferocious advocates of slavery. 

The reason is this. They feel the scoi a 



'«?6 



KEY TO UXCLE TOM S CABIN. 



of the upper classes, and their only means 
of consolation is in having a class below 
them, whom thej may scorn in turn. To 
set the negro at liberty would deprive them 
of this last comfort ; and accordingly no 
class of men advocate slavery with such 
frantic and unreasoning violence, or hate 
abolitionists with such demoniac hatred. Let 
the reader conceive of a mob of men as 
brutal and callous as the two white witnesses 
of the Souther tragedy, led on by men like 
Souther himself, and he will have some idea 
of the materials which occur in the worst 
kind of Southern mobs. 

The leaders of the community, those men 
who play on other men with as little care 
for them as a harper plays on a harp, keep 
this blind, furious monster of the mob, very 
much as an overseer keeps plantation-dogs, 
as creatures to be set on to any man or thing 
whom they may choqse to have put down. 

These leading men have used the cry of 
'■^ abolitionism^^ over the mob, much as a 
huntsman uses the "set on" to his dosrs. 
Whenever they have a purpose to carry, a 
man to put down, they have only to raise 
this cry, and the monster is wide awake, 
ready to spring wherever they shall send 
him. 

Does a minister raise his voice in favor of 
the slave ? — Immediately, Avith a whoop and 
hurra, some editor starts the mob on him, as 
an abolitionist. Is there a man teaching his 
negroes to read ? — The mob is started upon 
him — he must promise to give it up, or 
leave the state. Does a man at a public 
hotel-table express his approbation of some 
anti-slavery work? — Up come the police, and 
arrest him for seditious language ; * and on the 
heels of the police, thronging round the 
justice's oflSce, come the ever-ready mob, — 
men with clubs and bowie-knives, swearing 
that they will have his heart 's blood. The 
more respectable citizens in vain try to com- 
pose them ; it is quite as hopeful to reason 
with a pack of hounds, and the only way is 
to sumggle the suspected person out of the 
state as quickly as possible. All these are 
scenes of common occurrence at the South. 
Every Southern man knows them to bo so, 
and tlicy know, too, the reason iohy they are 
so; but, so much do they fear the monster, 
that they dare not say whut they know. 

This brute monster sometimes gets be- 
yond the power of his masters, and then 
results ensue most mortifying to the patriot- 



* The writer is describing liore a scene of recent occur- 
rence in a sliivc state, of whose particuhirs she has the 
best means of knowledge. The work in question was 
" Uncle Tom's Cabin." 



ism of hdnorable Southern men. but which 
they are powerless to prevent. Such wa3 
the case when the Honorable Senator Hoar, 
of Massachusetts, with his daughter, visited 
the city of Charleston. The senator was 
appointed by the sovereign State of jNIassa- 
chusetts to inquire into the condition of her • 
free colored citizens detained in South Caro- 
lina prisons. We cannot suppose that men of 
honor and education, in South Carolina, can 
contemplate without chagrin the fact that 
this honorable gentleman, the representa- 
tive of a sister state, and accompanied by 
his daughter, was obliged to flee from South. 
Carolina, because they were told that the 
constituted authorities would not be powerful 
enough to protect them from the ferocities 
of a mob. This is not the only case in which 
this mob power has escaped from the hands 
of its guiders, and produced mortifying re- 
sults. The scenes of Yicksburg, and the 
succession of popular whirlwinds Avhich at 
that time flew over the south-western states, 
have been forcibly painted by the author of 
"The White Slave." 

They who find these popular outbreaks 
useful when they serve their own turns are 
sometimes forcibly reminded of the conse- 
quences 

" Of letting rapine loose, and murder. 
To go juxt so far, and no further ; 
And setting all the land on fire, 
To huinjunt so high, and no higher." 

The statements made above can be sub- 
stantiated by various documents, — mostly 
by the testimony of residents in slave states, 
and by extracts from their newspapers. 

Concerning the class of poor whites, Mr. 
William Gregg, of Charleston, South Caro- 
lina, in a pamphlet, called "Essays on Do- 
mestic Industry, or an Inquiry into the 
expediency of establishing Cotton Manufac- 
tories in South Carolina, 1845," says, p. 22 : 

Shall we pass unnoticed the thousands of poor, 
ignorant, degraded white people among us, who, 
in this land of plenty, live in comparative naked- 
ness and starvation? ^lany a one is reared in 
proud South Carolina, from birth to manhood, who 
has never passed a month in which he has not, 
some part of the time, been stinted for meat. 
jMany a motlicr is there who will tell you tliat her 
children are but scantily pi-ovided with bread, and 
much more scantily with meat ; and, if they bo clad 
with comfortable raiment, it is at the expense of 
tiiese scanty allowances of food. These may be 
startling statements, but they are nevcrthclesji true ; 
and if not believed in Charleston, the members of 
our legislature who have traversed the state in 
electioneering campaigns can attest their truth.'' 

The Rev. Henry DufFner, D.D., Presi- 
dent of Lexington College, Va., himself a 



i 



KEY TO UNCLE TOMS CABIN. 



187 



slave-holder, published in 1847 an address 
to the people of Virginia, showing that slav- 
ery is injurious to public welfare, in which 
he shows the influence of slavery in producing 
a decrease of the white population. He says : 

It appears that, in the ten years ft-om 1830 to 
1840. Virp;inia lost by emigration no fewer than 
three hundred and seventy-five thousand of her 
people ; of whom East Virginia lost three hun- 
dred and four thousand, and West Virginia 
seventy-one thousand. At this rate, Virginia 
supplies the Wesb, every ten years, with a 
population equal in number to the population 
of the State of Mississippi in 1840. ***** 
She has sent — or, we should rather say, she has 
driven — from her soil at least one-third of all the 
emigrants who have gone from the old states to 
the new. More than another third have gone from 
the other old slave states. Many of these multi- 
tudes, who have left the slave states, have shunned 
the regions of slavery, and settled in the free 
countries of the West. These were generally in- 
dustrious and enterprising white men, who found, 
by sad experience, that a country of slaves was 
not the country for them. It is a truth, a certain 
trnth, that slavery drives free laborers — farmers, 
mechanics and all, and some of the best of them, too 
— out of the country, and fills their places with ne- 
groes. ***** Even the common mechanical 
trades do not flourish in a slave state. Some 
mechanical operations must, indeed, be performed 
in every civilized country ; but the general rule in 
the Soutli is, to import from abroad every fabri- 
cated thing that can be carried in ships, such as 
household furniture, boats, boards, laths, carts, 
ploughs, axes, and axe-helves ; besides innumerable 
other things, which free communities are accus- 
tomed to make for themselves. What is most 
wonderful is, that the forests and iron mines of 
the South supply, in great part, the materials out 
of which these things are made. The Northern 
freemen come with their ships, carry home the 
timber and pig-iron, work them up, supply their 
own wants with a part, and then sell the rest at a 
good profit in the Southern markets. Now, al- 
though mechanics, by setting up their shops in 
the South, could save all these freights and profitp, 
yet so it is that Northern mechanics will not settle 
in the South, and the Southern mechanics are un- 
dersold by their Northern competitors. 

In regard to education, Rev. Theodore 
Parker gives the following statistics, in his 
•Letters on Slavery," p. Q5: 

In 1G71, Sir William Berkely, Governor of Vir- 
ginia, said, " I thank God that there are no free 
schools nor printing-presses (in Virginia), and I 
hope we shall not have them these hundred years." 
In 1840, in the fifteen slave states and territories, 
there were at the various primary schools 201,085 
scholars ; at the various primary schools of the 
free states, 1,620,028. The State of Ohio alono 
had, at her primary schools, 17,524 more scholars 
than all the fifteen slave states. New York alone 
had 301,282 more. 

In the slave states there are 1,368,325 free white 
children between the ages of five and twenty ; in 
the free states, 3,536,089 such children. In the 
slave states, at schools and colleges, there are 
301,172 pupils; in the free states, 2.212,444 
pupils at schools or colleges. Thus, in the slave 
states, out of twenty-five free white children be- 



tween five and twenty, there are not quite five a4 
any school or college ; while out of twenty-five 
such children in the free states, there are more 
than fifteen at school or college. 

In the slave states, of the free white population 
that is over twenty years of age, there is almost 
one-tenth part that are unable to read and write ; 
while in the free states there is not quite one in 
one hundred and fifty-six who is deficient to that 
degree. 

In New England there are but few bom therein, 
and more than twenty years of dge, who are un- 
al)le to read and write ; but many foreigners 
arrive there with no education, and thus swell the 
numberof the illiterate, and diminish the apparent 
effect of her free institutions. The South has few 
such emigrants ; the ignorance of the Southern 
States, therefore, is to be ascribed to other causes. 
The Northern men who settle in the slave-lioldinc; 
states have perhaps about the average culture oi 
the North, and more than that of the South. The 
South, therefore, gains educationally from immi- 
gration, as the North loses. 

Among the Northern States Connecticut, and 
among the Southern States South Carolina, are to 
a great degree free from disturbing influences of 
this character. A comparison between tlie two 
will show the relative effects of the respective in- 
stitutions of the North and South. In Connecti- 
cut there are 163,843 free persons over twenty 
years of age ; in South Carolina, but 111,663, In 
Connecticut there are but 526 persons over twenty 
who are unable to read and write, while in South 
Carolina there are 20,615 free white persons over 
twenty years of age unable to read and write. In 
South Carolina, out of each 626 free whites more 
than twenty years of age there are more than 58 
wholly unable to read or write ; out of that num- 
ber of such persons in Connecticut, not quite two ! 
More than the sixth part of the adult freemen of 
South Carolina are unable to read the vote which 
will be deposited at the next election. It is but 
fair to infer that at least one-third of the adults 
of South Carolina, if not of much of the South, are 
unable to read and understand even a newspaper. 
Indeed, in one of the slave states this is not a 
matter of mere inference ; for in 1837 Gov. Clarke, 
of Kentucky, declared in his message to the legis- 
lature that "one-third of the adult population 
were unable to write tlieir names ;" yet Kentucky 
has a " school-fund," valued at $1,221,819, while 
South Carolina has none. 

One sign of this want of ability even to read, in 
the slave states, is too striking to be passed by. 
The staple reading of the least-cultivated Ameri- 
cans is the newspapers, one of the lowest forms of 
literature, though one of the most powerful, read 
even by men who read nothing else. In the slave 
states there are pul^lished but 377 newspapers, 
and in the free 1135. These numbers do not ex- 
press the entire difference in the case ; for, as a 
general mle, the circulation of the Southern news- 
papers is 50 to 75 per cent, less than that of the 
North. Suppose, however, that each Southern 
newspaper has two-thirds the circulation of a 
Northern journal, we have then but 225 newspapers 
for the slave states I The more valuable journals — 
the monthlies and quarterlies — are published 
almost entirely in the free States. 

The number of churches, the number .and char- 
acter of the clergy who labor for these churches, 
are other measures of the intellectual and moral 
condition of the people. The scientific character 
of the Southern clergy has l^eeu already touched 
on. Let us comp;ure the more ext ;i.l facta. 



188 



KEY TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



In 1830, South Carolina had a population of 
581,185 souls ; Connecticut, 297,675. In 183G, 
South Carolina had 364 ministers; Connecticut, 
498. 

• In 1834, there were in the slave states but 
82,532 scholars in the Sunday-schools ; in the free 
states, 504,835 ; in the single State of New York, 
161,768. 

The fact of constant emigration from 
slave states is also shown by such extracts 
from papers a§ the following, from the 
Raleigli (N. C.) Register, quoted in the 
columns of the National Era : 

THEY WILL LEAVE NORTH CAROLINA. 

Our attention was arrested, on Saturday last, 
by quite a long train of wagons, winding througli 
our streets, which, upon inquiry, we found to be- 
long to a party emigrating from Wayne county, 
in this state, to the " far West." This is but a 
repetition of many similar scenes that we and 
others have witnessed during the past few years ; 
and such spectacles will be still more frequently 
witnessed, unless something is done to retrieve 
our fallen fortunes at home. 

If there be any one "consummation devoutly 
to be wished " in our policy, it is that our young 
men should remain at home, and not abandon 
their native state. From the early settlement of 
North Carolina, the great drain upon her pros- 
perity has been the spirit of emigration, which 
has so prejudicially afiected all the states of the 
South. Her sons, hitherto neglected (if we must 
say it) by an unparental government, hav6 
wended their way, by hundreds upon hundreds, 
from the land of their fathers, — that land, too, to 
make it a paradise, wanting nothing but a market, 
— to bury their bones in the land of strangers. 
We firmly believe that this emigration is caused 
by the laggard policy of our people on the subject 
of internal improvement, for man is not prone 
by nature to desert the home of his affections. 

The editor of the Era also quotes the fol- 
lowing from the Greensboro (Ala.) Beacon : 

"An unusually large number of movers have 
passed through this village, within the past two 
or three weeks. On one day of last week, up- 
wards of thirty wagons and other vehicles belong- 
ing to emigrants, mostly from Georgia and South 
Carolina, passed through on their way, most of 
tliem bound to Texas and Arkansas." 

This tide of emigration does not emanate from 
an overflowing population. Very far from it. 
Rather it marks an abandonment of a soil which, 
exhausted by injudicious culture, will no longer 
repay the labor of tillage. The emigrant, turning 
iiis back upon the homes of his childhood, leaves 
a desolate region, it may be, and finds that he can 
indulge in his feelings of local attachment only at 
the risk of starvation. 

IIow are tlie older states of the South to keep 
their population 1 Wo say nothing of an increase , 
but how are tliey to hold their own ? It is use- 
loss to talk al)out strict construction, state rights, 
or Wilmot Provisos. Of what avail can such 
things bo to a sterile desert, upon which people 
cannot subsist? 

In tiie columns of the National Era, 



Oct. 2, 1851, also is the foll)wmg article, 
by its editor : 

STAN1> YOUR GROUND. 

A citizen of Guilford county, N. C, in a letter 
to the True Wesleyan, dated August 20th, 1851, 
writes : 

' ' You may discontinue my paper for the present, 
as I am inclined to go Westward, where I can 
enjoy religious liberty, and have my family in a 
free country. Mobocracy has the ascendency 
here, and there is no law. Brother Wilson had 
an appointment on Liberty Hill, on Sabbath, 24th 
inst. The mob came armed, according to mob 
law, and commenced operations on the meeting- 
house. They knocked all the weather-boarding off, 
destroying doors, windows, pulpit, and benches ; 
and I have no idea that, if the mob was to kill a 
AYesleyan, or one of their friends, that they would 
be hung. 

" There is more moving this fall to the far West 
than was ever known ia one year. People do not 
like to be made slaves, and they are determined 
to go where it is no crime to plead the cause of 
the poor and oppressed. They have become 
alarmed at seeing the laws of God trampled under 
foot with impunity, and that, too, by legislators, 
sworn ofiicers of the peace, and professors of reli- 
gion. And even ministers (so called) are justify- 
ing mobocracy. They think that such a course 
of conduct will lead to a dissolution of the Union , 
and then every man will have to fight in defence 
of slavery, or be killed. This is an awful state 
of things, and, if the people were destitute of the 
Bible, and the various means of information which 
they possess, there might be some hope of reform. 
But there is but little hope, under existing circum- 
stances." 

We hope the writer wiU reconsider his pui-pose. 
In his section of North Carolina there are very 
many anti-slavery men, and the majority of the 
people have no interest in what is called slave 
property. Let them stand their ground, and 
maintain the right of free discussion. How is 
the despotism of Slavery to be put down, if those 
opposed to it abandon their rights, and flee their 
country V^Let them do as the idomitable Clay 
docs in Kentucky, and they will make themselves 
respected. 

The following is quoted, without comment, 
in the Natiotial Era, in 1851, from the col- 
umns of the Angtista Republic (Georgia) . 

FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN GEORGIA. 

( Warrcnton (Ga.), 

\ Thursday, July 10, 1851. 
This day the citizens of the town and county 
met in the court-house at eight o'clock, A. M. On 
motion, Thomas F. Parsons, Esq., was called to 
the chair, and Mr. Wm. H. Pilclier requested to 
act as secretary. 

The object of the meeting was stated by the 
chaii'man, as follows : 

Whereas, our community has been thrown into 
confusion by the presence among us of one 
Nathan Bird Watson, who hails from New Haven 
(Conn.) , and who has been promulgating abolition 
sentiments, publicly and privately, among oux 
people, — sentiments at war with our institutions, 
and intolerable in a slave community, — and also 
been detected in visiting suspicious negro houses, 



KEY 



TO UNCLE TOM S CABIN. 



189 



as we suppose for the purposte of inciting our 
slaves and free negro population to insurrection 
and insubordination. 

The meeting having been organized, Wm. Gib- 
son, Esq., oifcred the following resolution, which, 
after various expressions of opinion, was unani- 
mously adopted, to wit : 

Resolved, That a committee of ten be appointed 
bv the chairman for the purpose of making ar- 
rangements to expel Nathan Bird Watson, an 
avowed abolitionist, who has been in our village 
for three or four weeks, by twelve o'clock this day, 
by the Georgia Railroad cars ; and that it shall 
be the duty of said committee to escort the said 
Watson to Camak, for the purpose of shipment to 
his native land. 

The following gentlemen were named as that 
committee : 

William Gibson, E. Cody, J. M.Roberts, J. B. 
Eluff, E. H. Pottle, E. A. Brinkley, John C. Jen- 
nings, George W. Dickson, A. B. Rogers, and 
Dr. R. W. Hubert. 

On motion, the chairman was added to that 
committee. 

It was, on motion, 

Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting, 
witli a minute description of the said Watson, be 
forwarded to the publishers of the Augusta papers , 
with the request that they, and all other pub- 
lishers of papers in the slave-holding states, pub- 
lish the same for a sufficient length of time. 

Description. — The said Nathan Bird Watson 
is a man of dark complexion, hazel eyes, black 
hair, and Avears a heavy beard ; measures five 
feet eleven and three-quarter inches ; has a quick 
itep, and walks with his toes inclined inward, 
and a little stooped-shouldered ; now wears a 
checked coat and white pants ; says he is twenty- 
three years of age, but will pass for twenty-iive 
or thirty. 

On motion, the meeting was adjourned. 

Thomas F. Parsons, Chairman. 

William H. Pilches, Secretary. 

This may be regarded as a specimen of 
that kind of editorial halloo which is de- 
signed to rouse and start in pursuit of a 
man the bloodhounds of the mob. 

The following is copied by the National 
Era from the Richmond Times : 

LYNCH LAW. 

On the 13th inst. the vigilance committee of 
the county of Grayson, in this state, arrested a 
man named John Cornutt [a friend and follower 
of Bacon, the Ohio abolitionist], and, after ex- 
amining the evidence against him, required him 
to renounce his abolition sentiments. This Cor- 
nutt refused to do ; thereupon, he was stripped, 
tied to a tree, and whipped. After receiving a 
dozen stripes, he caved in, and promised, not only 
to recant, but to sell hia property in the county 
[consisting of land and negroes], and leave the 
state. Great excitement prevailed throughout 
the country, and the Wythev