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FROM 1817 TO 1882, 










[Authoriied JEditiottf oftd Coytfright.l 




132, Piccadilly, London, 

March 8, 1882. 

7(9 Me. John Lobb, "^ 

Dear Sib, 

I am glad to hear that you are about to 
publish AN Engush Edition of the Life and Times 
OF Frederick Douglass, — ^in his youth a slave in the 
State of Maryland, now holding an honourable office 
in the District of Columbia, in the United States of 

I have read the Book with great interest. It 
shows what may be done, and has been done, by a 
man bom imder the most adverse circumstances ; — 
done, not for himself alone, but for his race, and for 
his country. It shows also, how a great nation, 
persisting in a great crime, cannot escape the penalty 
inseparable from crime. 


History has probably no more striking example 
of the manner in which an oflfence of the highest guilt 
may be followed by the most terrible punishment, 
than is to be found in the events which make the 
history oi the United States, from the year 1860 to 
the year 1865. 

The Book which you are about to oflfer to 
English Readers is one which will stimulate the 
individual to noble effort and to virtue ; whilst it will 
act as a lesson and a warning to every nation whose 
policy is based upon injustice and wrong. 

I hope it may find its way into many thousands 
of English homes. 

I am, with great respect. 

Yours sincerely, 





Birtih and parentage — Place of birtih — Description of country — Its 
inhabitants — Genealogical trees — Method of counting time in slave 
districts — Date of birth — Names of grandparents — Their cabin — Home 
with them— Slave practice of separating mothers from their children 
— Recollections of his mother — Who was his father P . . . pages 1 -H 


Removal fi'om grandmother*s — Early home — Its charms Ignorance of 
**01d Master^' — His gradual perception of the truth concerning him 
—His relations to Col. Edward Lloyd— Removal to ** Old Master's" 
home— His journey thence— His separation from his gi*andmother — 
His grief pages I 7 


Troubles of childhood- -Col. Lloyd's plantation — Aunt Katy— Her 
camelty and ill nature — Capt. Anthony's partiality to Aunt Katy — 
Allowance of food -Hunger— Unexpected rescue by his mother — The 
reproof of Aunt Katy —Sleep- A slave mother's love His inheritance 
—His mother's acquirements — Her death pages 8 10 


A general survey of the slave plantation — Home plantation of Col. 
Lloyd — Its isolation — Its industries- The slave rule - Power of over- 
seers—Finds some enjoyment— Natural scenery — Sloop ** Sally Lloyd " 
Windmill— Blave quarter— " Old Master's" House -Stables, ston- 
houses, &c. — The great house — Its surroundings — Lloyd- Burial plaor 
— Superstition of slaves — Col. Lloyd's wealth — Negro politeness — 
Doctor Copper— Capt. Anthony— Hw family- Master Daniel Lloyd 
His brothers -Social etiquette paoks 11-18 




A SlavehQ]der*8 character — Increafdng' acquaintanoe with **01d Master 
— ^Evils of anredated paaaioii — Apparent tendemees — A man of trouble 
— Costom of muttering to himself — Brutal outrage — ^A drunken over- 
seer — Slaveholder's impatience — ^Wisdom of appeal — A base and selfish 
attempt to break up a courtship paoes 19 — 23 


A child's reasoning — Early reflections on slavery- -Aunt Jennie and Uncle 
Noah — Presentiment of one day becoming a freeman — Conflict between 
an overseer and a slavewoman — Advantage of resistance — Death of an 
overseer — Col. Lloyd's plantation home — Monthly distribution of food 
— Singing of slaves — ^An explanation — ^The slave's food and clothing 
— Naked children — Idle in the quarter — Sleeping places — Not beds — 
Deprivation of sleep — Care of nursing babies — Ash-cake — Contrast. 



Luxuries at the great house — Contrasts — Great house luxuries — It8 
hospitality — Entertainments — ^Fault-finding — Shameful humiliation of 
an old and faithful coachman — ^TiViIliam Wilks — Curious incident — 
Expressed satisfaction — Not always genuine — ^Reasons for suppress- 
ing the truth. PAGES 31 — 37 


Characteristics of overseers — Austin Gore — Sketch of his character — Over- 
seers asaclass — ^Their peculiarcharacteristics — ^Themarkedindividuality 
of Austin Gk>re— His sense of duty — Murder of poorDenby — Sensation 
— How Gk>re made his peace with Col. Lloyd — Other horrible murders 
— No laws for the protection of slaves could possibly be enforced. 

PA0B8 38 — 42 


Change of location — ^Miss Lucretia — Her kindness — How it was mani- 
fested — "Dee" — ^A battle with him — Miss Lucietia's balsam — Bread — 
How it was obtained — Gleams of sunlight amidst the general darkness 
— Suffering from cold — How we took our meal mush — Preparations for 
going to Baltimore — ^Delight at the change— Cousin Tom's opinion of 
Baltimore — ^Arri'^al there — Kind reception — Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Auld 
— ^Their son Tommy — My relations to them — My duties — A turning 
XK>int in my life pages 43 — 48 


f to read — City mutojaiict 


n reKTBta — My mi«tresa — 

trhistoiy — H*r IdndneM— My inusttT— Hin doumem — My comfort- 
— IncfMaed seadtiYeneHS— My DccupatioD — LiBirtanif to nad^Bane- 
fnl elTeata nf «Ureholdiik^ on my dear, fto'id miBtreat — Mr. Hu^h for- 
bids Mrs. Sophia to leach me further —Cltniiln puthot on my hrig'hl 
pmapecta — Master Auld'B eipualtiuu uf the philosophy of slavery— 
Oitf direr. — Countiy slavea — Contraati! — ExfiBptions— Mr. Hamilton'!' 
two tilavc« — MiB. Hamilton's oroel treatment uf them — Piteoos aspeot 
pnoented by them —No power to eome between the filave Hnd the 


trowing in knowledge— My roiatresa — Hernlaveholding dutleii — Theeffecta 
on her onginully noble Qaturc — The conflict in her mind- -She oppowH 
my leaming to read — Too late — She had given me the " inch," I was 
reaolved to take the "ell" — -How I puraoed my xtudy to read — My 
Ritan — What progrcHS I miide^-31avery —What I henid said about it- - 
Thirteen yeam old — " Colnmbiao Orator" — Dialogue speeohee— 
dherid&n — Pitt — Lorda Chatham and Fox— Knowledge incretihing- - 
labeny — Singing—Sadden unliappiness of Mrs. Sophia — My hatred of 
"Uvpry — One Upas trpe ovemhadowH u« all pabes S4 



h-liifiouii nature awaboned — AbulitiouistM ipoken uf — GagcmeBH to know 
the mealting of word — Consults the dictionaiy — Incendiary information 
enigma solved — "Nut Turner" Insurrection — Cholera— 
Religion — Hethodi«t miniitter — Religitme impreeaions— Father LawHoii 
— HLb character and occapation — ^His influenoe over me — Our mutual 
attauhment — Now hopeH and aapirationB— Heavenly light— Tno 
Iriahmen an wharf — ConverBation with them— Learning to write - My 

' viciflflitDderi of hlave life — Death of old luaater'n Bon Riohard, Hpoudily 
fallowed by that of old manter — Valuation and diviMOD of all the 
pnpetty — Including the ^lavea — Seut for, to uome to Hilliiborough to be 
valued and divided — Sad proapectH and gricf-^Parting- Slaves have no 
Viricc in deciding their own deatinien — General dread of (altiug- into 
HtMer Andnnv's haada- HIh drunkennewi^Oood fortune in falling to 
Hiaa Lncretia— She allowB my retom to Baltimore— Joy at maHtor 
Bug)i'»— Death uf Miw Lucretia — Maater Thomas Auld's iwooad 
oianiagc- -The new wife unlike the old— Again removed from Haator 
Hn^'a — Reaaona for regret— Plua of etmape PLass 88^5 

■-. — ^-•^f^m'mi^mmmmm^^ 




Expmenoe in St. SfidhaelB — St. Michaels and its inhabitants — Gapt. 
Anld — His new wife — Sufferings from hunger — ^Foroed to steal — 
Argument in vindication thereof — Southern oamp meeting — What 
Gapt. Anld did there — ^Hopes — Suspicions — ^The result — Faith and 
woritB at Tarianoe — Position in the church — Poor cousin Henny — ^ 
Methodist preachers — ^Their disregard of the slaves — One exception — 
Sabbath school — How and by whom broken up — Sad change in my 
prospects — Covey, the negro breaker pxqes 76 — 86 


Journey to Covey's — Meditations by the way — Covey's house^Family — 
Awkwardness asafieldhand —A cruel beating — Why given —Description 
of Oovey — First attempt at driving oxen — Hair breadth escape — Ox 
and man alike property- —Hard labour more effective than the whip for 
breaJdng down the spirit —Cunning and trickery of Covey — Family 
worship — Shocking and indecent contempt for chastity — Great mental 
iigitation —Anguish beyond description pages 87 OS 


Another pressure of the tyrant's vice - Experience at Covey's summed up 
—First six months severer than the I'emaining six — Preliminaries to the 
change — Reasons for narrating the circumstances — Scene in the tread- 
ing yard — Taken ill — ^Escapes to St. Michaels — ^The pursuit— Suffering 
in the woods — Talk with Master Thomas — His beating — Driven back to 
Covey's— The slaves never sick —Natural to expect them to feign sick- 
ness — Laziness of slaveholders paobs 90 1 ()•'> 


The last flogging - Asleepless night— Return toCovey's —Punished by him 
-The chase defeated — Vengeance postponed — Musings in the woods 
— ^The alternative - Deplorable spectacle -Night in the woods— Ex- 
pected attack — Accosted by Sandy — A friend, not a master — Sandy's 
hospitality — ^The ash-cake supper — Interview with Sandy — ^His advice 
— Sandy a conjurer as well as a Christian— The magic root — Strange 
meeting with Covey — BKs manner — Covey's Sunday face — Defensive 
«woJr^— The fight— The victory, and its results .... paqbs106-11() 


and duties — Chanpe of mimters — BsQefita derived by 
at the tight Bfith Covey— Beckless unGomMni— 
JUaborreim of ■Isvery — Atnlitj ta reiul, u cause of prejodica — The 
holid>7C — How spent— Sharp hit at nlsral^ — Effects of hoUdajH— 
Diftsenoc between Cove^ and Fnwbtnd^An irreliginiu tnaaterpre- 
fm«d to a reli^DUS one— Hani life at Covey'a lueful —Improved 
oonditkai dnee not bring wmlpntment— Coupmial »oi;iety at Preeland's 
— Sabbath -achool — Seinwiy neowukry — Affectionate relationB of tutor 
md pupU*— Confidence and friendship among- skres — Slavery tha 
inviter of vengeance , , paqeb 117—125 

Tic nuiaimy plot— New year's thoughts and meditations— Again lilred 
bf EVecland — KindneBs no uompeusation for slavery^Incipient atopH 
j^^ loward cacapi;— Consideraaons leading thereto— HoBtility to slavery 
^^K —SolitDui vow taken— Plan divulged to Hlavea — " Columbian Orator " 
^^H /tgmin — Sohemo gains favour — Danger uf diwovor?— Skill of slave- 
^^H holders — Suspicion and coercion — Hymn* with doable meiuiiiig — 
^^^ ConmiliatioR- Fu^rvord — Hope and fear— Ignonnce of gopgraphj^ 

^^V tlnaginiU7 difficulties — Putrick Henry —Sandy, a dreamer -Route to 
^^H the North mappod oat — Objeutions- Frauds- Pacses — Anxieties— 
^^F Poar of failure — Strsnfi^ presentimeut.- Coineidenoc— Betrayal — 
IT AiMBlfl - BeBiBtain« — Mrs. Preoland —Prison — Brutal jests — Passes 
eaten— Donia]— Sandy— Dragged behind horses — Slave-tradem — Alone 
in prison— Sent to BalUmoru piosa 128~14ti 


f life— Nothing tout by my utti.'mpt to run away — Com- 
—Reamiia for sending mc away — Return to Baltimore^ 
Tommy changed- Caulking in Gardener's ship -yard— Desperate fight 
— Its causes — Conflict between white and black labour — Outrage — 
Tttrtimony— Master Hugh- Slavery in Baltimore- My inndition 
iiDproves — New assooiationH — Slaveholder's right to the slave's wages 
— How to make a disoontented slave PiOES 147^157 

— Closing incidents in ray ■' life as a slavu " — Dis- 
M — Master's gtucrosity — Difficulties in the way of 
XI obtttin money— ^JUlowed to hire my time — A gleam of 
hapo — Attend camp meeting — Auger of Master Hugh- The result — 
Flan* of escape — Day for ddparture fixed- HarosHing doubts and fean> 
—JRusfuI thoughts of iwparatioo froBi fiiondu .... )ikat& V&B -U\ 




Eiicape from slavery — BeasoiLB for not having revealed the manner of 
escape — ^Nothing of romance in the method — Danger — ^Pree papers — 
Unjust tax — Protection papers — ** Free trade and sailor's rights** — 
American eagle — Railroad train — Unobserving conductor — ^Gaptain 
McGowan — Honest Overman — Fears — Safe arrival in Philadelphia — 
Ditto in New York. pages 165— 169 


Life as a freeman — Loneliness and insecurity — *' Allender*H Jake" — 
Succoured by a sailor — David Ruggles — Marriage — Steamer "J. W. 
Richmond*' — Stage to New Bedford — Arrival there — Driver's deten- 
tion of baggage — ^Nathan Johnson — Change of name — Why called 
** Douglass " — Obtaining work — " The Liberator " and its editor 

PAGES 170—182 


Introduced to the AboUtionists — Anti-slavery convention at Nantucket - 
First speech — Much sensation — Extraordinary speech of Mr. 
Ghirrison — Anti-slavery agency — Youthful enthusiasm — Fugitive 
slaveship doubted — Experience in slavery written — Danger of 
recapture pages 183 -187 


Recollections of old friends — Work in Rhode Island — Dorr war — Further 
labours in Rhode Island and elsewhere in New England . pages 188 193 


One hundred conventions — Anti-slavery conventions held in parts of 
New England, and in some of the middle and Western States — Mobs, 
Incidents, etc pages 194-199 



Imprewionfi abroad — ^Danger to be averted — A refuge tiougbt abroad- - 
Voyage on the steamahip ** Cambria ** — Refusal of first-class passage 
— Attractions of the forecastle deck — Hutohinson family — Invited to 
make a speech— Southerners feel insulted -Captain threatens to put 
them in irons — Experiences abroad — Attentions received — Impressions 
of different Members of Parliament, and of other public men — Contrast 
with life in America — Elindness of friends— Their purchase of my 
person, and the gift of the same to myself —My return paobs 200 224 


Triumphs and trials — ^New experiences— Painful disagreement of opinion 
with old friends— Final decision to publish my paper in Rochester — ^Its 
fdrtunes — Change in my own views regfarding the constitution of the 
United States— Fidelity to conviction— Loss of old friends— Support 
of new ones — Loss of house, etc. by fire — Triumphs and trials — 
Underground Railroad— Incidents paobb 225—235 


John Brown and Mrs. Stowe — ^My first meeting with Capt. John Brown 
— The Free Soil Movement — Coloured convention — ** Unde Tom's 
Cabin " — Industrial school for coloured people — Letter to Mrs. H B. 
Stowe PAOBS 236— 253 


Increasing demands of the slave power — ^War in Kansas — John Brown's 
raid — His capture and execution — My escape to England from the 
United States Marshals pages 254— 273 


The beginning of the end — ^My connection with John Brown — To and 
from England — Presidential contest — Election of Abraham Lincoln 

PAOE8 274 — 290 


Secession and war — Recruiting of the 54th and 55th coloured reg^ents 
— YUit to President Lincoln and Secretary Stanton — Promised a com- 
mission as Adjutant-G^eral to General Thomas — Disappointment 

PAGES 291—305 



Hope for the nation — Ftoolamation of emancipation — Its reception in 
Boston — Objections brought against it — Its effect on the country — 
Interview with President Lincoln — New York riots — ^Re-election of 
Mr. Lincoln — His inauguration and inaugural speech — ^Vice-President 
Johnson — Presidential reception — ^The f all^of Richmond — ^Fanueil Hall 
—The assassination — Condolence paqes 306 — 326 


VaHt dumges — Satisfaction and anxietj — ^New fields of labour opening — 
Lyceums and Colleges soliciting addresses — ^Literary attractions — 
Peouniaxy g^ain — Still pleading for human rights — ^President Andy 
Johnson — Coloured delegation — ^Their reply to him — ^National Loyalist's 
Conyention, 1866, and its procession — Not wanted — Meeting with an 
old friend — Joy and surprise — ^The old master's welcome, and Miss 
Amanda's friendship— Enfranchisement discussed — Its accomplishment 
— The negro a dtizon pages 327 — 349 


living and learning— Inducements to a political career — Objections — A 
newspaper enterprise — The ** New National Era " — Its Abandonment 
— ^The Ereedmen's Sayings and Trust Company — Sad experience- 
Vindication PAOKS 350 — 367 

Weighed in the balance pages 358 — 396 


"Time makes all things even" — Return to the **old master " — A last inter- 
yiew — Capt. Auld's admission : ** Had I been in your place, I should 
haye done as you did" — Speech at Easton — ^The old gaol there — Invited 
to a sail in the Reyenue Cutter ** Guthrie " — Hon. J. L. Thomas — 
Visit to the old plantation — Home of Col. Lloyd — Sand reception and 
attentions — ^Familiar scenes —Old memories — Burial g^und — Hospi- 
tality — Ghadous reception from Mrs. Buchanan — ^A litttle girl's floral 
gift — ^A promise of ** a good time coming " — Speech at Harper's Ferry 
— Decoration day, 1881 — Storer CoUeg^e — ^Hon. A. J. Hunter 

PAGES 397—409 



Incideiits and events — Hon. G^errit Smith, and Mr. E. C. Deleran — 
£xperienoe8 at hotels, and on steamboats, and other modes of trarel — 
Hon. E. Marshal — Grace Greenwood — Hon. Moses Norris— Robert J. 
Ingersoll — ^Reflections and conclusions — Gompensations . . 410 — 421 


•* Honour to whom honour" — Grateful recognition — H. Beeoher Stowe 
— Other friends — ^Woman suffrage — ^Failure of Male €k>yemments 

PAO^ 422—425 


Interment of the late James A. Gkurfield — Brief reference to the solemn 
event — ^Aooount of an interview at the Executive Mansion — His 
recog^tion of the rights of coloured citizens pages 426 — 42H 

Conclusion pages 429- 431 

AprE?n>ix A. — ^West India Emancipation pages 432 — 444 

Appekdiz B. — Sketch of Frederick Douglass pages 445 — 450 

Appkndix C. — Dr. David Thomas on Frederick Douglass and His Work 

PAGES 451—454 

[I • ^ ■ 

i iwwi jiiJL i iij ■ J ■. ■ y 



Portrait of Frederick Douglass . . . Frontispiece 

Whipping op " Old Barney '' 84 

Murder of '* Poor Denby " 40 

The Present Home of Frederick Douglass . . .165 

Portrait of W. Lloyd Garrison 188 

Portrait of Thomas Clarkson 208 

Portrait op John Brown 286 

Portrait of Mrs. H. B. Stowe 252 

View of Harper's Ferry 266 

Portrait of Abraham Lincoln 869 

Marshal Douglass at the Inauguration of President 

Garfield 886 

.Visit to Col. Lloyd's Grave 406 

Portrait of President Garfield 426 




FUoe of biiili — ^Descriptioxi of country — Its inhabitaiits — Genealogical trees 
— ^Method of counting' time in slave districts — Date of birth — ^Namee of 
grandparents — ^Their cabin — Home with them — Slave practice of separating 
mothers from their children — ^Recollections of his mother — Who was his 

IN Talbot County, Eastern Shore, State of Maryland, near 
Easton, the County town, there is a small district of 
country, thinly populated, and remarkable for nothing that I 
know of more than for the worn-out, sandy, desert-like appear- 
ance of its soil, the general dilapidation of its farms and 
fences, the indigent and spiritless character of its inhabitants, 
and the prevalence of ague and fever. It was in this dull, flat, and 
nnthrifty district or neighbourhood, bordered by the Choptank 
river, among the laziest and muddiest of streams, surrounded by a 
white population of the lowest order, indolent and drunken to a 
proverb, and among slaves who, in point of ignorance and indolence, 
were fidly in accord with their surroundings, that I, without any 
bolt of my own, was bom, and spent the first years of my 

The reader must not expect me to say much of my family. 
Genealogical trees did not flourish among slaves. A person of some 
consequence in civilized society, sometimes designated as father, 
was literally unknown to slave law and slave practice. I never met 
with a slave in that part of the country who could tell me with 



any certainty bow old he was. Few at that time kuew anything 
the mouths of the year, or of the days of the month. ThcQr 
meaaured the ages of their chUdren by sprmg-time, winter-timeji 
harveat-time. pi an ting- time, and the hko. Masters allowed na\ 
questions to be put to them by slaves concerning their ages. Suoh^ 
questions were regarded by the masters as evidence of an impudenfj 
cariosity. From certain events, however, the dates of which 1" 
have since learned, I suppose myself to bavo been bora 
February, 1617. 

My first esperienoe of hfe, as I now remember it, and I remember 
it but hazily, began in the family of my grandmother and grand- 
father, Betsey and Isaac Bailey. They were considered old settlers 
in the neighbourhood, and from certain circumstances I infer that 
my grandmother, especially, was held in high esteem, far higher 
tlian was the lot of most coloured persons in that region. She was 
a good nurse, and a capital hand at making nets used for catch- 
ing shad and herring, and was, withal, somewhat famous as a 
fiaherwomau, I liave known her to be in the water waist deep, for 
hours, seinc-hauhng. She was a gardener as well as a fisher- 
woman, and remarkable for her success in keeping her seedling 
sweet potatoes throi?gh the months of winter, and easily got the 
reputation of being bom to "good luck." In planting time 
Grandmother Betsey was sent for in all directions, shuply to place 
the seedling potatoes in the hills or drills ; for superstition had it 
iliat her touch was needed to make them grow, This reputation 
was full of advantage to her and her grandchildren, for a good crop, 
alter her planting for the neighbours, brought her a share of 
^L the harvest. 

^B Whether because she was too old for field service, or because she 

^B had so faithfully discharged the duties of her station in early life, 

^M 1 know not, but she enjoyed the privilege of living in a cabin 

^1 separate from the slave qnarters, having only the charge of the 

^H young children and the burden of her own support imposed upon 

^1 her. She esteemed it great good fortune to live there, and took 

^1 much comfort in having the children. The practice of separating 

^H mothers from their children and hiring them out at distances too 

^^h great to admit of their meeting, save at long intervals, was a 

^^m marked feature of the cruelty and barbarity of the slave system, 

^^^^ which always and everynliere sought to reduce man to a leval with 


(he brate. It fiad no interest in recognizing or preserving any of 
tbc ties that bind families together or to their homes. 

My grandmother's five daughters were hired out in this way, 
and my only recollections of my own mother are of a few hasty 
e in the night on foot, after the daily tasks were over, 
I when she was under the necessity of returning in time to 
x»nd to the driver's call to the field in the early morning, 
i little gUmpses of my mother, obtained under such circum- 
es and against such odds, meagre as they were, are 
^aceably stamped upon my memory. Bhe was tall and finely 
n'portioned. of dark glossy complexion, with regular features 
1 amongst the slaves was remarkably sedate and digniiied. 
jre is. in " Prichard's Natural History of Man," the head 
a figure, the features of wliicli so resemble my mother's, that 
a reeor to it witli something of the feeling which I suppose 
iinn experience when looking upon the likenesses of their 
, dear departed ones, 

f my father I know nothing. Slavery had no recognition of 
kbers. as none of families. That the mother was a slave was 
igh (or its deadly purpoBe, By its law the child followed 
! enndition of its mother. The father might be a fi-eeman 
r child a slava The father might be a white man, 
lorymg in the purity of his Anglo-Saxon hlood, and his child 
Hiked with the blackest slaves. Father he might he, and not be 
ttsband, and could sell his own child without incurring reproach, 
I in ita veins coursed one drop of Afi-ican blood. 



Early home — Its charms — Ignorance of **o\d master** — His g^radual 
perception of the truth concerning him — His relations to Gol. Edward Lloyd 
— ^Removal to ''old master's" home — His journey thence — His separation 
from his grandmother — ^EEis gfrief . 

LIVING thus with my grandmother, whose kindness and love 
stood in place of my mother's, it was some time before I 
knew myself to be a slave. I knew many other things before I 
knew that. Her Uttle cabin had to me the attractions of a palace. 
Its fence railed floor — which was equally floor and bedstead — up 
stairs, and its clay floor down stairs, its dirt, and straw chimney 
and windowless sides, and that most curious piece of workman- 
ship, the ladder stairway, and the hole so strangely dug in front 
of the fire-place, beneath which grandmamma placed her sweet 
potatoes, to keep them from frost in winter, were fall of interest 
to my childish observation. The squirrels, as they skipped the 
fences, climbed the trees or gathered their nuts, were an unceasing 
delight to me. There, too, right at the side of the hut, stood the 
old well, with its stately and skyward-pointing beam, so aptly 
placed between the limbs of what had once been a tree, and so 
nicely balanced, that I could move it up and down with only one 
hand, and could get a drink myself without calling for help. Nor 
were these all the attractions of the place. At a little distance 
stood Mr, Lee*s mill, where the people came in large nimabers to 
get their com ground. I can never tell the many things thought 
and felt, as I sat on the bank and watched that mill, and the 
taming of its ponderous wheel. The mill-pond, too, had its 
charms ; and with my pin-hook and thread line I could get 
amusing nibbles if I could catch no fish. 

It was not long, however, before I began to learn the sad 
tsici that this house of my childhood belonged not to my d^ar 

HT out M&HTER. 6 

I gnndmother, bnt to some one I had never seen, and wlio 
lived A gT^At dislaiice off. I learned, too, the sadder fact, that 
Jiot only the home and lot, but that grandmother heraelf and all 
i little children around her, belonged to a mysterious person- 
!. called by grandmother, with every mark of reverence, " Old 
Thus early, did clouds and shadows begin to iall upon 
I'l learned that this old master, whose name seemed ever to 
t mentioned with fear and shuddering, only allowed tlie little 
ifldreu to live with grandmother for a hmited time, and that as 
1 as they were big enough they were promptly taken away to 
e with the said old master. These were diatreBsing revelations 
My grandmother was all the world to me, and the 
Mught of being separated from her was a most unwelcome 
^estion to my affections and hopes. This mysterious old 
wter was really a man of some consequence. He owned 
everal (arms in Tuckahoe, was the chief clerk and butler on 
Bie home plantation of Colonel Lloyd, had overseers as well as 
I alftves on his own farms, and gave directions to the overseers 
' on the farms owned by Colonel Lloyd. Captain Aaron Anthony, 
for such was the name and title of my old master, hved on 
Culonel Lloyd's plantation, which was situated on tlie Wye 
river, luid wliich was one of the largest, most fertile, and best 
■P)toiiited in the State. 

IAboat this plantation and this old master I was most eager 
B know everything which conld be known ; and, unhappily for 
b, all the information I could get concerning him increased 
Mj dread of being separated from my grandmother and grand- 
bher. I wished it was possible I could remain small all 
mj lifoi knowing that the sooner I grew large the shorter would 
m my tiroe lo remain with them, Everythmg about the cabin 
pcune doubly dear, and I was sure there could be no other spot 
■ual to it on earth. But the time came when I must go and 
p; grandmother, knowing my fears, in pity for them, kindly 
kept me ignorant of the dreaded moment up to the morning, 
B beantifnl summer morning, when we were to start, and 
indeed, during the whole journey, which, child, as I was, I 
ruoember as well as if it were yesterday, she kept the unwel- 
tatM truth hidden from me. The distance from Tuckahoe 

lo Colouel Lloyd'a, where my old maater lived, was ftill twelv( 
miles, and the walk waa quite a severe test of the enduranoti 
of my youug logs. The journey would have proved too sever 
for me, but that my deal- old grandmother— blessings ( 
memory ! — afforded occasional rehef by " toteing " me on liep ^ 
shoolder. Advanced in years as she was, as was evident fium 
the more than one gray hair which peeped from between the 
ample jand graceful folds of her newly and smoothly iroited 
bandana tiu-bau, grandmother was yet a woman of power nud 
spirit. She was remai-kably straight in figure, elastic mid 
muscular in movement. I seemed hardly to be a burden to 
her. She would have "toted" me fartlier, but I felt myself too t 
much of a man to allow it. Yet while I walked I was iiotH 
independent of her. She often found mc holding her skirlsH 
lest something should come out of the woods and eat me up,fl 
Several old logs and stumps imposed upon me, and got them*M 
solves taken for euonuous animals. I could plainly see th'3ir4 
legs, eyes, ears, and teeth, till I got cbae enough to see that 
the eyes were knots washed with rain, and the legs were brol.en 
limbs, and the ears and teeth only such because of the poial 
from which they were seen. 

As the day advanced the heat increased, and it was not mitil 
the afternoon that we reached the much dreaded end of the 
journey. Here I found myself in the midst of a group of 
children of all sizes and of mauy colours, black, brown, copper 
coloured, and nearly white. I had not seen so many chUdreu 
before. As a new comer I was an object of special interest. 
After laughing and yelling around me and playing all sorts of 
wild tricks they asked me to go out and play with them. This 
I refused to do. Grandmamma looked sad, and I could not 
help feehng that our being there boded uo good to me. She 
was soon to lose another object of affection, as she had lost 
many before. Affectionately patting me on the head she told me 
to be a good boy and go out to play with the children. They 
are "kin to you," she said, "go and play with them." She 
pointed out to me my brother Perry, my aistera, Sarah and Eliza. 
I had never seen them before, and though I had aometimes hcr.rd 
of them and felt a curious interest in them, I really did not 
onderstand what they were to me or I to them. Brothers and 

sisters we were by blood, bat slavery had made us strangera. 
They were already initiated into the myBtorioa of old maater'a 
ilomicils, and they soemod to look upon me witli a certain degree 
'if compassioD. I really wanted to play witli them, but they 
I strangers to me. and I was full of fear that my grand- 
lotber might leave for home without taking me with her. 
In treated to do so, however, and that, too, by my dear 
mdmother. I went to the back part of the house to play 
itii them and the other children. Flay, however, I did not, 
■t stood with my back against the wail witnessing the playing 
the others. At last, while standing there, one of the 
ireu, who had been in the kitchen, ran up to me in & 
. of roguisli glee, exclaiming, " Fed, Fed, grandmamma 
I could not believe it. Yet, fearing the worst, I 
into the kitcheu to see for myself, and lo I she was indeed 
gone, and was now far away and " clean "ont of sight. I need 
not tell all that happened now. Almost heart-broken at the 
discovery, I fell upon the ground and wept a boy'a bitter tears, 
refusing to be comforted. My brother gave me peaches and 
pears to quiet me, but I promptly threw them ou the ground. 
1 had never been deceived before, and something of resentment 
at this, mingled with my grief at parting with my grandmother. 

It was now late in the afternoon. The day had been an 
exdting and wearisome one, and, I know not how. but I ffuppoae 
I Subbed myself to sleep, and its balm was never more welcome 
to any wounded soul than to mine. The reader may be surprised 
that I relate so minntely an incident apparently so trivial and 
which mnst have occurred when I was leas than seven years old, 
but as I wish to give a faithful history of my experience in slavery, 
1 cannot withold a circumstance which at the time affected me 
I deeply, and which I still remember so vividly. Besides, this 
fl my first introduction to the realities of the slave system. 



Col. Lloyd's plantation— Aunt Katy— Her pniolty and iU -nature —Cap*!! 
Anthony's partiality to Annt Katy —Allowance of food-Hunjfor— Un-f 
expected rescue by M» mother — The reproof of Aunt Katy — Sleep — A hU.vs-i ] 
mother's love — Ilia inheritonee — HJh mother's acquiroiaents — Her death. 

ONCE eatabliahed on the liome plantation of Col. Lloyd — I was 
with the children there, left to the tender mercies of Aimt ' 
Katy. a slave woman who was to my master, what he was to Col. 
Lloyd. Dispouing of us in classes or sizes, ho left to Amit Eaty 
all the minor details concemLng oar management. Bhe waa a 
woman who never allowed herself to act greatly within the limita 
of delegated power, no matter how broad tliat authority might be. 
Ambitious of old master's favour, JU-tempcred and cruel by 
natm'e, she fonnd in her present position an ample field for the 
exercise of her ill-omened qualities. She had a strong hold npon 
old master, for she was a first-rate cook, and very industrious. 
She was therefore greatly favoured by him — and as one mark of J 
his favour she was the only mother who was permitted to retain I 
her children around her, and even to these, her own childi'en, she | 
was often fiendish iu her brutality. Cruel, however, as she some- 
times was to her own children, she was not destitute of maternal 
feeliug, and in her instinct to satisfy their demands for food, she 
was often guilty of starving me and the other cliildren. 
food was my chief trouble during my first summer here. Capta 
Anthony, instead of allowing a given quantity of food to eac 
slave, coDunitted the allowance for all to Amit Eaty, to 
divided by her, after cooking, amongst us. The allowance c 
sisted of coarse corn meal, not very abundant, and which I 
passing through Aunt Eaty's hands, became more slender still fi 
some of us. I have often been so pinched with hunger, 


ite with old " Nep" the dog, for tho crumbs which fell from 
kitchen table. Many times have I followed with eager step, 
waiting-girl when she shook the table-cloth, to get the ciiimbs 
small bones llong out for the dogs and oats. It was a great 
Lg to have the privilege of dippmg a piece of bread into the 
kter in which meat bad been boiled — and the skin taken from 
rusty bacon was a positive luxury. With this description of 
domestic arrangements of my new home, I may here recount 
ircmnslance wliicb is deeply impressed on my memory, as 
rding a bright gleam of a slave- mother's love, and the earnest- 
mother's care. I had offended Aunt Katy. I do not 
lember in what way, for my offences were niinierous in that 
;r, greatly depending upon her moods as to their heinous- 
; and she had adopted her usual mode of punishing me : 
lely, making me go all day without food. For the first hour or 
after dinner time, I succeeded pretty well in keeping up my 
but as the day wore away, I found it quite impossible to do 
any longer. Sundown came, but no bread; and in its stead 
the threat from Aunt Ealy, with a scowl well suited to its 
ible import, that she would starve tlte life out of me. 
idiahing her knife, she chopped off the heavy slices of bread 
th« other children, and pat the loaf away, muttering all the 
her savage designs upon myself. Against this disappoint- 
. for I was expecting that her heart would relent at last, I 
le an extra effort to mamtaiu my dignity ; but when I saw the 
ler ciuldren around me with satisfied faces, I could stand it no 
I went out behind the kitchen wall and cried like a fine 
When wearied with this, I retiimed to the kitchen, sat 
bj- the fire and brooded over my hard lot. I was too himgry to 
^eep. While I sat in the corner, I canglit sight of an ear of 
Indian com upon an upper shelf. I watched my chance and got 
and shelting off a few grains, I put it hack again. These 
grains I quickly put into the hot ashes to roast. I did this at 
riak of getting a brutal thumping, for Aunt Eaty could boat 
well as star\'e me. My com was not long in roasting, and I 
Tly polled it from tho ashes, and placed it upon a stool in a 
dever little pile. I began to help myself, when wlio but my own 
dear mother should come in. The scene which followed is beyond 
lay power to describe. The friendless and hungry boy, in his 


extremeBt need, found himself in the strong protecting arms of his 
mother. I have before spoken of my mother's ^gnified and 
impressive manner. I shall never forget the indeacribable 
eipression of her countenance when I told her that Aunt Katy had 
said stie would starve tlio Ufe out of me, There was deep and 
tender pity tn her glance at me, and a fiery indignation at Aunt 
Katy at the same moment, and while she took the com from me. 
and gave iu its stead a large ginger cake, she read Aunt Eaty a 
lecture which was never forgotten. That njgbt I learned as I had 
never learned hefore, that I waa not only a child, but somebody's 
child. I waa grander upon my mother's knee than a king upon his 
throne. But my triumph was short. I dropped off to sleep, and 
waked in the morning to find my mother gone and myself at the 
mercy again of the virago in my master's kitchen, whose fiery 
wrath was my constaut dread. 

My mother had walked twelve miles to see roe, and had the 
same distance to travel over again before the morutiig sunrise. I 
do not remember ever seeing her again. Her death soon ended 
the little commimication that had existed between us, and witli 
it, I beheve, a life full of weai-iness and heartfelt sorrow. To me 
it has ever been a grief that I knew my mother so little, and have 
Bo few of her words treasm'ed in my remembrance. I have since 
learned that she was the only one of all the coloured people of 
Tuckahoe who could read. How she acquired this knowledge I 
know not. for Tuckahoe was the last place in the world where she 
would have been likely to find facilities for learning, I can there- 
fore fondly and proudly ascribe to her, an earnest love of 

That a field-hand should learn to read in any slave State is 
remarkable, hut the achievements of my mother, considering the 
place and circumstances, were very extraordinary. In view of this 
fact, I am happy to attribute any love of letters I may have, not 
to my presumed Anglo-Saxon paternity, but to the native genius 
of my sable, unprotected, and uncultivated mother^a woman who 
belonged to a race whose mental endowments are still disparaged 
and despised. 




Bonw PloDtation of Colonel Lloyd— Its Isolation —Ibt InduHtriea— Tbe Slare 
Biile — Power of Overaccra— Finda some enjoymeat— Natural ScBoery-— Sloop 
"Sally Lloyd"— Wind Mill— Slate Quarter — ■• Old Muster's" House — 
Stablea, Store-HousBB, &q., &c.—ThB Great House — Its Smrouiidiims — Lloyd 
-Bniial -Place — Superstition of Slaves — Colonel Lloyd'n Wealth— Negro 
Politeness — Doctor Copper— Captain Anthony— Hia Family— Miutor Diinu'l 
Lloyd — Hia Brothora — Sooial Etiquette. 

FT was generall}' supposed that slavery in the State of 
Maryland existed m Its mildest form, and tliat it was 
' divostcd of those harsh and terrible pedullArities which 
icterized tlie slave ay stem in the Southern and South 
States of the American Union. The ground of this 

'ppioion was the contiguity of the &ee States, and the influence 
of their moral, rehgious, and humane sentiments. Public 
opinion was, bdeed. a measurable restraint upon the cruelty 
&nd barbarity of masters, overseers, and slave-drivers, when- 
ever and wherever it could reach them ; but there were certain 
§ec]uded and out of the way places, even in the State of Mary- 
land. Sfty years ago, seldom visited by a single ray of healtlty 
publio sentiment, where slavery, wrapt in its own congenial 
darkness, could and did develop all its malign and shocking 
characteristics, where it could be indecent without shame, cruel 
without shuddering, and murderous without apprehension or fear 
of exposure or puniabinent. Just such a secluded, dark, and 
ont of the way place, was the homo plantation of Colonel 
Gdwvd Lloyd, in Totbot county, eastern shore of Maryland. It 
was far away from all the great thoroughfares of travel aud 
ciimnierce, and proximate to no town or village. There was 
neitber school-house nor town-house in its neighbourhood. The 
scbool-housc was unnecessary, for there were no children to go to 
•cbool. The children and grand children of Col. Lloyd were 

L taught in the house by a private tutor, a Mr. Page from 


Greenfield, Masaachusetts, a tall, gaunt, sapling of a mHifl 
remarkably dignitied, thoughful, and reticent, and who did not J 
epenk a dozen words to a slave in a whole year. Tlie c 
cJiildren went off flomewhere in the State to school, and therefore 
could bring no foreign or dangerous influence from abroad to 
embarrass the natural operation of the slave system of the place. 
Not even the commoneat mechanics, from whom there might 
have been an owiasional outbiu-st of honest and telling indig- 
nation at cruelty and wrong on other plantations, were white 
mon here. Its whole public was made up of and divided into ' 
tliree classes, slaveholders, slaves, and overseers. Its blacksniithBf:J 
■wiieelrights, shoemakers, weavers, and coopers, were slaves. Noif 
even commerce, selfish and indifferent to moral considerations ■ 
it usnally is, was permitted within its secluded procints. Whetha 
with a view of guarding against the escape of its secrets, I kno^I 
njt, but it ia a fact, that every leaf and grain of the products t 
this plantation and those of the neighbourlag farms, belonging t 
Col, Lloyd, were transported to Baltimore in hi 
every man and boy on board of which, except tlie captain, were 
■ wned by him aa his property. In return everything brought to 
ihe plantation came through the same channel. To make tliia 
isolation more apparent it may be stated that the adjoining estatea i 
to Col. Lloyd's were owned and occupied by friends of his. whi 
were as deeply interested as himself in maintaining the slana 
system in all its rigour. These were the Tilgmana. tlie Oold< 
boroughs, the Lockermana, the Pacas, the Skinners, Gibsons, a 
others of lesser afHuence and standing. 

The fact is, public opinion in such a quarter, the reader mnat ' 
see, was not likely to be very efficient m protecting the slave from 
cruelty. To be a restraint upon abuses of this nature, opinion 
must emanate from humane and virtuous communities, aud to no 
such opinion or influence was Col. Lloyd's plantation esposed. 
It was a little nation by itself, having its own language, its own 
ndes, regulations, and customs. The troubles and controversiea 
arising here wore not settled by the civil power of the State. 
overseer was the important dignitary. He was generally ace 
judge, jury, ad^'ocate, aud executioner. The criminal was alwftj 
dumb — and no slave was allowed to testify, other than against ll 
brother slave. 


of course, no conflicting rigLta of property, for 
I the people were the property of one man, and they eonld theni- 
: own uo property. Beligiou and politics were largely 
Iglnded. One class of the population was too high to be reached 
rthe common preacher, and the other class was too low in con- 
:i and ignorance to be mnch cared for by religious l^eachera, 
3 yet some religious ideas did enter this dork coinier. 

, however, is not the only view wliieh the place presented, 
lOQgh civilisation was in many respects shut out, nature could 
I b«. Though separated &om tl# rest of the world, thou^'h 
ttic opinion, aa I have said, could seldom penetrate its dark 
iJuu. thoogb the whole place was stamped with its own peculiar 
S-like individuality, and though crimes, high- handed aud 
Dcions, could be committed there with strange and shocking 
inity, it was to outward seeming, a most strildngly interesting 
fuQ of life, activity and spirit, and presented a very 
^voorahte contrast to the indolent monotony and languor of 
i'lickahoe. It resembled in some respects descriptions I liavo 
.[ICC reftd of the old baronial domains of Europe. Keen as was 
uiy rvgr.?l, and great as was my sorrow, at leaving my old honte. 
1 was not long in adapting myaell" to ray new one, A man's 
CrijiLibtc-s are always half disposed of when ho finds endurance tlie 
only itllcmative. I found myself there; there was no getting 
■vny : and naught remained for me but to make the best of it. 
There were plenty of children to play with, and plenty of pleasant 
resorts for boys of my age and older. Tlie little tendrils of 
afleclioD eo rudely broken fi-om the darting objects in and around 
my grandmother's homo, gradually began to extend and twine 
UiMtudvL-B around the new surroundings. There for the first 
timr I saw a large windmill, with its wide-sweeping white wings, a. 
commanding object to a child's eye. This was situated on what 
was called Long Point — a tract of land dividing Miles river from 
the Wye. I spent many hom's wak'hing the wings of this 
wondroud mill. In the river, or what was called the " Swash," at 
:i ftliort distance from the shore, quietly lying at anchor, with her 
■ !iiaU mw boat daucmg at her stem, was a large sloop, the Sally 
Lk'jd, c»lle<l by that name in honour of the favoiu-ite daughter 
if Ibe Colonel. These two objects, the sloop and mill, as I 
I'i'uiotabcr, awakened thoughts, ideas, and wondering. Theu 


tlitre were a great many houses, htinian liabitations i 
mysteries of life at every stage of it, Tliere was the little reii 
house np the read, occupied by Mr. Seveir, the overseer; a little 
nearer to my old master's stood a long, low, rough building 
literally alive with slaves of all ages, seses, conditions, Eiizea, and 
colours. This was called the long quarter. Perched upon a hill 
east of our liouse, was a toll dilapidated old brick huildiug, the 
architectural diniODsioDS of which proclaimed its creation for a 
difTerent purpose, now occupied by slaves, in a similar manner to 
the long quarters. Beside^ these, there were numerous other 
slave houses and huts, scattered around in the neighbourhood , 
every nook and corner of which were completely occupied. 

Old master's house, along brick building, plain but substantial. 
was centrally located, and was an independent establishment. 
Besides these houses there were bams, stables, store-houses, 
tobacoo-houses, blacksmith shops, wheelwright shops, cooper 
shops ; bat above aU there stood the grandest budding my young 
eyes had ever beheld, called by every one on the plantation the 
;iii-iit house. This was occupied by Col. Lloyd and his family. It 
was surrounded by numerous aud variously sliaped out- buildings. 
There were kitchens, wash-houses, dairies, summer- bouses, green- 
houses, hen-honsea, turkey-houses, pigeon -houses, and arbours of 
many sizes and devices, all neatly paiuted or whitewashed- — inter- 
spersed with grand old trees, ornamental and primitive, which 
afforded delightful shade in summer, aud imparted to the scene a 
hiyli degree of stately beauty. The 'p-fnt house itself was a large 
wliite wooden building with wings on three sides of it, In front 
a broad portico extended the entire leogtli of the building, 
supported by a long range of columns, which gave to the Colonel's 
home an air of great dignity and grandeur. It was a treat to 
my young and gradually opening muid to behold this elaborate 
exliibitiou of wealth, iwwer, and beauty. 

The carriage entrance to the house was by a large gate, tnori.' 
than a quarter of a mile distant. The intermediate space was a 
beautiful lawn, very neatly kept and eared for. It was dotted 
thickly over with trees and flowers. The road or lane from the 
gate ia the great house was richly paved with white pebbles from 
the beach, and in its course formed a complete circle around the 
lawn. Outside this select enclosure were parks, as about the 


mces of the Eoglisb nobility, wbero rabbits, deer, and other 

3 game might be seen peering and playing about, with " none 

P^mole&t them or make them afraid.'' The tops of the stately 

B were often covered with red-winged blaclibirda, making all 

nitnre vocal with the joyoaa hfe and beauty of their wild, 

w-nrbling notes. These all belonged to me as well da to Col, * 

Kdward Lloyd, and, whetlier they did or not, I greatly enjoyed K 

ib«ro. Not far from tlie great honae were the stately mansions 

of the dead Lloyds — a place of sombre aspect. Vast tombs, 

mbowerud beneath the weeping willow and tlie fir tree, told of 

t generations of tlie family, aa well as their wealth. Superati- 

D TO8 rife among the slaves about this family burying -ground. 

sights had been seen there by some of the older slaves. 

I I was often compelled to hear stories of shrouded ghosts, 

kSiog on great black horses, and of balls of fire which bad been 

1 to £y there at midnight, and of startling and dreadful sounds 

mt had been repeatedly beard. Slaves knew enough of the 

toi theology at the time, to consign all bad alaveholders to 

1, and they often fancied such persons wishing themselves back 

again to wield the lash. Tales of sights and sounds strange and 

t«rnhle, connected with the huge black tombs, were a great 

secority to the groimds about them, for few of the slaves had the 

! to approach them during the day time. It was a dark, 

tay and forbidding place, and it was difficult to feel that the 

irite of the sleeping dnst there deposited reigned witli tlie blest 

I the reftlms of eternal peace. 

I H«re was transacted the business of twenty or thirty different 
tns, which, with the slaves upon them, numbering, in all, not 
s than a thousand, all belonged to Col. Lloyd. Each fann was 
under the management of an overseer, whose word was law. 

Mr. Lloyd at this time was very rich. His slaves alone, 

nmnbering as I have aaid not less than a thouaand, were an 

immense fortime, and though scarcely a month passed without the 

aale of one or more lots to the Georgia traders, there was no 

apparent diminution in tlie number of bis human stock. The 

soiling of any to the State of Geor^a was a sore and mournful 

event to those left behind, as well as to the victims themselves. 

^^_ The reader has already been informed of the haudlcrafta 

^^brried on here by the slaves. " Uncle" Toney,was the blacksmith, 

^^VUnole" Harry the cartwright, and " Uncle" Abel waa the shoe- 


makor, and these had assistants in their eeverol departments. 
These meclianica arc called '■ Uncles" by all the yoimger slaves, 
not because they really sustained that relationship to any, but 
according to plantation etiquette as a mark of respect, due from 
the younger to the older Blaves. Strange and even ridiculous as 
it may seem, among a people so uncultivated and with so many 
stem trials to look in the face, there is not to be found among auy 
people a more rigid enforcement of the law of respect to eldera 
than is maintained among them. 1 set this down as partly 
constitutional with the coloured race and pai'tly conventional. 
Tliere is no better material in the world for making a gentleman 
than is furnished in the AErlcan. 

Among other slave notabihtiea, 1 found here one called by 
everybody, white and colored, " Uncle " Isaac Copper. It was 
seldom that a slave, however vonorable, was honoured with a 
surname in Maryland, and ao completely has the south shaped 
the manners of the north in this respect that their right to 
such honor ia tardily admitted even now. It goes sadly against 
the grain to address and treat a negro aa one would address and 
treat a white man. But once in a vfhile, even in a slave state, a 
negro had a surname fastened to him by common consent. This 
was the case witlj "Uncle" Isaac Copper. Where tlic "Uncle"! 
was dropped, he was called Doctor Copper. He was both i 
Doctor of Medicine and our Doctor of Divinity. When 1 
his degree I am unable to say, but he Was too well established hi " 
his profession to permit ijnestion as to liis native skill, or attain- 
ments. One qualification he certainly had. He was a confirmed 
cripple, wholly unable to work, and was worth nothing for sale in 
the market. Though lame, he was no sluggard. He made his 
crutches do him good service, and was always on the alert looking 
np the sick, atid such aa were supposed to need his aid and oounael«i 
His remedial prescriptions embraced four articles. For diseai 
of the body, Epsom salts and castor oil ; for those of the sonl, I 
" Lord's prayer," and a few stout hickory switches. 

I was early sent to Doctor Isaac Copper, with twenty or thirt 
other children, to learn the Lord's prayer. The old man ^ 
seated on a huge three-legged oaken stool, armed with several h 
hickory switches, and from the point whore he sat, lame a 
he could reach every boy in the room. After standing a while I 

h oofl 
e tooH 


B vbst was expected of us, he commanded ub to knael down. 
This done, he told ns to say everything he said. " Our Father " 
— this we repeated after him with promptness and uniformity— 
"who art in Heaven," was less promptly and uniformly repeated, 
and the old gentleman paused in the prayer to give us a short 
lecture, and to use his switches on our backs. 

Everybody in the South seemed to want the privilege of whip- 
ping somebody else, " Uncle " Isaac, though a good old man, sharetl 
the common passion of his time and country. I cannot say I was 
much edified by attendance upon his ministry. There was even 
at that time something a little inconsistent and laughable, in my 
mind, in the blending of prayer with punishment. I was not long 
in my new home before I found that the dread 1 had conceived of 
Cqitatn Anthony was in a measure groundless. Instead of leaping 
oat &om some hiding pla«e and destroying me, he hardly seemed 
to notice my presence. He probably thought as little of my 
arrival there, aa of an additional pig to his stock. He was the 
ebief agent of his employer. The overseers of all the farms com- 
posing the Lloyd estate, were in some sort under him. The Colonel 
himself seldom addressed an overseer, or allowed himself to be 
addressed by one. To Captain Anthony, therefore, was committed 
the head-ship of all the farms. He carried the keys of all the store- 
hoUMe, weighed and measured the allowances of each slave, at the 
end of each month ; superintended the storing of all goods brought 
to the store-house; dealt out the raw material to the different 
handicraftsmen, aliippcd the grain, tobacco, and aU other saleable 
prodaee of the numerous farms to Baltimore, and had a general 
orersight of all the workshops of the place. In addition to all this 
he was frequently called abroad to Eaaton and elsewhere in the 
diecharge of his numerous duties as chief agent of the estate. 

The family of Captain Anthony consisted of two sons— Andrew 
and Bichard, his daughter Lucretia and her newly-married husband, 
Captain Thomas Auld. In the kitchen were Aunt Katy, Aunt 
Esther, and ten or a dozen children, most of them older than 
njaelf. Captain Anthony was not considered a rich slave-holder, 
tliougb he was pretty well off in the world. He owned about thirty 
BUves and three farms in the Tuckahoe district. The more 
lahiable part of his property was in slaves, of whom he sold one 


ever; year, which brought bim iii seven or eight himdred dolUra,! 
besides hia yearly salary and other revenue from his lands. 

I have been often asked during the earlier part of my free life 
at the North, how I happened to have so little of the slave accent 
in mj speech. The mystery is in some measure explained by my 
association with Daniel Lloyd, the youngest eon of Colonel Edward 
Lloyd. The law of compensation holds here as well as elsewhere. 
While this lad could not associate with ignorance witliout sharing 
its shade, he could not give his black playmates his company 
witliout giving them .bis superior intelhgence as well. Without 
knowing this, or caring about it at thV time, I, for some cause or 
other, was attracted to him and was much his companion. 

I had Uttlo to do with the older brothers of Daniel — Edward and 
MuiTay. They were grown up and were fine looking men. Edward 
was especially esteemed by the slavtf children and by me among 
the i-est, not that he ever said anything to us or for ua which could 
bo called particularly kind. It was enough for us that he never 
looked or acted scornfully to^-ards us. The idea of rank and station 
waij rigidly maintained on this eatate. The family of Captain 
Anthony never visited the great bouae, and the Lloyds never came 
to our house. Equal non-intercourse was observed between Captain 
Anthony's family and the family of Mr. Seveir, the ovoraeer. 

Sach, kind readers, was the community and such the place in 
wliich my earliest and most lasting impressions of the workings of 
slavery were received— of which impressions you will learn mora 
in the after chapters of this book. 



ItKiTcaeuig aoqauntanre with old Moater — E%-ils of unre^iUted pBS«ion — Ap- 
parent ttmdenieiis — ^A muu of trouble — ^CuHtom of muttering to bimBeU— 
Brutal outTBgfB — A druokon overseer— Slaveholder' b impatienco— Wisdoin of 
>VP-ul — A base and Belfiali attempt to break up a oourtsMp. 

ALTHOUGH my old master. Captain Anthouy, gttve me, at the 
first of my coming to liim from my grandmother's, very 
lilUe sttectioa, ftu^ although that Uttle was of a romarliably mild 
and gentle deHcripUuu, a fen moothij only were sufficient to 
0011%'iQce me that niildnesa and gentleness were not the prevailing' 
or govvroing traits of his character. These excelleut qualities 
were displayed only occasionally. He could, when it auited him, 
tppetx to be literally insensible to the claims of humanity. He 
I'aonld not only be deaf to the appeals of the helpless against the 
I Mggressor, but he could himself commit outrages deep, dark, and 
BUDfilees. Yet he was not by oatui'e worse than other men. Had 
Im beeii brought up in a free state, surrounded by the full restraints 
of ctvilized society — restraints which are necessary to the &eedom 
of all its members, alike and equally, Captain Anthony might have 
been as humane a man as are members of such society generally, 
^^^j nan's character always takes its hue, more or Ip^p, frp'" 'bp 
form and colour of things about him . The slaveholder, as well as 
the slave, was the victim of the slave system. Under the whole 
heavens Ibere could be no relation more unfavourable to the 
development of honourable character thau that sustained by the 
alavebolder to the slave. Beason is imprisoned here and passions 
nm wild. Could the reader have seen Captain Anthony gently 
leading me by the hand, as ho sometimes did, patting me on the 
bead, spcakiug to me in soft, caressing tones and caUiug me his 
little Indian boy, he would have deemed him a kind-hearted old 
man. and really almost fatherly to the slave boy. But the pleasant 
moaia of a slaveholder are transient and fitful. They neither 


come often nor retn&in long. The temper of the old man was 

subject to apeci&l trials, bat since tbese trials were never borne 
patiently, they added little to bis natnral stock of patience. Aside 
from bia troubles with his slaves and tbose of Mr. Lloyd's, he 
made tlie impression upon me of being an unhappy man. Even 
to my child's eye he wore a troubled and at times a haggard aapect. 
His strange movements excited my curiosity and awakened my 
compassion. He seldom walked alone without muttering to him- 
self, and be occasionally stormed about as if defying an army of 
invisible foes. Most of his leisure was spent in walking around, 
cursing and gesticnlating as if possessed by a demon. He was 
evidently a wretched man, at war with his own soul and all the 
world around him. To be overheard by the children disturbed 
faim very little. He made no more of our presence than that of 
thedncks and geese he met on the green. Bultwhen his gestures 
were most violent, ending with a threatening shake of the head and 
a sharp snap of his middle finger and thumb, I deemed it wise to 
keep at a safe distance from him. 

One of the first circumstances that opened my eyes to the 
cruelties and wickedness of slavery and its hardening infitteDces 
upon my old master, was his refusal to interpose his authority 
to protect and shield a young woman, a cousin of mine, 
who had been most cruelly abused and beaten hy his overseer 
in Tuckahoo. This overseer, a Mr. Plummer, was like moat of 
liis class, little less than a human brute ; and in addition to 
his general profiigaoy and repulsive coarseness, he was a miser- 
able drunkard, a man not fit to have the management of a drove 
of mules. In one of his momenta of drunken madness he 
committed the outrage which brought the young woman in 
question down to my old master's for protection. The poor girl, 
on her arrival at our house, presented a most pitiable appear- 
ance. She had left in haste and without preparation, and 
probably without the knowledge of Mr, Plummer. 8ho had 
travelled twelve miles, bare-footed, bare-necked, and bare-headed. 
Her nock and shoulders were covered with scars newly made, 
and not content with marring her neck and shoulders with the 
cowhide, the cowardly wretch had dealt hor a blow on the head 
with a hickory club, which out a horrible gash and left her &ce 
literally covered with blood. In this condition the poor yonng 
I oame down to implore protection at the hands of my old 

^K eui 


I expected to Bee him boil over with rage at the 
remlting deed, and to hear him fill the air with curees upon 
the bnital Plumiaer ; but I was disappointed. He sternly told 
her in an angry tone, •■ She deserved every bit of it, and if she 
ilid not go home instantly he would himself take the remaining 
itkiii horn her neck and back." Thus the poor gul was com- 
pelled to return without redress, and perhaps to receive an 
additional flogging for daring to appeal to authority higher than 
that of the overseer. 

I did not at that time understand the philosophy of this 
treatment of my cousin. I think I now understand it. This 
treatment was a part of the system, rather than a part of the 
To have encouraged appeals of this kind would have 
ioned much loss of time, and left the overseer powerless 
enforce obedience. Nevertheless, when a slave bad nerve 

loogh to go straight to his master, with a well-founded eom- 
.t against an overseer, though he might be repelled and have 
even that of which he complained at the time repeated, and 
tboQgh he might be beaten by his master as well as by the 
overseer, (or his temerity, in the end, the policy of complaining 
«u generally vindicated by the relaxed rigour of the overseer's 
treatment. The latter became more careful and less disposed to 
lue the laab upon such slaves thereafter. 

The overseer very naturally disliked to have the ear of tha 
tOkBter diatorbed by complaints, and either for this reason or 
because of~ advice privately given him by his employer, he 
generally modified the rigor of his rule after complaints of 
this kind had been made against him. For some cause or other 
tbe alaves, no matter how often they were repulsed by their 
nuuters, were ever disposed to regard them with less abhor- 
rence than the overseer. And yet these masters would often 
go beyond their overseers in wanton cruelty. They wielded the 
lash without any sense of responsibthty. They could cripple or 
kill without fear of consequences. I have seen my old master 
in a t«mpecit of wrath, full of pride, hatred, jealousy, and revenge, 
when he seemed a very iiend. 

Tho oiroomstances which I am about to uai-rate, and which 
gave riw to this fearful tempest of passion, were not singular, 
Imt nrj common in our slave-holding oonununiiy. 

The reader will have noticed that among the names of alavesi 
Esther is mentioned. This was a young woman who posBeBsed 
that which was ever a curse to the slave girl— namely, personat 
beauty. She was tall, light-coloured, well-formed, and made a 
fine appearance. Esther waa courted by " Ned Eoberts," the 
son of a favourite slave of Colonel Lloyd, who waa as fine- 
looking a young man as Esther was a woman, Some slave- 
holders would have been glad to have promoted the marriage 
of two such persons, hut for some reason, Captain Anthony 
disapproved of their courtship. He strictly ordered her to quit 
the company of young Roberts, teUing her that he would 
pnnish her severely if he ever found her again in liis company. 
Bat it was impossible to keep this couple apart. Meet they 
would, and meet they did. Had Mr. Anthony been himself a 
man of honour, his motives in this matter might have appeared 
more favourably. As it was, they appeared as abhorrent as 
they were contemptible. It was one of the damning cliaracter- 
istics of slavery, that it robbed its victims of every earthly incen- 
tive to a holy life. The fear of God and the hope of heaven 
were sufficient to sustain many slave women amidst the snares 
and dangers of their strange lot ; hut they were ever at tiie 
mercy of the power, passion, and caprice of their owners. Slavery 
provided no means for the houom'able perpetuation of the race. 
Yet despite of Uiis destitution there were many men and women 
among the slaves who were true and faithful to each other through 

But to the case in hand. Abhorred and circumvented as he 
was. Captain Anthony, having the power was determined on 
revenge. I happened to see its shocking execution, and shall 
□ever forget the scene. It was early in the morning, when all 
was still, and before any of the family in the house or kitchen 
had risen. I was, in fact, awakened by the heart-rending shrieks 
and piteous cries of poor Esther. My sleeping -place was on the 
dirt floor of a little rough closet which opened into the kitchen, 
and through the cracks in its unplaned boards I could distinctly 
see and hear what was going on, without being seen. Esther's 
wrists were firmly tied, and the twisted mpe was fastened to a 
strong iron staple in a heavy wooden beam above, near the fii-e- 
place. Here she stood on a bench, her arms tightly drawn above 


Her back and shoalders were perfectly bare. Behind 

r Btood old master, with cowliide in hand, pursuing hia barbarous 

jork with all manner of harsh, coarse, and tantalizing opithcte. 

e was cruelly deliberate, and protracted the torture as one wliw 

wu delighted with the agony of his victim. Again and again ho 

drew the hateftil scourge through his hand, adjusting it with a 

view of deahng the most pain-giving blow his strength and skill 

conld inflict. Poor Esther bad never before been severely 

whipped. Her shoulders were plump and tender. Each blow, 

rifigoTOUEly laid on. brought screams from her as well as blood. 

pHave mercy! Oh, mercy!" she cried. "I won't do so no 

But her piercing cries seemed only to increase his fury. 

9 whole scene, with all its attendants, was revolting and shock- 

; to the last degree, and when the motives for the brutal casti- 

ptioii are known, language has no power to convey a just sense 

its dreadful criminaUty. After laying on I dare not say how 

' stripes, old master untied bis suffering victim. When let 

down she could scarcely stand. From my heart I pitied her, 

md child as I was, and new to such scenes, the shock was tre- 

I was terrified, hushed, stunned, and bewildered. The 

} here described was often repeated, for Edward and Esther 

neet, notwithstanding all efforts to prevent their 


Early reflectJona oa iJaverj — Aunt Jennio luid Uncle Noah — PreaentbuaalJ^ 
of one day becommg' a freeman — Oon^ct between an overseer and a slave 
woman Advantage ot resistance — Death of an overaear — Colonel Uoyd'B 
plantiition liome — MonCMy distribution of food— Singing of Slavea — An 
explimation — Tho aluve'it food and clottdn^^ — Naked childien — Life in the 
qaarter — Sleeping plncen— Not bed* — DepriTation of aloep— Care of uaisjtg ' 
babies — Ash cake — Contrast. I 

THE incidents in the foregoing chapter led me thus early to i 
enquire into the origin and nature of elavery. Why am I a 
slave 7 Why are some people slaves and others maaters ? These 
were perplexing questions and very troublesome to my childhood. 
I was told by some one very early that " (Jod up in the »hj " had 
made all things, and had made black people to be slaves and white 
people to be masters. I was told too, that God was good and that 
He knew what was beat for everybody. This was, however, less _ 
satisfactory tlian tlic first statement. It came point blank against I 
all my notions of goodness. The ease of Aunt Esther was in my " 
mind. Besides, I could not tell how auybody could know that God 
made black people to be slaves. Then I found, too, that there 
were puzzling exceptions to this theory of slavery, in the fact that 
all black people were not slaves, and all white people were not 
masters. An incident occurred about this time that made a deep 
impression on my mind. One of tlio men slaves of Captain 
Anthony and my aunt Jennie ran away. A great noise was made 
about it. Old master was fm-ioas. He said ho would follow them 
and catch them and bring them back, but he never did it, and 
somebody told me that Uncle Noah and Aunt Jennie had gone to J 
the Free States and were £ree. Besides this occnn-ence, wbiohl 

ironght much light to my n 

a the subject, there were several J 

slaves on Mr. Lloyd's place who remembered being brought froi 

Africa. There were others that told me that their fathers and 
mothers were stolen fiom Africa. 

This to me was importaot knowledge, but uot such as to make me 
(eel very easy in vxy slave condition. The sucocbs of Aunt Jetinie 
and Uncle Noah in getting away from slavery was, I think, the 
first fact that made me seriously think of escape for myself, I 
oonld not have been more thaa seven or eight years old at the time 
of this occtirrence, but young as I was, I was already a fugitive from 
slavery in spirit and purpose. 

Up tn the time uf the brutal treatment of my Aunt Ksther, 
already narrated, and the shocking phght in which I had seeu my 
eoaaia from Tuckahoe, my attention had not been especially 
directed tu the grosser and more revolting features of slavery. I 
had. of oonrse, heard of whippings and savage mutilation of slaves 
bybrataJ overseers, but happilyformel had always been out of the 
way of such occurreneea. My play time was spent outside of the 
corn and tobacco fields, where the overseers oud slaves were 
brought together and in conflict. But after the case of my Aunt 
^ther I saw others of the same disgusting and shocking nature. 

e one of these which agitated and distressed me moat, was the 
I of a woman, not belonging to my old master, but to 


K-The charge against lier was very common and very uidofinite, 
leiy, "impwUnte." This crime could be comuiittod by a 
! in a hundred different ways, and depended much upon the 
temper and caprice of the overseer as to whether it was committed 
al all. He could create the offence whenever it pleased him. A 
look, ■ word, a gesture, accidental or intentional, never failed to be 
taken as •* impudence " when he was in the right mood for such an 
offence. In this case there were all the necessary couditiiins for 
the commission of the crime charged. The offender was nearly white, 
to begin with ; she was the wife of a favourite hand on board of Mr. 
IJoyd'B sloop, and was besides the mother of five sprightly children. 
Vigorous and spirited woman that she was, a wife and a mother, she 
had a predominating share of the blood of the master running in her 
veins. Nellie, for that was her name, had all the qualities essen- 
tial to " impudence " to a slave overseer. My attention wasoalled to 
the Hcene of the caatigation by the loud screams and cnrses that 
proceeded from the direction of it. When I came near the parties 


«agaged in tlie struggle, tlie ov&rseer had hold of Nellie, endeftvour-l 
ing with his whole strength to drag her to a tree against herl 
resistance. Both his and her faces were bleeding, for the woman I 
was doujg her best. Three of her chOdren were present, and , 
though quite small, from seven to ten years old I should think, 
they gallantly toolt the aide of their mother against the overseer, , 
imd pelted him with stones and epithets. Amid the screams t 
■•he children " Let my nuivtmti go ! Let my mommy go ! " the hoarse 
voice of the maddened overseer was heard in terrible oaths tl 
ho would teach her how to give a white man " imjnidence." 1 
blood on his face and on hers attested her skill in the use of he 
nails, and his dogged detonninatiou to conquer. His pnrpose wa 
to tie her up to a tree and give her, in alave-holding parlance, 
■' genteel flogging; " and he evidently had not expected the st«ra 
and protracted resistance he was meeting, or the strength and skill 
iiueded to its esecutiou. There were times when she seemed 
likely to get the bettei- of the brute, but he finally overpowered ber, 
and succeeded in getting her arms fiiroly tied to the tree towards 
which he had been dragging her. The victim was now at the 
mercy of his merciless lash. What followed I need not here 
describe. The cries of the now helpless woman, while undergoing 
the terrible infiictiou, were mingled with the hoarse ciirses of the 
''Verseer and the wild cries of her distracted childi-en. When the 
|!oor woman was imtied, her hack was covered with blood. She 
ivas whipped, terribly whipped, but she was not subdued, and 
continued to denounce the overseer, and poiu- upon him every vile 
tpithet she could think of. Such lloggings are seldom repeated by 
(■verseers on the same persons. They preferred to whip those who 
were the most easily whipped. The doctrine that subinisaiou to 
violence is the best cure for violence did not hold good as between 
slaves and overseers. He was whipped oftener who was whipped 
(.asiest. That slave who had the courage to stand up for himself 
iigamst the overseer, although he might have many hard stripes 
lit first, became, while legally a slave, virtually, a freeman. " You 
can shoot me," said a slave to Eigby Hopkins, " but you can't 
whip me," and the result was he was neither whipped nor shot. 
1 do not know that Mr. Sevier ever attempted to whip Nellie again. 
Ue prebably never did, for not long after be was taken sick and 
died. It was commonly said that his death-bed was a wretched 

that the ruling passion being strong in death, he died 
iliing the slave whip, and with horrid oaths upon bis lips. 
a dealh-bed scene may only have been the imagining of tlie 
. One thing is certain, that when he was in health his pro- 
was enough to cliill the blood of an ordinary man. Nature, 
)it )tad given to his face an expression of uncommon savage- 
Tobacco and rage had ground liis teeth short, and nearly 
sentence that he uttered was commenced or completed with 
ith. Hated for his cruelty, despised for his cowardice, he 
went to his grave lamented by nobody on the place outside of his 
own house, if, indeed, he was even lamented there. 

In Mr. James Hopkins, the succeeding overseer, we had a differ- 
ent and a better man, as good perhaps as any man could be in the 
position of a slave overseer. Though lie sometimes wielded the 
lash, it was evident that he took no pleasure in it and did it witJi 
mSL-h reluctance. He stayed but a short time here, and hiM 
removal from tlie position was much regretted by the slaveB gene- 
rally. Of th* successor of Mr. Hopkins I shall have something tn 
at another time and in another place. 
For the present we will attend to a further description of the 
less-like aspect of Colonel Lloyd's " Hient Hoiut" farm, 
rere was always much bustle and noise there on the two days 
at the end of each month ; for then the slaves belonging to the 
diSercnt branches of this great estate assembled there by theiv 
representatives to obtain their monthly allowances of corn-meal 
and pork. These were gala days for the slaves of the out-lying 
brms, and there was much rivalry among them as to who should 
be elected to go up to the Great House farm for the " Allou-aneeii ; " 
and indeed, to attend to any other business at this great place, to 
tiieu the capitol of a httle nation. Its beauty and grandeur, its 
immense wealth, its nimierous population, and the fact that 
Uncles Harry, Peter, and Jake, the sailors on board the sloop, 
■tBoally kept trinkets on gale, which they bought in Baltimore to 
scU to their lees fortunate fellow servants, made a visit to the 
Great House (arm a high privilege, and eagerly sought. It waa 
valu^. too, as a mark of distinction and confidence ; but probably, 
the chief motive among the competitors for the oflice was the 
opportunity it afforded to shake off the monotony of the field, 
and to get beyond the overseer's eye and lash. Once on the 


road with an ox team, and seated on the tongue of the cart, 
with no overseer to look after him, he felt bimeelf compara- 
tively iree. 

Slaves were expected to sing as well aa to work. A silent fllavo 
was not liked either by masters, or by overseers. •* Makeanoitf there t 
make a noise there!" and "bear a Land," were words usually 
addressed to slaves when they were silent. This, and the natural 
disposition of the negro to make a noise in the world, may acootmt 
for the almost constant singing among them when at work. There 
was generally more or less singing among the teamsters at all 
times. It was a means of telling the overseer, in the distance, 
where they were, and what they were about. But on the allowance 
days those commissioned to the Great House farm were peouUarly 
vocal. While on the way, they would make the grand old woods, 
for miles around reverberate with their wild and plaintive notes. 
They were indeed both merry and sad. Child as I was, these wild 
BOQgs greatly depressed my spirits. Nowhere outside of dear old 
Ireland, in the days of want and famine, have I heard aounda 
so mournful. 

In all these slave songs there was ever some expression of praise 
of the Great House farm — something that would please the prids 
of the Lloyds. 

I am going away to tlie Qreat Bouse f am, 
O, yea ! O, yen ! O, yoa ! 

Mj old muater in a good old master, 

O, yea ! 0, yea ! O, yea '. 

These words would be sung over and over again, with others, 
improvised as they went along — ^jargon, perhaps, to the reader, 
but full of meaning to the singers. I have sometimes thought, 
that the mare hearing of these songs would have done more to 
impress the good people of the North with the soul-crushing 
character of slavery, than whole volumes exposing the physical 
cruelties of the slave system ; for the heart has no language like 
song. Many years ago, when recollecting my experience in thia 
resjieot, I wrote of those slave eouga in the following strain : — 

" I did not, when a slave, fully understand the deep meaning of 
those rude and apparently incoherent songs. I was, myself, 
within the circle, so that I could then neither hear nor see aa those 
without might see and hear. They breathed the prayer and 


int of soola overflowing with the bitterest anguiah. They 
iTeBS«d nay spirits and filled my heart with ineffable aadneaa." 
' The remark in the olden time was not unfrequently made, thati 
8 were the most contented and happy labonrera in the world,! 
and iheir dancing and singing were referred to in proof of thia ' 
tilled &iot ; but it was a great mistake suppose them happy 
beranse they sometimes made those joyfuJ noises. The s 
the slaves represented their sorrows, rather than their joys, Likf 
tears, they were a relief to their aching hearts. It is not incons 
tent with the constitntion of the human mind, that it avails itself 
one &nd the same method for expressing opposite emotiona. 
Sorrow and desolation have their songs, aa well as joy and peace. 

It was the boaat of slaveholders that their slaves enjoyed more 
of the physical comforts of life than the peasantry of any country 
ia the world. My experience contradicts thia. The men and the 
women slaves on Col. Lloyd's farm received aa their monthly 
allowance of food, eight poonds of pickled pork, or its equivalent 
in fish. The pork was often tainted, and the fiah were of the 
poorest quality. With their pork or fish, they had given them 
one bushel of Indian meal, onholted, of which quite fifteen per 
eent. was more fit for pigs than for men. With thia, one pint of 
s&It was given, and this was the entire monthly allowance of a 
full-grown slave, working constantly in the open field from morn- 
ing till night every day in the month except Sunday. There ia no 
kind of work which really requires a better supply of food to 
prevent physical exhaustion than the field work of a slave. The 
yearly allowance of clothing was not more ample than the supply 
of food. It consisted of two tow-linen shirts, one pair of trousers 
of the same coarse material, for summer, and a woollen pair of 
trowaera and a woollen jacket for winter, with one pair of yam 
stockings and a pair of the coarsest description. Children nnder 
ten years old had neither shoes, stockings, jackets, nor tronsers. 
They had two coarse tow-linen shirts per year, and when these were 
worn ont they went naked till the next allowance day — and this 
was the condition of the little girls aa well as the boys. As to 
beds, they had none. One coarse blanket waa given them, and 
thia only to the men and women. The children stack themselves 
in holes and oomers about the quarters, often in the comers of 
huge ohimneyB, with their feet in the ashes to keep them warm. 

The want of beds, however, was not considered a great privatioa 
by the field hands. Time to sleep was of far greater importance, 
For when the day's work was done most of them bad their wash' 
ing, mending, and cooking to do, and having few or no facilities 
for doing snch things, very maiiy of their needed sleeping boun 
were consiuned in necessary preparations for the labours of the 
coming day. The sleeping apartments, If tbej could have been 
properly called such, had little regard to comfort or decency. Old 
and young, male and female, married and siugle, dropped down 
upon the common clay floor, each covered up with bis or her 
blanket, tbeir only protection from cold or exposure. The night* 
however, was shortened at both ends, The slaves worked often aa 
long as they could see, and were late in cooking and mending lot 
the coming day, and at the first gray streak of the morning they 
were summoned to the field by the overseer's horn. They were 
whipped for over -sleeping more than for any other fault. Neither 
age nor aex found any favour. The overseer stood at the quarter 
door, armed with stick and whip, ready to deal bea\7 blows upon 
any who might be a Uttle behind time. When the horn ^ 
blown there was a rush for the door, for the hindermost c 
sure to get a blow from the overseer. Young mothers who work* 
in tbo field were allowed an hour about ten o'clock in tb< 
to go home to nurse their children. This was when they were not 
required to take them to the field with them, and leave them apoa 
" turning row," or in the comer of the fences. 

As a general rule the slaves did not come to their quarters to 
take tbeir meals, but took their ash-cake — called thus because 
baked in the ashes — and piece of pork, or their salt hei-rings, where 
they were at work. 

But let us now leave the rough usage of the field, where i 
coarseness and brutal cruelty floui-ished as rank as weeds in the 
tropics, where a vile wretch, in the shape of a man, rides, walks, 
and struts about, with whip in hand, dealing heavy blows and 
leaving deep gashes on the fiesh of men and women, and turn our 
attention to the less repidsive slave life as it existed !d the home 
of my childhood. Some idea of the splendour of that place sixty 
years ago has already been given. The contrast between the con- 
dition of the slaves and that of their masters was marvellously 
sharp and striking. There were pride, pomp, and luxury on the 
one hand, servility, dejection, and misery on the other. 



House liuuriea — Itfl hospitality— Entertoinitienta — Fault- 
liliation of an old and faithful ooaiJiinaD — WiUiam 
u incident —Eipreiwied satiaf action not alwayii gsnitlne — 
ippressin^ the truth. 

THE cIose-fiBted atinginesa that fed the poor slave ou coarse 
oom-meal and tainted meat, that clotlied him iu traaby 
tow-linen, aad hiirriod him on to toil through the field in all 
weAthcrs, with wind and rain beating through his tattered 
garments, that scarcely gave even the youug slave-mother 
lime to niirse her iniant in the feuce-corner, wholly vanished on 
approaching the sacred precincts of the "Groat House" itself. 
Tliefe, the scriptural pbrase descriptive of the wealthy found 
exact illnstration. The highly-favoiu-ed inmates of the mansion 
were Utemlly arrayed in "purple and fine liueu, and fared 
Bumptuously every day." The table of the [house groaned under 
the blood-bought luxnriea gathered with pains-taking care at home 
and abroad. Fields, forests, rivers, and seas were made ti-ibutary. 
ImmeuBO wealth and its lavish expenditm-e tilled the Groat House 
with all that could please the eye, or tempt the taste. Fish, flesli. 
and fowl were there in profusion. Chickens of all breeds ; ducks 
of all kinds, wild and tamo, the common and the huge Muscovite : 
Guinea fowls, turkeys, geese, and pea-fowls were fat, and fattenmj* 
tat thv destined vortes. There the graceful swan, the mongrels. 
the black-necked wild goose, partridges, quails, pheasants, and 
pi^ona. choice water-fowl, with all their strange varieties, were 
"-ingbt in the huge net. Beef, veal, mutton, and venison, of the 
nioal eelect kinds and quality, rolled in boanteous profusion to 
lhi£ grand consumer. The teeming riches of Chesapeake Bay, 
its rock-perch, drums, crocus, trout, oysters, crabs, and terrapin 
were drawn thither to adorn the glittering table. The dairy, too. 
the finest then on the eastern shore of Maryland, supphed by 


cattle of the best English stock, imported for the express pnrpon 
poured its rich donations of fragrant cheese, golden batter, 
delicious cream to heighten the attractions of the gorgeona, 
rotind of feasting. Nor were the fmlts of the earth overl 
The fertile gardeu, many acres in size, constitnting a sepantl g 
establishment distinct from the common farm, with its scien^ 
gardener direct from Scotland, a Mr. McDermott, and four 
nnder his direction, was not behind, either in the abundance or it 
the delicacy of its contributions. The tender asparagus, lit 
crispy celery, and the delicate cauhflower, egg plants, beets, lettuce, i 
parsnips, peas, and French beans, early and late, radisbw, 1 
cantelopes, melons of all kinds ; and the fruits of all cllmea axi t 
of every description, from the hardy apples of the North to ilit 1 
lemon and orange of the South, culminated at this point. Hetc k 
were gathered figs, raisins, almonds, and grapes from Spain, winei I 
and brandies from France, teas of various flavour from Obina, 
rich aromatic coffee from Java, all conspiring to swell the 
of high life, where pride and indolence lounged in magnificenl 
and satiety. 

Behind the tall-hacked and elaborately wrought chairs stot 
the servants, fifteen in number, carefully selected, not only wiUt 
view to their capacity and adeptness, but with especial regard t 
their personal appearance, their graceful agility, and 
address. Some of these servants, armed with &ns, waAa 
reviving breezes to the over-heated brows of tlie alabaster lad 
whilst others watched with eager eye and fawn -like si 
anticipating and supplying wants before they were suffioieatl| 
formed to be announced by word or sign. 

These servants constituted a sort of black aristocracy. ThiJ 
resembled tbe field hands in nothbg except their colour, and iS 
this they held the advantage of a vctvet-hke glossiness, rich 
beautiful. The hair, too, showed the same advantage. Tht 
delicately- formed coloured maid rustled in the scarcely-worn silk tt 
her young mistress, wliile the servant men were equally well attiroi' 
from the overflowing wardrobe of their young masters, so th&t in 
drees, as well as in form and feature, in manner and speecli, ii 
tastes and habits, the distance between these Favoured few and thsi 
sorrow and hunger- smitten multitudes of the quarter and the 
field was immense. 


III the stables and cairisge-honses were to be faiind the same 

- vidences of pride and luxurious esti'avagaoce. Here were three 

pl'?iidid coaches, soft within and lustrous without. Here, too. 

I were giga. phaetona, barouches, BiilIcejB. and sleighs. Here were 

saddles and harness, beautifully wrought and richly mounted. No 

leKS than thirty-tive horses of the best approved blood, both for 

^eed and beauty, were kept only for pleasure. The care of these 

borses constituted the euth-e occupation of two men, one or the 

oUier of them being always in the stable to answer any call whicli 

miifht be made from the Great House, Over the way from the 

table was a bouse built expressly for the hounds, a pack of twenty- 

Ilvc or thirty, the fare for which would have made glad the hearts 

.-l' u dozen slflves. Horses andhounds, however, were not the only 

coDsamers of the slave's toil. The hospitahty practised at the 

Lloyd's, would have astonished and charmed many a, health -seeking 

divine or merchant from the North. Viewed from his taWe, and 

itat from the field, Colonel Lloyd was, indeed, a model of generous 

hospitality. His house was literally a hotel for weeks, during the 

summer months. At these times, especially, the air was freighted 

wlUi ibe rich fumes of baking, boiling, roasting, and broiling. It 

w»s eometliing to me that I could share these odours with the 

winds, even if the meats themselves were under a more stringent 

monopoly. In master Daniel I had a friend at court, who would 

Eomntitnes give me a cake, and who kept me well informed as to 

iheir guests and their entertainments. Viewed from Col. Lloyd's 

Uhlc, who coidd have said that his slaves were not well clad and 

well enred for ? Who would have said they did not glory iu being 

tlie ilavcs of such a master ? Who but a fanatic could have seen 

»ny cause for sympathy for either master or slave ? Alas, this 

umnmse wt'alth, this gilded splendour, this profusion of luxury, 

tldt exemption from toil, this life of ease, this sea of plenty were 

^H not the pearly gates they seemed to a world of happiness aud sweet 

^^bBBteni. The poor slave, on Lis hard pine plank, scantily covered 

^P*fii his tliin blanket, slept more soundly thau the feverish volup- 

I "iWy who reclined upon his downy pillow. Food to the indolent is 

[■'Hon, not sustenance. Lurking beneath the rich and tempting 

^Wifl* were invisible spirits of evil, which filled the self-deluded 

B'^fmaadizer with aches and pains, passions uncontrollable, fierce 


tempera, dyspepsia, rlienmatism, lumbago, and gout, and of these 
tlie Lloyds had a full share. 

1 had many opportunities of wituessiug Llie restless discontent 
aud eapricioas irritation of the Llojds. My fondness for horses 
attracted me to the stables much of the time. The two men in 
charge of this establishment were old and young Barney— father 
and son. Old Barney was a fine looking, portly old njan of a 
brownish complexion, aud a respectful and dignified bearing. He 
was miich devoted to hia profession, aud held his office as an 
honourable one. He was a farrier as well as an oatter, and could 
bleed, remove tampers &om their mouths, itnd administer mcdicuie 
to horses. No one on the farm knew so well ae old Barney what 
to do with a sick horae ; but his office was not an enviable one, 
and his gifts and acqiuremcnts were of Uttle advantage to him. In 
nothing was CoL Lloyd more unreasonable aud exacting than in 
respect to the management of his horses. Any supposed inatten- 
tion to these animals was sure to be visited with degrading punish- 
ment. His horses and dogs fared better than his men. Their beds 
were far softer and cleaner than those of hia human cattle. No 
excuse could shield old Bai-ney if the Colonel only suspected some- 
thing wrong about bis horses, and consequently he was often 
pimished when faultless. It was painful to bear the unreasou&bls 
and fretful scoldings administered by Col. Lluyd, his son Murray, 
and his sons-in-law, to this poor man. Three of the daughters ci 
Col. Lloyd were married, and they with their husbands remained 
at the great house a portion of the year, aud enjoyed the luxury of 
whipping the servants when they pleased. A horse was seldom 
bv'iught out of the stable to which no objection could be raised. 
'• There was dust in his hair ; " " there was a twist in his reins ; " 
" bis foretop was not combed ; " " his mane did not lie straight ; " 
" his head did not look well ; " " his fetlocks had not been properly 
trimmed," Something was always wrong. However grouudleaa 
the complaint, Barney must stand, hat in hand, lips sealed, never 
answering a word in explanation or excuse. In a free State, 
master thus complaining without cause, might be told by hia 
ostler: " Sir, I am sorry I caimot please you, but since I hays 
done the best I can and fait to do so. your remedy is to disi 
me." But here the ostler must listen and tremblingly abide 
master's behest. One of the most heart- saddening and humili&tii 



tea I ever wilneaaed was the whippLng of old Barney by Col, 
Uoyd. These two men were both advanced in years ; there were 
the ailvcr locka of the maater, and the bald and toil-worn brow of 
the slave— superior and inferior here, powerful and weak here, but 
t^ilt before God. •' Uncover your head." said the imperious 
tnaHt«r ; be waa obeyed. " Take off yoitr jacket, yon old rascal ? " 
&nd oflf came Barney's jacket. " Down on your Uneea ! " down 
knelt the old man, his shoulders bare, his bald head ghstcnisg iu 
the suQshine, and his aged Uneea on the cold, damp ground. Iu 
this humble and debasing attitude, that master, to whom he had 
devoted the best years and the best sti'ength of his life, came 
forward aud laid on thirty lashes with his horse-whip. The old 
man mads no resistaiice. but bore it patiently, answering each 
blow with only a shrug of the shoulders and a groan. I do not 
think that the physical suffering from this infliction waa severe, for 
the whip was a light riding-whip ; but the spectacle of an aged man 
— a busband and a father—humbly kneeling before his fellow-man, 
allocked me at the time ; and since I have grown older, few of the 
features of slavery have impressed me with a deeper sense of its 
tDJTistioe and barbarity than this exciting scene. I owe it to the 
truth, however, to say that this was the first and last time I ever 
saw a elave compelled to kneel to receive a wbippiug. 

Another incident, illustrating a phase of slavery to which I have 
referred in another connection, I may here mention. Besides two 
other coaclimen, Col. Lloyd owned one named Wilham Wilka, and 
his waa one of the exceptional eases where a slave possessed a 
soru&me, and was recognised by it, by both coloured and white 
people. Wilks was a very fine-looking man. He was about as 
while as any one on the plantation, and iu form aud featui'e bore a 
very striking resemblance to Muiray Lloyd. It was whispered and 
Ktuerally beheved that William Wilts was a son of Col. Lloyd, by 
» highly favoured slave-woman, who was still on the plantation. 
'I'here were mauy reasons for believing this whisper, riot only from 
Ills ]>eraonal appeai'ance, but from the undeniable freedom which 
lie enjoyed over all others. Eind his apparent consciousness of being 
■omethiug more than a slave to his master. It was notorious too, 
thftt Wilham had a deadly enemy in Mui-ray Lloyd, wliom he so 
mnch resembled, and that the latter greatly worried his father 
with importunities to sell Wilham. Indeed, he gave his father no 

D a 



Atutin Oore — Sketch of hia oh«r«oter — Overseers ua a class — Thdr pecul 
ohararteristics— The marked indlTidualitj of Aiuttin Oore—His sense of da^ 
— UurdiT of poor Denbj— Sensation — Hov Gore made Ids peaca with Colone 
Uojd— Other horriblo murders— No laws for the protection of slav 
possibly be enforced. 

THE comparatively moderate rnlo of Mr, Hopkins as overseer 
on Col. Lloyd's plaotation was succeeded by that of another 
whose name was Aastin Gore. I hardly know how to bring Uiib 
man fitly hefore the reader, for under him there was more suflferiug 
from violence and bloodshed than had. according to the older 
fllaves, ever been experienced before at that place. He was an 
overseer, and poBseBsed the pecoUar characteristics of his class, yei. 
to call him merely an overseer would not ^ive one a fair conceptii 
of the man. I speak of overseers as a class, for they were sQchi 
They were as distinct from the slave-holding gentry of tlie South' 
as are the fiHh-women of Paris, and the coal-heavers of London, 
distinct from other grades of society. They constituted a separate 
fraternity at the South. They were arranged and classified by 
that great law of attraction which determines the sphere and 
affinities of men ; which ordains that men whoso malign and 
brutal propensities preponderate over their moral and intelleotual 
endowments shall naturally fall into those employments whicli 
promise the largest gratification to those predominating instincts or 
propensities. The office of overseer took this raw material of 
vulgarity and brutality, and stamped it as a distinct class iii 
Southern life. But in this class, as in all other classes, there 
were sometimes persons of marked individuality, yet with a 
general resemblance to the mass. Mr. Gore was one of those to 
irhom a general characterization would do no manner of justice. He 



I out 


bat he was something more. With the malign and 
tjr&nnical qaalitiea of an overseer he combined someUiing of the 
bwful loaBter. He had the artfiilnesB and mean ambition of his 
class, without its disgiisting swagger and noisy bravado. There 
was an easy air of independence about him ; a calm self-posaes- 
sion ; at the same time a atemness of glance which might well 
daunt less timid hearts than those of poor slaves, accustomed from 
chiMhood to cower before a driver's laah. He was one of those 
OTerseers who could torture the sUghtest word or look into " impu- 
dence," and he had the nerve not only to resent but to punish 
promptly and severely. There could be no answering back. 
tiuQty or not guilty, to be accnBed was to be sure of a flogging. His 
varypresence wasfearfiii.andlshunnedhimasi would haveuhunned 
S rKttlesnske. His piercing black eyes and sharp, shrill voice ever 
awakened sensations of dread. Other overseers, how brutal soever 
they might be, would sometimes seek to gain favour with the 
slaves, by indulging in a httle pleasantry ; but Gore never said a 
fitnny thing, or perpetrated a joke. He was always cold, distant, 
aud unapproachable — the overseer on Col, Edward Lloyd's planta- 
tion — and needed no higher pleasure than the performance of the 
duties of bis ofKce. When he used the lash, it was &om a sense 
of duty, without fear of consequences. There was a stern will, an 
iroD-Uke reality about him, which would easily have made him 
chief of a band of pirates, had his environments been favourable 
to such a sphere. Among many other deeds of shocking cruelty 
ooramitted by him was tlie mtirder of a young coloured man named 
Sill Denby. He was a powerful fellow, full of animal spirits, and 
otM) of the most valuable of C<il. Lloyd's slaves. In some way — I 
knoiw not what — he offended this Mr. Austin Gore, and in aecor- 
dance with the nsnal custom the latter undertook to dog him. He 
had given him hut few stripes when Digby broke away &om him, 
longed into the creek, and standing there with the water up to 
neck refiised to come out; whereupon, for this refusal, Gore 
'jAot Attn dead ; It is said that Goro gave Denby three calls to oome 
>, telling him if he did not obey the last caU he should shoot 
him. When the last call was given Denby still stood his ground, and 
tiore, without further parley, or without making any furtlier efifort 
to induce obedience, raised his gun deliberately to his face, took 
deadly aim at his standing victim, and with one cUck of the gun 



the maugled body aauk out of aiglit, and otily his warm red blood 
marked the place whei-e lie had stood. 

This fiendish murdci- produced, as it could not help doing, a 
tremendous sensation. The slaves were panic-stricken, and howled 
with alarm. The atrocity roused my old master, and be spoke out 
in reprobation of it. Both he and Colonel Lloyd arraigned Gore 
for bis cruelty ; but he, calm and collected, as though nothing 
unusual had happened, declared tliat Denby bad beoome unmanagB- 
able ; that he set a dangerous example to the other elaros, and 
that unless some such prompt measure was resorted to, there would 
be an end to all rule and order on the plantation. That convenient 
covert for all manner of villainy and outrage, that cowardly 
alana-ci7, that the slaves would " take the place," ■ft'as pleaded, 
just as it had been in thousands of similar cases. Gore's defence 
was evidently considered satisfactory, for he was continued in his 
office, without being subjected to a judicial investigation. The 
murder was committed in the presence of staves only, and they, 
being slaves, coold neither institute a suit nor testify against the 
murderer. Mr. Gore lived in St. Michaels. Talbot Co., Maryland, 
had I have no reason to doubt, from what I know to have been tlie 
moral sentiment of the place, that lie was as highly esteemed and 
as much respected as though bis guilty soul bad not been stained 
with innocent blood. 

I speak advisedly when I say that killbg a stave, or any colored. 
person, in Talbot Co., Maryland, was not treated as a crime, either 
by the courts or the community. Mr. Thomas Lauman, ship 
carpenterof St. Michael's, killed twoslaves, one of whom hebutchered 
with a hatchet, by knocking his brains out. He used to boast of 
tiaving committed the awful and bloody deed. I have heard hiin 
do so laughingly, declaring himself a benefactor of bis country, 
and that " when others would do as much as be had done, they 
would be rid of the d d niggers." 

Another notorious fact which I may state was the mm-der of & 
young girl between fifteen and sixteen years of age. by her mistress, 
Mrs. Giles Hicks, who hved but a short distance from Colonel 
Lloyd's. Tliis wicked woman, in the paroxysm of her wrath, not 
content with kitliog her victim, hterally mangled bar face, and broke 
tier breast-bone. Wild and infuriated as she was, she took 
precaution to cause the burial of the gu-I ; but, the facts of 



getting abroad, the remains were disinterred, and a coroner's 
jary asacmbled, who, after due deliberation, decided that " the girl 
had come to her death irom severe beatiug." TheofTence for which 
this girl was thus hurried out of the world was this, she had been 
set ifajtt night, and ueveral preoeding nights, to mind Mrs. Hicks' 
bftby, and having fallen into a sound sleep, the crying of the baby 
did not wake her, as it did its mother. The tardiness of the girl 
excited Mrs, Hicks, who, after calling her many times, seized a 
piece of lire-wood &am the fire-place, and ponnded in her skull and 
breast-bone till death ensued. I will not say that this murder most 
fool produced no sensation. It did produce a sensation. A warrant 
was issued for the arrest of Mrs. Hicks, but incredible to tell, for 
some reason or other, that waiTant was never served, and she not 
only escaped condign punishment, but also the paiu and mortifica- 
tion of being arraigned before a court of justice. 

While I am detailing the bloody deeds that took place duruig my 
Btay on Colonel Lloyd's plantation, I will brierty narrate another 
dark transaction, which occurred about the time of the mm-der of 

On the side of the river Wye. opposite Colonel Lloyd's, thei'e 
lived a Mr. Deal Boudlcy, a wealthy slaveholder. In the direction 
of his land, and near tlie shore, there was an excellent oyster 
fishing -ground, and po this some of Lloyd's slaves occasionally 
resorted hi their Uttle canoes at night, with a view of making up 
the deficiency of their scanty allowance of food by the oysters that 
they could easily get there. Mr. Bondley took it into his head to 
regard this as a trespass, and while an old man slave was engaged 
in catching a few of the many milhons of oysters that hned the 
bottom of the creek, to satisfy hia hunger, the rascally Bondley, 
lying in ambush, without the shghtest warning, discharged the 
contents of his musket into the back of the poor old man. As good 
fbvtnne would have it, the shot did not prove fatal, and Mr. Bondley 
asme over, the next day, to see Colonel Lloyd about it. What 
h^ppeoed between them I know not, but there was httle said 
about it and nothing pubhcly done. One of the commonest sayings 
to which my etirs early became accustomed, was that it was ■' worth 
bat half a cent to kill a nigger, and half a cent to bury one." 
ftTiile I heard of numerous murders committed by slaveholders on 
the eastern shore of Maryland, I never knew a solitary instance 


where a slaveholder was either hong or imprisoned for having 
murdered a slave. The usual pretext for such crimes was that the 
slave had offered resistance. Should a slave, when assaulted, but 
raise his hand in self-defence, the white assaulting party was fully 
justified by Southern law, and Southern public opinion, in shooting 
the slave down, and for this there was no redress. 

—How it waa nuuiifestcd—" Ike "—A battle with 
him — HisH Lnpretia'a balsam — Bread — How it was obtained — Grleams of 
ffiTiHghf amidat the gmfiral darkDeaa — Soflering from cold — How we took 
our meal miuh — Preparations for going to fialttiuore — Deli^^bt at the ahang« 
— OouBii Tom'a opinion of Baltimore— Airival tbere — Kind reoeption— Ur. 
and Mj«. Hug-h Auld— Their son Tonunj— My relations to them— My dution 
— A, tBming-point in my life. 

I HAVE nothing oniel or shocking to relate of my own personal 
experience while I remained ou Colonel Lloyd's plantation, 
at the home of my old master. An occasional cuff from Aunt 
Katy. and a regular whipping from old master, such as any 
heedless and tniachievoiis boy might get from his father, is 
all that I have to say of this sort. I waa not old enough to 
work in the field, and there being little else than field-work 
to perform, I had much leisure. The most I had to do was to 
drive up the cowa in the evening, to keep the front-yard clean, 
and to perform small errands for my young mistress, Lucietia 
Adld. I had reasons for thinking this lady was very kindly 
disposed towards me, and although I was not often tlie object 
of her attention, I constantly regarded her as my friend, and 
was always glad when it was my privilege to do her a service. 
In a bjnily where there was so much that was harsh and 
indifleFBQt, the shghtest word or look of kindness was of gi-eat 
Talne. Miss Lucietia — as we all continued to call her long 
»Aer her marriage — had bestowed on me such looks and words 
as taught me that she pitied me. if she did not love me. She 
aometimes gave me a piece of bread and butter, an artiole not 
aet down in our bill of fare, but an extra ration aside from 
both Annt Katy and old master, and given as I believed solely 
out of the tender regard she bad for me. Then too, I one day 

*4 ADNT KATT. ^ 

got into tlte wars with Uncle Abel's son '• Ike," and had got sadly 
worsted ; the little rascal struck me directly in the forehead with 
a sharp piece of cinder, fused with iron, from the old blacksmith's 
forge, which made a cross in my forelieaJ very plainly to be seen 
even now. The gash bled very freely, and I roared and betook 
myself home. The cold-hearted Aunt Katy paid no attention 
either to my wound or my roaring, except to tell me it " served m« 
right ; and I had no business with Ike ; it would do me good ; 
would now keep away from ' dem Lloyd niggers.' " Mias Luorfltitt 
in this state of the case came forward, ami called me into tho 
pai'lour, ait extra privilege of itself, and without using toward 
me any of the hard and reproachful epithets of Aunt Eaty, quietly 
acted the good Samaritan. With her own soft hand she washed 
the blood from my head and face, brought her own bottle of 
balsam, and with the balsam wetted a nice piece of white linen 
and bound up my head. The balsam was not more healing to the 
wound iu my head, than her kindness was healing to the wounds 
in my spirit, induced by the mifeeling words of Aunt Eaty. After 
this Miss Lucretia was yet more my frieiiil. I felt her to be 
such ; and I have no doubt that the simple act of binding up my 
head did much to awaken in her heart an interest in my welfare. 
It is quite true that this interest seldom showed itself in anythillfc 
more than in giving me a piece of bread and butter, but this was 
a great favour ona slave plantation, audi was the onlyone of the 
children to whom such attention was paid. When very severely 
pinched with hunger, I had the habit of singing, which the good 
lady very soon came to understand, and when she heard me 
singing under her window, I was very apt to be paid for my music. 
Thus I had two friends, both at important points, — Mas'r Daniel 
at the great house, and Miss Lucretia at iiome. From Maa'r 
Daniel I got protection from the bigger boys, and from Miss 
Lucretia I got bread by singing when I was hungry, and sympathy 
when I was abused by the termagant m the kitchen. For such 
friendship I was deeply grateful, and bitter as are my recollections 
of slavery, it is true pleasure to recall any instances of kindness, 
auy sunbeams of humane treatment, which found way to my soul, 
through the iron grating of my house of bondage. Such bet 
seem all the brighter from the general darkness into which they m 
penetrate, and the impression they make there is vividly distinct. 


As before intimated, I roceivcd no severe treatment fi-om tbe 
hands of my master, but the insufBciency of both food and 
clothing was a serious trial to me, especially from the lack of 
clothing. In hottest summer and coldest winter, I was kept 
abnoBt in a state of nudity. My only clothing — a little coarse 
sack-cloth or tow-linen sort of shirt, Bcarcely reaching to my knees, 
was worn night and day and changed once a week. In tlie day 
time Iconld prot«ct myself by keeping on the sunny side of the 
house, or in stormy weather, in the corner of the kitchen chimney. 
Bat tlie great difficulty was to keep warm during the night. The 
pigs in tbe pen had leaves, and the horses in tbe stable had straw, 
but tbe children bad no beds. They lodged anywhere in the ample 
kitchen. I slept generally in a little closet, without even a 
blanket to cover me. In very cold weather I sometimes got down 
the bag in ^which com was carried to the mill, and crawled into 
that. Sleeping there with my head in and ray feet oat, I was 
partly protected, though never comfortable. My feet have been ao 
cracked with tbe &ost that the pen with which I am writing might 
be laid in the gashes. Our corn meal mush, which was n«r only 
regular if not all-sufficing diet, when sufiiciently cooled from ;be 
cooking, was placed in a large tray or trough. Tliis was set down 
on the floor of tbe kitchen, or out of doors on the gronnd. and the 
children were called like so many pigs, and like so many pigs would 
oome, some with oyster-shells, some with pieces of shingle, but 
none with spoons, and Uter ally devour the mush. He who could 
eat fastest got moat, and be that was strongest got the best place, 
bat few left the trough really satisfied. I was tbe most unlucky of 
all, for Aunt Eaty had no good feehng for me, and if I pushed the 
children, or if they told her of anjlhing unfavourable of me, she 
always beheved tbe worst, and was sure to whip me. 

As I grew older and more tbonghtful, I became more and more 
filled with a sense of my wretchedness. Tbe uukinduess of Aunt 
Ka^, tbe hunger and cold I suffered, and the terrible reports of 
wrongs and outrages which came to my car, together with what I al- 
most daily witnessed, led me to wish I had never been horn. I used 
to contrast my condition with that of tbe black-birds, whose wild and 
sweet songs made me fancy them so bappy. Their apparent joy 
ont; deepened the shades of my sorrow. There are thoughtful 
SKfB in the lives of children — at least there were in mine— when 



they grapple with all the great primary Bubjeeta of knowledge, and 
reach in a moment conduaioua which no subsequent experieiice can 
shake. I waa jaat as well aware of the unjust, luinatural, and 
murderous character of slavery, when nine years old, as I am uow. 
Without any appeal to books, to laws, or to authorities of any kind, 
to regard God as " Our Father," condemned slavery as a crime. 

I waa in thip unhappy state when I received from Miss Lncretia 
the joyful intelligence that my old master had determined to let me 
go to Baltimore to live with Mr. Hugh Auld, a brother to Mr. 
Thomas Auld, Miss Lucretia's husband. I shall never forget the 
ecstaoy witli which I received this information, three days before 
the time set for my departure. They were the three happiest days 
I had ever known. I spent the largest part of them in the creek, 
wastiing off the plantation scurf, and thus preparing for my new 
home. Miss Lucretia took a lively interest in getting me ready. 
8he told me I must get all the dead ekiu off my feet and knees, for 
tlie people in Baltimore were very cleanly, and would laugh at me 
if I lookod dirty ; and besides she waa intending to give me a pair 
of trowsers, but which I could not put on unless I got all the dirt 
off. This waa a warning which I was bound to heed, for the 
thought of owning and wearing a pair of trowsera was groat indeed. 
Bo I went at it in good earnest, working for the first time in my life 
in the hope of reward, I waa greatly excited, and could hardly 
consent to sleep lest I should be left. The ties that ordinarily bind 
children to their homos, had no existence in my case, and in think- 
ing of a home elsewhere, I was confident of finding none that I 
should rehsh less than the one I was leaving. If I should meet 
with hardship, hunger, and nakedness, I had known them all 
before, and I could endure them elsewhere, especiallyin Baltimore, 
for I had Bomothiug of the feeling about that city which is expressed 
in the saying that ■' being hanged in England is better than dying 
a natural death in Ireland." I had the strongest deaire to see 
Baltimore. My cousin Tom, a boy two or three years older than 
1, had been there, and, though not fluent in speech, — he stuttered 
immoderately, — he had inspired me with that desire by his elo- 
quent descriptions of the place. Tom was sometimes cabin-boy on 
board the sloop " Sally Lloyd," which Capt. Thomas Auld com- 
manded, and when he came home from Baltimore he waa always j 
a sort of hero among us, at least till his trip to Baltimore i 

THE VOVAllB. 47 

foi-RotUn. I could never tell him auything, or point out aoything 
tiiM airuok me as beautiful or powei-ful, but be bad seen some- 
tliing in Baltimore 6ir Hiu-pasaing it. Even tlie " gi'cat bouse." 
nitli &I1 ltd pictures witbin, and pillars witbout, lie bad the hardi- 
hood to say, " waa nothing to Baltimore." He bought a trumpet. 
wortli sixpence, aud brought it borne ; told what be bad seen tu the 
wiodowe of the stores ; that he bad beard shooting -crackera, aud 
wen SAldicrs ; that iio bad aceu a steamboat ; that there were ships 
in Baltimore tliat could carry four such sloops as the " Bally 
Lloyd.'' He said a great deal about the Market bouse; of the 
ritiguig of the bells ; aud of many other things which roused my 
nirioaity very much, aud iudced which brigbtcued my hopes of 
happiness in my new home. We sailed out of Milea River for Bal- 
timore early on Saturday morning. I remember only llie day of 
the wtftk, for at that time I had no knowledge of the days of the 
moDth, nor indeed of the months of the yeai'. Ou setting sail I 
walked afl and gave to Col. Lloyd's plantation what I hoped would 
be llie last look I should give to it, or to any place like it. After 
taking this last view, I quitted the quarter-deck, made my way to 
bow of the boat, and spent the remainder of the day in lookilig 
teresting myself in what was in the distance, rather than 
rirhat was near by, or beliind. The vessels sweeping aloug the 
vere objects fall of interest to me. The broad bay opened Uke 
lOreless ocean on my boyish vision, filhng me with wonder and 
late in the afternoon wo reached Anuapob'a, stopping there not 
enough to admit of going ashore. It was the first lai-ge town 
d ever seen, aud though it was inferior to mauy a factoiy 
in N«w England, my feelings ou seeing it were excited to a 
very little below that reached by travellers at the first view 
The dome of the State house was especially imposing, 
' wd Kirpassed tn grandeur the appearance of the " great house " 
I bad left behind. So the great world was opening upun me, aud I 
"Ungerly acquainting myself witli its multifarious lessons. 

W# arrived in Baltimore on Sunday morning, aud lauded at 

l^niillrs wharf, not fai' from Bowly's wharf. We had on board a 

'wgtt lii)ck of sheep, for the Baltimore market ; and after assisting 

^_ Qilriviug them to the slaughter house of Mr. Curtiss on Loudon 

^^b bUIw'e hill, I was oouductod by Rich — one of tlio liands belonging 



to the sloop — to my new home on AUiciana street, near Gardiner* 
ship-yard, on Fell's point. Mr, aud Mrs. Hugh Auld, my nei 
master and mistress, vere both at home and met me at the d( 
with their roay-cheelied httle son Thomas, to take care of whom 
was to constitute my fnrtlier occupation. Li fact it was to " little 
Tommy," rather than to his parents, that oh) raastermadc a present 
of me, and, tliough there were no le'i/il. form or arrangement entered 
into, I )iave no doubt that Mr. aud Mrs. Auld felt that in due time 
I should be the legal property of their bright-eyed and beloved boy 
Tommy. I was struck with the appearance especially of my new 
mistress. Her face was hghted with the kindliest emotions ; and 
tije reflex influence of her countenance, as well aa the tenderness 
with wliich she seemed to regard me, while asking me sundry 
little questions, greatly delighted me, and lit up, to my fancy, the 
pathway of my fnture. Little Thomas was affectionately told by 
his mother, that " there was his Freddy." and that " Freddy wonU 
take care of him ; " and I was told to " be kind to little Tonmiy, 
an injunction I scarcely needed, for I had already fallen in loi 
with the dear boy. With these little ceremonies I was initial 
into my new home, and entered upon my peculiar duties, then 
conscious of a cloud to dim its broad horizon. 

I may say here, that I regard my removal from Col. Lloydl 
plantation as one of the most interesting and fortunate events 
my life. Viewing it in the light of human likehhoods. it is qnJl 
probable that but for the mere circumstance of being thus remoi 
before the rigors of slavery had fitlly fastened upon me ; before m] 
young spirit had been cnished under the iron control of the slavf 
driver, 1 might have continued in slavery until emancipated b] 
the war. 


lom I 

-^Flantatioii regreta^My miatress — Her hiatory — Her kind- 
— His eoomess— Uy Domforts — Increased (letiaitivoneHB — 
—Leuniiig to read — Baneful effects of slaveliotdiDg on my 
■ton*— Mr. Hugh forbida Mrs. Sophia to teach me further— 
' Qmidi gather <ra my bright prospects— Hotter AiiM'b expositioD of Qte 
Flnlowp^y of Slaveiy — City slsvea — Country slsveti— ContrMts — Eiceptions 
— lb, Hnmitton'fi two vlaves— Mrs. Hamilton'B cruel treatment of them — 
Pitemu upcct presented hj them — No power to Eoiae between the slara and 

ESTABLISHED in my new home in Baltimore, I was not 
very long in perceiving that in picturing to myself what 
was t« be my life there, my imagination had painted only the 
bright side ; and that the reality bad its dark shades as well ae its 
light oaee. The open country, which had been bd much to me, 
was all shnt out. Walled in on every aide by towering brick 
bnildingB, the lieat of the summer was intolerable to me, and the 
hard briok pavements almost blietered my feet. If I ventured out 
bu the streets, new and strange objects glared upon me at every 
step, and startling sounds greeted my ears from all directions. 
My country eyes and ears were confuBod and bewildered. Troops 
of hostile boys pounced apon me at every coi-ner. They chased 
me, and called me " Eaatem-Shore man," till really I almost 
wished myaelf back on the Eastern Shore. My new mistress 
happily proved to be all she had seemed, and in her presence I 
easily forgot all tlie outside annoyances. Mrs. Sophia was 
untorally of an excellent diapoaition — kind, gentle, and cheerful. 
Tlie snpercihoaa contempt for the rights and feelings of others, and 
the petulance and bad bnmour which generally characterized slave- 
holding ladiee, were all quite absent from her manner and bearing 
toward me. 8he had never been a slaveholder — a thmg iWn 

60 HIS ^ 

qnite unnaual at the Houtli — but had depeuded almost entirely 
npon bfir own indastry for a living. To thia fact tlie dear lady iio 
doubt owed tho excellent preservation of her iiatiu'al goodness of 
heart, for slavery could change a saint iuto a sinner, and an angel 
into a demon, I hardly knew how to behave towards "Misa 
Sophia," as I used to call Mrs. Hugh Auld. I could not approach 
her even, aa I had formerly approached Mra. Thomas Auld. Wliy 
should I hang down my head, and apeak with bated breath, when 
tiiere was no pride to acom me, no coldness to repel mc, and no 
hatred to inspire me with fear ? I therefore soon came to regard 
her aa something more akin to a mother than a slaveholdinK 
miatress. So far from deeming it impudent in a alave to look her 
straight in the (ace, ahe seemed ever to say, " look up. child; 
don't be afraid." The sailors belonging to the sloop esteemed it ft 
great privilege to be the bearers of parcels or mesaages to her, tot 
whenever they came, they were sure of a moat kind and pleasant 
reception. K little Thomas waa her son, and her most dearly 
loved child, she made me something like his half-brother in her 
affections. If dear Tommy waa exalted to a place on hia motlier'a 
liiiGG, " Feddy" was honoui-ed by a place at tlie mother's side. Nor 
did the slave-boy lack the caressing strokes of her gentle hand, 
soothing him into the consciousness that, though motherless, be 
was not friendless. Mrs. Auld waa not only klndheartcd, but to- 
Tnarkably pious ; frequent in her attendance at public worship, 
much given to reading the Bible, and to chanting hymns of praise 
when alone. Mr. Hugh was altogether a different character. He 
cared very little about religion ; knew more of tho world, and was 
more a part of the world, than his wife. He set out doubtless to 
be, aa the world goes, a respectable man, and to get on by 
becoming a succeeeful ahip-builder, in that city of ship-buildiuf^, 
Thia waa his ambition, and it fuUy occupied him. I was of courso 
of very little consequence to him, and when he smiled upon me, aa 
he sometimes did, the smile was boiTowed from hia lovely wife, 
and like all borrowed light, waa transient, and vanished with the 
source whence it was derived. Though I must, in truth, characterize 
Master Hugh as a sour man of forbidding appearance, it ia due 
to him to acknowledge that he was never cruel to me, according 
to the notion of cruelty in Maryland. During the first year or 
two, he left me almost exclusively to tho management of his wife. 



8L« was ray law-giver, in hands go tender as liers, and in the 
absence of the cruelties of the plantation, I became both physically 
and u6uuUly uuch more sensitive, and a frown from my mistresB 
caviled oio far more Buffering than Aunt Katj's hardest caSs, 
Instead of die cold, damp floor of my old master's kitcheu, I was 
on carpets ; for the com bag in winter, I Lad a good straw bed, 
well fiirnislied with covers ; for the coarse corn meal in the morn- 
ing, I had good bread and mnsh occasionally ; for my old tow-linen 
shirt, L had good clean clothes. I was really weli off. My 
empluyment was to run errands, and to take care of Tommy ; to 
prevent his getting in the way of uarriages, and to keep him out 
ol harm's way generally. So for a time everything went well. 
I ssy fur » time, because the fatal poison of irresponsible power, 
and the natural influence of slavo ou6toma, were not very long in 
"***""£ tbeir impression on the geutle and loving disposition of my 
exeeUeot mistresB. She regarded me at first as a child, hke any 
other. This was the natural and spontaneous thought; afterwards, 
wlifln she came to consider me as property, our relations to each 
otiier were changed, but a nature so noble as hers could not in- 
Bteutly bMome perverted, &ud it took several yeitrs before the 
nrMtness of her temper was wholly lost. 

Tlie frequent hearing of my mistress reading the Bible alond, 
for she often read aloud when her husband was abseut, awakened 
ID7 oariosity in respect to tliia mystery of reading, and roused in 
me the desire to leam. Up to this time I had known nothing 
whatever of this wonderful art, and my ignorance and inexperi- 
eme of what it could do for me, as well as my confidence in my 
mislreSB, emboldened me to ask her to teach me to read. With 
an ancunsciousness and inexperience equal to my own, she readily 
ooi>»ent«d, and in an incredibly short time, by her kind assistance, 
I had mastered the alphabet and could spell words of three or four 
letters. My mistress seemed almost as proud of my progress as if 
bad t>e«n her own child, and supposing that her husband would 
well pleased, she made no secret of what she was doing for 
Indeed, she esultingly told him of the aptuess of her pupil, 
and <rf her intention to persevere in teaching me, as she felt it ber 
duty to do, at, least to read the Bible. And here arose the first dark 
olond over my Baltimore prospects, the precursor of chilling blasts 
aad drenching storms. Master Hugh was astounded beyond 


measure, and probably for the first time, proceeded to unfold to his 
wife the true philosophy of the elave system, and the peculiar 
rules necessary in the nature of the case to be observed in the 
management of human chattels. Of course he forbade ber to give 
me any further instruction, telling her in the first place that to do 
so was unlawful, as it was also unsafe. " for," said he, " if you give 
a nigger an inch be will take an ell. Learning will spoil the best 
nigger in the world. If he learns to read the Bible it will for 
ever unfit him to be a slave. He should know nothing but the 
will of his master, and learn to obey it. As to himself, learning 
will do him no good, but a great deal of harm, making him dis- 
consolate and unhappy. If you teach him how to read, he'll want 
to know how to write, and this accomphahed, he'll be running away 
with himself." Such was the tenor of Master Hugh's oracular 
exposition ; and it must be confessed that be very clearly com- 
prehended the nature and the requirements of the relation of 
master and slave. Sis discourse was the first decidedly anti- 
slavery lecture to which it had been my lot to listen. Mrs. 
Auld evidently felt the force of what he aaid, and like an obedient 
wife, began to shape her course in the direction indicated 
by him. The effect of his words on me was neither slight 
nor transitory. His iron sentences, cold and harsh, sunk like 
heavy weights deep into my heart, and stirred up within me a 
rebellion not soon to be allayed. This was a new and special 
revelation, dispelling a painful mystery against which my youth- 
ful understanding bad struggled, and struggled in vain, to wit, 
the white man's power to perpetuate the enslavement of the black 
man. "Very well," thought I. "Knowledge unfits a child to be 
a slave." I instinctively assented to the proposition, and &om 
that moment I understood the direct pathway from slavery to 
freedom, It was just what I needed, and it came to me at a time 
and from a source whence I least expected it. Of course I was 
greatly saddened at the thought of losing tlte assistance of my kind 
mistress, but the information so instantly derived, to some extent 
compensated mo for the loss I had sustained in this direction. 
Wise as Mr. Auld was, be underrated my comprehension, and had 
httle idea of the use to which I was capable of putting the im- 
pressive lesson be was giving to his wife. He wanted me to be a 
slave ; I had already voted against that on the home plantation of 


Ool. Lloyd. That which he most loved I most hated ; and the 
very determination which he expressed to keep me in ignorance, 
only rendered me the more resolute to seek intelligence. In learn- 
ing to read, therefore, I am not sure that I do not owe quite as 
•much to the opposition of my master as to the kindly assistance 
of my amiable mistress. I acknowledge the benefit rendered me 
by the one, and by the other, believing that but for my mistress I 
might have grown up in ignorance. 



f duties — The e 

e effeota on he 
nature — The conflict m her mind — She oppoeeB mj leumiu); to read — 
late — She hadgiien me the " inch," I waa tesoWed f« taie the "ell " 
I puTBUod my study to read — My tntors — What progrens 1 made — Sli 
What I heard Biud about it — Thirteen years old^ — ColumWan orator — Dialog 
Speeches — Sh^ridan^Fitt — Lorda Chatham and Fui — Knowledge in 
— Liherty— Singing — Sadness — Unhappinesa of Mrs. Sophia — My h 
alaTery — One Upaa tree oyerahadowH us all. 

I LIVED ■□ the family of Mr. Auld, at Baltimore, seven yet 
during which time, as the almanac makers say of ' 
weather, my condition was variahlo. The moat interesting featoi 
of my history here, waa my learning to read and write tindl 
aomewhat marked disadvaiitagea. In attaining this knowledge ] 
waa compelled to resort to indirections hy no means congenial to 
my nature, and which were really humihating to my sense of 
candour and uprightness. My mistress, checked in her benevolent 
designs toward me, not only ceased instructing me herself, b 
her face aa a flint against my learning to read by any means. 
is due to her to say, however, that she did not adopt this com 
in all its stringency at first. She either thought it i 
or she lacked the depravity needed to make herself forget at o 
my human nature. She was, as I have said, naturally a kind a 
tender-hearted woman, and in the humanity ni her heart and 1 
simplicity of her mind, ahe set out, when I Brat went to Uve i 
her, to treat me as she supposed one hiunao being ought to trei 

Nature never intended that men and women should fc 
slaves or slaveholders, and nothing but rigid training, long % 
sisted in, can perfect the oharaoter of the one or the other. 
Auld was singularly deficient in the qualities of ft Blave-holder, 


easy matter for her to tliink or to feel that the curly- 
beaded boj, who stood by her side, and even leaned on ber Iftp, 
who was loved by httle Tonamy, and who loved bttle Tommy in 
turn. Bustained to her only the relation of a chattel. I was more 
than that ; she felt me' to be more than that. I could tail: and 
sing ; I could langb and weep ; I could reason and remember ; I 
oonld love and bate. I was human, and she, deai- lady, knew and 
felt me to be so. How could she then treat me as a brute, with- 
out a mighty struggle with all the noblest powers of her soul? That 
trnggle came, andtbe will andpower of the husband was victorious, 
r noble soul was overcome, and he who wrought the wrong was 
1 the fall, no less than the rest of the household. When 
irent into that household, it was the abode of happiness and con- 
Tbe wife and mistress there was a model of affection 
i tenderness. Her fervent piety and wati;hful uprightness made 
m impossible to see her without thinking and feeling, " that woman 
ia a Christian." There was no aon-ow nor suffering for which she 
had not a tear, and there was no innocent joy for which she had 
not a smile. She had bread for the hungry, clothes for the uaked, 

Ki comfort for every mourner who came within her reach. But 
very soon proved ita ability to divest her of these excellent 
tlitiea, and her home of its early happiness. Conscience cannot 
' vtaud much violence. Once thoroughly injured, who is he who 
eui repair the damage 9 If it be broken toward the slave on 
I S aaday. it will be toward the master on Monday. It cannot long 
^^bdare such shocks. It must stand unharmed, or it does not stand 
^^■fc all. As my condition in the family waxed bad, that of the 
^^■BDily waxed no better. The hrst step in the wrong direction was 
I Qm violence done to nature and to conscience, in arresting the 
boncTolence that would have enhghtened my young mind. In 
eeasing to instruct me, my mistress had to seek to justiiy herself 
111 hereolf ; and once consenting to take sides in such a debate, she 
was compelled to hold her position. One needs little knowledge of 
moral philosophy to see where she inevitably landed. She finally 
e even more violent in her opposition to my learning to read, 
1 was Mr. Add himself. Nothing now appeared to make her 
) angry than seeing mc, seated in some nook or comer, quietly 
I book or newspaper. Bhe would rush at me with tJie 
lb fnry, and snatch the book or paper &om my band, with 

HOmething of tlie wrath aad conatemation which a traitor might bo 
supposed to feel on beiug discovered in a plot by some dangeroos 
spy. The conviction once thorouglily eBtablished in her mind, that 
education and slavery were incompatible with each other, I was 
most narrowly watched iu all my movements. If I remained in a 
separate room from the famUy for any considerable time, I wao 
sure to be suspected of having a book, and was at once called to 
give an account of myself. But tliis was too late : the first and 
nev6r- to -be -retraced step had been taken. Teaching me the 
alphabet had been the " inch " given, I was now waiting only for 
the opportunity to " take the oil." 

jilted with the determination to learn to read at any coat, I hit 
upon many expedients to accomplish that much desired end. The 
plan which I mainly adopted, and the one which was most sacoess- 
ful, was that of using my young white playmates, whom I met 
in the streets, as teachers. I used to carry ahnost constantly 
a copy of Webster's spelllug-book in my pocket, and when sent oo 
errands, or when play-time was allowed me, I would step asida 
vrith my young friends and take a lesson in spelling. I am greatly 
indebted to these boys — Gustavus Dorgau, Joseph Bailey, Charles 
Parity, and William Cosdry. 

Although slavery was a delicate subject, and very cautionsly 
talked about among grown-up people in Maryland, I frequently 
talked about it, and that very freely, with the white boys. I would 
sometimes say to them, while seated on a curbstone or a cellar 
door, " I wish I could be free, as you will be when you get to be. 
men." " You will be free, you know, as soon as you are twenty-l 
one, and can go where you hke, hut I am a slave for life. Have I 
not as good a right to be free as you have ? " Words hke these, 
I observed, always troubled them ; and I had no small satisfactioa 
in drawing out from them, as I occasionally did. that fresh aud 
bitter condemnation of slavery which ever springs from natures un- 
seared and unperverted. Of all conscieaces, let me have those to 
deal with, which have not been seared and bewildered with tho 
(-ares and perplexities of life. I do not remember ever to fa&vo 
met with a 6ny while I was in slavery, who defended the system ; 
bnt I do remember many times, when I was consoled by them, and 
by them encoiiraged to hope that something would yet occur by 
which I would be made free. Over and over again, they have told 




e ikt " they believed I had as good a right to be tree aa t/u-g 
l,"»ndthat " they did not beheveGod ever made any one to be a 
It is easily seen thai such httle conversations with my 
^)&l]ow9 bad iiu tendency to weaken my love of hberty, not to 

e contented us a slave. 
[ Wlien I was about thirteen years old, and had succeeded in 
liug to read, every increase of knowledge, especially anything 
Rspecling the Free States, was ait additional weight to the almost 
intolanitlc burden of my thought — " / am a ilave./or life." To my 
_bond»ge 1 could see no end. It was a terrible reahty, und I shall 
B able to tell how sadly that thoiight chafed my young 
oil. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I had earned a little money 
pUKking boots for some gentlemen, with which I purchased of 
!■ Knight, on Thames street, what was then a veiy popular 
ol-book, viz., '• The Columbian Orator," for which I paid fifty 
I was led to buy this book by hearing some little boys say 
; to learn some pieces out of it for recitation, 
ii volume was indeed a rich treasure, and every opportunity 
for a time, was spent in diligently perusing it. 
I other interesting matter, that which I read again 
with ondagging satisfaction, was a short dialogue 
i master and hia slave. The slave is represented u 
3en recaptured in a second attempt to run away ; and the 
iiuter opens the dialogue with an upbraiding speech, charging the 
^^i with ingratitude, and demanding to know what he has to say 
"^ his own defence. Thus upbraided, and thus called upon to 
"plj. tlie slave rejoins that he knows how little anything that he 
•*" "ay will avail, seeing that he ia completely in the hands of his 
^aer; and with noble resolution, calmly says. " I submit to my 
'*!«.'■ Touched by the slave's answer, the master insists upon his 
"flhflr speaking, and recapitulates the many acts of kindneaa 
"iiich he has performed toward tlie slave, and tells him ho ia 
["milted to speak for himself. Thus invited, the.<iuondam slave 
™»lie» a spirited defence of hunaelf, and thereafter the whole 
WRUment for and against slavery is brought out. The master is 
'^aquished at everj' tmTi in the argument, and appreciating the 
'"^ generously and meekly emancipates the slave, with his beet 
■whes fot his prosperity. It is unnecessary to say that a dialojiue 
In «acl an origin and such an end, read by me when every neiTe 

of my being was id revolt Eit my own condition as a slave, affected ' 
me most powerfnlly. I could not help feeling that the day might 
yet come, when the well-directed answers made by the slave to the 
master, in this instance, would find a counterpart in my own 
esperience. This however, was not all the fanaticism which 
I found in the Columbian Orator. I met there one of Sheridan's 
miglity speeches, ou the subject of Catholic Emancipation, . 
Lord Chatham's speech on the American War, and speechMH 
by the great William Pitt, and by Fox. These were all choia 
documents to me, aud I read them over and over again, witfc 
an Interest ever increasing, because It was ever ga 
iuteUIgence ; for the more I read tlieni the better I uaderato 
them. The readlntr of these speeches added much to 
limited stock of language, aud enabled me to give tongae 
to many interesting thoughts which had often flashed through 
my mind and died away for want of words in which to giv6 
them utterance. The mighty power aud heart- searchi 
directness of truth penetrating the heart of a slave-holdor 
compelling him to yield up his earthly interests to the cla 
of eternal justice, were finely Illustrated In the dialogue a 
and fi-om the speeches of Sheridan I got a bold and powerf 
dotmneiation of oppression and a most brilhant vindication of t 
rights of man. Here was Indeed a noble acquisition. If I 1 
over wavered under the consideration that the Almighty, i 
way, had ordained slavery, and willed my euslavement for His owl 
glory, I wavered no longer. I had now penetrated to the seci 
of all slavery and all oppression, and had ascertained their t 
foimdation to be in the pride, the power, aud the avarice of i 
With a book in my hand so redolent of the principles of libertn 
with a perception of my own human nature, and the facta of i 
past and present experience, I was equal to a contest with 1 
religious advocates of slavery, whether white or black, — for blu 
ness In this matter was not confined to the white people. I haw 
met many good rehgioua coloured people at the South, who i 
under the delusion that God required them to submit to alaven 
and to wear their chains with meekness and bumiltty. I ooo] 
entertain no such nonsense as this ; and I quite lost my patieiv 
when I found a coloured man weak enough to beheve such stis 
Nevertheless, eager as I was to partake of the tree of knowlec 


ita fmits were bitter as well as sweet, " Slaveholders," thought 
I. '* are only a band of aticcesafiil robbers, who, leaving their own 
homes, went Into A&'ica for the pnrpoae of atealinf^ aud reducing 
my people to alaverj-." I loathed them aa the meanest and the 
mogt wicked of men. A.nd as I read, behold ! the very discontent 
90 graphically predicted by Master Hugh had already come upon 
me. I was no longer the Ugbt-hearted gleeaome boy, full of mirtli 
Anil piny, aa when I landed in Baltimore. Light had penetrated 
the moral dungeon whore I had lain, and I saw tiie bloody 
whip for my back, and the iron chain for my feet, aud my 
i/ood, kind master, be wae the author of my situation. The revela- 
titm haunted me, stung me, and made me gloomy aud miserable. 
Ab I writhed nnder the ating and torment of this knowledge, I 
Almost envied my fellow alaves their stupid indifference. It opened 
my eyes to the horrible pit, and revealed the teeth of the frigbtfiil 
dragon that was ready to pounce upon me ; but alas, it opened no 
WKjr for my escape. I wished myself a beaat. a bird, anything 
ffttfaer than a slave, I was wretched and gloomy beyond my 
Ability to describe. This everlasting thinking distressed and tor- 
mented me ; and yet there was no getting rid of this subject of 
my thoughts. Liberty, aa the inestimable birthright of every 
m&n, converted every object into an asaertcr of this right. I 
beard it in every sound, and saw it in every object. It was ever 
present to torment me with a sense of my wretchedness. The 
more beautiful and charming the smiles of nature, the more 
borrible and desolate my condition. I saw notliing without 
aeeing it, and I heard nothing without hearing it. I do not 
exaggerate when I say it looked at me in every star, it smiled in 
firery calm, breathed in every wind, aud moved in every storm, 
I have no doubt that my state of mind had something to do with 
the change in treatment which my miatreas adopted towards me. 
I ean easily beUeve that my leaden, downcast, and discouaolato 
took was very offensive to her. Poor lady I She did not under- 
Btand my trouble, and I could not tell her. Could I have made 
ber acquainted with the real state of my mind and given her the 
reaoon for it, it might have been well for both of us. As it was, 
ber abuse fell npon me like the blows of the false prophet upon 
bis aes; she did not know that an angel stood in the way. 
NaCnre made us friends, but slavery had made us enemies. My 


unfriendly to tho slave, nor very friendly to tlie slaveholder. 
therefore set about finding out. if possible, who and what 1 
abolitioaiets were, and why they were so obnoxious to the Blavt 
holders. The dictionary offered me very little help. It taught n 
that abolition was " the act of abolishing ; " but it left i 
ignorance at the very point where I most wauted informntioi 
that was, as to the thing to be abohabed. A city newspaper— 
"Baltimore American" — gave me the incendiary information d 
me by the dictionary. In itacolumns I found that on a certain d 
a vast number of petitions and memorials had been presented ti 
Congresa, praying for the abolition of slavery in the District of 
Columbia, and for the abohtion of the slave trade between the 
States of the Union. This was enough. The vindictive bttternesa, 
the marked caution, the studied reserve, and the ambiguity praotisfli 
by our white folks when alluding to this subject, was now faH 
explained. Ever after that, when I hoard the word abolition,! 
felt the matter one of a personal concern, and I drew near to listej 
whenever I could do ao, without seeming too solicitous and prj 
There was HOPE in those words. Ever and anon, too. I coal 
see some terrible detiunoiatlon of slavery in our papera,- 
frora abolition papers at the North,~'and the injustice of sud 
denunciation commented on. These I read with avidity. I hat 
a deep satisfaction in the thought that the rascality of slaveholder 
was not concealed from the eyes of the world, and that I was no 
alone in abhorring the cruelty and brutality of slavery. A stdl 
deeper train of thought was stirred. I saw that there was fear a 
well as rage in the manner of speaking of the abohtionista, an 
from this 1 inferred that they must have some power in the country 
and I felt that they might perhaps succeed in their designs. Whei 
I met with a slave to whom I deemed it safe to talk on the aubjeo^ 
I would impart to him so much of the mystery as I had been a 
to penetrate. Thus the light of this grand movement broke i 
upon my mind by degrees ; and I must say that, ignorant as I ti 
of the philosophy of that movement, I beUeved ui it from the firs 
and I believed in it partly because I saw that it alarmed tl 
consciences of tlie slaveholders. The insurrection of Nat. Tnma 
had been quelled, but tlie alarm and terror which it occasioned hw 
not subsided. The cholera was then on its way to Uiis coonti] 
and I remember thinking that God was angry with the whit 

com-ExsioN. OS 

iAVse of their slavebotdJng wickeduesB, aod therefore liis 

DSDle were abroad in the laud. Of course it was impossible 

teculto hope much for the abolition movement wbou I saw 

^ snpported by the Almigbly. and armed with Death. 

Previously to my contemplation of the anti-slavery moye- 

etit uid its probable results, my mind had been seriously 

Ij^mkened to the subject of religion. I was not more than 

I ye&rs old wbeti, in my loneliness and destitution, I 

ttir some one to whom I could go, as to a father and 

^otector. The preacbiug of a wliito Methodist minister, 

d Hanson, was the means of causing me to feel tliat in 

1 I had such a friend. He taught tliat all men, great and 

ill, bond and free, were sinners in the sight of God ; that 

tbef were but natural rebels against his government ; and that 

"i«J must repent of their sins, and be reconciled to God 

ihfoiigb Christ. I cannot say that I had a very distinct notion 

of wbt was required of me, but one thing I did know well : 

I Ms wretched and bad no means of making myself other- 

*iw. I consulted a good coloured man named Charles Lawson, 

"id in loiioB of holy affection be told me to pray, and to 

"Wit all my care upon God." This I sought to do; and 

umigli for weeks I was a poor, broken-hearted mourner, trav- 

"Uing through doubts and feai's, I finally found my burden 

ligitencd, and my heart relieved. I loved all mankind, slave-'. 

iwlders not eicepted, though I abhorred slavery more than 

s'Bi. I saw the world in a new light, and my great concern 

*«wliijve everybody converted. My desire to learn increased, 

indflapeciftlly did I want a thorough acquaintance with the con- 

Jlniteof the Bible. I have gathered scattered pages of the Bible 

h the filthy street-gutters, and washed and dried them, that in 

Mutnts of leisure I might get a word or two of wisdom from 

While thus religiously seeking knowledge, I became 

'•^tointed with a good old coloured man named Lawson. This 

I not only prayed three times a day, but he prayed as he 

riOied through the streets, at his work, on his dray — everywhere. 

I Sia life was a life of prayer, and his words when he spoke to 

I "IJ one, were about a better world. Uncle Lawson lived near 

■■Hter Hugh's house, and, becoming deeply attached to him, I 

™t often with him to pi-ayer- meeting, and spent much of my 


leiBure time witli liim on Sunday. The old man could read 
little, aud I was a great help to liim in making ont the hard wordi 
for I was a better reader than he. I coiJd t«ach him " the letter, 
but he could teach me " the spirit." and refreshing times we h 
together, in singing and praying. These meetings went on foi 
long time without the knowledge of Master Hagh or my mistresB 
Both knew, however, I had become religious, and seemed to respc 
my conscientious piety. My mistress was still a professor ( 
religion, and belonged to class. Her leader was no less a persoi 
than Rev. Beverly Waugh, the presiding elder, and afterwarda o 
of the bishops of the Methodist Bpiscopal church. 

In view of the cares and anxieties incident to the hfe she « 
leading, and especially in view of the separation from rehgioQ 
asBociatione to which she was snbjected, my mistress had, as ! 
have before stated, become lukewarm, and needed to be looked n 
by her leader. This often brought Mr. Waugh to onr house, a 
gave me an opportmiity to hear him extort and pray. But i 
chief instructor in religious matters Vi-aa Uncle Lawaou. He wb 
my spiritual father and I loved him intensely, and was at his hoiiB 
every chance I could get. This pleasure, however, was not lonj 
nnquestioned. Master Hugh became averse to our intimacy, ai 
tlireatenod to whip me if I ever went there again. I now fi 
myself persecuted by a wicked man, and I leaiild go. The good o 
man had told me that tlie " Lord had a great work for me to do,' 
and I must prepare to do it ; that he had been shown that I mm 
preach the gospel. His words made a very deep impression upoa 
me, and I verily felt that some work was before me, though 
could not eee how I could ever engage in its performance. " T" 
good Lord would bring it to pass in His own time." he said, f 
I mnst go on reading and studying the scriptures. This adviot 
and these suggestions were not without their influence on : 
character and destiny. He fanned my already intense love 
knowledge into a flame by assui'lng me that I was to be a uaefd 
man in the world. Wlien I would say to him, " How can thea 
things be ? and what can I do ? " his simple reply was, " Tiiut i 
the Lord." When I would tell him, " I am a slave, and a ulave fi 
life, how can I do anything?" he would quietly answer 
Lord can make you free, my dear ; all things are possible wiU 
Him ; only have /oiiA in Ood. ' Ask, and it shall be given jon.' 

[Toawaiit liberty, ask the Lord for it in faith, ajul he mil give it 

Tboii assured and tlins cheered on, under the inspiration of hope, 
^Anrorked and prayed vith a light heaj-t, beheving that my life was 
^^Bfler the ^d&nce of a wisdom higher than my own. With all 
^^Hwr blessings sought at the mercy scat, I always prayed tliat Ood 
^iroald, of His great mercy and in His own good time, dehver me 
from my bondage. 

I vent one day to the wharf of Mr. Waters, and seeing two 

Irielimen onloading a scow of stone or ballast, I went on board, 

unaski'd, and helped them. When we had finished the work, one 

i>[ the men came to me, aside, and asked me a number of questions, 

^^Hld amout; them if I were a slave 1 I told him " I was a slave tor 

^^kb." The good Irishman gave a shrug, and seemed deeply 

^Hpbcted. Be said it was a pity so fine a httie fellow as I was 

^^Aonld be a slave for life. They both had mucli to say about the 

mtktter, and expressed the doepoBt sympathy with me, and tlie 

most decided hatred of slavery. They went so far as to tell me 

, Ihit I ought to rtm away and go to the North ; that I should find 

Is there, and that I should be as &ee as anybody. I pretended 

) be interested in what they said, for I feared they might be 

«herona. White men were not unfrequently known to eu- 

c slaves to escape, and then, to get the reward, they would 

p them and return them to their masters. While I mainly 

d to the notion that these men were honest and meant me 

loil!, I feared it might be otherwise. I nevertheleBS remembered 

ir words and their advice, and looked forward to an escape to 

U Hartli as a possible means of gaining the liberty for which my 

■"<tn panted. It was not my enslavement at the then present 

IB vhioh most affected me ; the being a slave for Ufe was the 

■Wduet thought. I was too young to think of running away 

lately ; besides I wished to learn to write before going, as I 

J occasion to write my own pass, I now not only had 

e of freedom, but a foreshadowing of the means by which 

. some day gain that inestimable boon. Meanwhile, 

' nMlved to add to my educational attamments the art of 


■f this manner I began to learn to write. I was much in the 
^juds — Master Hugh's, and that of Durgan & Bailey — and I 

obaeired that the carpontere after liewiug and getting read; i 
piece of timber to uee, wrote on it the initials of tbe name of thi 
part of the ship for which it was intended. When, for iastauof 
a piece of timber was ready for the starboard side, it was markei 
with a capital " 9." A piece for the larboard side was markc 
"L. ; " 1 arboard- forward waa marked '• L. F. ; " larboard-aft i 
marked " L. A. ; " starboard-aft " S. A. ; " and starboard-forwai 
" B. F." I soon learned these letters, and for what they wei 
placed on the timbers. 

My work now was to keep fire under tbe steam-box, and ( 
watch tbe ship-yard whUe the carpenters were gone to dinner. 
This interval gave me a fine opportunity for copying the lettWB 
named. I soon astonished myself at the ease with which I 
made the letters, and the thought was soon present, " If I cau 
make four letters, I cau make more." Having made these readily 
and easily, when I mot boys about the Bethel cburclj or on any of 
our play-grounds, I entered the liatB with them in the art of 
writing, and would make tlie letters which I had been so fortunate 
as to learn, and ask them to '-beat that if they could." With 
play-matea for my teachers, feucea and pavements for my copyi 
books, and chalk for my pen and ink, I learned to write. 1 1 
ever adopted, afterwarda, various methods for improving my hj 
The moat succeaaful was copying tbe italics in Webster's speli 
book until I could make them all without looking on the book, 
this time my littlo " Master Tommy " had grown to be a big boy 
and had written over a number of copy-books and brought thei 
home. They had been shown to the neighbom-s, had ehcited da 
praise, and had been laid carefully away. Spending part of n^ 
time both at the ship-yard and the house, I was often the keeper C 
the latter as of the former. When my mistress left me ii 
of the house I had a grand time. I got Master Tommy's copj 
books and a pen and ink, and In the ample space between the lim 
I wrote other hues as nearly like his as possible. The procei 
was a todlous one, and I ran the risk of getting a flogging fc 
marking the highly-prized copy-books of the eldest son. I 
addition to these opportunities, sleeping as I did in the kitchen lofl 
a room seldom visited by any of the family, I contrived to get 
flour-barrel up there and a chair, and upon the head of U 
barrel I have written, or endeavoured to write, copying from 1 

ms PBoosESS. 67 

BiUe and the Methodist hymn-book, and other books which I had 
aoenmnlated, till late at night, and when all the family were in bed 
and asleep. I was supported in my endeavours by renewed advice 
and by holy promises from the good father Lawson, with whom I 
eontinued to meet, and pray, and read the Scriptures. Although 
Master Hugh was aware of these meetings, I must say, to his 
ci^edit, that he never executed his threats to whip me for having 
fiias innocently employed my leisure time. 

¥ '1 



Death of old Uastct'e bod Richard, speedily followed bj that of old Uaeta 
Valuntion and diviaion of all tho property, including the Blaves — Sent for, 
comu to Hilleborough to be valued and divided— Snd prospoots and griM 
Parting — Slaves have no voice in deciding their own dentinica — General dm 
of falling into Maater Andrew's hands— His dmnkenneMi — Good fortune 
falling to Hisa Lucretia — She allowa my return to Baltimoro — Joy at Mut 
Hugh's — Death of Misa Lucretia — UaGtcr Thonuu AuM'« aeuoud marriage- 
The now wife unlilie the old— Again removed from Maaler Hugh's — Reaad 
for regret — Plan of escape. 

I MUST now ask the reader to go back with me a little in poii 
of time, in my humble story, and notice another circumstani 
that entered into my slavery experience, and which, doubtleaa. lii 
hod a share in deepening my horror of stavery, and my hostilil 
toward those men and measm-es that practically uphold the alai 

It has already been observed that though I was, after n 
removal from Col. Lloyd's plantation, in form the slave of Uasti 
Ungh Auld, I was in faet and in lair the slave of my old maatai 
Capt. Anthony. Very well. In a very short time after I went 
Baltimore my old master's youngest son, Bichard, died; and 
three years and six months after, my old master himself die 
leaving only his daughter Lucretia and his son Andrew to 
the estate. The old man died while on a visit to his daughter 
Hillsborough, where Capt. Auld and Mrs. Lucretia now liv 
Master Thomas having given np the command of Col. Lloyd's 
was now keeping store in that town. 

Cut o£f thus imexpectedly, Capt. Anthony died intestate, and 1: 
property must be equally divided between his two children, Andn 
and Lucretia. 

The valuation and division of slaves among contending h«i 
was a most important incident in slave life. The characteirs u 


of the beira were generally well understood by the 
Biases who were to be divided, and all had their aversions and their 
preferences. Bnt neither their aversions nor their preferences 
avuled anything. 

On the death of old master, I was immediately sent for to be 
valued and divided with the other property. Personally, my con- 
cern was m&tnly about my possible removal &om the home of 
Master Hugh, for np to this time there had no dark clouds arisen 
to darken the sky of that happy abode. It was a sad day to me 
't'lien I left for the Eastern Shore, to be valued and divided, as it 
was for my dear mistress and teacher, and for little Tommy. We 
all three wept bitterly, for we werepartbg, anditmight be we were 
[arting for ever. No one could tell amongst which pile of chattels 
I migiit be Hung. Thus early, I got a foretaste of that painful 
anKMainty which in one form or another was ever obtruding itaolf 
n the pathway of the slave. It fnmished me a new insight into 
■ tbe nnnatmral power to which I was subjected. Sickness, adversity, 
L^datb may interfere with the plans and purposes of all, bnt 
■fie ilave had the added danger of changing homes, in the separa- 
\i anknown to other men. Then. too. there was the intensified 
lation of the spectacle. What an assemblage 1 Men and 
■Jaea, young and old, married and single ; moral and thinking 
beings, in open contempt of their humanity, levelled at a 
r with horses, sheep, horned cattle, and swine. Horses and 
D.cattle and women, pigs and children — all holding the same 
lie in the scale of social existence, and all subjected to the same 
row inspection, to ascertain their value in gold and silver — 
« only standard of worth applied by slaveholders to their slaves. 
Jity swallowed up in the sordid idea of property I Manhood 
It in chattel-hood I 

lie valuation over, then came the division and apportionment. 
Oar destiny was to be Jlj^fd for life, and we had no more voice in 
the decision of the question than the oxen and cows that stood 
diewiug at the hay-mow. One word of the appraisers, against all 
preferences andprayers, could rend asunder all the ties of friendship 
And afiection, even to separating husbands and wives, parents and 
children. We were all appalled before that power which, to human 
seeming, could bless or blast us in a moment. Added to tliis 
dread of separation, moat painful to the majority of the slaves, we 


all had a decided horror of falhug into the hands of Mastei 
Andrew, who was diatinguiahed for liis cruelty and intemperance. 

Slaves had a great dread, very naturally, of falling i 
hands of drunken oi\'uers. Master Andrew was a coniirmed ! 
and had already, by his profligate dissipation, wasted a large por 
of his father's property. To fait into his hands, therefore, 
considered as the first step toward being sold away to the 1 
South. He would no doubt spend his fortune Ln a few years, it 
was thought, and his farms and slaves would be sold at public 
auction, and the slaves hurried away to the cotton-fields anda 
rice-swamps of the burning South. This was cause of deepH 
consternation. fl 

Tbe people of the North, and &ec people generally, I ♦'^'"^'m 
Itave less attachment to the places where they are bom uidB 
brought up, than had the slaves. Their &eedoni to come and gofl 
to be here or tliero, as they list, prevents any extravagant attocbfl 
ment to any one particular place. On the other hand, the slavM 
was a fixture ; he had no uhoice, no goal, but was pegged down Mfl 
one single spot, and must take root there or nowhere. The idea ofl 
removal Glsewbere camo, generally, Jn shape of a threat, and uS 
pimlsbment for crime. It was therefore attended with fear aP^B 
dread. The enthusiasm which animates the bosoms of yoonn 
freemen, when they contemplate a life in the far West, or in sooufl 
distant country, where they expect to rise to wealth and distinctifmjl 
could have no place in the thoughts of the slave ; nor could thosM 
from whom they separated know anything of that cheerfulneaM 
with which friends and relations yield each other up, when tbqfl 
t'eel that it is good for the departing one that he is removed froaj 
his native place. Then, too. there is correspondence and tlie hopH 
of reunion, but with the slaves all these mitigating circumstajio^| 
were wanting, There was no improvement in condition . --'-'-fr B 
no correspondence j-omhle — no reunion attainable. His going OoH 
into the world was like a hving man going into the tomb, who, wit)fl 
open eyes, sees himself buried out of sight and hearing of wifM 
children, and friends of kindi'ed tie. H 

In contemplating the hkelihoods and possibihties of our clroumH 
stances, I probably suffered more than most of my fellow -servantiH 
I had known what it was to experience kind and even tender treN|fl 
ment; they bad known nothing of the sort. Life to them haH 



; rough and thorny, aa well as dark. They bad — moet of 
m — lived on my old master's farm in Tuckahoe, and had felt 
B rigoorB of Mr. Plummer'a rule. He had written hia character 
I the hving parchment of most of their backs, and left them 
a«amed and calloas : my back, thanks to my early removal to 
Boltiuiore. was yet tender. I had left a kind mistress in tears 
vhen we parted, and the probability of never seeing her again, 
trembling in the balance as it were, coold not fail to excite in me 
sl&nn and agony. The thonght of becoming the slave of Andrew 
AuUiony — who but a few days before the division had in my 
ptveeuoc seiied my brother Perry by the throat, dashed him on the 
ground, and with the heel of his boot stamped him on the head. 
ootil the blood gashed &om his nose and ears — was terrible ! 
Thin fiendish proceeding had no better apology than the fact tliat 
Perry had gone to play when Master Andrew wanted him for some 
trifling service. After inflicting this cruel treatment on my 
brother, observing me, as I looked at him in astonishment, he 
fittid : " T/uit'a the way I'll serve yon, one of these days " ; meaning, 
prob&bly, when I should come into his possession. This tlireat, 
the reader may well suppose, was not very tranquillizing to my 

At last, the anxiety and suspense were ended ; and ended. 
UiAnlcB to a kind Providence, in accordance with my wishes. I fell 
to the portion of Mrs. Lucretia. the dear lady who bound up my 
he«d in her' father's kitchen, and shielded me from the malo- 
ietions of Aunt Eaty. 

i Capl&iu Thomas Auld and Mrs. Lucretia at once decided on my 
I to Baltimore. They knew how warmly Mrs. Hugh Auld 
) attached to me. and how dehghted Tommy would be to see 
le, and withal, having no immediate use for me, they willingly 
mcltided this arrangement. 
I I need not stop to narrate my joy on findmg myself back in 
I was jiist one month absent, but the time seemed 
Uy six months. 

I bad returned to Baltimore but a short time when the tidings 
:bed me that my kind friend, Mrs. Lucretia, was dead. She 
e child, a daughter, named Amanda, of whom I shall speak 
Shortly after the death of Mrs. Lucretia, Master Andrew 
died, leaving a wife and one child. Thus the whole family of 


Antbonys, as it existed when I went to Ool. Lloyd's pUce, 
swept away during the first live years' time of my residence a 
Master Hugh Auld's in Baltiniore. 

No especial alteration took place in the condition of the slavea 
in consequence of thcHe deaths, yet I could not help the feelioj 
that I was less secure now that Mrs. Lucretia was gone. While 
she lived, I felt that I had a strong friend to plead for me l 

In a little book which I pubUshed six years after my escape fron 
slavery, entitled " Narrative of Frederick Douglass," — wbeii t 
distance between the past then described, and the present was no 
so great as it is now, — speaking of these changes in my master*! 
family, and their results, I used this language : " Now all the pro 
perty of my old master, slaves included, was iu the hands a 
strangers — strangers who had nothing to do in accumulating i 
Kot a slave was left free, All remained slaves, from tlie youngest 
to the oldest. If any one thing in my experience, more thoO 
another, has sensed to deepen my conviction of the infernal 
character of slavery, and to fill me with unutterable loathing i 
slaveholders, it was their base ingratitude to my poor old grand 
mother. She had served my old master faithfully firom youth b 
old age. She had been the source of all his wealth ; she hai 
peopled his plantation vrith slaves ; she had become a great-grand 
mother in his service. She had rocked him in his infancy, attendei 
liim in his childhood, served him thi'ough life, and at his destll 
wiped from hia icy brow the cold death-sweat, and closed hia e 
for ever. She was nevertheless a slave — a slave for life — a hIsti 
in the hands of strangers ; and in their hands she saw I 
children, her grand -children, and her great- grand-children, dividec 
like so many slieep, without being gratified with the small privilef 
of a single word as to their or her own destiny. And to cap the 
climax of their base ingratitude, my grandmother, who was now 
very old, having outUved my old master and all hia children 
having seen the beginning and end of them, and her present o 
— his grand-son — finding she was of but little value — her 1 
already racked with the pains of old age, and complete helpleseneat 
fast stealing over her once active limbs — took her to the wooda* 
built her a little hut with a mud chimney, and then gave her ttaflf 
iiounteou* privilege of supporting herself there in utter loneliness j 

THE slave's poet. 78 

thM Anally turning her out to die. If my poor, dear old grand- 
mother now lives, she Uvea to remember and mourn over the 
9 of children, the loss of grand -children, and the loss of 

I ^re»t-grand-children. They are, in the language of Whittier. 


' Qone, gone, sold and gon?, 

To the rioo-iwamp dank and lone ; 

Where tie slave -whip teasclefts swinga, 

Where the noisome inseut stings, 

Where the fevec-deiooa BtrewB 

Poison nith the fallmg dews, 

Where the HJckl; Bunbuams gUre 

Through the hat and miBty air :^ 
Gone, gone, M>td and gone. 
To the rice-swamp, dank and lone, 
From Virginia' H hills and waters — 
Woe is me, aj stolon daughters ! ' 

Hb hearth is deeolate. The unconacioua children who once 

*05 and danced in her preaeuce are gone. She gropea her way, 

Id tta darkness of age, for a drink of water. Instead of the voices 

I Q W children, she hears by day the moans of the dove, and by 

I *^t the screams of the hideous owl. All is gloom. The grave 

I ■ U the door ; and now, weighed down by the pains and aches of 

Fidd ige, when the head inclines to tlie feet, when the beginning 

pmd ending of human existence meet, and helpless infancy, and 

pwnfol old age combine together ; at this time, — thia most needed 

lime for the exercise of that tenderness and afTection which children 

fmly can bestow on a declining parent, — my poor old grandmother, 

li)e devoted mother of twelve children, ia left all alone, in yonder 

littl« hat, before a few dim cinders. " 

Two years after the deatlt of Mrs. Lucretia, Master Thonuta 
married his second wife. Her name was Rowena Hamilton, the 
eldest daughter of Mr. William Hamilton, a rich slaveholder on 
the Eastern Shore of Maryland, who lived about five miles from 
St. Michaels, the then place of Master Thomas Auld's restdenee- 

Not long after hia marriage, Master Thomas had a miaunder- 
staoditig with Master Hugh, and as a means of punishing him, he 
ordered him to s^d me home. As tlie ground of the misuuder- 


standing will serve to illustrate the character of Southern chivalry I 
and Southei-n liumanity, fifty yeara ago. I will relate it, 

Among the children of my Aiint MiUy, was a daughter named I 
llenny. When quite a child, Henny had fallen Into the fire and I 
had burnt her hands so badly that they were of very little usfi to 
her. Her lingers were drawn almost into the palms of her handb. 
She could make out to do something, but she was considered hardly 
worth the haying — of little more value than a horse with a broken 
log. This unprofitable piece of property, ill-shapen and disfigured. 
Captain Anld sent off to Baltimore. 

After giving poor Henny a fair trial, Master Hugh and hia wife 
came to the conclusion that they had no use for the poor cripple, 
and they sent lier back to Master Thomas. This the latter took 
an au act of ingratitude on the part of his brother, and as a mark 
of his displeasure, he required him to send me immediately to Bt> 
Michaels, saying, " jf he cannot keep Hen., he shan't hava 

Here was another shock to ray nerves, another breaking up o 
plans, and another severance of my religious and social alliances 
1 was now a big boy. I had become quite useful to several yoOng 
coloured men, who had made me their teachei'. I had taught s< 
of them to read, aud was accustomed to spend many of my leisure 
hours with them. Our attachment was strong, and I greatly 
di-eadcd the sepai-ation. But regi-ets with slaves were unavailing ; 
my wishes were nothing ; my happiness was the sport of m] 

My regrets at leaving Baltimore now, were not for tlie sanM 
leoaons as when I before left the city to be valued and handed 
over to a new owner. 

A change had taken place, both in Master Hugh and in his onM 
pious and affectionate wife. The influence of brandy and bad 
company on liini, and of slavery and social isolation on her, hai 
wrought disastrously upon the characters of both. Thomas wa^ 
no longer '■ little Tummy," but was a big boy, and had learned tl 
assume the aii's of his class towards me. My condition, tberefb 
in the house of Master Hugh was not by any means so comfortabli 
as in former years. My attachments were now outside of our &mily' 
They wore fixed upon those to whom I imparted instruction, and t 
those little white boys, from whom I received instruction. Thei 


too, was my dear old father, the pions^Lawson, who was in all the 
Christian graces the very counterpart of "Uncle Tom" — ^the 
reeemblance so perfect that he might have been the original of 
Mrs. Stowe's Christian hero. The thought of leaving these dear 
friends greatly troubled me, for I was going without the hope of 
erer retoming again ; the feud being most bitter, and apparently 
wholly irreconcilable. 

In addition to the pain of parting from friends, as I supposed, 
for ever, I had the added grief of neglected chances of escape to 
brood over. I had put off running away until I was now to be 
^aoed where opportunities for escape would be much more 
difficult, and less frequent. 

As we sailed down the Chesapeake bay, on board the sloop 
Amanda, to St. Michaels, and were passed by the steamers plying^ 
between Baltimore and Philadelphia, I formed many a plan for my 
fdture, beginning and ending in the same determination — ^yet ta 
find some way of escape from slavery. 



St. Miohaela and its inliBliitanta— Captain Anld— HiB new wUo— Suileringa 
from hiuiger— Forced to aieal — Argiunpal in vindit'atioii thereof— Southent 
camp-mcetitig — What Captain Auld did there — Hopes — Sutipicionit — Tha 
result — Faith and works at variance— Position in the church— Poor Conma, 
HeDny — Uethodiat preachBm — Their disregard of th^ ulaveH — One exceptioB 
— Sabbath-Bohool— Howandbywhom broken up— Sad chajige in my 
— ^Coyey, the negro- brpnkor. 

ST. MICHAELS, the villflge in which was now my new homa, 
compared favourably with yillagea in slave States generally, 
at tbJH time — 1838. There were a few comfortable dwellings in it, 
hut the pla.ce aa a whole wore a dull, slovenly, entcrpriae-forsaken, 
aspect. The mass of the buildings were of wood ; they had never 
enjoyed the artificial adornment of paint, and time and storms bad 
worn off the bright colour of the wood, leaving them almost 
black aa buildings charred by a conflagration. 

St. Michaels had, in former years, enjoyed some reputation as a 
ship-building community, .but that business had almost entirely 
given place to oyster -fishing for the Baltimore and Philadelphia 
markets, a course of life highly unfavourable to morals, industry, 
and manners. Miles River was broad, and its oystei 
grounds were extcnaive. and the Gahermen were out often all day 
and a port of the night, during autumn, winter, and spring. Tbia 
espoanre was an excuse for carrying with them, in oonsiderabla 
quantities, spirituous liquors, the then supposed best antidote for 
cold. Each canoe was supphed with its jug of rnm, and tippling' 
among this class of the citizens became general. This drinking 
habit, in an ignorant population, fostered coarseness, vulgarity, 
and an indolent disregard for the social improvement of the place, 
so that it waa admitted by the few sober thinking people who 



i«d there, that St. Michaols was an imBoiiitly, as well as 
I7 place. 

t to Bt. Michaels to live io^Marcb, 1883, I know the year, 
it was the one succeeding the iu-et cholera in Baltimore, and 
it was also the year of that strange phenomenon, when the heavens 
seemed abont to part with its starry train. I witnessed this gor- 
g«OQ8 ep«ctacle, and was awe-struck. The air seemed filled with 
bright descending messengers from the eky. It was about day- 
break when I saw tliis sublime scene. I was not without 
the suggestion that it might be the harbinger of the conung 
of th« Son of Man ; and in my then state of mind I was pre- 
pared to bail Him as my friend and deliverer. I had read that the 
•■ atars shall fall from heaven," and they were now falhng. I was 
BTiffering very mach in my mind. It did seem that every time the 
jcxmg tendrils of my affection became attached they were rudely 
broken by some unnatural outside power ; and I was looking away 
to heaven for the rest denied me on eartli. 

Bat to my story. It was now more than seven years since I had 
lived with Master Thomas Auld, in tlie family of my old master. 
Capt. Anthony, on the home plantation of Col. Lloyd. As I knew 
him then it was as the hnsband of old master's daughter : I had now 
to know him as my master. All my lessons concerning his temper 
ftnd disposition, and the best metliods of pleasing him, were yet to 
be learned. Slave-holders, however, were not very ceremonious in 
ftpproaching a slave, and my Ignorance of the new material in the 
shape of a master was but transient. Nor was my new mistress 
lon^ in making known her animus. Unhke Miss Lucretia, whom 
I remembered with the tenderness which departed blesaings leave. 
Mis. Bowena Auld was cold and cruel, as her husband was stingy. 
and possessed the power to make him as cruel as herself, while she 
coold easily descend to the level of his meanness. 

As long as I bad lived In Mr. Hugh Auld's family, whatever 
changes had come over them, there had been always a bountiful 
nipply of food; and now, for the fii'st time in seven years, I realized 
pitiless pincliings of hunger. So wretchedly starved were we, 

kt wa were compelled to live at the expense of our neighbours, or 
al from the home larder. This was a hard thing to do ; but 
'after much reflection I reasoned myself into the conviction thai 
tfaare was no other way to do, and that after ail there was no wrong 
iu it. Considering that my labour and person ncre the 'gto'gbiiX'^ o^ 


Master Thomas, and that I waa deprived of the neceasariea of life- 
necessaries obtaiiied fay my own labonr, it waa oaay to dednce the 
right to supply myself with what was my own. It waa aimply 
appropri&ting what was my own to the uae of my maater, §mce the 
health aud strength derived from such food were exerted in his 
service. To be sure this waa stealing, according to the law and 
gospel I heard from the pulpit ; but I had beguu to attach less ii 
portance to what dropped from that quarter on auch potnta. It w 
not always convenient to steal from master, and the same reason 
why I might innocently steal from him did not seem to justify me 
in steahng from others. In the caao of my master it waa a question 
of removal — the taking his meat out of one tub and puttbig it into 
another ; the ownership of the meat waa not affected by the tran- 
saction. At first he owned it in the tub, aud last ho owned it in- 
me, His meat-house waa uot always open. There was a striot 
watch kept at that point, and the key waa carried in Mrs. Auld's 
pocket. We were oftentimes severely pinched with hunger, when 
meat and bread were mouldering under lock and key. This was 
so, when she knew we were nearly half starved ; and yet with saintly 
air would she kneel with her husband and pray each morning lliai 
a merciful God would " bless them in basket and store, and savfl 
them at last In His kingdom." But I proceed with my argument. 

It waa necessary that the right to steal from others should ba 
ostabhshed; and this could only rest upon a wider range t 
generalization than that which supposed the right to steal from 
my master. It was some time before I arrived at this c 
right. To give some idea of my train of reasoning, I will state 
the case as I laid it out in my mind. " I am," I thought, " 
only the slave of Master Thomas, but I am the slave of socie^ 
at targe. Society at large has hound itself, in form and in fact, 
to assist Master Thomas in robbing mc of my rightful liberty, 
and of the just reward of my labom-; therefore, whatever rigbta 
I have against Master Thomaa I have equally against those ooa- 
federated with him in robbing me of hberty. Aa society 
marked me out as privileged plunder, on the principle of self-; 
preservation, I am justified in plundering in turn. Since caoll 
slave belongs to all, all must therefore belong to each." I reasonec 
further, " that within the botmds of his juat earnings the alavfl 
was fully juatified in helping himself to the gold and silver, and 

! best apparel of hia master, or that of any other slave-holder; 


I Uial such taking was not stealing, in any just aenae of the 

The morality of free society could have no application to slave 

aoeiety. Slaveholders made it almost impoasiblo for the slave to 

oomtnil any crime, known either to the lawa of God or to the 

laws iif man. If he stole he but took his own ; if he killed liia 

master, he only imitated the heroes of the Rovolntion. Slave- 

faolders I held to be individually and collectively responsible for 

ail the evils which grew out of the horrid relation, and I believed 

Kty would be so held in the sight of God. To make a man a 

bve waa to rob libu of moi-al responsibility. Freedom of choice 

[ the essence of all accountability ; but my kind readers are 

(ohnbly less concerned about what were my opinions than about 

wliich more nearly touched my personal experience, albeit 

' opinions have, in some sort, been the outgrowtli of my 


lien I lived with Capt. Auld I thonght him incapable of a noble 
lion. His leading characteristic was intense selfishnesa. I 
1 he was fnlly aware of this fact himself, and often tried to 
nceal it. Capt. Auld was not a bom slave-holder — not a birth- 
jht member of the slave-holding oligarchy. Ho was only a 
■veholdrr by marriage- right ; and of all slave-holdera these were 
f Car the most exiwtbg. There was in him all the love of 
[nation, the pride of mastery, and the swagger of authority ; 
I ius rule lacked llie vital element of consiatoney. He could be 
lol : but his methods of showing it were cowardly, and evinced 
I meanness, rather than his spirit. His commands were strong, 
inta weak. 
I were not insensible to the whole-souled qualities of a 
I, dashing slave-bolder, who was fcarlesH of consequences, 
r preferred a master of this bold and dariug kijjd. even 
wHfa the risk of being shot down for impudence, to the &ettul 
little soul who never used the lash but at the suggestion of a love 
of gain. 

Slaves, too, readily distinguished between tlie birthright bear- 
ing of the original slaveholder, and the assumed attributea of the 
Mcidenial slaveholder ; and while they could have no respect for 
~ ~ , they despised tlie latter more than the former. 

• The luiury of having slaves to wait upon him was new to 


Master Thomas, and for it he was wholly iinprepared. He was a 
slave-holder, without the abihty to hold or mauage his alaves.' 
Faihng to camiuaDd their respect, both himself aud wife wers 
ever on the alert lest some indignity ehould be oETered them l 
the slaves. 

It was in the month of Angtist, 1639, when 1 had \ 
almost desperate under the treatment of Master Tl^m 
entertained more strongly than ever the oft-repeated detemu 
nation to run away. — a ciroiimatance occurred whioh i 
to promise brighter and better days for us all, At a Metha 
diat camp-meeting, held in the Bay side, a famous place f 
oamp-mee tings, about eight miles from St. Michaels, 
Thomas came out with a profession of rehgion. He had Ion] 
been an object of interest to the church, aud to the mimste 
as I had seen by the repeated visits and lengthy eshortatiouB oi 
the latter. He was a fisli quite worth catching, for he had mon^ 
and standing. In the community of St. Michaels he was eqoi 
to the best citizen. He was strictly temperate, and there ww 
httle to do for him, to give the appearance of piety, and to main 
liim a pillar of the church. Well, the camp meeting continued 1 
week ; people gathered &om all parts of the country, and twi 
steamboats came loaded from Baltimore. The ground was happllj 
chosen ; seats were arranged ; a staiid erected ; a rude i 
fenced in, fronting the preacher's st-and, with straw in it, making ■ 
soft kneeling-place for the accommodation of monmers. This. 
place would have held at least one hundred persons. In front 
and on the sides of the preacher's stand, and outside the long 
rows of seats, rose the first class of stately tests, each vising with 
the other in strength, neatness, and capacity for accommodation. 
Behind this first circle of tents, was another less imposing, which 
reached round the camp ground to the speaker's stand. Outside 
this second class of tents were covered wagons, ox-carts, and 
vehicles of every shape and size. These served as tents to their 
owners. Outside of these, huge fires were burning in all direu- 
tions, where roasting and boiling and frying were going o. " ' 
benefit of those who were attending to their spiritual welii 
within the circle. Behind the preacher's stand, a narrow e 
was marked out for the use of the coloured people. There v 
DO Beats provided for this class of persons, and if the preachei 


tbem at all, it was in au laidf. After the preaching wss 
over, at every Bervic«, an mvitation was given to mourucrs to come 
lorward into the pen ; and in some cases, ministers went out to 
men and womeu to come tu. By one of those ministers, 
ir Thomas was persuaded to go iueide the pen. I was deeply 
ist«d in that matter, and followed; and, though coloured 
lie were not allowed either in the pen or in front of the 
preacher's stand, I vcoltirod to take my stand at a sort of half-way 
place between the blacks and whites, where I could distinctly see 
the movemenls of the mourners, and especially the progress of 
Master Thomas. "If he has got rehgion," thought I, " he will 
cmftncipate his slaves : or, if be should not do as much as this, ho 
will at any rate behave towards ns more kindly, and feed ns more 
ronsly than he has heretofore done." Appealing to my own 
icnu experience, and judging my master by what was true iu 
oirocase, I could not regard him as soundly couverted, unless 
Bome saob good results fallowed hiB profession of religion. But in my 
expectations I was doubly disappointed : Master Thomas was 
MiuUr Thomat still. The fruits of his righteousness were to show 
thsmselTies in no such way aa I had anticipated. His conversion 
Dot to change bis relation toward men — at any rate not toward 
men — but toward God. My faitli I confess was not gi-eat. 
wae something in his appearance that, in my mind, cast a 
ibt orer his conversion. Standing where I did, I could see his 
movement. I watched very narrowly while he remained in 
tfae pen ; and although 1 saw that his face was extremely red, and 
his liair dishevelled, and though I heard him groan, and saw a 
stray tear halting on his cheek, as if inquiring, " which way shall 
,J go ? " — I could not wholly confide in the genuineness of the con- 
The hesitating behaviour of that tear-drop, and its 
distressed me, aud cast a doubt upon the whole trans- 
of which it was a part. But people said, " Capt, Auld has 
;ij," and it was for me to hope for the best. I was 
do this in charity, for I, too, was reUgious, and had been 
'&e church full three years, although now I was not more than 
sixteen years old. Slave-owners might sometimes have confidence 
in the [nety of some of their slaves, but the slaves seldom bad 
oonfideDCe in the piety of their masters. " He can't go to heaven 
wiUuntt blood on his skirts," was a settled point in the creed of 


every slave, which rose superior to all teaching to the contrary, and 
stood for ever as a fixed fact. The highest evidence the slaveliolder 
could give the slave of his acceptance with God, was the emanci* 
patjon of his slaves. This was proof to ua that lie was willing to 
give up all to God, and for the sake of God ; and not to do tliis was, 
in our estimatiou, an evidence of hard- heartedn ess, and was 
wholly inconsistent with the idea of genuine conversion. I had 
read somewhere in the Methodist Discipline, the following question 
and answer: "Question — What shall be done for the extirpatioo 
of slavery?" "Answer — We declare that we are as much as 
ever convinced of the great evil of slavery ; therefore no slave- 
holder shall be eligible to any oEGcial office in our church." These 
words sounded in my ears for a long time, and encoiu^ed me to 
hope. But as I have before said, I was doomed to disappointment. 
Master Thomas seemed to be aware of my hopes and cspectationa 
concerning him. I have thought before now that be looked at me 
in answer to my glances, as much as to say, " I will teach yOQi 
young man, that though I have parted with my sins, I have 
not parted with my sense. I shall hold my slaves, and go to 
heaven too." 

There wae always a scarcity of good nature about the man ; but 
low his whole countenance was soureil all over with the seemiTtffi c£ 
piety and he became more rigid and stringent in his exactions. If 
religion had any effect at all on him, it made liim more cruel and 
hateful in all his ways. Do I judge him harshly? God forbid. 
Capt. Auld made the greatest professions of piety. His house was 
literally a house of prayer. In the morning and in the evening i 
lond prayers and hymns were heard there, in which both himself 
and wife joined : yet no more nor better meal was distributed 
at the quarters, no more attention was paid to the moral wel&te 
of the kitchen, and nothing was done to make us feel tbat the 
heart of Master Thomas was one whit better than it was before he 
went into tlie httle pen, opposite the preaobcr'a stand on the camp- 
ground. Our hopes, too, founded on the disciphne, soon vanished ; 
for he was taken into the church at once, and before he was out of 
his term of probation, he lead in class. He quite distinguished 
himself among the brethren as a fervent exhorter. His progresa 
was almost as rapid as the growth of the fabled Jack and the bean-, 
stalk. No man was more active in revivals, nor would go more. 


ilea to asBiEt in carrying them on, and in getting outsiders 
wt in religion. His house, being one of the holiest in St. 
iebaeb, became the " preachers' home." They evidently lilied 
9 share his hospitality : for while he starved ua, he staffed them — 
or four of these ■' ambassadors " being there not un- 
>qiieiitly at a time— all living on the fat of the land, while we in 
i Htchen were worse than hungry. Not often did we get a 
oile of recognition from these holy men. They seemed about as 
mooucemed about our gettmg to heaven, as about our getting out 
I slavery. To this general charge, I must mate one exception — 
the Beverend George Cookman. Unlike Bov. Messrs. Storks, 
Ewry. Nicky, Humphrey, and Cooper, all of whom were on the 
8t. Michaels circuit, he kindly took an interest in our temporal 
and spiritual wel^e. Our souls and our bodies were aUke sacred 
in bJ8 sight, and lie really had a good deal of genuine anti-slavery 
feeling mingled with his colonization ideas. There was not a 
slave in onr neighbourhood who did not love and venerate Mr. 
Cookman. It was pretty generally believed that he had been 
instrumental in bringing one of the largest slaveholders in the 
neighbourhood — Mr. Samuel Harrison — to emancipate all his 
slaves; and the general impression about Mr. Cookman was, that 
whenever he met slaveholders, he laboured faithfully with them, as 
a religious duty, to induce them to hberate their bondsmen. 
When this good man was at our house, we were all sure to be 
called in to prayers in the morning; and he was not slow in 
toaJcing enquiries as to the state of our minds, nor in giving us a 
word of exhortation and of encouragement. Great was tlie 
sorrow of all the slaves when this fiiithful preacher of the gospel 
vrae removed from the circuit. He was an eloquent preacher, and 
possessed what few ministers, south of Mason and Dixon's line, 
possessed or dared to sIjow — viz., a warm and philanthropic heart. 
This Mr. Cookman was an Englishman by birth, and perished on 
board the ill-fated steamship " President," while on his way to 

But to return to my experience with Master Thomas after his 
eonversion. In Baltimore I could occasionally get into a Sabbath- 
scbool, amongst the &ee children, and receive lessons with the rest; 
bat having learned to read and write already, I was more a teacher 
than a scholar, even there. When, however, I went back to the 

o 2 


Eastern shore and was at the house of Master Thomas, I was 
allowed either to teach or to be taught. The whole community, 
with hot one exception among the whites, frowned upon everything 
like imparting inetraction, either to slaves or to free coloured per- 
sons. That single exception, a pioua young man named Wilson, 
asked me one day if I woold like to assist him in teaching a little 
Sabbath -school, at the bouse of a free coloured man named Jamea 
Mitchell. The idea was to mc a delightful one, and I told him I 
would gladly devote as much of my SahbatbH as I could command 
to that iuost laudable work. Mr. Wilson soon mustered up a dozen 
old spelling-books and a few testaments, and we commenced opera- 
tions, with some twenty scholai's in oui' school. Here, thought I, 
ia something worth living for ; here is a chance for usefulness. Tha 
first Sunday passed delightfully, and I spent the week after, vary 
joyously. I could not go to Baltimore, where I and the little com- 
pany of young h'iends who had been so much to me there, and front 
whom I felt parted for ever, but I could make a little Baltimoro 
here. At our second meeting I learned there were some objections 
to the existence of our school ; and sure enough we had scarcely 
got to work — 'loud work, simply teaching a few coloured children 
how to read the gospel of the Son of God — when in mshed a mob| 
headed by two class-leaders, Mr. Wright Fairbanks and Mr, Garri- 
son West, and with them Master Thomas, They were armed witb 
sticks and other missUes, aud drove us off, commanding us nevt 
meet for such a pm'pose again. One of this pious crew told me thst- 
as for me, I wanted to be another Nat. Turner, and if I did not 
look out I should get as many balls in me as Nat. did into him. 
Thus ended the Sabbath -school ; and the reader will not be sur- 
prised that this conduct, ou the part of class- leaders and professedly 
holy men, did not serve to strengthen my rehgious oonviotioni. 
The cloud over my St. Michaels home grew heavier and blacker 
than ever. 

It was not merely the agency of Master Thomas in breaking up 
our Sabbath -school, that shook my confidence in the power of that 
kind of Southern reUgion to make men wiser or better, but I saw ia 
him all the cruelty and meanness after his conversion which he 
had exhibited before. His cruelty and meanness were especially 
displayed m bia treatment of my unfortunate cousin Henuy, whoM 
lameness made her a burden to him, I have seen him tie up thii 



bne and maimed woman and whip her ia a manner moat brutal 
led shocking ; and then with blood -cliUling blaaphemy he would 
^aotethe passage of Scripture, " That serrant which knew his lord's 
will and prepared not himself, neither did according to hia will, 
ibail be beaten witli many stripea." He would keep this lacerated 
Somali tied up by her wriata to a bolt in the joist, three, four, and 
(6 hours at a time. He would tie her up early in the morning, 
whip her with a cowskin before breakfast, leave her tied up, go to 
luBiUre, and returning to dinner repeat the same castigatiou, lay- 
ingon the rugged lash on flesh already raw by repeated blows. He 
•franed desirous to get the poor girl out of existence, or at any rate 
ofltiiB hands. In proof of this, he afterwards gave her away to hia 
lister Sarah — Mrs. Cline — but as in the case of Mr. Hugh, Henny 
^*> Boon returned on hia handa. Finally, upon a pretence that he 
Wild do nothing for her, I use his own words, ho "set her adrift 
*" Wte care of herself." Here was a recently converted man, bold- 
ng Dith tight grasp the well-&amed and able-bodied slavea left him 
By old master — the persons who in freedom could have taken care 
f themaelveB ; yet turning loose the only cripple among them, 
™W]y to starve and die. No doubt, had Master Thomas been 
*'iW by soma piona Northern brother, n/iy he held slaves ? hia 
'^y vould have been precisely that which many another slave- 
holder baa returned to the aame enquiry, viz., " I hold my slaves 
^ their own good." 

Tie many differences springing up between Master Thomas and 
Bysfllf, owing to tlie clear perception I bad of his character, and 
le boldness with which I defended myself against his capricious 
"^Uints, led him to declare that I was imsuited to his wants; 
"■St my city life had affected me pemicioualy ; that in fact it bad 
'"■I'Mt mined me fur every good purpose, and had fitted me for 
•Vorytiiing bad. One of my greatest faults, or offences, was that 
Tleitiag his horse get away and go down to the farm which bo- 
""Eed to his father-in-law. The animal had a Uking for that farm 
^^ which I fiiUy aympatbized. Whenever I let it out it would 
f duhiug down the road to Mr. Hamilton's as if going on a 
Vvii frolic. My horse gone, of course I must go after it. The 
**pl»ttation of our mutual attachment to the place Is the same — 
'""horae found good pasturage, and I found there plenty of bread. 
«. Hamilton had his faults, but starving his slaves was not one of 


them. He gave food in abandance. and of excellent quali^ 
Mr. Hamilton's cook — Annt Mary — I found a generons and 
siderate friend. SLe never allowed me to go there withoat giving 
me bread enough to make good the deficiencies of a day or two. 
Master Thomas at laat resolved to endore my behaviotu: no longer 
he oonld keep neither me nor his horse, we liked so well to be at 
bis father-in-law's farm. I had now Uved with him nearly niue 
months, and he had given me a nnmber of severe whippings, with' 
out any visible improvement in my character or conduct, and 
be was resolved to put me out, as he said, " to be broken." 

There was, in the Bay-side, very near the camp-groimd where 
my master received his religions impressions, a man named 
Edward Covey, who enjoyed the reputation of being a first-rate 
hand at breaking young negroes. This Covey was a poor man, s 
brm renter ; and his reputation for being a good hand to break in 
slaves was of immense pecuniary advantage to him, since it cD' 
abled liim to get his fajm tilled at very httle expense, compared 
with what it would have cost bim otherwise. Some slaveholders 
thought it an advantage to let Mr. Covey have the government of 
their slaves a year or two, almost free of charge, for the sake of 
the excellent training they had under his management. Like 
some horse-breakers noted for their skill, who ride the best horeea 
in the country without expense, Mr. Covey could have under him 
the most fiery bloods of the neighbourhood, for the reward ol 
returning them to then- owners iteil brokttn. Added to the natural 
fitness of Mr. Covey for the duties of his profession, he was said 
" to enjoy rehgion," and he was aa strict in the cultivation of piety 
as ho was in the cultivation of his fai-m. I waa made aware of 
these traits in his character by some who had been imder hia 
hand, and while I could not look foward to going to liim with any 
degree of pleasure, I was glad to get away fi-om St. Michaels. 
behoved I should get enough to eat at Covey's, even if I suffered in 
other respects, and this to a hungry man is not a prospect to be 
regarded with iudlfierence. 




I Covey 's^Meditations by the way — Covoy's house — Family — 
B a field haud—A cruel boating-— Wiy giTen— Description 
I of Cbtejr — FirM attcmpl at driving oieu — Hair-breiidtli escape — ^Oi and 
ti alike propertj' — Hard lubor duith effcotive than the whip for breaking 
down the spdiit — Cnnning and triokory of Covey — Family worship — Shocking 
aai indecent contempt for chastity — Great mental agitation — Angnish 
beyond descriplion. 

,/ 1 lUK morning of Janaary 1, 1884, with its oliillmg wind and 
t -L pinching frost, quite in harmony with the winter in my own 
mind, found me, with my little bundle of clothing on the end of a 
flticlc swiuig acroea my shoulder, on the main road bending my 
way toward's Covey'a, whither I had been imperiously ordered by 
H&eter Thomas. He had been aa good aa his word, and had com- 
mitted me without reserve to the mastery of that hard man. 
Eight or ten years had now passed since I had been taken from 
m; grandmother's cabin in Tuckahoe ; and these years, for the 
most part, I had spent in Baltimore, where, as the reader has 
already aeen, I was treated with comparative tenderness. I was 
DOW about to Bonnd profotmder depths in slave life. My ucw 
maatei waa notorious for his fierce and savage disposition, and my 
only consolation in going to hve with him was the certainty of 
finding him precisely aa represented by common fame. There was 
neither joy in my heart nor elasticity in my frame as I started for 
the tyrant's home. Starvation made me glad to leave Thomas 
Anld's. and the cmel lash made me dread to go to Covey's. Escape, 
bcwever, was impossible ; bo, heavy and sad, I paced the seven 
miles which lay between his houae and St. Michaels, Udnking 
much by the eohtary way of my adverse condition. Bat thinkintj 
was all I could do. Like a fiah in a net, allowed to play for a time, 
I ma DOW drawn rapidly to the shore, secured at all points. " I 

68 HE 18 8&NT TO SCHOOL 

am," thought I, " but the aport of a power which makes no account 
either of my welfare or my happiness. By a. law which I can 
comprehend, bat cannot evade or resist, I am mthleaaly snatched 
from the hearth of a fond grandmother and hurried away to the 
home of a myeterions old master ; again I am removed from there 
to a master in Baltimore ; tliencc I am snatched away to the 
eastern shore to be valued with the beasts of the field, and witb 
them to be divided and set apart for a possessor ; then I am sent 
bacli to Baltimore, and by the time I have formed new attachmeiits 
and have begnn to hope that no more rude shocks shall touch 
a difference arises between brothers, and I am again broken up and 
sent to St. Michaels ; and now from the latter place I am foot- 
ing my way to the home of another master, where I am given to 
miderstand that like a wild young working animal I am to be 
broken to the yoke of a bitterand life-long bondage." Witbthougbta 
and reflections hke these, I came in sight of a small wood-coloured 
building, about a mile from the main road, whiub, from the descrip- 
tion I had received at starting, I easily recognized as my^ew home. 
The Chesapeake bay, upon the jutting banks of ^vliich the little 
wood-coloured house was standing, was white With foam raised by 
the heavy north-west wind; Poplar Island, covered with a thick 
black pine forest, standijig out amid this half ocean ; and Eeat 
Point, stretching its sandy, desert-like shores out into the fo&m*' 
created bay, were all in sight, and served to deepen the wild and 
desolate scene. 

The good clothes I had brought with me from Baltimore were 
now worn thin, and had not been replaced ; for Master Thooaa 
was as little careful to provide against cold as hunger. Met here 
by a north wind, sweeping through an open space of forty miles, I 
was glad to make any port, and, therefore, I speedily pressed oa 
to the wood-coloured house. The &mily consisted of Mr. and Mrs. 
Covey ; Mrs. Kemp, a broken-backed woman, sister to Mrs. Covey ; 
WiUiam Hughes, cousin to Mr. Covey ; Carohne, the cook; Bill 
Smith, a hired man, and myself. Bill Smith, Bill Hughes, and 
myself were the working force of the farm, which comprised three 
or four hundred acres. I was now for the first time in my life to 
be a field-hand ; and in my new employment I found myself even 
more awkward than a green country hoy may be supposed to 
upon his first entrance into the bewildering scenes of city life ; and 


B gave mo much trouble. Strange and unnatural 
it may seem. I Iiad been in my new home bnt tbree days before 

'. C-ovey. my brother in the Metboiiiat cbnrcb, gave me a bitter 
loretaste of wLat was in reserve for me. I preenme he thought 
tli&t since he bad but a single year in which to complete his work^ 
the sooner bo began the better. Perhaps he thought by coming 
to blovs at once we should mutually understand better our rela- 
tions to each other. But to whatever motive, direct or indirect, 
the cause may be referred, I had not been in his possession three 
whole days before he eubjected me to a most brutal chaBtisemont. 
Under Lis heavy blows blood flowed freely, and walca were left on 
my bock as large as my little finger. The sores from this dogging 
<iontinncd for weeks, for they were kept open by the rough and 
tXMTse cloth which I wore for shirting. The occasion and details 
of this first chapter of my esperieuce as a field-hand must bo told, 
that the reader may see bow unreasonable, as well as how cruel, 
my new master. Covey, was. The whole thing I found to be char- 
acteristic of the man, and I WM probably treated no worse by 
him than scores of lads who had previously boon committed to 
bim, for reasons similar to those which induced my master to 
place me with him. But here are the facts connected with the 
adair, precisely aa they occurred. 

Ou one of the coldest moniings of the whole month of January, 
1884, I was ordered at daybreak to get a load of wood from a 
forest sboat two miles from the house. In order to perform this 
work, Mr. Covey gave me a pair of unbroken oxen, for it seemed 
that his breaking abilities had not been turned in that direction. 
In dne form, and with all proper ceremony, I was introduced to 
this hngo yoke of mibrokon oxen, and was carefully made to under- 
ctand which was " Buck," and wbidi was "Darby," — wliich was 
llie " in hand," and which was the " off baud " ox. The master 
of this important ceremony was no less a person than Mr. Covey 
himself; and the introduction was the first of the kind I had 
erer had. 

My Ufe, hitherto, had been quite away from homed cattle, and 
I bad no knowledge of the art of managing them. What was 
mettnt by the " in ox," as against the " off ox," when both were 
equally fastened to one cart, and under one yoke, I could not very 
easily divine ; and the difference implied by the names, and tbo 


peotiliar duties of each, were alike Greek to me. Why was not t) 
" off ox " called the ■' in ox ? " Where and what is the reason C 
this diatinction in names, when there is none in the things them 
selves ? After initiating me into the use of the " whoa," " back, 
"gee." "hither," — the entire langnage spoken between oxen a 
driver, — Mr. Oovey took a rope about ten feet long and one inoi 
thick, and placed one end of it around the horns of the " 
ox," and gave the other end to me, telling me that if the 0x6 
started to ran away, as the acamp knew they would, I n 
on to the rope and stop them. I need not tell any one who i 
acquainted with either the strength or the disposition of an nn 
tamed ox, that this order was about as unreasonable as a c< 
to shoulder a mad bull. I had never driven oxen before, and 
was as awkward a driver as it is possible to conceive. I could no 
plead my ignorance to Mr. Covey ; there was that 1 
which forbade any reply. Cold, distant, morose, with a 
wearing all the marks of captious pride and mahcious sternnea 
he repelled all advances. He was not a large man — not more tl 
five feet ten inches in height, I should think ; short-necked, ronnj 
shonldered, of qoick and wiry motion, of thin and wol£ah viaaj 
with a pair of small, greenish-gray eyes, set well back nnder 
forehead without dignity, and which were constantly in motioi 
expressing his passions rather than his thoughts in looks, but denj 
ing them utterance in words. The creature presented an appeal 
ance altogether ferocious and sinister, disagreeable and forbidding 
in the extreme. When be spoke, it was from the ( 
mouth, and in a sort of light growl, like a dog, when an atteni{i 
is made to take a bone from him. I already believed him a wors 
fellow than he had been represented to be. With his direotionl 
and without stopping to question, I started for the woods, qnit 
anxious to perform my furst exploit in driving in a oreditabt 
manner. The distance from the house to the wood's gate — a At 
mile, I should think — was passed over with little difficulty : fa 
although the animals ran, I was fleet enough in the open field i 
keep pace with them, especialty as they pulled me along at the en 
of the rope ; but on reaching the woods, I was speedily thrown int 
a distressing phght. The animals took fright, and started 1 
ferociously into the woods, carrying the cart full tilt against tteei 
over stumps, and dashing from side to side in a manner altogetb 


As I held the rope I expected every moment to be 
I between the cart and the huge tieea, among which thejr 
D farioQsly dashing. After rtuming thna for several nunnteB, 
^^y oxen were finally brought to a stand by a tree, against which they 
daahed themselves with great violence, npsetting the cai't, and en- 
laQglisg themselves among snndry young saplings. By the shock 
Uie body of the cart was flung in one direction and the wheels and 
toQgac in another, and all in the greatest ooafasioa. There I was, 
all alone in a thick wood to which I was a stranger ; my cart upset 
and ahattored, my oxen entangled, wild, and -enraged, and I, poor 
sool, bnl a green hand to set all this disorder right. I knew no 
more of oxen than the ox-driver is snpposed to know of wisdom. 

After standing a few minutes, snrveying the damage, and not 

without a presentiment that this trouble would draw after it others 

CTen more distressing, I took one end of the cai't body and, by an 

extra outlay of strength, I lifted it toward the axle-tree, from which 

it bad been violently flung ; and after much pulling and straining, 

laaccoeded in getting the body of the cart in its place. This was 

an important step ont of the difficulty, and its performance increased 

my courage for the work which remained to be done. The cart 

"as provided with an ase, a tool with which I had become pretty 

well acquainted in the ship- yard at Baltimore. With this I cut 

^va the saplings by which my oxen were entangled, and again 

potiued my journey, with my heart in my mouth, lest the oxen 

slioold again take it into their senseless heads to cut up a caper. 

Bnl their spree was over for tlie present, and the rascals now 

■noved off aa aoberly as though their behaviour had been natural 

■ad <semplary. On reaching the part of the forest where I had 

a tbe day before chopping wood, I iiUed the cart with a heavy 

d, w a security against another rmiaway. But the ueck of an 

ii equal in strength to iron : it defies ordinary burdens. Tamo 

Indocile to a proverb when mell trained, tlie ox is the most sullen 

id intractable of animals when but half-broken to the yoke. I 

a my own situation several points of similarity with that of 

«n. They were property : so was I. Covey was to break 

•—I was to break them. Break and be broken was the order. 

If of the day was ahready gone and I had not yet turned 
y lioe homeward. It required only two days' experience 
1 observation to teach me that no such apparent waste of 


time would be lightly overlooked by Covoy. I therefore h 
toward home ; but in reaching the loue gate I met the crow 
ing disaster of the day. Thia gate was a fair specimen j 
Southern handicraft. There were two huge poata eighte 
inches in diameter, rough hewed and squai'e, and the heavy g 
was so hung on one of these that it opened only about half tl 
proper distance. On arriving here it waa necessary for me 
go the end of the rope on the horns of the " in band ox" 
now as soon as the gate was open and I let go of it to get t 
rope again, off went my oxen, making nothing of their loi 
full tilt ; and in so doing tbey caught the huge gate between 1 
wheel and the cart body, literally crushing it to splinters, 
coming only withm a few mches of subjecting me to a s~ 
crushing, for I was ju9t in advance of the wheel when it str 
the left gate post. With these two hair-breadth escapes I tkouj 
I could successfully explain to Mr. Covey the delay, and avs 
punishment — I was not witliout a faint hope of being commendj 
for the stem resolution wliich I had displayed in accompl 
the difGcult task— a task which I afterwards learned e 
himself would not have undertaken without first driving the o 
for some time iu the open field, preparatory to their going to ti 
woods. But in this I was disappointed. On coming to him I 
countenance assumed an aspect of rigid displeasure, and i 
gave him a history of the casualties of my trip, his wolfiEdi £ 
with his greenish eyes, became intensely ferocious. " Go back a 
the woods again," he said, muttering something else about wastiH 
time. I bastUy obeyed, but I had not gone far on my way vbi 
I saw hun commg after me. My oxeu now behaved themselvd 
with singular propriety, contrasting then: present conduct to 11 
representation of tlieir former antics. I almost wished, now tl 
Covey was coming, they vould do something in keeping with ti 
character I had given tliem ; but no, they had already had t 
spree, and they could afford now to be extra ^ood, readily obt 
orders, and seeming to understand them quite as well as I i 
myself. On reaching the woods my tormentor, who seemed aD tl 
time to be remarking to himself upon the good behaviour of t 
oxeu, came up to mo and ordered me to stop the cart, acoompi 
ing the same with the threat that he would now teach me how] 
break gates and idle away my time when he sent me to the n 

iDg tbe action to the words. Covey paced off, iu bis own wiry 
, to a large gum tree, the young alioots of which are 
bftr&Uy used for ox goads, they being exceedingly tough. Three 
F these yonibi, from four to six feet long, he cut off and trimmed 
op with hie large jack-knife. This done, he ordered me to take 
off my clothes. To this unreasonable order I made no reply, but 
"A my apparent onconscioasneBs and inattention to this command 
: iiidicated very plainly a stern determination to do no such thing. 
If you will beat me," thought I, "you shall do so over my 
■ !_'lJies." After many threats, which made no impression on me, 
i>« msheJ at me with something of the savage fierceness of a wolf, 
torv off the few and thinly worn clothes I had on, and proceeded 
lo, wear oat on my back the heavy goads which he had cut from 
■\ii: gum tree. This flogging was the first of a series of floggings, 
':jrl tliough very severe, it was no loss so than many which came 
.".t^r it. and these for offences far fighter than the gate -breaking. 

1 ranained with Mr. Covey one year — I cannot say I Hvrd with 

i.;ai. — and during the first six months that I was there I was 

xbpped, cither with sticks or cow-skins, every week. Aching 

fi and a sore back were ray constant companions. Frequently 

k the lasli was used, Mr. Covey thought less of it as a means of 

ing down my spirit than that of hard and continued labour. 

■ irorked me steadily up to the point of my powers of endurance. 

n the dawn of day in the morning till the darkness was com- 

h b the evening I was kept at hard work in the field or the 

is. At certain seasons of tlie year we were all kept in the 

B till eleven and twelve o'clock at night. At these times Covey 

d attend na in the field and urge us on with words or blows, 

pH laemed best to him. He had. in his life, been on overseer, 

I well understood the business of slave- driving. Tiiere 

i Dn deceiving lum. He knew just what a man or boy could 

i he held both to strict account. When he pleased he would 

1 bimseU like a very Turk, making everything fly before him. It 

I. however, scarcely necessary for Mr. Covey to be really present 

S the field to have hia work go on industriously. Ho had the 

(Viilty of making us feel that he was always present. By a series 

jf adroitly managed surprises which he practised,! was prepared to 

^^nect him at any moment. His plan was never to approach thva 

^^ht iriiere bis hands were at work in an open, manly, and direaS 


manner. No thief was ever more artfol in hia devices than this a 
Covey. He would creep and crawl in ditehes and gullies, hii 
behind stumpa aod basheB, and practice 90 much of the canning i 
the Berpent, that Bill Smith ajid I, between ourselves, never cbUq 
bim by any other name than " the snake." We fancied that in h 
eyes and his gait we could see a snakish resemblance. One half d 
his proficiency in the art of negro- breaking consisted, I should t) 
in this species of cmiuing. We were never secnre. He could s 
or liear us neEirly all the time. He was to us behind every stni 
tree, bush, and fence on the plantation. He carried this kind 
trickery so far that be would sometimes mount his horse and c 
beheve be was going to St. Michaels, and in thirty minutes a 
wards yon might find his horse tied in the woods, and the snake-U 
Covey lying fiat in the ditch with hia head lifted above its edge, < 
in a fence-comer, watching every movement of the slaves, I ba 
known bim walk up to us and give us special orders as to our wa 
in advance, as if he were leaving home with a view to being abse 
several days, and before be got half way to the house 
avail himself of our inattention to his movements to turn short 1 
bis heel, conceal himself behind a fence-corner, or a tree, and wb6 
Its tmtil tlie going down of the sun. Mean and contemptible as 
all this, it Ib in keeping with the character which the life of a bUi 
holder was calculated to produce. There was no earthly indnc 
meiit in the slave's condition to incite him to labour faitbfall 
The fear of pmiiahment was the sole motive of any sort of indnst 
with bim. Knowing this fact as the slaveholder did, and jndgii 
the slave by himself, he naturally concluded that tlie slave woo 
be idle whenever tho cause for this fear was absent. Hence 1 
sorts of petty deceptions were practised to inspire fear. 

But with Ml-. Covey trickery was natural. Everytlilug in t 
shape of learning or religion which he possessed was made to « 
form to this somi4ying propensity. Ho did not aeera conscicr 
tiiat tlie practice had anythmg unmanly, base, or coutemptil 
about it. It was a part of an important system witli bim, essenti 
to the relation of master and slave. I thought I saw, in hia ' 
religious devotions, this controlling element of bis character, 
long prayer at night made up for a short prayer in the momiii 
KpA few men could seem more devotional than he, when he I 
Biothing else to do. 


Mr. Covey was not coutent with the cold stjie of family worship 
lopWd in the cold latitudes, which begin and end with a simple 
iiijer. No I the ^■oice of praise aa well as of prayer mnst be heard 
-I Ilia honse night and morning. At first I was called upon to bear 
'im part in these esercises ; but the repeated floggingB given me 
\<-s\ied the whole thing into mockery. He was a poor singer, and 
^iiiioljr relied on me for raising the liynui for the family, and when 
I (ailed to do so he was thrown into much confusion. I do not 
liiink be ever abused me on account of these Tesations, His 
wligiou was a tiling altogetlier apart from his worldly concerns. 
Be knew nothing of it as a holy principle directing and controlling 
lii9 daily life, making the latter conform to thet-equirements of the 
tioepcl. One or two facts will illustrate his character better than a 
Tulnme of generaUttes. 

I h&ve already imphed that Mr. Edward Covey was a poor man. 
H« wu, in fa«t. just commencing to lay the foundation of hie 
Mtme, as fortune was regarded in a slave state. The first con- 
liitioti of wealth and respectability there being the ownership of 
limnaj) property, every nerve was strained by the poor man to 
iibliin it, with Lttle regard eoraetimes as to the means. In pnraiiit 
lif UuB object, pious as Mr. Covey was, he proved himself as un- 
''inpnlons and base aa the worst of his neighbours. In the begin- 
ning he was only able — as he said^ — "to buy one slave"; and 
-'uadftioua and shocking as is the fact, he boasted that he bought 
I'tr aimply " as a breeder." But the worst of this is not told in 
itii naked statement. This'yoong woman, CaroUne was her name, 
I 'Mnrtnally compelled by Covey to abandon herself to the object 
L brwluch he had purchased her; and the result was the birth of 
L'ttini at the end of the year. At this addition to his human stock 
BAvey and his wife were ecstatic with joy. No one dreamed of 
^Bpoachicg the woman, or of finding fault with the hired man, Bill 
^'Rnith. the father of the children, for Mr. Covey himself had locked 
J^ two up together every night, thus inviting the result. 
Bat I will pursue this revolting subject no farther. No better 
ilutitration of tho nnchaste, demoralizmg, and debasing character 
if slavery can be found, than is furnished in the fact that this 
ptofeswdly Christian slave-holder, amidst all his prayers and 
u, was shamelessly and boastfully encouraging and actually 
, in bis own house, undisguised and unmitigatod unchas- 



tity, as a means of increaBrng his stock. It was the gywtem of 
slavery which made this allowable, and which no more eondenmed 
the slaveholder for buying a slave-woman and devoting ber to this 
life, than for buying a cow and raising stock &om her; and the 
same rules were observed, with a riew to increasing the number 
and qnaUty of the one, as of the other. 

If at any one time in my hfe, more than another, I was made 
to drink the bitterest dregs of slavery, that time was daring the 
first six montlis of my stay witli this man Covey. We were 
worked in all weathers. It was never too hot, nor too cold ; it 
could never rain, blow, enow, nor hail too hard to prevent U3 from 
working in the field. Work, work, work, was scarcely more the 
order of the day than of the night. The longest days were too 
short for him, and the shortest nights were too long for him. I 
was somewhat unmanageable at the first, but a few months of this 
discipline tamed me. Mr. Covey succeeded in hreikiiiff me — 
body, soul, and spirit. My natural elasticity was crnahed ; i 
intellect languished ; the disposition to read departed, the choerf 
spark that lingered about my eye died out ; the dark night fl 
slavery closed in upon me, and beheld a man transformed to s b 

Sunday was my only leisure time. I spent this in a sort ^ 
beast-Ulfe stupor, between sleeping and waking under some 1 
tree. At times I would rise up, a flash of energetic freedom n 
dart through my soul, accompanied with a faint beam of hope tl 
flickered for a moment, and then vanished. I sank down i 
mourning over my wretclied condition. I was sometimes tempts^ 
to take my life and that of Covey, but was prevented by a c 
bination of hope and fear. My sufferings, as I remember thcfl 
now, seem like a dream ratlier than a stern real reahty. 

Our house stood within a few rods of the Chesapeake '. 
whose broad bosom was ever white with sails from every quarter^ 
the habitable globe. Those beautifid vessels, robed in white, 
so delightful to the eyes of freemen, were to me so many shroud 
ghosts, to terrify and torment me with thoughts of my wretch^ 
condition. I have often, in the deep stillness of a sui 
Sabbath, stood all alone upon the banks of that noble bay, 
traced, with saddened heart and tearful eye, the countless r 
of sads mo\Tng o£f to the mighty ocean. The sight of these alwi 
affected me powerfnlly. My thoughts would compel utterance ; & 


B. with no audience but the Almighty, I would pour out my 
Buni'e coniplatnl in my mde way witli an apostrophe to the moving 
nmititade of ships : — 

" Von are loosed from yom* moorings, and free. I am fast in 
mycliiins, and am a slave! You move merrily before the gentle 
V»1g, and I sadly before the bloody whip. You are free- 
lium'B swift-winged angels, that fly around the world ; I am 
MoliDed in bonds of iron. 0, that I were free 1 O, that I were 
oil one of your gallant decks, and under yom" protecting wing I 
Alaal betwixt me and you the turbid waters roll. Go on, go 
on ; 0. that I could also go ! Gould I but swim I K I ooold 
flyl 0. why was I bom a man. of whom to make a brute? 
Jlieglad ship is gone: she hides in the dim distance. I am 
i in the hell of imending slavery, 0, God, save me I God, 
Krer rao t Let me be free ! — Is there any God ? Why am I a 
re! I will run away. I will not stand it. Get caught or get 
TilTl try it. I may as well die with ague as with fever. I 
W only one life to lose. I may as well be killed running aa die 
Only tbhik of it : one hundced miles north, and I am 
^! Try it ? Yes ! God helping me, I will. It cannot be that I 
shall live and die a »lave. I wiU take to the water. This very day 
iliiiUyet bear me into freedom. The ateamboats steer in a north- 
"wl ftrtirse from North Point ; I will do the same ; and when I get 
"' tbe bead of the bay, I will turn my canoe adrift, and walk 
'iraight through Delaware into Pennsylvania. When I get there 
' ^lil not be required to have a pass : I will travel tliere without 
'iiiTig distm-bed. Lot but the first opportimity offer, and come 
'.'lat will. I am off, Meanwhile I will try the yoke. I am not the 
.■:i) slave in the world. Why should I fret ? I can bear as much 
- ;iny of them. Besides, I am but a boy yet, and all boys are bound 
o some one. It may be that my misery in slavery will only 
) my happiness when I get free. There ia a better day 

11 never be able to narrate half the mental experience through 

, it was my loi to pass, during my stay at Covey's. I was 

letely wrecked, changed, and bewildered ; goaded almost to 

i time, and at another, rccoucihng myself to my 

^ed condition. All the kindness I had received at Baltimore, 

my former hopes and aspirations for usefulness in the world, 

98 HB IB ▲ SL4YE. 

and eyen the happy moments spent in the ezerciseB of religion, 
contrasted with my then present lot» served bnt to increase my 

I suffered bodily as well as mentally. I had neither snflSci^it 
time in which to eat, nor to sleep, except on Sundays. The over- 
work, and the brutal chastisement of which I was the victim, 
combined with that ever-gnawing and soul-devouring thought — '^ F 
am a slave — a slave for life — a slave wM no rational ground to hope fan 
freedom " — ^rendered me a living embodiment of mental and physical 



(^ipoince at Covey'a smmned up — Flnt six montliB severer thim the n 
•u— Fnliminaites to the chasgi! — ReasonH (or narrattniif the ci 
S<*w> in the tTeadins-yard — TakMi ill — EscapoH to St. Michaels— The pimait 
-Sttflcring in the wood* — Tallt with Master ThomBfl — Hih beating'— Driven 
Wk to Covey's— The slaves never sack — Natural to enpeot them to iaga 
vrlaent — I^uanesa of HlHveholders. 

THE reader has but to repeat, in his mind, once a week tlie 
scene in the woods, where Covey subjected me to his merci- 
!«« Ush. to have a true idea of my bitter experience during the 
Eitsliiiiuonths of the breaking process through which ho carried 
iM. ! Jmve no heart to repeat each separate transaction. Such a. 
umtioti would fill a volume much larger than the present one. I 
^'moolv to give the reader a truthful impreBsion of my alave-hfe 
"itbmt nmieceaaarily affecting him with harrowing details. 

Aa I have Intimated, my hardships wore much greater during the 
tfilaix months of my stay at Covey's tliau during the remainder 
"ftteycar, and as the change in my condition was owing to causes 
»''icli may help the reader to a better understanding of hnmaii 
Mtnre, when subjected to the terrible oxtremitiea of slavery, I will 
rate the circumstances of this change, although I may aeeni 
leby to applaud my own courage. 

" e reader haa seen me humbled, degraded, broken down, en- 
kl, and brntalized ; and understands how it was done ; now let 
e tiie converse of all this, and how it was brought about; and 
k wQl take ns through the year 1884. 

e of the hottest days in the mouth of August, of the year 
k mentioned, had the reader been passing through Covey's &rm, 
isight have seen me at work in what was called the " treading- 
t" — B yard npon which wheat was trodden out from the straw 
e hoTMs' feet. I was there at work feeding the " fan," or 


rather brbging wheat to the fau, whilo Bill Smitli was feeding. 
Our force consisted of Bill Hughes, Bill Smith, and a slave b; th? 
ntune of Eli, the latter having been hired for the occasion. The 
work was simpb. and required streugth and activity, rather than 
any ekill or intelligence ; and yet to one entii-ely unused to sucIj 
work, it came very hard. The heat was intense and overpowering', 
and there was rauch hiuTy to get the wheal trodden out that day 
tlii'ough the fan ; since if that work was done an hour before sun- 
down, the hands wonld have, aceordJng to a promise of Covej', that 
hour added to their night's rest I was not behind any of them id 
the wish to complete the day's work before suudonn, and henc«9 
struggled with all my might to get it forward. The promise I 
one hour's repose on a week day was sufficient to quicken my p 
and to spur me on to extra endeavour. Besides, we had all plK 
to go tishing, and I certainly wished to have a hand in that. 
1 was disappointed, and the day turned ont to be one of t 
bitterest I ever experienced. About three o'clock, while the Bl 
was pouring down his burning rays, and not a breeze was e 
I broke down ; my streugth failed me ; I was seized with & vioL 
aching of the head, attended with extreme dizziness, and int 
bliug in every limb. Finding what was coming, and feeling it woid 
never do to atop work, I nen'ed myself Up, and staggered on, 
I fell by the side of the wheat fan, with a feehng that the earth It 
fallen in upon me. This brought the entire work to a dead e 
There was work for four : each one had his part to perform, i 
each part depended on tlie other, so that when one stopped, i 
were compelled to stop. Covoy, who had become my dread, ' 
the house, about a himdred yards from where I was fanning, 
nstantly, upon hearing the fan stop he came down to the tre* 
ing-yard to inqun-e into the cause of the stopping. Bill Bmith b 
him I was sick, and that I was unable longer to bring wfaeftt 1 
the fan. 

I had by this time crawled away under the side of a post-Euid-nJ 
fence in the shade, and was exueedinglj ill. The intense bet 
tlie suu, the heavy dust rising &om the fan, the stooping to take! 
the wheat from the yard, together with the hurrying lo i 
tlii-ough, had caused a rush of blood to my head. In this { 
dition Covey, finding out where I was, came to me ; and i 
standing over me a while he asked me what the matter i 


I'll!! hiiii as well as I coatd, for it was witli difficulty that I could 

ipcak. He gave me a savage kick in the side which jarred my 

whole frame, and commanded me to get up. The monster had 

obtained complete control over me, and if he had commanded me 

Ifldoany possible thing I should, in my then state of mind, have 

nuiaivom-cd to comply. I made an effort to rise, but fell back in 

Uit attempt hofore gaining my feet. He gave me another heavy 

tick, uid again told mc to rise. I again tried, and succeeded in 

■tindiog up ; bat upon stooping to get the tub with which I was 

fr«jiiig ihe fan I again staggered and fell to the gronud ; and I 

mnet kve so fallen had I been sure tliat a hundred bullets would 

lifltt pierced me through as the consequence. While down in this 

^^4 Kmdition, and perfectly helpless, the merciless negi-o-breaker 

^Kft up the hickory slab with which Hughes had been striking oft 

^He vbeat to a level with the sides of the half-bushel measure — a 

^^RJ hard weapon — ^and with the edge of it he dealt me a heavy 

^Btw OB my head, which made a large gash and caused tho blood 

^■•tm freely, saying at the same time, " If you have the head- 

^HNs I'll cure you." This done, he ordered me again to rise ; but 

' I OMdc no effort to do so, for I had now made up my mind that it 

**9 useless, and that the heartless villain might do his worst, he 

I Wa H bat kill me and that might put me out of my misery. 

^|p%g me unable to rise, or rather despairing of my 

^|pig w. Covey left me, with a \-icw to getting on with the 

^^^ri; withont me. I was bleeding very freely, and my face 

■Msoon covered with my waini blood. Cruel and merciless as 

aiij the motive that dealt that blow, the wound was a fortmiate 

mil- fbr me. Bleeding was never more efficacious. The pain in 

m; IiKttd speedily abated, and I was soon able to rise. Covey had. 

u 1 have said, left me to my fate, and the question was, shall I 

to my work, or shall I find my way to bt. Michaels and 

Captain Auld acquainted with the ati-ocious cmelty of his 

Covey and beseech him to got me another roaster •} 

ibering the object he had in view in placing me under the 

leDt of Covey, and further his eruel ti-eatment of my poor 

COOsLu Heuiiy, and his meanness in the matter of feeding 

elotiting his slaves, there was httle ground to hope for a 

lie reception at the hands of Captain Thomas Auld, Never- 

I resolved to go straight to him, thinking that, if not 


102 - KBCAPEH, 

animated by motives of buntauity. he might be induced to interfere 
OH my behalf from selfiab oonaiderationB. " He cannot," I 
thought, " allow his property to be tliua bruised and battered, 
man'ed and de&ced, and I will go to him about the matter." In 
order to get to St. Michaole by the most favourable and dirett 
road I must walk seven miles, and this, in my sad condition, was 
no easy performance. I had already lost much blood, I 'wss 
exhausted by over exertion, my sides were sore from the heavj 
blows planted there by the stout boots of Mr. Covey, and I was in 
every way in an unfavourable plight for the journey. I, howevw. 
watched my chance, while the cruel and cunning Covey was 
looking in au opposite direction, and started oflf across the field for 
St. Michaels. This was a danng step. If it failed it would only 
exasperate Covey, and increase the rigours of my bondage dnriiis 
the remainder of my term of serrico under him ; but the step was 
taken, and I must go forward. I succeeded in getting nearly half 
way across the broad field towards the woods, when Covey observeii 
me. I was still bleeding, and the exertion of running had stariod 
the blood afresh, "dime Imck ! Cmtu' iHick!" he vociferated, with 
threats of what be would do if I did not return instantly. Bill 
disregarding his calls and threats, I pressed on towards the woods 
as fast as my feeble state would allow. Seeing no signs of tuy 
stopping he caused his horse to be brought out and saddled, as if lie 
intended to pursue me. The race was now to be an unequal one, 
and thinking I might he overhauled by him if I kept the main mad 
I walked nearly the whole distance in the woods, keeping far 
enough from the road to avoid detection and pursuit. But I hod 
not gone far before my little strength again failed me, and I was 
obhged to lie down. The blood was still oozing from the wound in 
my head, and foi- a time I suffered more than I can describe. 
There I was in the deep woods, sick and emaciated, pursued by a 
wietch whose character for levoltiug cruelty beggars all oppi-o- 
bnous speech, bleeding and almost bloodless. I was not without 
the feai- of bleeding to death. The thought of dying in the woods 
all alone, and of being torn in pieces by the buzzards, had not yet 
been rendered tolerable by my many troubles and hardships, and 
i was glad when the shade of Uie trees and the cool evening breex« 
combbcd with my matted hair to stop the flow of blood. After 
lying there about three quarters of au hour brooding over tbe 


...ii II aud monmfd lot to which I was doomed, my mind passing 
■ vc-r i!ie whole scale or circle of belief aud unbelief, from faith in 
;iie over-ruling Providence of God to the blackest atheism, I again 
look up my journey toward St. Michaels, more weary and sad than 
on the morning when 1 left Thomas Auld's for the home of Covey. 
I was bore-footed, bare-headed, and in my shirt sleevea. The way 
was through briars and boga, aud I tore my feet often during the 
jonniey. I was full five hours in going the seven or eight 
miles ; portly because of the difficulties of the way, and partly 
bocansu of the feebleness induced by my illness, bruises, and 
loas of blood. 

On gaining my master's store, I presented an appearance of 
wretchedness and woe calculated to move any but a heart of stone. 
From the crown of my head to the sole of my feet there i 
marks of blood. My hair was all clotted with dust aud -blood, 
aud tho back of my shirt was Uterally stiff with the same. Briars 
wid thorns had scarred and torn my feet and legs. Had I escaped 
frx>iii a den of tigers, I could not have looked worse. In this plight 
I appeared before my professedly VhrUtian master, humbly to in- 
voke the interposition of hia power aud authority, to protect me 
from farther abuse and violence. During the latter part of my 
tedious journey, I had begtm to hope that my master woidd now 
show himself in a nobler hght than I had before seen him. But I 
was disappointed. I had jumped from a sinking ship into the sea ; 
I had fled from a tiger to something worse. I told him all the cir- 
cumstances, as well as I could : bow I waa endeavouring to please 
Covey ; bow hard I was at work iu the present instance ; how uu- 
wiUingly I sank down under the heat, toil, and pain ; the brutal 
manner in which Covey had kicked me in the aide, the gaah cut in 
my head ; my hesitation about troubling him, Capt. Auld, with 
complaints ; but that now I felt it would not be best longer to 
oonccal bom him the outrages committed on me from time to time. 
At first Master Thomas seemed somewhat affected by the story of my 
wrongs, but he soon repi'eased whatever feeling he may have had, 
and became as cold and hard as iron. It was impossible, at Jim, as 
I stood before him, to seem indifferent. I distinctly saw his humau 
oatore asserting its conviction against the slave system, which made 
cases like mine possible : but, as I have said, humanity fell before 
the systematic tyranny of slaveiy. He first walked the floor. 

apparently much agitated by my story, and the spectacle I presentet 
but soon it was his turn to talk. He began modei-ately by findii 
excases for Covey, and ended with a full juBtification of him, and 
passionate condemnation of me. He bad no doubt I deserved tl 
flogging. He did not believe I was sick ; I was only cndeavonrii 
to get rid of work. My dizziness was laziness, and Covey did ri^ 
to flog me as he had done. After thus fairly atmihilating me. 
ai-ouaing himself by his eloquence, he fiercely demanded whafe 
wished him to do in the case ! With such a, knockdown to all 
hopes, and feeling as I did my entire subjection to bis power, I li] 
very little heart to reply. I must not assert my innocence of 
allegations he had piled up against me, for that would be impudent 
The guilt of a slave was always and everywhere presumed, and 
innocence of the alftveholder, or employer, was always 
The word of the slave against this presumption was generally treafe 
as impudence, worthy of puniahmeut. " Do you dai-e to contradi 
me, you rascal? " was a final silencer of counter- statements 
the bps of a slave. Calmiug down a little, in view of my ailenl 
and hesitation, and perhaps a httle touched at ray forlorn 
miserable appearance, be enqiiired again , what I wanted him to Si 
Thus invited a second time, I told bim I wished him to allow i 
get a new borne, and to find a new master ; that as sure as I '' 
back to live again with Mr. Covey, I should be killed by bim ; 
he would never forgive my coming home with complaints ; th 
since I had lived with him be bad almost crushed my spirit, and 
believed he would ruin me for future service, and that my life 
not safe in his bands. This Master Thomas, my liroUier in 
rkurrk, regarded as " nonsense." There was no danger that U 
Covey would kill me : he was a good man, industrious, and religion 
and he would not think ofremoving me from that borne; "besidec 
said he — and this T found was the most distressing thought of all 
him — " if you should leave Covey now that your year is but hi 
expired, I should lose your wages for the entire year. You heloi 
to Mr. Covey for one year, and you nuist ijo Imck to him, come wh 
will ; and you must not trouble me with any more stories ; and 
you don't go immediately home, I'll get hold of yoii myself." Th 
was just what I expected when I found be bad prtjuiiged the 
against me. " But, sir," I said, " I am sick and tired, and I cu 
get home to night." At this be somewhat relented, &nd &nti 


aOowed me to stay the night, but said I must be off early in the 
morning, and concluded his directions by making me swallow a 
huge dose of Epsom salts, which was about the only medicine 
ever administered to slaves. 

It was quite natural for . Master Thomas to presiune I was 
Mgning sickness to escape work, for he probably thought that were 
lie in the place of a slave, with no wages for his work, no praise 
far well doing, no motive for toil but the lash, he would try every 
pcesible scheme by which to escape labour. I say I have no doubt 
of this ; the reason is that there were not, under the whole 
hetvens, a set of men who cultivated such a dread of labour as did 
the slave-holders. The charge of laziness against the slaves was 
ever on their lips, and was the standing apology for every species 
of cruelty and brutality. These men did, indeed, hterally '' bind 
i^eavy burdens, grievous to be borne, and laid them upon men's 
Bhoolder's, but they themselves would not move them with one of 
their fingers." 



A deeplega night — Betmn to Covoy's — Pimufacd by l-rni — The chase defeato 
Vengeance poBtpuned — Musings in the woods — Tbe alteiTuitive~— Deplonbh 
Bpectsole — Nig'ht in tbe wooda — Eipccted attack — Ai'toBted. by Sandy — ; 
friend, not a master — Sandy's hoiipilality — The aith-cake supper — Inte: 
with Sandy — His odvict-— Sandy u conjurer as well as a CfariBtiaii — 
niAgic root — Strange meeting with Corey— His manner — Covey's 
fare — iDefemdve resolve — The fl^ht — The viotory, and its results. 

SLEEP does not always come to the relief of the weary in fc 
and broken in spuit ; eapecially is it so when past troublef 
only foreshadow coming disasters. My last hopo had been e 
guiahed. My maater. whom I did not venture to hope would protei 
me as n man, had now refused to protect me aa hia property, i 
had cast me back, covered with reproaches aud bruises, into t 
bauds of one who was a stranger to that mercy which is the sonl 
therehgion he professed. May the reader never know what it is 1 
spend such a night as that was to mc, whicli heralded my retoi 
to the den of Jiorrors from which I had made a temporary e 

I remained — alecp I did not — all night at St. Michaels, and ii 
the morning I stai-ted off, obedient to the order of Master Thorn 
feeling that 1 had no friend on earth, and doubting if I had oi 
heaven. I reached Covey's about nine o'clock; and just i 
stepped into the field, before I Iiad reached the house, true t* 
Bnakish habits, Covey darted out at me from a fence comer, in w 
he had secreted himself for the pui'pose of securing rae. He v 
provided witli a cowskin and a rope, and he evidently intended t 
lif wf 11//. and wreak his vengeance on me to the fullest extent. 1 — 
should have been au easy prey had he succeeded in getting h'^^ 

hands upon me, for I had taken no refreshment since the pre 

vions noon ; and this, with the other trying circumstances hat~ " 
greatly reduced my strength. I, however, darted back into thi^M 
woods before the ferocious hound could reach me, and burie^iH 
myself in a thicket, where he lost sight of me. Tbe com£el^fl 


IN THE W00D3. 

aSarded me shelter in getting to the woods. But for the tall coru, 
Covey would have overtakeu me, and made me his captive. He 
was much chagrined that he did not, and garo up the chase very 
reluctantly, as I conld aee by bis angry movemeuts aa he returned 
to the bouec. 

Well, now I am clear of Oovey and his lash, for a little time. I 
am in the wood, buried in its sombre gloom, and hushed in its 
solemn silence ; hidden from all human eyes, shut in with nature, 
and with nature's God. and absent from all human contrivances. 
Here was a good place to pray ; to pray for help, for deliverance — 
a prayer I had often made before. But how could I pray ? Covey 
ooold pray — Captain Aidd conld pray. I would fain pray ; but 
doubts arising, partly from my neglect of the means of grace, and 
partiy from the aham rehgion which everywhere prevailed, cast in 
mj mind a doubt upon all religion, oud led me to the conviction 
that prayers were unavailing and delusive. 

Life in itself bad almost beuome bui'densome to me. All my 
mitward relations were against me ; I must stay here aud stai've, 
or go homo to Covey's and have my dosh torn to pieces and my 
B^it humbled under the cruel lash of Covey. These were the 
alternatives before me. The day was long and ii'tsouie. I was 
ireak from the toils of the previous day, and from want of food 
and sleep, and 1 bad been so little concerned about my appearance 
that I had not yet waslied tlie blood from my garments. I was an 
otiject of horror, even to myself. Life in Baltimore, when most 
oppressive, was a pai-adise to this. What had I done, what had 
my parents done, tltat tiuch a life as this should be mine ? That 
day, in the woods. I would have exchanged luy manhood for the 
bratehood of an ox. 

Night came. I waa atill in the woods, and still imresolved what 
to do. Hunger had not yet pinched utc to the point of going home, 
and I laid myself down in the leaves to rest ; for I had been watcli- 
itig for hunters all day. but not being molested by tljem during 
the day, I expected no disturbance from them during the night. 
I had come to the conclusion that Covey relied upon hunger to 
drive me liome, and in this I was quite correct, for he mode no 
effort to catch me after the morning. 

Daring Uie night 1 heard the step of a man in the woods. He 
was Domiug toward the place where I lay. A person laying still 


Iifis the advftntage over one walking in the woods in the dftj 
and tbia advantage is much greater at nigbt. I was uot able ta 
enijage in physical struggle, and I bad recourse to tbo comnK 
resort of the weak. I hid myself in the leaves to prevent discovery, 
But as the night rambler in the wooda drew nearer I found bim 
be a Jriml. not an enemy, a slave of Mr. Wilbam Groomes, 
Eastou, a kind-hearted fellow named ■■ Sandy." Sandy Hved 
Mr. Kemp that year, aboat four miles from St. Michaels. He, 
like myself, had been hired out that year, but unlike myself 
not been hired out to be broken. He was tbe husband of & 
woman who lived in the lower part of " Poppie Neck," and h© wi 
now on bia way through tbe woods to see her and spend th 
Sabbath with her. 

As soon aa I had ascertained that tbe disturber of my solitad 
was uot an enemy, but the good-heai-ted Sandy — a man as fomon 
among the slaves of the neighbour hood for his good nature as fo 
hie good sense — I came out from my hiding-place and made m; 
known to him. I explained the circumstances of the past ti 
days which liad driven mo to tbe wooda, and be deeply compa 
Bionated my distress. It was a bold thing for him to shelter m 
and I could not ask him to do so, for bad I been found in hia 111 
lie would have suffered the penalty of thirty-nine lashes on h 
hare hack, if not something worse, Bnt Sandy was too generoi 
to permit the fear of punishment to prevent his relieving a brot 
bondman from hunger and exposure, and therefore, on hia ow 
motion , I accompanied him home to his wife — for the house and 1< 
were hers, as she was a free woman. It was about midnight, bi 
hia wife was called up, a fii'e was made, some Indian meal wi 
soon mixed with salt and water, and an ash-cake was baked in 
huiTy, to reheve my liunger. Sandy's wife was not behind him i 
kiudiieas ; both seemed to esteem it a privilege to succour me, fi 
altliough I was bated by Covey and by my master, I was loved b 
the colom'ed people, because they thought I was hated for n) 
knowledge, and persecuted because I was feared. I was tl 
only slave in that region who could read or write. There had 
one other man, belonging to Mr. Hugh Hamilton, who could rei 
but he, poor fellow, had sliortly after coming into the neighboi 
hood been sold off to the far South, I saw him ironed, 
to be carried to Easton for sale, pinioned hke a yearling for 


slanghter. My knowledge was now the pride of my brother slaves, 
;ind Qo doubt Sandy felt something of the general iutcrest in me 
■ lu that accoimt. The supper was soon ready, and though I have 
smoe feasted witli honourablea, lord mayors, and aldermen over 
die sea. my anpper on ash-cake and cold water, with Sandy, was 
ihf meal of all my life moat sweet to my taste, and now most vivid 
to my memory. 

Hnpper over, Sandy and I went to a discussion of what was 
piuimltif for me, under the perils and hardships which overshadowed 
my path. The question was, must I go back to Covey, or must I 
attempt to run away ? Upon a careful survey the latter was found 
tc) be impossible ; for I was on a narrow neck of land, every avenue 
from which would bring me in sight of pursuers. There was 
Cheaapeake Bay to the right, and " Pot-pie " river to tlie left, and 
St. Michaels and its neighbourhood occupied the only apace through 
which there was any retreat. 

I found Sandy an old adviser. He was not onlya rehgious man, 
bat he profesBed to beheve in a system for which I have no name. 
He was a genuine African, and had Inherited some of the so-called 
magical powers said to be possessed by the eastern nations. He 
lold me that he could help me ; that in those very woods there was 
all herb which in the moruuig might be found, possessing all the 
piiwers required for my protection — I put his words in my own 
l&iignage — and that if I would take his advice he woiUd procure 
me the rootof the herb of which he spoke. He told me, further. 
Utat if I would take that root and wear it on my right side it would 
l)F impossible for Covey to strike me a blow ; tliat with tliis I'oot 
ab'>m iny person no white man could whip me. He said he had 
carried it for years, and tliat he had fully tested its virtues. He 
had never received a blow from a slave-holder since he had carried 
[1, wid he never expected to receive one, for he meant always to 
carry that root for protection. Ho knew Covey well, for Mrs. Covey 
w«s the daughter of Mrs. Kemp ; and he, Sandy, had heard of the 
barbarous treatment to which 1 had been subjected, and he wanted 
to do eometliing for me. 

Nurw all this talk about the root was to me very absm'd aud 
ridicolous, if not positively sinful. I at tirst rejected the idea that 
th(t aimple carrying a root on my right side — a root, by the way. 
over which I walked eveiy time I went into the woods — could 


poaess any such mEtgto power as he &Bcribed to it, and I was, thi 
fore, not dispoBed to ciunber my pocket with it. I had a positii 
aversion to all pretenders to " dii'iiuition." It was beneath one 
my inteUigence to countenance sncb dealings with the devil as ti 
power implied. But with all uiy learning — it wae really predoi 
— Sandy was more than a match for me. " My book-learning," 1 
said, " had not kept Covey off me " — a powerful argument jn 
then — and he entreated me, with flashing eyes, to try this. If 
did me no good it could do me no liarm. and it wonld cost t 
nothing any way. Sandy was so earnest and so confident of tl 
good quahties of this weed that, to please him, I was induced 
take it. He bad been to me the good Samaritan, and bad, almo 
providentially, found me and helped me when 1 could not he! 
myself ; how did I know but that the hand of the Lord was in it 
With thoughts of this sort I took the root from Sandy and 
them in my right hand pocket. 

This was Sunday morning. Sandy now m'ged me to go Iiom 
with all speed, and to walk up bravely to the house, as thongll 
nothing bad happened. I saw in Sandy too deep an insight intfl 
human natm'e, with all his superstition, not to have dome respect 
for his advice ; and perhaps, too, a alight gleam or shadow of hiff 
superstition had fallen on me. At any rate, I stai-ted off tow&rA 
Covey's as directed. Having, tho previous night, poured my grieb 
into Sandy's ears and enlisted him in my behalf, having made hts 
wife a sharer in my sorrows, and having also become well refreahed 
by sleep and food, I moved off quite courageously toward thfl 
dreaded Covey's. Singularly enough, just as I entered the yard 
gate I met him and his wife, dressed in their Sunday best, looking. 
as smiling as angels, on their way to chuith. His manner _ 
fectly astonished me. There was something really benignant in 
his countenance. He spoke to me as never before, told me thai 
the piga had got into the lot and he wished me to go and drive then 
out ; inquired how I was, and seemed an altered man. Thit 
extraordinary conduct really made me begin to think that Sandy' 
herb had more virtue in it than I, in my pride, had been willing 
to allow, and had the day been other than Simday I should har* 
attributed Covey's altered manner solely to tlie power of the root 
I suspected, however, that the Sahbath, not the root, was the n^ 
explanation of the change. His rehgion hindered him from ln«ali 

ing the Sabbath, but not from breaking my skin on any other day 
tlian ^tmd&y. He had more respect for tho day than for the 
for whom the day was mercifally given ; for while he would cat and 
sl&ah my body during the week, he would on Sunday teach me the 
value of my soul, and the way of life and salvation by Jeans Christ. 
All went well with me till Monday morning ; and then, whether 
the root had loat its virtue, or whether my tormenter had gone deeper 
into the black art than I had— as was sometimes aaid of him, — or 
vbeilier he Lad obtained a special indulgence for his faithful Son- 
day's worship, it is not necessary for me to know or to inform the 
reader ; but this much I may say, the pious and benignant smile 
which graced the face of Covey on Swiutni/ whoUy disappeared on 

Long before daylight I was called up to feed, rub, and curry the 
horses. I obeyed the call, as I should have done Lad it been made at 
an earlier Lour, for I had brought my mind t<i a firm resolve during 
that Sunday's reflection to obey every order, [lowever unreasonable, 
if it were possible, and if Mr. Covey should then ujidertake to beat 
me to defend and protect myself to the beat of my abihty. My 
reUgiouB views on the subject of resisting my master had suffered 
a serious shock by the savage persecution to wliicb I had been 
anfajected. and my hands were no longer tied by my rehgion. 
Master Thomas's indifference had severed the last Unk. I Lad 
backahdden from this point in the alaves' religious creed, and I 
jt-OD had occasion to make my fallen state known to my Snnday- 
pions brother, Covey- 
While I was obeying his order to feed and get the horses ready 
for the field, and wLen I was in the act of going up the stable loft, 
for the purpose of throwing down aomc blades. Covey sneaked mto 
thei stable, in Lis pecnhar way, and seizing me suddenly by the leg, 
he brought me to the stable-floor, giving my newly-mended body a 
terrible jar. I now forgot all about my fiitu, and remembered my 
pledge to stand up in my own defence. TLe brute was skilfully 
endeavouring to gel a sLp-kuot on my legs, before I could draw up 
my feet. As soon as I found what he was up to. I gave a sudden 
Spring — my two days' rest Lad been of much service to me — and 
by that means, no doubl. be was able to bring me to the floor so 
heavily. He was defeated in his plan of tying me. While 
d<Twa, be seemed to think he Lad me very securely in his 


power. He UttJe tliougbt ho was — as tlie rowdies 
— '■ in " for a " rongh and tumble " fight : but sucli was the 1 
Whence came the daring spirit nccegsary to grapple with a n 
wlio eight-and-forly hoiirs before, could, with his ahghtest w< 
have made me tremble like a leaf in a sturm, I do not know i 
any rate I 'tm reiolivd tnjuilit, and what was better stUl, I actus 
was hard at it. The fighting madness had come upon me, and 
fonnd my strong fingcm tirmly attached to the tliroat of the tyra 
aa heedless of consequences, at the moment, aa if we stood 
equals before the law. The very colour of the man was forgott 
I felt supple as a cat, and was ready for him atevery turn. Evi 
blow of his was parried, though I dealt no blows in return. 1 1 
strictly ou the ilr/rnxice, preventing him from injuring me, rati; 
than trying to injure him. I flung him on to the ground t 
times when he meant to have hiu'led me there. I hold him . 
firmly by the throat that his blood followed my nails, He held n 
and I held him. 

All was fail' thus far, and the contest was abont equal. My j 
sistauce was entirely unexpected, and Covey was taken all aback' 
it. and be trembled in every limb. " Arc you going to rfgitt, j 
scoundrel?" said he. To which I returned a pohte'"y«, *■ 
steadily gazing my interrogator in the eye, to meet the first i 
proaeh or dawning of the blow which I expected ray answer wot 
call fortli. But tlie conflict did not long remain equal. Covl 
soon cried lustily for help ; not that 1 was obtaining any marki 
advantage over him, or was injuring him, but because he was g 
none over me, and was not able, single-handed, to conquer me. 
called for his cousin Hughes to come to his assistance, and no 
the scene was changed. I was compelled to give blows, as well i 
to parry them, and since I was in any case to suffer for resistaQce,( 
felt — as the musty proverb goes — that I " might as well be luuigt 
for an old sheep as a lamb." 1 was still defensive toward Cov^ 
but aggressive toward Hughes, on whom at his first approach, 
dealt a blow which fairly sickened him. He went off, bending ovi 
with paiu, and manifesting no disposition to come again within n 
reach. The poor fellow was in the act of trying to catch and 1 
my right hand, and while flattering himself with success, I gave hi 
a kick which Bent him staggering away in pain, at the same tin 
that I held Oovey with a firm hand. 


liken completely by surpriae. Covey seeriied to have lost his usual 
Ji and coobiess. He was frighteued, nad stood puiHng aod 
ing. Beemingly imahle to command words or blows. Wheu he 
pa* Uiat Hughes was standing lialf beat with pain, his courage 
Bile gone, the cowardly tyrant asked if I "meant to persist in my 
Mrsbnee. " ,1 told him I ■' '//'/ iiii'/in to retUl, come what might ; 
It I Imd been treated like a brute duriug the last six months, and 
tf I should stand it no longer." With that he gave me a shake, 
knd ftttemptod to drag me toward a stick of wood that was lying 
Bttoateide the stable door. He meant to knock me down with it, 
bat jittt as he leaned over to get the stick, I seized him with both 
liaocb, by llie collar, and with a vigoi'ous and sudden snatch. I 
bnagbt my assailant harmlessly, his full length, on the not over 
clew ground, for we were now in the cow-yard. He hfid selected 
tli» place for the fight, and it was but right that he sliould have the 
•^riatages of his own selection. 

By tiiia time Bill, the hired man. came home. He had been to 
Mr- Helmsley's to spend Sunday with his nominal wife. Covey and 
'lud been at skirmishing from before daybreak till now. and the 
"W WM iiDw shooting his beams almost over the eastern woods, and 
'"'■ Were still at it. I could not see where the matter was to termi. 
"'te. He evidently was afraid to let me go, lest I ahoiild again make 
"^to the woods, otherwise be would probably have obtained arms 
^fiu the boose to frighten me. Holding me, he called upon Bill to 
I *'«« him. The scene liere had something comic about it. Bill, 

R> knew precisely what Covey wished him to do, affected igoor- 
1, and protended ho did not know wiiat to do. " What shall I 
Uwter Covey ? " said Bill. ■' Take hold of him I — take hold of 
— l" said Covey. With a toss of his head, peculiar to Bill, 
"' taid, " indeed Master Covey, I want to go to work." " This 
" ;/i»wr irnrk," said Covey; "take hold of him," Bill replied, 
'''lUi spirit: "My master hired me to work, and net to help 
y"n whip Frederick." It was my tiu-n to speak. "Bill,'" said 
!■ "don't pat your hands on me." To which lie rephed : "My 
''i>d, Frederick. I ain't goin' to tech ye;" and Bill walked off, 
^''iving Covey and myself to settle our differences aa best we 

But my t>rcBent advantage was threatened when I saw Caroline 
—the bUv« woman of Covey — coming to the cow-shed to milk, for 


Bhe was a powerful woman, and conld have mastered me easilj 
exhausted as I was. 

As Boou as she came near. Covey attempted to rally lier to h 
aid. Sti'angely and fortunately, Caroline was iu no humour to b 
a hand in any such sport. We were all in open rebellion I 
morning. Caroline answered the command of her master " 
hold of me," precisely aa Bill had done, but iu her it was at f 
greater peril, for she was the slave of Covey, and be could do v 
he pleased with her. It was not ao with Bill, and Bill knew i 
Samuel Han-is, to whom Bill belonged, did not allow his slaves t 
be beaten, unless they were guilty of some crime which the \a 
would punish. But poor Cai'oline, like myself, was at the mero 
of the merciless Covey, nor did she escape the dire effects of hi 
refusal : he gave her several sharp blows. 

At length, after two hours had elapsed, the contest was given oT«d 
Letting go of me, puffing and blowing at a gi'cat rate, Covey swd 
" Now, you scoundrel, go to your work ; I would not have wbippe 
you half as hard if you had not resisted." The fact was, he 1 
not whipped mo at all. He had not, in all the scuffle, drawn 
single drop of blood from me. I had dra^ii blood from him, am 
should even without this satisfaction have beeu victorious, becana 
my aim had not been to injure him, but to prevent bis injuringnu 

During the whole six months I lived with Covey after this b 
action, he never again laid the weight of his finger on me in a 
He would occasionally say he did not want to have to get hold i 
me again — a declaration which I bad no difficulty in beheving ; i 
I bad a secret feeling which answered, " you had better not wish 1 
get hold of me again, for you will be likely to come off worse in 
second fight than you did in the first." 

Well, my dear reader, this battle with Mr. Covey, undignified ■ 
it was, and as I fear my naiTation of it is, was tlie turning point ii 
my "life as a slave." It rekindled in my breast the smouldering 
embers of liberty ; it brought up my Baltimore dreams, and revived 
& sense of my own manhood. I was a changed being after thi 
fight. I was nothing before ; I wat a man now. It recalled to til 
my crashed self-respect, and my self-confidence, and inspired at 
with a renewed determination to be a free man. A man wiUiOQ 
force is without the essential dignity of humanity. Human c 
is BO constituted, that it cannot honour a helpless man, though ita 


I this it cannot do long if aigns of power do 
not uise. 

Heonlyc&n understand the effect of this oombiit on my spirit, 
« baa himself incnrred something, hazarded something, in repel- 
gtbc imjiuL and cruel aggi-essions of a tjTant. Covoy was a 
knl and a cuwardly cmc withal. After resieting him, I felt as I 
r felt before. It was a resurrection from the dark and pes- 
fcrotts tomb of skvery, to the heaven of comparative freedom. 
iJ no longer a servile coward, trembling under the frown of a 
1 of the dust, but my long-cowed spirit was roused to 
b Kttitade of independence. I had reached the point at which 
Iwaa not a/rnid to die. This spirit made me a freeman in 
I. thoagfa I still remained a slave in faiin. When a. slave 
Dnut be fiogged, he is more than half free. He has a domain 
lliro«d as his own manly heart to defend, and he is really " a 
r on the earth." From this time until my escape from 
', I was never fairly whipped. Several attempts were made, 
I they were always unsuccessful. Bruises I did get, hut the 
! I have described was the end of that brutihcation to 
b Blavery had subjected me. 

J reader may tike to know why, after I had so grievously 
1 Mr. Covey, he did not have me taken In hand by the 
'd, why the law of Maryland, which assigned 
; to the slave who resisted his master, was not put iu foroo 
tut me ; at any rate why I was not taken up, as was usual in 
i cases, and publicly whipped, as an example to other slaves, 
Ud as a means of deterring me from committing the same 
^ce again. I confess that the easy manner in which I got oS 
"u always a surprise to me, and even now I cannot fully explain 
"" cause, thoogh the probability is that Oovey was ashamed to 
'">t« it known that he had been mastered by a boy of sixteen. 
''■■■ enjoyed the onbounded and very valuable reputation of being 
' fitBt-rate overseer and negro- breaker, and by means of this 
^liitation he was able to procure his hands at verj' triEing oom- 
l"^iiBalioD and with very great ease. His interest and his pride 
"oiild mutually suggest the wisdom of passing the matter by in 
iiivQce. The stoty that he had undertaken to whip a lad and had 
^o resisted, would of itself be damaging to him in the estimattOQ 
fff slave- holders. 


It is perhaps not altogether creditable to my natnral temp 
that after this conflict with Mr. Covey I did, at times, purpose 
aim to provoke him to an attack, by refusing to keep with t' 
other hands in the field, but I could never bully him to anoth 
battle. I was determined on doing him serious damage if he e^ 
again attempted to lay violent hands on me. 

" Hereditary bondmen know ye not 
Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow ? " 



*jigp of maslere— Benefits derived by change— Fome of the fight with Covey 
- — ^Rwkkisi imcooectn^AlihoiTence of slavery— Ability to read a cauao of 
j»iejudi(ie — The holidajB — How spent — Shiup hit at alavecy —Effects of 
t-aoliiUrij — Difference between Covey nod FreeUod — An irrcligiouB mriBter 
^»»T[crred to a religious one — Hard lite nt- Covey's useful — Improved con- 
ditiun does not bnng nmtentmont — CongouiaJ eodety atFreeland's— Ssbbath- 
— Secrecy necessary — Affeotionate relations of tutor and pupils — 
* and friondahip among hIbvcs — Slavery the inviter of vengeance. 

TY term of aervioe Trith Edward Covey expired ou Christmas 

day. 183i. I gladly enough left him, althougL he was by 

8 time as gentle as a Iamb. My home for the year 1635 was 

»3y secured, my next master selected. There waa always 

excitoment about the changing of hands, but I had 

rae somewhat reckless and cared httle into whose hands I 

1. determined to tight my way. The report got abroad that I 

* hard to whip, tliat I was guilty of kicking back, tliat though 
WiersUy a good-natured negro, I Bometimea " got the devil in 

These sayings were rife iu Talbot Coimty, and they 
Oitingaished me amongmy servile brethren. Slaves would some- 
Ms fight with each other, and even die at each other's hands, 
rt there were very few who were not held in awe by a white man. 
lined from the cradle to tliink and feel that their masters 
F^T" aaperior, and iDvested with a sort of sacredness, there were 

* who could rise above the coutrol which that sentiment eser- 
'*3. I had freed myself from it, and the thing was known. One 
" slieop will spoil a whole flock. I was a bad sheep. I hated 
'*wy. Blave-holders, and all pertaining te them ; and I did not 
" to inspire others witli the same feeling wherever and whenever 
P'^rtunity waa presented. This made me a marked lad among 
* slaves, and a suspected one among slave-holders, A knowledge 
'"y abihty to read and write got pretty widely spread, which 

"^8 Very moeh against me. 



Tbe days between Christmas and New Year'a day were alioi 
the slaves as holidays. During these days all regular work wi 
suspended, and there was nothing to do but keep fires and h 
after the stock. We regarded this time as our own by the grace 
ovir masters, aud we therefore used it or abused It as we please 
Those who had families at a distance were expected to visit tht 
and spend with them the entire week. The younger slaves or 
nnmarried ones were expected to see to the cattle, and to attend 
Incidental duties at home. The holidays were variously speni 
The sober, thinking, induatrious ones would employ tliemselves 
manufacturing com brooms, mats, horse collars, and baskets, aud 
some of these were very well made. Another class spent their 
time in hunting opossums, coons, rabbits, and other gai 
the majority spent the hohdaya in sports, ball-playing, wrest 
boxing, running foot-races, dancing, and drinking whiskey; an 
this latter mode was generally most agreeable to their master 
A slave who would work during the holidays was thought by b 
master undeserving of holidays. There was in this simple act ( 
continued work an accusation against slaves, and a slave could ni 
help thinking that if he made three dollars during the holidft; 
he might make three hundred during the year. Not to be droi 
during the holidays was disgi'aceful. 

The fiddling, dancing, and "jubilee beating" was carried on i 
all directions. This latter performance was strictly southera. ', 
supplied the place of violin, or of other musical inatruments. ai 
was played so easily that almost every farm had its " Juba" beat4 
The performer improvised as he beat tlie instument, marking tl 
words as he sang so as to have them fall pat with the movement i 
his hands. Among a mass of nonsense and wild frolic, once in 
while a sharp hit was given to the meanness of slave-hol 
Take the following for example : 

We roue de whent, Wv pool de neat, 

Bq' gib UB de ooru ; Dvy oib na de ddn ; 

We bttke de bread, And dat's de wsy 

Dey pb ue de oniat ; Dey talto us in ; 

We ait de nwd. We Bldm de pot, 

Dey gib ui de buea ; Dej give us de liquor. 

And say dit a good enoug-li for ni 

Watt over I walk uver ! 

Your butter and de fut ; 

Poor nigger yon cttn't get over dat. 


pThis is not a gammsry of the palpable injaatice and fraud of 
alkvery, giving, as it doGS, to the lazy and idle the comforts which 
God designed should be given solely to the honest labourer. But 
to the holidays. Judging fi-om my own observation and ex- 
perience, I believe those holidays were among the most effective 
means in the hands of slave-holders of keeping down the spirit of 
insurrection among the slaves. 

To enslave men successfully and safely it ia necessary to keep 
their minds occupied with thoughts and aapirations short of the 
liberty of which tliey are deprived. A certain degree of attainable 
good must be kept before them. These hohdays served the pur- 
pose of keeping tlic minda of the slaves occupied with prospectivo 
pleasure witliin the limits of slavery. The young man could go 
wooing, the married man to see his wife, the father and mother to 
see their children, the industrious and money-loving could make a 
few dollars, the gi'eat wrestler could win laurels, the young people 
meet and enjoy each other's society, the drunken man could get 
plenty of whiskey, and the religious man could hold prayer- 
meetings, preach, pray, and exhort. Before the hohdays there were 
pleasures In prospect ; after the holidays they were pleasures of 
memory, and they served to keep out thoughts and wishes 
of a more dangerous character. These holidays were also 
conductors or safety-valves, to carry off the explosive elements 
inseparable from the human mind when reduced to the condition 
of slavery. But for theae the rigours of bondage would have 
become too severe for endurance, and the slave would have been 
forced to dangerous desperation. 

Tbns they became a part and parcel of the gross wrongs and 

inhumanity of slavery. Ostensibly they were institutions of 

benevolence designed to mitigate the rigours of slave life, but 

practically they were a fraud instituted by human selfishness, the 

better to secure the ends of injustice and oppression. The slave's 

happiness was not the end sought, but the master's safety. It 

was uiit from a generous unconcern for the slave's labour, but from 

a prudent regard for the slave system. I am strengthened in this 

opinion from the fact that most slave-holders liked to have their 

daTBB spend the liohdays in such a manner as to be of no real 

benefit to them. Everything like rational enjoyment was frowned 

I npoQ, and only those wild and low sports peculiar to semi -civilized 



peopio were cnconraged. The licence alloired appeared to hsTe no 
other object than to disgust the staves with their temporary 
freedom, and to make theni a3 glad to i-otum to tlieir work as 
they were to leave it. I have known alaTe-holders reaort to 
cunning tricks, with a view of getting their slavea deplorably 
drunk. The usual plan was to make bets on a slave that he could 
drink more whiskey than any other, and so induce a rivalry among 
them for the mastery in this degradation. The scenes bronght 
about in this way were often scandalous and loathsome in the 
extreme. Whole multitudes might be foimd stretched out in brutal 
drunkenness, at once helpless and disgusting. Thus, when the 
slave asked for hours of " virtuous Hbei-ty." hia cunning naast«r 
took advantage of his ignorance and cheered bim witli a dose 
of vicious and revolting dissipation artfully labelled with the name 
of " lihertij." 

We were induced to drink, I among the rest, and when the 
hohdaya were over we all staggered up from our filth, and wal- 
lowing, took a long breath, and went away to om- various fields of 
work, feehng, upon the whole, rather glad to go from that which 
our masters had artfidly deceived ns into the belief was freedom. 
hack again to the arms of slavery. It was not what wc bad taken 
it to be, nor what it would have been, had it not boon abused by 
us. It was about as well to be a slave to a master, as to be a slave 
to whiskey and rum, When the slave was drunk tlie slave-holder 
had no fear tliat lie would escape to the North. It was the sober, 
thoughtful slave who was dangerous, and needed the vigilance of 
his master to keep him a slave. 

On the first of January, 1835, I proceeded from St. Michaels to 
Mr. Wilham Freeland's — my now home. Mi'. Freeland lived only 
three miles from St. Michaels, on an old, worn-out farm. 
which required much labour to render it anything like a self- 
supporting establishment. 

I fotmd Mr. Freeland a different man from Covey. Though not 
rich, he was what might have been called a well-bred Southem 
gentleman. Though a slave-holder and sharing in common with 1 
them mauy of the vices of his class, he seemed aUve to the sentc- J 
meut of honoiu", and had also some sense of justice, and soi 
feelings of humanity. He was fretful, impulsive, and passionatS) 
but free fr'om the mean and selfish characteristics which distil 

W11.LU1I FREEI.Uai. 121 

ihed the creature from whom I had happily escaped. Mr. 
L vrae open, frank, imperative, and practised no conceal- 
, ftnd disdained lo play the spy ; in all these qualittes he 
e opposite of Covey. 
Y poor weather- heaten bark now readied smoother water and 
ttiti-er breezes. My stormy Ufe at Covey's had been of service to 
The things that would have seemed very hard had I gone 
pect to Mr. Freelond's from the home of Master Thomas were 
" trifles light as aii'." I was still a field hand, and had come 
^prefer the severe labonr of the field to the ener\'ating duties of 
Lse servant. 1 had become large and strong, and had begmi 
e pride m the fact that I could do as mucli hard work as 
e of the oldrr men. There was much rivalry among slaves at 
K to which could do the most work, and masters generally 
ight to promote such rivalry. But some of ua were too wise to 
e with each otlier very long. Such racing, we had the sagacity 
p set), was not Ukely to pay. We had our times for inGasuriug 
each other's strength, but we knew too much to keep up the com- 
petition so long as to produce an extraordinary day's work. We 
ffaiBvr that if by extraordinaiy exertion a large quantity of work 
^fts done in one day, on its becoming known to Die master, it 
^Higfat lead him to require the same amount every day. This 
^Bonght was enough to bring us to a dead halt when ever so much 
^■Kited in the race. 

^B^t Mr. Preeland's my condition was every way improved. I was 
^BloDger the scapt^goat that I was when at Covey's, where every 
^BODg thing done was saddled upon mo, aud where other slaves 
^be whipped over my shoulders. Bill Smith was protected by a 
^BattiTe prohibition, made by his rich master. — and lite cimmand 
^B the TVfh slave-bolder was lain to the poor one. Hughes was 
^B^Died by bis relationship to Covey, and the hands hn-ed tempo- 
^Rrily escaped llogguig. I was the general pack horse ; but Mr. 
^ReeUnd held every man individually responsible for his own 
^■pndact. Mr. Freeland, like Mr. Covey, gave his hands enough to 
^Bkt. but, unlike Mr. Covey, he gave tbem time to take their meals. 
^V^ Worked us hard during the day, hut gave us the uigbt for rest. 
^■Vieftere seldom in the field after dark in the evenin«j, or before sun- 
^P*** the morning. Our implements of Inrtbajidry were of the most 
^Vi^Rfved pattern, and much superior to those used at Covey's, 


Notwithstanding all tlie improvement in my relations, notwith-^ 
standing the many advantages I bad gained by nay new liome anctfl 
my now master. I was still restless and discontented. I was aboutl 
as hard to please with a master as a master is with a slave. Thtffl 
freedom from bodily torture and unceasing labour had given mJM 
mbd an increasetl sensibility, and imparted to it greater activity.! 
I was not yet exaotly in right relations. " Howbeit, that was not ' 
first which is spiritu al, but t hat which is natural, and afterwa rd 
tharwliich"ii^iritiiaT." When entombed at Covey's, shrouded in 
/darkneBs and physical wretchedness, temporal well-being was tho 
/ grand desideratum ; but, temporal wants snpplied, the spirit put 
/ in its claim. Beat and cuff your slave, keep him hungry an 
spiritless, and he will follow the lead of his master like a dx>g 
bat feed and clothe him well, work him moderately, surround hil 
with physical comfort, and dreams of freedom intrude. Give bii 
a bud master, and he wishes for a good master ; give him a goa 
master and he aspires to became his own master. Such is hums 
nature. You may place a man ao far beneath the level of his kini 
that he loses all just ideas of bis natural position, but elevate hii 
a httle, and the clear conception of rights rises to life and powei 
and leads him onward. Thus, elevated a little at Freeland's, 
dreams called into being by that good man. Father Lawson, wlie) 
in Baltimore, began to visit me again ; shoots from the tree c 
\ hberty began to put forth buds, and dim hopes of the future bega 
■' to dawn. 

I found myself in congenial society. There were Henry Harril 
John Harris, Handy Caldwell, and Sandy Jenkins, this last of tb 
root-preventive memory. 

Henry and John Harris were brothers, and belonged to Ml 
Freeland. They were both remarkably bright and intelligent 
though neither of them could read. Now for my mischief! 
had not been long there before I was up to n)y old tricks. 
began to address my companions on the subject of educatioc 
and the advantages of intelhgence over ignorance, and, as fc 
as I dared, I tried to show the agency of Ignorance in kee^cs^ 
men in slavery. Webster's spelling book and the Coliunbi^^^ 
Oi-ator were looked into again. Aa summer came on, and tK3< 
long Sabbath days stretched themselves over our idlenea^| 
I became uneasy, and wanted a Sabbath -school, wherein ^H 

ucroisc Taj gifta, and to impart the littlo knowledgo I possessed 

to my brother slaves. A house waa hardly neceaaary in the 

rammer time ; I could hold my school under the shade of an old 

oak aa well as auywhere elae. The thing was to get the scholars, 

and to have them thoroughly imbued with the deaure to learn. 

T'wo such boya were quickly found in Henry and John, and from 

them Ihe contagion spread. I was not long in bringing around me 

,frwrenty or thirty young men, who enrolled themselvea gladly in 

ly Sabbath -achool, and were willing to meet me regularly under 

tile trees or elsewhere, for the purpose of learning to read. It 

surprising wjth what ease tliey provided themselves with 

spelling'. books. These were mostly the eaat-off books of their 

yonug masters or mistresses. I taught at first on our own farm. 

All were impressed with the necessity of keeping the matter as 

printe as possible, for the fate of the St. Michaels attempt was 

still fresh in the minds of all. Our pious masters at St. Michaels 

innst not know that a few of their dusky brothers were learning 

to read the Word of God, lest they should come down upon U8 

with the lash and chain. We might have met to druik whiskey, to 

wr«Blle, fight, and to do other unseemly things, with no fear of 

Interruption from the saints or the sinners of Bt. Michaels. But to 

meet for the purpose of improving the mind and heart, by learning 

to read the sacred Scriptures, was a nuisance to be instantly stopped. 

The slave-holders there, like slave-holders elsewhere, preferred to 

Ke tile slaves engaged in degrading sports, rather than acting like 

faoni and accountable beings. Had any one asked a reUgioua 

wliile man in St. Michaels at that time the names of three men in 

Ibat town whose hves were most after the pattern of our Lord and 

Mister Jesus Christ, tiie reply would have been : Garrison West, 

clisa-leader, Wright Fairbanks, and Thomas Anld, both also 

slwB-lesders ; and yet these men ferociously rushed in upon my 

B*W«th-school, armed with mob-like missiles, and forbade our 

totetmg again on pain of having our backs subjected to the 

bloody laah. This same Gan-ison AVest was my class-leader, and 

I had thought him a Christian untU he took part in breaking up 

■"y Mhool. He led me no more after that. 

'^« plea for this outrage was then, as it is always, the tyrant's 
plea of necessity. If tlie slaves learned to read they would leam 
Bometliing more and something worse. The peace of slavery 


would be disturbed : slave rule would be endangered. I do n 
dispute tho soundnesa of tlio reasoning. If slavery were rigl 
Sftbbatb- schools for teaching slaves to read were wrong, and ong 
lo have been put down. These Christian elass-leadera were, to U 
extent, consistent. They had settled the question that slave 
was right, and by that standard they determined that Sabbat 
schools were wrong. To be sure they were Protestants, and 111 
to the great protestant right of every man to " search the 
tares " for himself; but then, to all general rules there are ex< 
tions. How covenieut 1 What crimes may not be commil 
under such ruling ! But my dear claaa-leading Methodist bretfa 
did not condescend to give me a reason for breaking np the sol 
at St. Michaels ; they had determined its deBtruction, and t 
was enough. However, I am digressing. 

After getting the school nicely started a second time, holding B 
in the woods behbd the barn, and in the shade of trees, 
needed in inducing a free coloured man wlio Uved several mils 
from our house to permit me to hold my school in a room at 1 
bouse. He incurred much perilin doing so, for the assemUi 
was an unlawful one. I had at one time more than forty scbolii 
all of the right sort, and many of them sncceeded in learning 
read. I have had various employments dttring my life, but I In 
to none with more satisfaction. An attachment, deep and 
nent, sprung up between me and my peraeonted pupils, wl 
made my parting from then intensely painful 

Besides my Sunday-school, I devoted three evenings a week **• 
my other fellow slaves during the winter. Those dear souls frt*" 
came to my Sabbatli-acliool came not beojuiae it was popular ^ 
reputable to do so, for they came with a liabihty of having f«jrW 
stripes laid on then- naked hacks. In this Christian country 0»*'' 
and women were obliged to hide in haras and woods and tr^** 
from professing Christians, in order to learn to read the liohj liif*^'' 
Their minds had been cramped andstar\'ed by their cruel maste*^ ' 
the light of education had been completely excluded, and tb**^ 
hard eaminga had been taken to educate their master's childr^"* 
I felt a delight in circumventing the tyrants, and in blessing tJ* 
victims of then- curses. , 

The yeai' at Mr, Fi-oeland's passed off very smootlity, to ojAir*^^ 
seeming. Not a blow was given me diu-ing the whole year. 



the credit of Mr. Freeland, irreligious though he were, it must be 
stated that he was the best master I ever had until I became my 
own master and assumed for myself, as I had a right to do, the 
responsibility of my own existence and the exercise of my 
own powers. 

For much of the happiness, or absence of misery, with which I passed 
this year, I am indebted to the genial temper and ardent friendship 
of my brother slaves. They were evei-y one of them manly, gener- 
ous, and brave ; yes, I say they were brave, and I will add fine 
looking. It is seldom the lot of any to have truer and better 
frwnds than were the slaves on this farm. It was not uncommon 
to charge slaves with great treachery toward each other, but I 
^Dst say I never loved, esteemed, or confided in men more than 
^ did in these. They were as true as steel, and no band of 
Ofothers could be more loving. There were no mean advantages 
*ken of each other, no tatthng, no gi\ing each other bad names 
*^ Jfr. Freeland, and no elevating one at the expense of the other. 
"© never undertook anything of any importance which was likely 
. ^ affect each other without mutual consultation. Wo were gen- 
^^BJlj a unit, and moved together. Thoughts and sentiments were 
^tehanged between us which might well have been considered 
mcendiary had they been known by oiu- masters. The slave- 
holder, were he kind or cruel, was a slave-holder still, the every-hour- 
violator of the just and inalienable rights of man, and he was 
ttierefore every hour silently but surely whetting the knife of ven- 
Sdfknce for his own throat. He never lisped a syllable in conunend- 
•tion of the fathers of this repubhc without inviting the sword, 
•ad asserting the right of rebeUion for his own slaves. 


New Tear'n thoughts and meditBtiona— Ayain hired by Froeland— Kindnew 1 
compeusBtiDD for alaveiy — Incipiont at«jis toward escape — Coiuddcratia 
leading' thoreto— HoKtility to alaveiy — Solemu vow takea — Plan divulged 
llavea — ColumbiMi Orator again— Scheme gaijis favour— Danger of disooreij 
Skill of Blave-holdent — Suspicion and oocrcion — Hymns with double ni 
— CoBBultation — Paas-word — Hope and fenr — Ignomnce of Geography 
Imaginaty diiBcultiea— Patrick Henry— Sandy, s dreamer— Route to the Nol 
mapped out — Objectiomt-FTaudi-raHSfw— Anxieties— Fear of fulnn 
Strange pnacntiment^ Coincidence — Betrayal — ArrBBts^RcBistanoe — H 
Freeland — Prison — Bmtol jests- Paosee eaten— Denial— Sandy— "" 
behind hor»as — Slave-traders — Alone in prison — Sent to Baltimore. 

I AM now at the begining of tlie year — 1836 — when the mil 
naturally occupies itself with the niysteriea of life in all i 
phases — the ideal, the real, and the actual. Saber pei)p!e lot 
botli ways at the begining of a new year, aiirveyiii|,' the errors 
the past, and providing against the possible errors of the futiu 
I, too, wag thus eserciaed. I had little pleasure in retrospect, i 
the future prospect was not brilliant. " Notwithstanding," tboti^ 
I, "the many resolutions and prayers I have made in behalf oQ 
freedom, I am, thie first day of the year 1836, Btill a slave, stilH 
wandering in the depths of a miserable bondage. My facoltii 
and powers of body and soiil are not my own, but are the prop( 
of a fellow-mortal in no sense superior to me, except that he 1 
the physical power to compel me to be owned and controlled 1 
him. By the combined physical force of the commimity I am bLS 
Blave— a slave for life." With thoughts like these I was chafe— 
and perplexed, and they rendered mo gloomy and disoonsolati^ 
The anguish of my mind cannot be written. 

At the close of the year, Mr. Freeland renewed the purcha^s 
of my services from Mr, Auld for the coming year. His promptnei 
in doing so would have been flattering to my vanity had I 1 

G, sniB 
he h^ 
ied 1^ 


■tmbitiotis to win the reputation of being a valuable slave, Eveu 

1 49 it was, I fell a alight degree of ooraplaceucy at tlie cii'cumstance. 

^It shoved him to be as veil pleased with rac as a slave as I with 

IS a master. But the kindness of the slaye-master only gilded 

ificlisiu, it detracted nothing from its weight or strength. The 

fought that men are made for other and better usea than aUvery 

ihcoTe best under the gentle treatment of a kind master. Its grim 

; could assume uo smiles able to fascinate the partially 

lighl«ned alave into a forgetfulneaa of his bondage, or of the 

liiainbleneaa of hberty. 

i WM not through the first month of my second year with the 
tifld Bad gentlemanly Mr. Freeland, before I was earnestly consider- 
>ag mi devising plans for gaining that freedom, which, when I was 
l>ttt a mere child, I had ascertained to be the natural and inborn 
''ftl't of every member of the human family. The desire for this 
^edom had been benumbed while I was under the brutalizing 
<ioiiiiflioo of Covey, and it had been postponed and rendered in- 
operative by my truely pleasant Sunday-school engagements with 
^y friends dm-ing the year at Mr. Freeland's. It had, however, 
'^^er entirely subsided. I hated slavery alirays, and my desire for 
^^edom needed only a favourable breeze to fan it into a blaze at 
" any moment. The thought of being only a creatm-e of the pres 
*''d the paxt troubled me, and I longed to have &JuUirc- — a future \ 
*'Ui hope in it. To be shut up entirely to the past and present it 
^ the soul whose hfe and happiness is unceasing progi'esa — what ' 
'Ij* prison ia to the body — a blight and mildew, a hell of iiorrors, 
-'-lj« dawning of this, auother year, awakened me &om my tempor- 
**"? slumber, and roused into life my latent but long-cherished 
*^iration8 for freedom. I became not only ashamed to be 
^Olented in slavery, but ashamed to neem to be contented, and in 
"ly present favourable condition under tlie mild rule of Mr. Free- 
'^^d, I am not sure that some kind reader will not condemn mo 
'"r being over ambitious, and greatly wanting in humihty. when I j 
**y the troth, that I now drove from me all thoughts of making 1 
^^ b«st of my lot, and welcomed only such thoughts as led me J 
*wajfrom the bouse of bondage. The intensity of my desire to ; 
"'' ftfle, quickened by my present favourable circumstances, brought / 
'Qe to the determination to act as well as to think and speak. J 
^<=<!Ordingly, at the beginning of this year 1896, 1 took upon me iv 

solemn vow, that the year which liad just now dawned npon 
should not close without witnessing an earnest attempt, on mj p 
to gain my hberty. This vow only bound me to make ^ood 
own individual escape, but my friendship for my brother- slAvea ' 
so affectionate and coufidbg that I felt it my duty, as well ae 
pleasure, to give them an opportunity to share in my determinati 
Toward Harry and John Hatris I felt a friendship as strong as i 
man can leel for another, for I could have died with and for 
To them, therefore, with suitable caution, I began to disclose 
sentiments and plans, sounding them the while on the subject 
running away, provided a good chance should offer. I need 
say that I did my rcry bent to imbue the minds of my dear fri« 
with my ovm views and feelings. Thorouglily awakened now, 
with a definite vow upon me. all my httle reading which had 
bearing on the subject of hmnan rights was rendered available 
my oommunicatioua with my friends. That gem of a book, 
Columbian Orator, with its eloquent orations and spicy dial* 
denouncing oppression and slavery — telling what had been dar 
done, and snfFered by men, to obtain the inestimable boon 
liberty, was still fresh in my memory, and whirled into the 
of my speech with the aptitude of well-trained soldiers f 
through the drill, I here begau my pubUc epeakbg. I canvi 
with Henry and John the subject of slavery, and dashed againBt! 
the condemning brand of God's eterual justice. My fellow-servanl 
were neitlier iiidiffereut, dull, nor uiapt. Our feelings were 
alike than our opinions. All, however, were ready to act whea 
feasible plan should be proposed. " Show ua how the thing is 
be done,'' said they, " and all else is clear." 

We were all, except Sandy, quite clear from slave-holding 
craft. It was in vain that we had been taught from the polpit 
St. Michaels the duty of obedience to oiur masters ; to rec( 
God as the author of our ensUtvement ; to regard running away 
an offence, alike against God and man ; to deem our enslavement 
merciful and beneficial arrangement ; to esteem our condition 
this country a paradise to that from which wo had been snatdn 
in Africa ; to consider our hard hands and dark colour 
displeasure, and as pointing us out as the proper anbjeota 
slavery ; that the relation of master and slave was OUA 
reciprocal benctita : that our work was not more servicable to at 


Uters tlion oar masters' thinking was to us. I say it was in 

vaiu tliat the palpit of St. Michaels had constantly inculcated 

liiese plausible doctrines. Natiire laughed them to scorn. For 

my part, I had beoomc alto^ther too big for my chains. Father 

Iawsoh's aoiemn words of what I ought to be, and what I might 

ho in the providence of God, had not fallen dead on my soul. I 

was fast verging toward manhood, and the prophecies of my child* 

bood were still unfulfilled. The thought that year after year had 

passed away, and my best resolutions to run away had faJlerl and 

bded, that I was still a slave, with chances for gaining my freedom 

diminished and still diminishing — was not a matter to be slept over 

t^iwily. But here camo a trouble. Such thoughts and purposes as 

! now cherished could not agitate the mind long, without malting 

ihtoisolves manifest to scmtinizing and unfriendly obsei'vera. I 

liad reason to fear tliat my sable face might prove altogether too 

"wiparont for the safe concealment of my hazardous enterprise. 

fUna of great moment have leaked through stone walla, and 

'''Waled tbeii' projectors. But hero waa no stone wall to hide my 

_Pwpo96. I would have givon my poor toll-tale face for the im- 

u)to countenance of an Indian, for it was far from proof against 

pi daily searching glances of those whom I mot. 

a the interest and business of slaveholders to study hnmau 
), and the slave nature in particular, with a view to practical 
nits ; anil many of them attained astonishing proficiency in this 
They had to deal not with earth, wood, and atone, but 
; and by every regard they had for their owu safety and 
writy, they had need to know the material ou which they 
« to woi-k. So much intellect as slaveholders had rouud them 
watching. Their safety depended on their vigilance, 
ifl of the injustice and wrong they were every hour per- 
rating, and knowing what they themselves would do if they were 
, 'ctina of such wrongs, they were constantly looking out for the 
"*^t signs of the dread retribution. They watched, therefore, 
**th akillcd and practised eyes, and learned to read, with gi-eat 
^<^<niTacy, the state of mind and heart of the slave through his 
■^ble fftce. Unusual sobriety, apparent abstraction, suUeuness, 
"c indifference, — indeed, any mood out of the common way, — 
-horded ground for Buapieion and inquiry. Relying on their 
■aperior position and wisdom, they would often hector the slave 


into a confession by affecting to know the trutli of tlieir accUBation 
" You have got the devil in you, and we'll whip liim out of yon,' 
they would say. I have often been put thus to tho torture on I 
BUspiuion. This system had its disadvantt^B as well as its oppoBii 
— the slave being sometimea whipped into the confession 
offences which he never committed. It will be seen that the goi 
old rule, " A man is to be held innocent until proved to be guilty, 
did not hold good on the slave plantation. Suspicion and tortui 
were the approved methods of getting at the truth there. It wa 
necessary, therefore, for me to keep a watch over my doportmen 
leat the enemy should get the better of me. But with all oi 
caution and studied reserve, I am not sore that Mr. Freeland d 
not suspect that all was not right with us. It did seem that 1 
watched us more narrowly after tho plan of escape had bet 
conceived and discussed amongst us. Men seldom see themulvj 
as others see them ; and while to ourselves everytliing comieotfl 
with our contemplated escape appeared concealed, Mr. Pi-eelu) 
may, with the pecuhar prescience of a slaveholder, have 
the huge thought which was disturbing our peace. As I now loa 
back, I am the more inclined to think he suspected us, becaua 
prudent as we were, I can see that we did many silly things vei 
well calculated to awaken suspicion. We were at times remarkab^ 
buoyant, singing hymns, and making joyous exclamatious, almoa 
as triumphant in their tone as if we had reached a laud of f 
and safety. A keen observer might have detected in our repeato 
singing of 

" O Canaan, sweet Canaan, 
I am bound for the land at Canaan, 

something more than a hope of reaching heaven. We meant ~ 
reach the .Vurl/r, and the North was our Canaan. 

I don't expect h) stay 

Muoli lunger bcrc. 
Bun to JesuB, Bhan the danger — 

I don't expect to stay 

Mufh longer here," 

was a favourite air, aud had a double meaning. In the lips of soc 
it mcaut the expectation of a speedy summons to a world of spiri- 

e lipB of OTir company, it simply meant a speedy pilgrimage 

to » free State, and delivemnce from all the evils and dangers of 


I had succeeded in winning to my solieme a company of five 

igmen, the very flower of the neighbourhood, eaoh one of whom 

wald have commanded one thousand dollars in the home market. 

lit New Orleans they would have brought fifteen hundred dollars 

ppMi;, and perhaps more. Their names were as followa ; Henry 

jwrriB, John Harris, Sandy Jenkins, Charles Roberts, and Henry 

PBailey. I was the youngest but one of the party. I had, however, 

I ue advantage of them all in experience, and ui a knowledge of 

■ *tters. Tliis gave me a great influence over them. Perhaps not 

I nf them, left to himself, would have dreamed of escape as a 

'sifale thing. They all wanted to be free, but the serious thought 

' Wnniiig away had not entered into their minds until I won 

*iii to the nndertaking. Tlioy all were tolerably well off — for 

Wavea — and had dim hopes of being set fi-ee some day by their mas- 

^t^s. If any one is to blame for disturbing the quiet of the slaves 

*'^^ slave-masters of the ueighbourhood of St. Michaels, I am the 

"*■»«, I claim to be the instigator of the high crime — as slave- 

"^Idera regarded it, — and I kept life in it till life could be kept in it 

''■ o longer. 

tending the time of our contemplated departure out of our Egypt, 

""•^ met often by night, and on every Snnciny. At these meetings 

"'^ talked tlie matter over, told our hopes and fears, and the diffi- 

'cities discovered or imagined ; and like men of sense, we counted 

*^ cost of tlie enterprise to which we were committing ouraelvcB. 

' • »«3e meetings must have resembled, on a small scale, the moet- 

''^S^ottho revolutionary conspha tors in their primary condition. 

'* e were plotting against our, so-called,, liiwftil nilers, with this 

'^^-fftrence — we sought onr own good, and not the harm of our ene- 

'^*cs. We did not seek to overthrow them, but to escape from 

''-•*»in. As for Mr. Freeland, we all liked him, and would gladly 

''a-vu remained with him an free tiu'n. Lih-it;/ was om- ahn, and we 

L**^ How come to think that wej had a right to it against every 

'batgcle, even against the hvee of our enslavers. 

We had several words, expressive of things important to us, which 
id, but which, even if distinctly heard by an outsider, 
\ have conveyed no certain meaning. I hated this secrea^. 

182 DIFFICUI.rtE8 I 

but where sla7ei7 waa powerftil, aud liberty weak, tJie latter 
driven to concealment to escape destruction. 

The prospect was not always bright. At times we were 
tempted to abandon the enterprise, and try to get back lo that 
parative peace of mind which even a man under the gallows tni^ 
feol, when all hope of escape had vanished. Wc were confidn^ 
bold, and deteiTnined at times, and again, doubting, timid, au 
wavering, whistling, like the boy in the grave-yard, to keep " 
the spirits. 

To look at the map and obser\'e the proximity of Eastern sho 
Maryland, to Delaware and Pennsylvania, it may seem to 
reader quite absurd to regard the pi'opoaed escape as a formidaJ 
undertaking. But to vmlfmUinil, soma one baa aaid, a 
ibinil wulri: The real diBtanee was gi-eat enough, but then 
distance was, to our ignorance, much greater. Slaveholders ai 
to impress their slaves with a belief in the bomidlessnesa of nil 
territory, and of their own limitless power. Our notiona of 
geogi-aphy of the country were vei-y vague and indistinct. The 
tancc, however, was not the chief trouble, for the nearer the 
of a slave State to the borders of a free State, the greater ws 
trouble. Hired kidnappers infested the borders. Then, too, 
knew that merely reaching a &ee State did not &ee ns, that whi 
ever caught we could be returned to slavery, We knew of no 
this side the ocean where we could be safe. We had heard. 
Canada, then the only real Canaan of the American bond) 
simply as a country to which the wild goose and the swan repai 
at tlie end of ^\iutor to escape tlie heat of summer, but not as 
home cf man. I knew something of Theology, but nothing of 
graphy. I really did not know that there was a State of New 
or a State of Massachusetts. I had heard of PenusylvaniE, 
ware, and New Jersey, and all the Southei-n States, but 
ignorant of the Free States. New York City was our northcmj 
and to go there and to be for ever harassed with the liability 
hunted dovni and retm-nod to slavery, with the certainty c 
treated ten times worse titan ever before, waa a pro8i>ectl 
might well cause some hesitation. The case sometimes, 
cited visions, stood thus i At every gate through which 
pass we saw a watchman ; at every ferry a guard ; on every 
sentinel, and in every wood a patrol or alave-himler, 


HBecl in on every side. The good to be sought and the evil to 
i « dmaced, were ■flung in tbe balance and weighed against each 
J •flier, On the one hajid stood slavery, a stem reality glaring 
•iightfally upon na, with the blood of millions in its polluted skirts, 
I'wrible to behold, greedily devoui'ing our hard earnings and feeding 
|nsaUapan our flesh. This was the e%'il from which to escape. Un 
r hand, far away, back iu the liazj distance, where all forms 
i bnt ahadowa under the flickering light of the north star, 
d the craggy hill or snow capped monntain, stood a doubtful 
m. half frozen, beckoningus to hericydomain. Thiswastho 
P>id to be sought. The inequality was as great as that between 
"Wtainty and uncertainty. This in itself was enough to stagger 
; but when we came to survey the untrodden road and conjecture 
e nuny possible difficiUtics, we were appalled, and at times, as I 
rQBoid, were upon the point of giving over the struggle altogether. 
BTMder can have httle idea of the phantoms which would flit, 
rcamstances, before the uneducated mind of the slave, 
r side we saw grim death, assuming a variety of horrid 
Now it was starvation, causing us, in a strange and &iend- 
Klnnd, to eat our own flesh. Now we were contending with the 
fkyn and were drowned. Now we were hunted by dogs and 

iken, and torn to pieces by their mercilesB fangs, We were 

"ttng by scorpions, chased by wild beasts, bitten by snakes, and 
*"<»rat of all, after having succeeded in swimming rivers, encounter- 
'•^g wild beasts, sleeping in the woods, suffering hunger, cold, heat, 
*"**.^ nakedness, overtaken by hired kidnappers, who in tbe name of 
•^^ and for the thrice-cursed reward, would, perchance, fire upon 
***. kill some, wound others, and capture all. This dark picture, 
*JTiwu by ignorance and fear, at times greatly shook oiu- deter- 
^'liimtion, and not unfrequently caused us to 

& uot disposed to magnify this circumstance in my experience, 
•« yet I think I shall seem to be so disiKised to the reader, but no 
Q can tell the intense agony which was felt by the slave when 
g on tbe point of making his escape. All that he haa is at 
nd even that which he has not, is at stake also. The life 

which be has may be lost, and the liberty which he seeks may not J 
be gained. 

Patrick Henry, to a listening senate which was thrilled by hia I 
magic eloquence and ready to stand by him in his boldest flightB,! 
could say, " Give me liberty or give me death," and this eayin^l 
was a sublime one, even for a free man; but incomparably mtm 
sublime is tlie same sentiment when jiraciiealttf asserted by n 
accustomed to the lash and chain, men whose sensibilities mnst^ 
have become more or less deadened by their bondage. With ns III 
was a doubtful hberty, at best, that we sought, and a certain hngering^ I 
death in the rice-swamps and sugar-fields if we fiuled. Life is aotm 
Ughtly regarded by men of sane minds. It is precious both to tlie I 
pauper and Co the prince, to the slave and to his master ; and yet I 
I beheve there was not one among us who would not rather have J 
been shot down than pass away hfe in hopeless bondage. 

lu the progress of our preparations Sandy, the rootmao, becaiii» 1 
troubled. He began to have distressing dreams. One of these, I 
which happened on a Fi-iday night, was to him of great signiflcancoBr 
and I am quite ready to confess that I felt somewhat damped by J 
it myself. He said. *' I dreamed last night that I was rousedfri 
Bleep by strange noises like the noises of a swarm of angry b' 
that caused a roar as they passed, and which feU upon my oar likc^ 
a coming gale over the tops of the trees. Looking up to see vlu 
it conld mean I saw you, Fi-edeiick, in the claws of a huge bir3»" 
surrounded by a large number of birds of all colom's and siieS- 
These were all pecking at you, while you, with your arms, aeeiu^ 
to be trying to protect your eyes. Passing over me, the birds lie*' 
in a south-westerly direction, and I watched them until thoy wer« 
dean out of sight. Now I saw this as plainly as I now boo yoU • 
and fiirder, honey, watch de Friday night dream ; daie is eump"*^ 
in it shose you bom ; dare is indeed, honey." I did not hke tl** 
dream, hut I showed no concern, attributing it to the geafif^^^ 
excitement and perturbation consequent upon onr contemplal^*^^ 
plan to escape. I could not, however, shake off its effect at oi>o^ 
I felt that it boded no good. Sandy was unusually emphatic »J»*^ 
oracular, and his manner had much to do with the impressi'^*' 
made upon tne. 

The plan which I recommended, and to which my comrades co*'' 
MDted, for our escape, was to take a large canoe owned by t^-^^ 

Hunilton, and on tkhe Saturday night previoas to tho Easter 
holidays launch out into the Chesapeako bay aud paddle for its 
l"»d, a distance of seventy miles, with all our might. On reacliing 
this point we were to turn the canoe adrift and bend our steps 
lownrd the north star till we reached a Free State. 

There were several objections to this plan. In rough weather 
^ Waters of the Chesapeake are much agitated, and there would 
Im danger, in a canoe, of being swamped by the waves. Another 
"bjection was that the canoe would soon be missed, the absent 
'la^ee would at once be suspected of having taken it, and we should 
•fipnrsned by some of the fast -sailing craft out of St, Michaels, 
uim again, if we reached the head of the bay and tinned the 
i adrift, she might prove a guide to our track and bring the 
Dters after us. 

These and other objections were set aside by the stronger ones, 
! urged gainst every other plan that could then be 
On the water we had a chance of being regarded as 
he service of a master. On the other hand, by 
i land route, through the counties adjoining Delaware, 
*e should be subjected to all manner of interruptions, and many 
'''B«greeable questions, which might give us serious trouble. Any 
'^1-t-ite man if he pleased, was authorised to stop a man of colour 
' " any road, and examine and arrest him. By this arrangement 
'^*-iiy abuses, considered such even by slaveholders, occurred. 
' -*sns have been known where freemen, being called upon to show 
' * ^ir free papers by a pack of i-uffiaus, and on the presentation of 
■ * <* i»per8, the ruffiana have torn them up, and seized the victim 
• i-«3 sold him to a life of endless bondage. 

Tho week before our intended start, I wrote a pass for each of 
'■*-^ party, giving them permission to visit Baltimore during the 
— tester holidays. The pass ran after this manner : 

' ' This is to certify tliat I, the undersigned, have given the bearer, 
'"y Servant John, full hberty to go to Baltimore to spend the Easter 

^6AJt St. Michaels, Talbot Co.. Md." 

. ■^though we were now going to Baltimore, and 
!^**^ east of North Point, in the direction I had 

[tending to 

1 thePhila. 

t^bia steamers go. these passes might be useful to us in the lower 


part of the bay. white steering towards Baltimore. These W 
not, however, to be shown by us, until all other auswere fsJIed 
satisfy the inqnirera. We were all fully alive to the important 
being calm and self-possessed when accosted, if accosted we ahos 
be ; aud we more than ouce rehearsed to each other bow we afaon 
behave in the hour of trial. 

Those were long, tedious days and nights. The suspense » 
painful in the extreme. To balance probabihties, where life a 
hberty hang on the result, recjuires steady nerves, 1 panted 1 
action, and was glad when the day, at the close of which we Ht 
to start, dawned upon us. Sleeping the night before, waa ont 
the qnestion. I probably felt more deeply than any of my oci 
panions. because I was the instigator of tlie movement. H 
responsibiUty of the whole entei-prise rested on my shoulderB. T\ 
glory of success, and the shame aud confusion of failure, could n 
be matters of indifference to me. Oui' food was prepared, tt 
clothes were pacied; we were all ready to go. and impatient fo 
Saturday morning — considering tJiat the last of our bondage. 

I cannot describe the tempest and tiuntilt of my brain t 
morning. The reader will please bear in mind that in a alave 81 
an unsuccesfnl runaway was not only subject to cruel tortnre, i 
aold away to tlie far SoiitJi, but he was frequently execrated by 
other slaves. He was charged with making the cotiditiou of 
other slaves int^ilerable, by laying them all under the suspicion 
their masters — subjecting them to greater vigilance, and U 
gi-eater limitations on their privileges. I dreaded munnuis 1 
this quarter. It was difficult, too, for & slave-master to believe 
slaves escaping had not been aided in their Sight by some oi 
tlieii- fellow- slaves. When, therefore, a slave was missing, e 
slave on the place was closely examined as to his knowledge 
the undertaking. 

Our anxiety gi-cw more and more intense, as the time of € 
intended departure drew nigh. It was truly felt to be a matter 
life and death with us, and we fully intended to,ri,'/''t, as well as rt 
if necessity should arise for that extremity. But the trial h< 
had not yet come. It was easy to resolve, but not so easy to fl 
I expected there might be some di-awing back at the last ; it H 
natural there should be ; therefore, duj-ing the intervening tii 
lost no opportunity to explain away difficulties, remove doul 


tl fears, and inspire all with finnncES. It vas too late to look 

»ad now was the tima to go forward. I appealed to tbe pride 

ciiinnides liy telling them, that, if after ha^-ing solemnly 

3ed to go, ae they had done, tliey now failed to make the 

ipt, they would in effect bi-and themselves with cowardice, and 

well sit down, fold their arms, and acknowledge themselves 

to be slaves. This detoatable character all were unwilling 

mo. Every man except Sandy— be, much to our regret, 

w — stood firm, and at our last meeting we pledged ourBolvea 

and in tbe most solemn manner, that at the time appointed 

wewuW certainly start on our long journey for a free country. 

Tliis meeting was in tbe middle of tlie week, at tbe end of which 

n were to start. 

Early on tbe appointed morning we went as usual to the field, 

vitb hearts that beat quickly and anxiously. Any one inti- 

Ij acquainted with ua might have seen that all was not well 

us. and that some monster lingered in our thoughts. Onr 

ckthat mommg was the same as it bad been for several days 

lt~~drawing out and spreading maniu'e. While thus engaged, 

a sadden presentiment, which flashed upon me like lightning 

nikrk night, revealing to the lonely traveller the gulf before, 

Ibe enemy behind. I instantly turned to Sandy Jenkins, who 

Hear me, and said: " Saridi/, ire are lirirai/nl ! something has 

>t told me so." I felt as sure of it as if the oflicers were in sight. 

Hud : " Man, dat is strange ; but I feel just as you do." If 

""JoioUier — then long in her grave— bad appeared before me and 

"'d We that we were betrayed, I could not at that moment have 

''■■'t more certaon of the fact. 

^ a fuw minutes after this, the long, low, and distant notes of 

'^ liora summoned us from the field to breakfast. I folt as onQ 

"^r be supposed to feel before being led forth to he executed for 

•^IJb great offenoo. I wanted no breakfast, but I went with the 

''e^ slaves towards tbe bouse for form's sake. My feelings were 

. * tlislorbed as to the right of mnning away ; on that point I 

^ no misgiving whatever, but &om a sense of tbe consequences 

J ^ tlitrty minutes after that vivid impression, came the appre- 

, ~''4ed crash. On reaching the house, and glancing my eye 

^'4«d tbe lane gate, the worst was at once made known. Tbe 





lane gate to Mr. Freeland'e house was nearly half a mile from the 
door, and much shaded by tlie heavy wood which bordered the □ 
road. I was, however, able to descry four white meti and two ■ 
coloured men approaching. The white men were ou horaebadc, i 
and the coloured men were walking behind, and seemed to be tied. 
" /( is indeed nil over vnlh ws ; ire are surelii hetruijed," I thoQght I 
to myself. I became composed, or at least comparatively so, and I 
calmly awaited the result. I watched the ill-omened company I 
entering the gate. Successful flight was impossible, and I made f 
up my mind to stand and meet the evil, whatever it might be, for 
I was not altogether without a slight hope that things might torn 
out differently fi-om what I had at first feared. In a few momenta 
in came Mr. William Hamilton, riding very rapidly and evidently J 
mnch excited. He was in the habit of riding very slowly, and I 
was seldom known to gallop his horse. This time his horse v 
nearly at full speed, causing the dust to roll thick behind him.1 
Mr . Hamilton, though one of the most resolute men iu the whole I 
neigh bo m'hood, was. nevertheless, a remarkably mild-spoken man. 
and. even when gi'eatly excited, his language was cool and circnm- -^ 
spect. Ho came to the door, and inquired if Mr. Freeland was tn. ^_ 

I told him that Mr. Freeland was at the barn. Off the old gentle < 

man rode towards tlie barn, with unwonted speed. In a Eemp^^ 
moments Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Freeland came down from t.lig^^ ^ 
ham to the house, and just as they made their appearance in lli^.^:. 
front-yard, three men, who proved to be constables, came dashinc.'ZB 
into the lane on horse-back, as if summoned by a aign reqairint ^M=a: 
quick work, A few seconds brought them into the front-jarC^fc-m 
where they hastily dismounted and tied tlieir horses. This donczKrn 
they joined Mr. I'Yeeland and Mr, Hamilton, who were standing ~^i 
short distance from the kitchen. A few moments wore spent as •MB h 
in consulting how to proceed, and then the whole party walked t^w^ up 
to the kitchen door. There was now no one in the kitchen b' -^mu 
myself and John Harris ; Heniy and Sandy were yet in the ha x— ■ ~ ^t 
Mr. Freeland came inside the kitchen door, and with an agita^^^ied 
voice called me by name, and told me to come forward, that th e— sT fl 
were some gentlemen who wished to see me. I stepped towac — ds 
them at the door, and asked what they wanted, when the constab tXes 
grabbed me, and told me I had better not resist ; that I had b^«n 
in a scrape, or was said to have been in one ; that they were mer^ij 



189 ■ 

ig to take me where I could be examined; tbattheywouldhave 
1) brought before my master at St. Michaels, and if the evidenco 
onstme was uot proved true, I should be acquitted. I was now 
bIj tied, and coinpletely at the mercy of my captors. Besistance 
They were live in uumber, armed to the teeth. When 
lybad secured me, they turned to John Harria, and in a few 
noeats succeeded in tying him aa firmly as they had tied me. 
ij next turned toward Henry Hai-ris, who had now returned 
mthe barn. " Cross yom- bands," said the constable to Henry. 
[)u't,"3aid Henry, in a voice so firm aud clear, and in a manner 
flettnoined. as for a moment to arrest all proceedings. " Won't 
bnoToBS your hauds? " said Tom Graham, the constable. " No, 
' said Henry, with increasing emphasis. Mr. Hamilton, 
I. Freelond, and the officers now came near to Heniy. Two of 
It oonHlables di'ew out their shining pistols, and swore, by the 
UBe of God. that he should cross his hands or they would shoot 
I lum down. Each of these hired ruffians now cocked their pistols, 
li fingers apparently on the triggers, presented their deadly 
18 to the breast of the imarmed slave, saying, if ho did not 

is hands, they would " blow his d d heart out of him." 

I "SAont,,,^, (/,oo(«w," said Henry ; " you can't kill me but once. Slioot, 
^t. and be damned ! I won't be tied ! " This the brave fellow 
D a voice as defiant and heroic in its tones as was the language 
'Iwlf ; and at the moment of saying this, with the pistol at his very 
"6*«t, he (Quickly raised his arms, and dashed them from the puny 
''*'>ds of his assassins, the weapons fiyiug in all directions. Now 
"We tlie stniggle. All hands i-ushed uiH>n the brave fellow, and 
*ftflr Waluig him for some time they succeeded in overpowering 
*lid ijiug him. Hem-y put me to shame ; he fought, and fought 
■fi'ely. John and I had made no resistance. The fact is, I never 
"f much use in fighting where there was no reasonable probability 
^ *iupping anybody. Yet there was aometluug almost providential 
"I the resistance made by Henry. But for that resistance every 
1^ of us would have been hurried off to the far South. Just a 
"•WMnt previous to the trouble with Hemy, Mr. Hamilton inihlly 
'^■—ftud this gave me the unmistakable clue to the cause of our 
•"Mti — " Perhaps we had now better make a seai-cli for those 
t*ot«ctionB, which we understand Frederick lias written for himself 
^eat." Had these passes been found, they would have been 

140 CEAOasD TO PBiaoN. 

point-blank proof against us, and \vould bavo coufinacd all t 
Btalements of oiir betrayer. Thanks to the resistance of Heni; 
the excitement produced by the scuflle drew all attention in tb 
dtroctbu. and I succeeded in flinging my pass, unobserved, into ti 
fire. The confnsion attendant on the scuflle, and the apprebensil 
of fltill further trouble, perhaps, led our captors to forego, for tl 
time, any search for " t/ione i<i-oUrlmui which Frederick was Stud 1 
Lave written for his companions ; " bo we wore not yet conricted i 
the piu-pose to run away, and it was evident tbat there was bos 
doubt on the part of all whether we had been guilty of Btu 

Just aa we were all completely tied, and about ready to sta 
toward St. Michaels, and thence to gaol, Mrs. Betsey Freelaiu 
lother to William, who was much attached, after the Soutbei 
fashion, to Henry and John, they having been reared &om ohill 
hood in her house, came to the kitchen door with her bands ta 
cf biscuits, for we had not had om- brcaldast tbat morning, u 
divided them between Henry and John. This done, the Iftdy mai 
the following pai'ting addi'esa to me, pointing her bony finger ) 
mo : " You devil, you yellow devil ! It was you who put it iB 
the heads of Henry and John to run away. But for jfu, you Ion 
l»j<jf<l ijiihuv r/fiiV, Henrj- and John would never have thought h 
running away." I gave the lady a look which called forth 1 
her a scream of mingled wrath and terror, as she slammed ttsfl 
kitchen door and went in, leaving me, with the rest, iu hands i 
harsh as her own broken voice. 

Could the kind reader have been riding along the main road to 
from Easton that morning, hiseyewoiddhave mota{>aiufiil sight. 1 
would have seen five young men, guilty of no crime save that J 
preferring liheitij to shtcrry. di-awn along the pubhc highwi 
firmly bound togetlier, tramping tlu-ough dust and heat, 
footed and bare-headed — fastened to three strong horses, whJ 
riders were armed with pistols and daggers, on their wa]| 
prison like felons, and suflcring everj- possible insult 1 
crowds of idle, vulgar people, who clustered round, and ha 
lessly made tlieir failure to escape, the occasion for all mannf 
ribaldry and .'iport. As I looked upon this crowd of vile l 
and saw myself and friends thus assailed and persecuted, ll 

; help seeing the fulfilment of Sandy's dream. I was ij 


tads of taoTB.1 ^nlltu^GH, aud held in their sharp taloiia, and was 
being hurried away towards Eastou, iu a south-easterly dii'ection, 
amid the jeers of new birds of the same feather, through every neigh- 
bourhood we passed. It seemed to me that everybody was out, 
mnd knew the cause of our arrest, and awaited our passing in order 
to feast iheir vindictive eyes ou our misery. 

Some said " I miyht to he luin'jrd ;" and others, " /*'i«;Al (o b« 

IrMntt'i; " others, " I ouglit to have the ' hide ' taken off my back ; " 

while uo one gave us a kind word or sympathiziDg look, except tbe 

poor slaves who were Ufting their heavy hoes, and who cautiously 

;^lanoed at us through the post and rail fences, behind which they 

were at work. Our sufferings tliat morning can bo more easily 

imagined than described. Our hopes were all blasted at one blow. 

The cruel injustice, the victorious ci'ime, and the helplessness of 

innocence, led me to ask in my ignorance and weakness i Where 

is now the God of justice aud mercy ? and why have these wicked 

men tbe power thus to trample upon our rights, and to insult our 

Ijelinga 9 and yet in tbe nest moment came the consoling thought, 

1 "ibi! day <if the oppressor will come at last." Of one thing I 

^^unld be glad : not one of my dear friends upou whom I had 

^^Hnngbt this great calamity, cither by word or look, reproached 

^^^M for having ltd them into it. We were a band of brothers, and 

I lever dearer to each other than now. The thought which gavo 

"* liie moat pain, was tlie probable separation which would now 

'"Vo place in case we were sold off to tbe far South, as we were 

'My to be. While the constables were looking forward, Henry 

'"d I, being fastened together, could occasionally exchange a 

""'^tl without being observed by the kidnappers who had us in 

^ **'8e- "What shall I do with my pass?" said Henry. "Eat 

'* *ith joui- biscuit," said I ; "it won't do to tear it up." We 

"^^''e now near St. Michaels. The direction concerning the passes 

'"^ passed around, and executed. " Own nothing," said L 

' ^'Wu nothing " was passed round, enjoined, and assented to, 

^^'t confidence iji each other was unshaken, and we were quite 

"^Solved to BUoceed or fail together, as much after the calamity 

"'"ch had beMlen us as before. 

On reaching St. Michaels we underwent a sort of examination 
"' Hiy master's store, and it was evident to my mind that Master 
lUomas suspected the truthfuhiess of the evidence upon which 


they had auled in arresting 113, and tliat lie only affectfii^tQ 
extent, the poaitiveness with which be asserted our guilt. 
WB3 nothing said by any of otir company, which could, i 
manner, prejudice our cause, and there was hope yet tl 
should bo able to return to our liomcH, if for nothing else, a 
, to find out the guilty man or woman who betrayed us. 

To this end we all denied that wo had been guilty of iu 
flijjbt. Master Thomas said that the evidence he bad 
intention to run away was strong enough to hang us in a I 
murder. "But," said I, "the eases are not equal; if I 
were committed, — the tiling ia done ! but we have not run 
Where is the evidence against us ? We were quietly at our ' 
I talked thus, with unusual freedom, to bring out the e^ 
agamat ns. for we aU wanted, above all things, to know w] 
betrayed us, that we might have sometliing tangible on wl 
pour our execrations. From something which dropped, 
course of the talk, it appeared that there was but one i 
against us, and that that witness could not be produced. ! 
Thomas wotdd not tell us who his informant was, but M 
pected, and suspected oiv person only. Several oircnmi 
seemed to point Sandy out as our betrayer. His entire kuo 
of our plans, his participation in them, hia withdrawal fr 
his dream, and hia simultaneous proaeutiment that w 
betrayed, the taking us and the leaving him, were calculi 
turn suspicion towards him. and yet we could not suspect bil 
all loved him too well to think it possible that he coul 
betrayed us. 80 we rolled the gnOt on other shonldere. 

We were literally dragged, that morning, behind ho; 
distance of fifteen miles, and placed in the Eastou gaol. W 
glad to reach the end of our journey, for oui- pathway ha 
full of insult and mortification. Such is the power of pubho 1 
that it is hard, even for the innocent, to feel the happy const 
of innocence when they faU under tlie maledictions "of this 
How could we regard ourselves as in the right, when all a.\ 
denounced us as criminals, and had the power and the dis{ 
to treat us as such. 

In gaol we were placed under the care of Mr. Joseph Ot, 
the sheriff of the county. Henry and John and mysd 
placed in one room, and Henry Bailey and Charlea Bob 


I uotbcr by tUemBelTes. TbiB separation was intended to deprive 
IE of tLe advantage of concert, and to prevent trouble in gaol. 

Once shut up, a new set of tormentora came upon us. A swarm 

of imps in haman abape, — the slave traders and agents of slave- 

— wbo gathered in every coujitry town of the state, watching 

Or chances to buy human flesh, as buzzards watch for carrion, 

1 upou us to ascertain if our masters had placed us in 

nl to be sold. Such a set of debased and villainous creatures I 

V before, and hope never to see again, I felt as if sur- 

ided by a pack of.rtrtu/s freah from pfnlitioii. They laughed, 

I, and grinned at U3, sajing, •• Ah, boys, we have got yon, 

? So you Were about to make your escajie ? Where 

Ife you going to ? " After taunting us in tliia way as long as 

^>ey liked, tbey one by one subjected ua to an examination, with a 

^'ew to ascertaining our value, feeling our arms and legs and 

'"aking us by the shoulders, to see if we were aouiid and healthy, 

dpudently asking us, "bow we would like to have tbera for 

' ia.sters ? " To such questions we were quite dumb, much to their 

' u noyonce. One fellow told me, " if he had me be would cut the 

'*--vil out of me pretty quick." 

These negro-buyers were very offensive to the genteel Southern 

■ lAxistian public. They were looked upon in respectable Maryland 

'"'<siety as necessary but detestable cbaractera. As a class, they 

•t^xe hardened ruffians, made such by uatm-e and by occupation. 

- *?s. ibey were the legitimate brait of slaveiy, and were second 

' ' TiUainy only to the slaveholders themselves, wbo made such a 

I u w f.(,*<j/i/c They were mere hucksters of the slave produce of 

-^taivland and Vir^ia^ooarse, cruel, and swaggering bullies, 

» very breatliiug was of blasphemy and blood. 

A«ide from these slave-buyers who infested the prison from time 

time, our quarters were much more comfortable than we had 

**J right to expect them to be, Our allowance of food was small 

tad coarse, bnt our room was the best in the gaol — neat and 

uiutu, and with nothing about it necessarily reminding us of 

ins in prison but its heavy locks and bolts and the black iron 

cilice work at the mndowa. We were prisoners of state compared 

W*niii mogt slaves wbo were put into the Easton gaol. But the 

* was not one of contentment. Bolts, bars, and grated windows 

Jt acceptable to freedom-loving people of any colour. The 


suepeuse, too, was painful. Every step on the stairway i 
Uateiiod to, in the hope that the corner would cast a ray of light 
our fate. We wonld liave yiven the hail- of our heads for half 
dozen words with one of the waiters in Sol, Lowe's liotel. 
waiters were in the way of hearing, at the table, the proba 
courao of things. We could see thena flitting about in their v 
jackets in front of this hotel, but could speak to none of them. 

Soon after the hohdays were over, contrary to all our expee 
tious, Messrs. Hamilton and Freeland came up to Easton ; 
make a bargain with the ■' Georgia traders," nor to send ua up' 
Austin Woldfolk, as waa usual iu the case of runaway -slaves, 1 
to release Charles, Henry Hai-ris, Henry Barley, and John Hai 
from prison, and this, too, without the infliction of a single bio 
I was left alone m prison. The innocent had been taken, and i 
guilty left. My friends were separated from me, aud apparen 
for ever. This circumstance caused me more pain than any otl 
incident connected with otu* capture and imprisonment. Thii 
nine lashes on my naked and bleeding back would have been j 
fully borne, in preference to this separation from these, the friei 
of my youth. And yet I could not hut feel that I was the vici 
of something like justice. Why should these young men, 
were led Into this scheme by me, suffer as much as the instigate 
I felt giwl that they were released from prison, and from the d 
prospect of a life, or death I should rather say, in the rice-sv 
It is du5'to tliQ noble Henry to say that he was abn< 
tant to leave the prison with me in it as he had been to be tied ■ 
di-agged to prison. But we all knew that we should, in all I 
hkelihoods of the case, be separated, in the event of being s 
and since we were completely in the hands of our owners, ' 
concluded it would be the best to go peaceably home, 

Not until this last separation, dear reader, bad I touched t! 
profounder depths of desolation which it is the lot of slaves ofi 
to reach. I was sohtary aud alone, within the walla of a st< 
prison, left to a fate of life-long misery. I had hoped and exped 
much, for months before ; but my hopes and expectations were B 
withered and blasted. The ever di-eaded slave life in Oeotg 
Louisiana, and Alabama, — from which escape was next t< 
— now in my lonehneas stared me in the face. The possibility 
ever becoming anything but an abject slave, a mere machine 


tha hwds of on owner, had now flod, and it seemed to me it bad 
k fled for ever. A life of living deatli, beset witli the inniiuierahic 
I liORors of liic cotton-field and the sugar-plantation, seemed to be 
I Bj doom. The fiends who ruabed into the prison when we were 
I Vi| put there, continued to visit me n.nd ply me with questions 
l-Ud tantalizing remarks. I was insulted, but helploBS ; keenly 
} Hive to the demands of justice and liberty, but with no 
'Beans of assertmg tbem. To talk to tliose imps about justice 
"'■ Biercy would have been aa absurd as to reason with bears and 
''sore. Lead and steel were the only argnmonta that they were 
<^!>I>al)le of appreciating, as the events of tlio subsequent years 
■"ave proved. 

AlKr remaining in this life of misery and despair about a week, 

"■^ Wick seemed a month. Master Thomaa, very much to my surpriae, 

-:»d greatly to my rehef, came to the prison and took me out for 

'^le purpose, as be said, of sending me to Alabama with a friend 

' lits, wbo would emancipate me at the end of eight years. I was 

''ftdtnongh to get out of prison, but I bad no faith in tlie story 

■'Jal his friend would emancipate me. Besides, I had never heard 

' ]iis having a &iend in Alabama, and 1 took the ajinouncement 

■ "-cijily as an easy and cjuifortable method of shipping mo off to 

' '<a taj- South, There was a little scandal, too, connected with the 

iti^^ ul one Christian selling another to the Georgia traders, while 

was deemed every way proper for them to sell to others. I 

** ought this friend in Alabama was an invention to meet tbia diffi- 

' ''-lij', for Master Thomas was quite jealous of hia religious repu- 

'*-t-inii, however unconcerned he might have been about hia real 

'-iristian character. In these remai'ka it is possible I did him 

"^JusiJce. He certainly did not exert his power over me as be 

■~*>ght have done in the caae, but acted, U[Jon the whole, very 

- '-*ieroasly, considering the nature of my offence. He bad the 

■■-'■Wtr and the provocation to send me, without reserve, into the 

" ^ty everglades of Florida, beyond the remotest hope of eniancipa- 

'; ''~->D ; and hia refusal to exercise that power must be set down to 

''^»8 etedit. 

A^r lingering about St. Michaels a fow days, and no friend 
^om Alabama appearing. Master Thomas decided to send me back 
^_H^ to Baltimore, to hve with bia brother Hugh, with whom 



was now at peace ; possibly he became so by his profession of 
religion at the camp-meeting in the Bay side. Master Thomas 
told me he wished me to go to Baltimore and learn a trade ; and 
that if I behaved myself properly he wonld emancipate tns at twenttf- 
five. Thanks for this one beam of hope in the future. The promise 
had but one fault — ^it seemed too good to be true. 



ntbitig lout by my attempt to mn away — ComnidcH at home — BeonniiH tor sood- 
IB awaj — Botum to BaltunoTe — Tonimj changed — CaulMog in Gardiner's 
hip yard— DE«peral« &gbV — Ics causee — Confliot between white and blnok 
|»boiiT—Uutrage—Te«tiiaoii7— Master Hugh — Slarerf in Baltimore — Ily 
Kinditian improves— New associationa—SIavehuIder's right tu thu ahtve's 
ir to moke a discontented slave. 

\XJR little domQBtic revolation, notwithstandiitg tlie sudden snnb 
it got by the treachery of somebody, did not, after all, end 
iaetroiiBly as when in the iron cage at Eaaton I conceived it 
old. The prospect &oni that point did look about as dark as 
' thftt ever cast its gloom over ihe vision of an anxioas, 
human spirit. " All's well that ends well ! " My 
stionaie friends, Henry and John Harris, were still with Mr. 
ind. Charles Roberta and Henry Bailey were safe at their 
ts. 1 had not, therefore, anything to regret on their account, 
r masters had mercifully forgiven them, probably on the ground 
jested in the spirited httle speech of Mrs. Freeland made to me 
jast before leaving for the gaol. My friends had nothing to regret 
eithtr : for while they were watched more closely, they were 
doubtless treated more kindly than before, and got new assa- 
ranceB that they should some day be legally emancipated, pro- 
vided their behaviour from tliat time forward should make 
them deserving. Not a blow did any one of them receive. 
As for Master Freeland, good soul, he did not beUeve we were 
intending to run away at all. Having given — as he thought 
— QO occasion to his boys to leave him, he could not think it 
possible that they had entertained a design so grievous. 

This, however, was not the view taken of the matter by " Mars'r 
Billy," as we used to call the soft-spoken, but crafty and resolute 
Mr. William Eamiltou. He had no doubt that the crime had been 


meditated, and regarding me aa the instigator of it. be frai 
told Master Thomas that he must remove me from that neigbb 
hood or he would shoot me. He would not have one so dange 
ae " Frederick " tampering with his slaves. William Hami 
was not a man whose threat might be safely disregarded. I I 
no doubt he would have proved as good as his word, had the n 
ing giveu bees disregarded. Ho was furious at the though 
such a piece of high-handed tlieft as we were about to perpetow 
the stealing of our own bodies and souls. The feasibility of 
plan, too, could the first steps have been taken, was marrdlo 
plain. Besides, this was a n<-w idea, this use of tlio Bay. Sb 
eeoapiflg, uutil now. had taken to the woods ; they hod i 
dreamed of profaning or abusing the waters of the noble Ch 
peake, by making them the highway from slavery to freedom. 1 
was a broad road leading to the destruction of slavery, which MH 
to had been looked upon as a wall of security by the slavehold 
But Master Billy could not get Mr. Freeland to see matters pi 
as he did. nor could he get Master Thomas, escited as ha i 
The latter. I must say it to his credit, showed much humaiie feelj 
and atoned for much that had been harsh, cruel, and unreasoni 
in his former ti'Catmeut of me and of others. My " Cousin To 
told me that while I was in gaol Master Thomas was very unh^ 
aud that the night before his going up to release me he . 
walked the tloor ncai-Iy all night, evincing great diatiess; that \ 
tempting offers had been made to him by the negro- traders, 
he had rejected them all, saying that money coitlil fwt Utiipt fiia 
uilms to lliefar ^oiuh. I can easily beheve all this, for he seei 
quite reluctant to send me away at all. He told me that he a 
consented to do so because of the very strong prejudice against 
in the neighbourhood, and that be feared for my safety if I r 

Thus after three years spent in the country, roughing it in 
fields, and experiencing all sorts of hardships. I was again | 
mitted to return to Baltimore, the very place of all others, shorl 
a Free State, where I most desired to live. The three years sp 
in the country had made some difference in me, and in the hot 
bold of Master Hugh. "Little Tommy "was no longer lit 
Tommy ; aud I was not the slender lad who had left the Easti 
bhore just three years before. The loving relations betw 


M'^eter Tommy and mjaelf were broken up. Ho waa no longer 
^©Iwndeiit on me for protection, but felt himself a man. with other 
*'*«3 more suitable associates. In childhood he had considered me 
sc^kjcelv inferior to himself, — certainly quite as good as any other 
boy with whom he played— but the time bad come when his friend 
D*.Ust bo hia slave. So we were cold to each other, and parted. It 
w^^s a sad thing to me, that loving each other as we had done, we 
taiifltuow take different roada. To him, a thouaand avenues were 
OE*^i' Education had made him acquainted with al! the treasures 
of the world, and liberty had flung open the gatea thereunto ; but I, 
wlno had attended him seven years, had watched over h"" with the 
cifc:t-« of a big brother, fighting bis battles in the street, and shielding 
hi.-j:»i from hana to an extent which induced his mother to say, 
•' Oh, Tommy is always eafo when he is with Freddy " — I must be 
confined to a single condition. He bad grown and become a tnan; 
I , 'though grown to the stature of manhood, must all my life remain 
a x»iinor — a mere boy, Tliomas Auld, junior, obtained a situation 
ox*, board the brig Tweed, and went to sea. I have since heard of 
hi^ death. There were few persons to whom I was more sincerely 
at^t«ched, than to him. 

"^ery aoon after I went to Baltimore to live, Master Hugh suc- 
ceeded in getting me hired to Mr, William Gardiner, an extensive 
Bhip-builder on Fell's Point. I was placed there to learn to cauUc; 
a trrade of which I already had some knowledge, gained while in 
"'■ Hugh Auld's ship-yard. Gardiner's, however, proved a very 
"'^V'ourable place for the accomplishment of the desired object. 
I *'■ Gardiner was that season engaged in building two large man- 
' ™-»ar vessels, professedly for the Mexican government. Theae 
'^ela were to bo launched in the month of July of that 
• ^- and in failure thereof, Mr. Gardiner would forfeit a very 
""^^erable sum of money. So when I entered the ship.yard, all 
^^ li orry and driving. There were in the yard about one hundred 
^■^ ; of these, seventy or eighty were regular carpenters — privileged 
™"n . There was no time for a raw hand to learn anything. 
tveiry man had to do that which be knew how to do, and in 
Wief iug the yard, Mr, Gardiner had directed me to do whatever 
™^ Carpenters told mo to do. This was placing me at the beck 
*iid <3al! of about seventy-five men. I waa to regard all these as 
my ^naaters. Their word was to be my law, My situation was a 

. 150 

trying one. I was called a dozen ways in the space c 
miQute. I needed a dozen paira of hands. Three o 
would strike my ear at the same moment. It was ' 
help me to cant this timber here," — " Fred, come carry tl 
yonder," — " Fred, faring that roller here," — " Fred, ] 
can of water," — " Fred, come help saw ofE the eud of this ttrober,"] 
— " Fred, go quick and get the crow-bar," — " Fred, hold on the e 
of tlus Ml," — " Fred, go to the blacksmith's shop and get a n 
punch," — *' HaDoo, Fred I run and bring me a cold-chisel," 
say, Fred, bear a hand, and get up a fire under the steam-box 1 
quick as lightning," — " Hullo, nigger ! come turn tljis grindstone," 
— " Come, come ; move, move I and Irome this timber forward, "- 
"I say, darkey, blast your eyes! why don't you heat up c 
pitch?" — "Halloo! halloo! halloo! (three voices at the i 
time)" — "Come here; go there; hold on where you a 
you, if you move I'll knock your brains out! " Such, my £ 
reader, is a glance at the school which was mine, during the I 
eight months of my stay at Gardiner's ship-yard. At the ( 
eiglit months Master Hugh refused longer to allow me to rem 
with Gardiner. The circumstances which led to this refusal n 
the committing of an outrage upon me, by tlie white appreutioe 
of the ship-yard. The fight was a desperate one, and I c 
of it shockingly mangled. I was cut and brnised in sundry plaoee 
and my left eye was nearly knocked out of its socket. The fnct^ 
which led to this brutal outrage upon me, illustrate a phase i*^ 
slavery which was destined to become an important clement in tl^a 
overthrow of the slave system, and I may therefore state thea^ 
with some minuteness. That phase was this — the conHict — 
slavery with the interests of white mechanics and labom'ers. ^E 
the country this conflict was not so apparent ; but in cities, su^ih 
as Baltimore, Bichmond, New Orleans, Mobile, etc., it was do - 
pretty clearly. The slaveholders, with a craftiness peculiar 
themselves, by encouraging the enmity of the poor labouring wb_ ^: 
man against the blacks, succeeded in making the said white h^^-j 
almost aa much a slave as the black slave himself. The difforeE=:^ 
between the white slave and the black slave was this : the la^'C 
belonged to one slaveholder, and the former belonged to "^t^ 
slaveholders collectively. The white slave hod taken &om him 4 
indirection what the black slave had taken from hini directly ■ — ^ 


nifclaoQl ccremottj. Both were plundered, and by the same 
I'l Oiidurers. The slave was robbed by his master of all hJs earn- 
ings, above what was required for his bare physioa! necessities, and 
lU^ white labouring man was robbed by the slave system of the 
ja^t. results of his labour, because he was flung into competition 
witli a class of labourers who worked without wages. The slave- 
liolders blinded them to this competition by keeping alive their 
[x-^jiidice against the slaves as rfi^n— not against them as sliwes. 
Tl_»«iy appealed to their pride, often denouncing emancipation aa 
tending to place the white working man on an equality with 
negroes, and by this means they succeeded in drawing off the 
uLixtds of the poor whites from the real fact, that, by the rich slave- 
itt0.ster, they were already regarded as but a single remove from 
bcjtx&hty with the slave. The impression was cunnbgly made, that 
Bla-weiy was the only power that conld prevent the labouring white 
caaai from falling to the level of the slave's poverty and dcgi'adation. 
To mnte this uomity deep and broad between the slave and the 
joor white man, the latter was allowed to abuse and whip the former 
without hindrance. But, as I have said, this state of affairs 
pre'Vttiled nioHly in the couutj-y. In the city of Baltimore, there 
"vere not nnfrequent murmurs that educating slaves to be mechanics 
'^'gbt, in the end, give slave-masters power to dispose altogether 
''■'Ui the aervieea of the poor white man. But with characteristic 
"^ead of offending the Blave-holders, these poor white mechanics in 
"^^ Gardiner's ship-yard, instead of applying the natural, honest 
'^'nedy for the apprehended evil, and objecting at once to work 
"lepe by the side of slaves, made a cowardly attack upon the free 
"Olourpd mechanics, saying they were eating the bread which 
^"'uld be eaten by American freemen, and swearing that they 
*om^ not work with them. The feehng was rettlly against having 
"•*«■ labour brought into competition with that of the coloured 
^^*ttiBn, and aimed to prevent him from serving himself, in the 
*^ing of life, with the trade with which he had served hia 
^**ter, during the more vigorous portion of his days. Had they 
^^'^eded in diiving the black freemen out of the sliip-yard, they 
**Uid have determined also upon the removal of the black slaves. 
/^e feeling was very bitter toward all coloured people in Baltimore 
"°Ut this time, 1880, and they — free and slave — suffered all 
cter of insult and wrong. 



Until a very little time before I went there, white and black 1 
carpenters worked side hj side in the ship-yards of Mr. Gardiner, 
Mr. Duncan, Mi-. W'altei' Price, and Mr. Itobb. Nobod; seemed I 
to see any impropriety in it. Some of the blacks were first rate I 
workmen, and were given jobs requiring the highest skill. All at | 
once, however, the white carpenters knocked off, and swore that * 
they would no longer work on the same stage with negroes. 
Taking advantage of the heavy contract resting upon Mr. Gardiner 
to have the vessels for Mexico ready to launch in July, and of 
the difficulty of getting other hands at that season of the year, 
they swore they would not strike another blow for him, unless he 
would discbarge bis free coloured workmen. Now, although this 
movement did not extend to me in /fnn, it did reach me in /act. 
The spirit which it awakened was one of malice and bitterness 
toward coloured people iietifially, and I suffered with the rest, and 
Buffered severely. My fellow-apprentices very soon began to feel 
it to be degrading to work with mo. They began to put on high 
looks, and to talk contemptuonaly and maliciously of " the ulggers," 
saying that they would take tlie " country," that they " oi^ht to 
be killed." Encouraged by workmen who, knowing me to I 
slave, made no issue with Mr. Gardiner about my beuig there, t 
young men did their utmost to make it impossible for me to stsy.l 
They seldom called me to do anything, without coupling the c 
with a curae, and Edwai'd North, the biggest in everything, rascalifg 
included, ventured to strike me, whereupon I picked lum up b 
threw him into the dock. Whenever any of them struck me, TX. 
struck back at them, regardless of conseqnences. 1 could "■""■fg- n 
any of them niwjhj, and so long as I could keep them from coi: 
bining I got on pretty well. In the conflict which ended my s 
at Mr. Gardiner's, I was beset by four of them at once — Nh 
North, Ned Hays, Bill Stewart, and Tom Humphreys. Two 
them were as big as mysell', and they came neai" killing 
in broad daylight. One came in front, armed with a brick ; the 
was one at each side and one behind, and they closed up 
me. I was struck on all sides ; and while I was attending 
those in front, I received a blow on my head from behind, de 
with a heavy hand-spike. I was completely stunned by 
blow, and fell heavily on the ground among the timb^^>n- 
Taking advantage of my fall they rushed upon me aud begao^ to 


id me witli their fists. I let them lay on for a while after I 
to myseli', with a view of gaining stvength. They did me 
damage bo far ; but fiuallj getting: tired of that spoi-t I gave 
in surge, and despite their weight I rose to my hands and 
Just as I did this one of their nnmbor planted a blow 
his buol in my left eye, which for a time seemed to have 
my eye-ball. When they saw my eye completely closed, 
bee covered with blood, and I staggering under the stunning 
they had given me, they left me. As soon as I gathered 
igth I picked up the hand-spiko and madly enough attempted 
'" pursue them ; bat here the carpenters interfered, and com- 
f«lld me to give up my pursuit. It was impossible to stand 

»>(uiut BO maDy. 
Mar reader, you can hardly believe the statement, but it ia 
•Ku, ud therefore I write it down : uo fewer than fifty white men 
""od by and saw this brutal and shameful outiage committed, and 
"t a man of tliem all interposed a single word of morcy. There 
'ppe funr against one, and that one's face was beaten and battered 
'"'Jat iiorribly, and no one said "that is anough ; " but some 
■^ed out. •• Kill him ! kill him I kill the d- ■ n nigger I knock 
"Js brains out! lie struck a white person!'* I mention this 
"^^ioman outcry to show the character of the men and the spirit 
^ the times at Gardiner's ship-yard ; and, indeed, in Baltimore 
8*»Mral]y, in 1836. As I look back to the period. 1 am almost 
'***«od that I was not murdered outright, so reckless was the 
^Ptxil which prevailed there. On two other occaaious while there 
■ n«ar losing my Ufe, on one of which I was driving bolts 
hold through the keelson with Hays, bi its course the 
•^l bent. Hays cursed me, and said that it was my blow 
•"•wh beat the bolt. I denied this, and charged it upon him. 
*^ * fit of rage he seized an adze and darted towards me. 
' Oiei him with a maul, and parried his blow, or I should have 
•^^t my hfe. 

-After the united attack of North, Stewart, Hays, and Hum- 
^*^**J8, finding that the carpenters were as bitter towai'd me as 
/~^ Apprentices, and that the latter were probably set uu by the 
^^er, 1 found my only chance for hfe was in flight, I sucoeeded 
Stitdng away without an additional blow. To strike a white 
^** was death by lynch law, in Gardiner's ship-yard ; nor was 


there muoli of any other law toward the coloured people at thtt. 
time, in any othei- part of Maryland. 

After making my escape from the ehip-yard I went strai^ 
home and related my story to Master Hngh ; and to his credit ! 
Bay it, tliat his oondnct, tbongh he was not a religions man, 
every way more humane than that of his brother Thomas, n 
I went to him in a somewhat similar plight, from the hamii 
his " Brother Edward Covey." Master Hogh listened attentiTIi^ 
to my narration of the circumstances leading to the i 
assault, and gave many evidences of his strong iodignktion a 
what was done. He was a rough but manly-hearted fellow, andii 
this time his best nature showed itself. 

Tbe heart of my once kind mistress Sophia was again t 
in pity toward me. My pnffed-out eye and my scarred and blCN)i' 
covered face moved tbe dear lady to tears. She kindly dree I 
cbair by me, and with friendly and consoling words, she Wo" 
water and washed the blood from my foce. No mother's blD 
could have been more tender tlian hers. She bound np my b« 
and covered my wounded eye with a lean piece of fresh beef. J 
was almost compensation for all I had suffered, that it occasioM 
tbe manifestation occe more of tbe originally cbai'act«ristic li 
ness of my mistress. Her affectionate heart was not yet i 
tbongh much hardened by time and circumstances. 

As for Master Hngb he was furious, and gave expression to b 
feelings in the forms of speech nsaal in tbat locabty. He ponn 
curses on tbe whole of tbe sbip-yard company, and swore thai l 
would have satisfaction. His indignation was really strong IB 
healthy ; but unfortunately it resulted from the thought tbat lu 
rights of property, in my person, had not been respected : mOI 
than from any sense of the outrage perpetrated upon me <u d Md 
I had reason to tltink this from tlie fact that he could himself bM 
and mangle, when it suited bim to do so. 

Bent on having satisfaction, as be said, just as soon S8 I got 
little the better of my bruises, Master Hugh took me to Bsqptf 
Watson's ofBce on Bond Street, Fell's Point, with a tiew i 
procuring the arrest of those who bad assaulted me. He reltU 
the outrage to Ibe magistrate as I bad related it to bim, tf 
seemed to expect that a warrant would at once he issned for l) 
arrest of tbe lawless ruffians. Mr. Watsou beard all be had I 


t then coolly inquired — "Mr. Auld, who saw thisj assault of 

ih you speak ? " " It was done, sir, in the presence of a ship- 

Blnll of hands," " Sir," said Mr. Watson, " I am sorry, but 

mot move in this matter, except upon the oath of white 

168," "But here's the boy; look at his head and face," 

e excited Master Hugh ; " thei/ show what has been done." 

■ Watson insisted that he was not authorized to do anything, 

iB white witnesses of the transaction would come forward and 

t to what had taken place. He could issue no warrant ou 

|»ord, against white persons, if I had been killed in the 

^Wence of a thousand blacks; their testimony combined would 

ImtB been insufficient to condemn a single murderer. Master 

compelled to say, for once, that this state of things was 

id, and he left the office of the magistrate disgusted. 

[ course it was impossible to get any white man to tesUfy 

Ut my assailants. The carpenters saw wliat was done ; but 

Ictors were but the agents of their malice, and did only what 

tarpenters sanctioned. Thoy had cried with one accord, •' Kill 

nigger I kill the nigger I " Even those who may have pitied 

'if any such were among them, lacked the moral courage to 

ntcer their evidence. The slightest show of sjTnpathy or 

B toward a person of colour was denounced as abolitionism ; 

Ihe name of abolitionist subjected its hearer to frightful 

•■ D n abolitionists," and " kill] the niggers," were 

mtch-worda of the foul-mouthed ruffians of those days. 
I was done, and probably there would not have been, 
I been killed iu the affray. The laws and the morals of 
Sbnfitian city of Baltimore afforded no protection to the sable 
teas of that city. 

leter Hugh, on finding he could get no redress for the cruel 
Ig, withdrew me bora the employment of Mr. Gardiner, and 
me into his owts family, Mrs. Anld kindly taking care of me 
l^ dressing my wounds mitil they were healed, and I was ready 
"*' go to work again. 

While I was on the Eastern Shore, Mister Hugh had met with 
•^^erses which oi,-erthrew bis business ; and he had given up ship- 
'"•''ding in his own yard, on the City Block, and was now acting 
*" (oreman of Mr. Walter Price. The best he coidd do for me was 
w ttke me into Mr, Price's yard, and afford me the facilities there for 


completing tlio trade wbiclt I began to learn at Gardiner's. I 
1 rapidly became expert in tbe nse of caolker's tooU, and in 
Donrso of a single year. I was able to command the highest wt 
paid tojoiuneymen caulkerB in Baltimore. 

The reader will oljeerve that I was now of some pecuniary vi 
to my maet«r. During the busy season I was bringing sij 
seven dollars per week. I have sometimes bronght him as m 
as nine dollars a week, for the wages were a dollar and a half 

After learning to caulk. I sought my own employment, n 
■ my own contracts, and collected my own earnings — giving Ma 
I Hugh no trouble in any part of the transactions to which I 
B party. 

Here, then, were better days for the Eastern Shore «/ava, 
was free from the vexatious assaults of the apprentices at 
Gardiuer'a, and free from the perils of plantation life, and ( 
more in favourable condition to increase my little stock of ed 
tion, which had been at a dead stand since my removal t 
Baltimore. I bad on the Eastern Shore been only a teacher, n 
in company with othertslavea, but now there were coloured pen 
here who coiild instruct mo. Many of the young caulkerB oi 
read, wi-ite, and cipher. Some of them had high notions a] 
mental improvement, and the free ones on Fell's Point organ] 
what they called the " East Baltimore Mental Improveni 
Society." To this society, notwithstanding it was intended 
only free persons should attach themselves, 1 was admitted, 
was several times assigned a prominent part In its debateB< 
owe much to the society of these young men. 

The reader already knows enough of the ill effeota of % 
treatment on a slave, to anticipate what was now the case in 
improved condition. It was not long before I began to show fl 
of disquiet with slavery, and to look around for means to get on 
U by the shortest route. I was Uving among freemfn, and 
in all respects equal to them by nature and attainments. 1 
ihould I hv a tlave > There was no reason why I should be 
thrall of any man. Besides, I was now getting, as I have sai 
dollar and fifty cents per day. I contracted for it, worked fo 
collected it ; it was paid to me, and it was righij'uUy my own ;, 
yet upon every returning Saturday night, this money — mj 


Ittid earnings, every cent of it — was demanded of me, and taken 
bm me, by Master Hugh. He did not earn it ; he had no hand 
in earning it ; why, then, should he have it ? I owed him noihing. 
He had given me no schooling, and I had received from him only 
my food and raiment ; and for these my services were supposed to 
|iy from the first. The right to take my earnings was the right 
of the robber. He had the power to compel me to give him tlie 
frnitB of my labour, and this power was the only right in the case. 
I became more and more dissatisfied with this state of things, and 
in 80 becoming, I only gave proof of the same human nature which 
Wrj reader of this chapter in my life — slaveholder, or non-slave- 
hoUet — ^is conscious of possessing. 

To make a contented slave, you must make a thoughtless one. 
It is necessary to darken his moral and mental vision, and, as far 

I tt possible, annihilate his power of reason. He must be able to 
detect no inconsistencies in slavery. The man who takes his 

{ ttmingB must be able to convince him that he has a perfect right 
to do so. It must not depend upon mere force : the slave must 
bow no higher law than his master's will. The whole relation- 
iUp most not only demonstrate to his mind its necessity, but its 
dsolnte rightfulness. If there be one crevice through which a 
^Bg^e drop can fall, it will certainly rust off the slave's chain. 


CloMng inoidonts in my " Life as a Slave " — ■Discontent— Si 
generosity — Diffiuultios In tlic wny of escape — Flan to obtain 
to hire my tim^ — A glfani of hope- — Attend Cainp-meetin^ — Ang^ of 
Hug-h — The roBult — Plfl-nH of eBoape — Day (or departure fixed- 
doubts and fears — Painful thtmghta of Hepurstioii from friends. 

MY condition during the year of my escape. " 1838," was CO 
paratively a £roQ and easy one, so fur. at least, as t 
wants of tlie physical man were concerned ; bnt the reader ^ 
bear iu mind that my tronbles &om the beginning had been Ii 
physical than mental, and he will thus be prepared to find all 
Ufe was adding nothing to its charma for me as I giew older. ■ 
became more and moro acquainted with it. The practice fr 
week to week of openly robbing me of all my earnings, kept 
nature and character of slavery constantly before me. I could. 
robbed by indirection, but this was too open and barefaced ta 
endured, I could see no reason why I should, at the end of e 
week, pour the reward of my honest toil into the purae of 
master. My obligation to do this vexed mo, and the manner in wl 
Master Hugh received my wages vesed me yet more, Carefil 
countmg the money, and rolling it out dollar by dollar, be WW 
look me in the face as if he would search my heart as well aa 1 
pocket, and reproachfully ask mo, " Is that all?" — implying ti 
I had perhaps kept back pai't of my wages ; or, if not so, the ' 
maud was made possibly to make me feel that, after all, I was 
'■ unprofitable servant." Draining me of the last cent of my hi 
earnings, he wonld, however, occasionally, when I brought ho 
au extra large sum, dole out to me a sixpence or a shilling, n 
a view, perhaps, of enkindling my gratitude. But it had 
opposite effect ; it was an admission of my right to the whole e 
The bet that he gave me any part of my wages, was proof that 

pccted 1 had a right to the whole of them : and I always felt 
lomfortable after ha\'ing received anything iii this way, leat hia 
B a few cents might possibly ease hia conscience, 
: him feel bimself to be a pretty honourable robber, 

Ed'! to a strict account, and kept under a close watch,— the old 

1 of my running away not having been entirely removed. 

Id accomplish my escape seemed a very difficult thing. The 

i from Baltimore to Philadelphia was under regulations so 

Sllgent, that even/re? coloured travellers were almost excluded. 

ij most have free papers ; they must be measured, and carefully 

ined, before they could enter the cars, and could go only in 

h day time, even when so examined. The steamboats were under 

ilations equally stringent. And still more, and worse than 

\, m the great turnpikes leading Northward, were beset with 

pDappers ; a class of men who watched the newspapers for 

rtisamenta for runaway slaves, thus makbg their living by 

kucnrsed reward of slave -bun ting. 

■y discontent grew upon me. and I was on the constant took-out 

a to get away. With money I could easily have managed 

> nutter, and from this consideration I hit upon tlie plan of 

iting the privilege of hiring my time. It was quite common 

I BiJdmore to allow slaves this privilege, and was the practice 

I New Orleans. A slave who was considered trustworthy 

lU, by paying his master a definite sum regularly, at the end of 

ii leek, dispose of his time as he liked. It so happened that I 

B not in very good odom', and I was far from being a trustworthy 

Nevertheless, I watched my opportunity when Master 

a came to Baltimore — -for I was still his property, Hugh only 

igos his agent— in the spring of 18S8, to pm'chaae his spring 

Jly of goods, and apphed to him directly for the much-coveted 

e of hiring my time. This request Master Thomas unhesi- 

bfllyrefused to grant ; and he charged me, with some sternness, 

a mvenUng this stratagem to make my escape. lie told me I 

>u go naichere but he would catch me ; and, in the event of my 

ig away, I might be assured ho should spare no pains in hia 

frrte to recapture me. He recounted, with a good deal of 

I, Ibe many kind ofGces he had done me, and exhorted 

I to be contented and obedient. " Lay out no plans for the 


futnre, " said he; "If yon behave yourself properly, 1 will 
care of you." Now, kind and considerate as this offer waa, it I 
to aootho me into repose. In spite of all Master Tliomas had 
and in spite of my own efforts to tlie contrary, tlie injustice 
wickedness of slavery was always appermost in my thou 
strengthening my purpose to make my escape at the 
moment possible. 

Aboat two months after applying to Master Thomas ton 
privilege of hiring my time, 1 applied to Master Hugh for the 
liberty, snpposing him to be aDac<;iuainted with the bet, d 
bad made a similar apphcatiou to Master Thomas, and had 
refused. My boldness in making this request fairly astoQ 
him at fii'st. He gazed at me in amazement. But I had 
good reasons for pressing the matter, and, after listening to ' 
awhile, he did not absolutely refuse, but told me he would thi 
it. There was hope for me in this. Once master of m; 
time, I felt sure that I could make over and above my oblij 
to him — a dollar or two every week. Some slaves had 
enougli in this way to purchase their freedom. It was a aharpr 
to their iudustry ; and some of the moat enterprising coloured 
in Baltimore hired themselves in that way. 

After mature reflection, as I suppose it was. Master 
granted me the privilege in question, on the following tei 
^TllS to be allowed all my time ; to make all bargains for worh^ 
to collect my own wages ; and in return for this hberty, I 
required or obhged to pay him throe dollars at the end of 
week, and to board and clothe myself, and buy my own cad 
tools. A failure in any of these particulars would put an a 
the privilege. This was a hard bargain. The wear and tfl 
clothing, the losing and breaking of tools, and the expense of 1 
made it necessary for me to earn at least sis dollars per wa 
keep even with the world. All who are acquainted with ostii 
know how uncertain and irregular that employment is. It ci 
done to advant^e only in dij weather, for it is useless to pu 
oakum into a ship's seam. Bain or shine, however, work c 
work, at the end of each week the money must be forthooming 

Master Hugh seemed much pleased with this arrangemen 
a time ; and well be might be, for it was decidedly in his £a' 
It reheved him of all anxiety concerning me. TJis money 

sxae. He had armed my love of liberty witli a laeh and a driver 
hr more efficient than any I Lad before liuowu ; and while he * 
derived all llie benetita of alavelioldiiig by the arrangement, with- 
ont its evils. I endured all the evils of being a slave, and yet 
3tt£fered all the care and anxiety of a respoiisible freeman, " Never- 
theless," thought I, "it is a valuable privilege— another step in my 
career toward freedom." It was aomething. even to be permitted to 
stagger imder the disadvantages of hberty, and I was determined 
w hold on to the newly-gained footing by all proper indnstry. I 
WW ready to work by night as by day. and bemg in the possession 
of excellent health, I was not only able to meet my current 
expenses, but also to lay by a small sum at the end of each week. 
All went on ibns from tlie month of May till August ; then, for 
rcaaoua wbidi will become apparent as I proceed, my much'Valued 
Ubertj was wrested from me, 

Diiriag the week previous to this oalamitoua event, I had made 

"•wn^ments with a few young friends to accompany them on 

Sstordfty ajght to a camp-meeting, to be held about twelve milea 

from Baltimore. On the evening of om' intended start for the 

t*Dip-gronnd, something occurred in the ship-yard where I was 

>' worb, which detained me unusually late, and compelled me 

oiui(ir to disappoint my friends, or to neglect carrying my weekly 

iJaea to Master Hugh. Knowing that I had the money and could 

iiuid it to him on another day, I decided to go to camp-mcctiug, 

""d to pay him the three dollars for the past week on my return. 

^'oce on the camp-ground, I was induced to remain one day longer 

•^■n I had intended when I left home. But as soon as I returned 

' *eut directly to his home in Fell Street, to hand him his (my) 

'"OQey. Unhappily the fatal mistake had been made. 1 found 

'|"U esceedingty angry. He exhibited all the signs of apprehen- 

*"*•» and wrath which a slaveholder might be surmised to exhibit 

°'* tlie supposed escape of a favourite slave. " You rascal ! I have 

* ereat mind to give you a sound whipping. How dare you go out 

' the city without first asking and obtaining my permission ? " 

'"iir," 1 said, " I hired my time and paid you the price you asked 

" •" it, 1 did not know that it was any part of the bargain that I 

^oiild ask you when or where I should go." " You did not 

'"'Qw, yon rascal ! You are bound to show yourself here every 

I °**ttday nifi^." After reflecting a few momenta, he becama 

162 1 

Bomewh&t cooled down ; but evidently greatly troubled, ajid a 
" Now, yon scoundrel, yoti have done for yourself; you shall 
your time no longer. The next thing I shall hear of, will be ; 
running away. Bring home your took at once. I'll teach 
how to go off in this way." 

Thus ended my partial freedom. I could hire my timet 
longer ; and I oboyed my master's orders at once. The little i 
of liberty which I had had—although as it will be seen, that 
was far from being unalloyed — by no means enhanced ray ooi 
ment with slavery. Punished by Master Hugh, it was no* 
turn to punish him. " Since," thought I, "you will make a 
of me. I will await your order in all things." So, instead of i 
to look for vfork on Monday morning, as I had formerly dor 
remained at home during the entire week, withoatthe perform! 
of a single stroke of work. Saturday night came, and he C 
upon me as usual for my wages, I, of course, told him I 
done no work, and had no wages. Here we were at the poi: 
coming to blows. His wrath had been accumnlating during 
whole week ; Tor he evidently saw that 1 was making no effoi 
get work, but was most aggtavatingly awaitiiig his orders il 
things. As I look back to this behaviour of mine, I scarcely 1 
what possessed me, thus to trifle with one who had such unlil 
power to bless or blast me, Mastei' Hugh raved, and swon 
would " get hold of me," but wisely for him, and happily 
hia wrath employed only those harmless, impalpable misailefl H 
roll from a Umber tongue. In my desperation I had fiilly 
my mind to measure sti'cngth with liim, in case he should att( 
to execute hia threats. I am glad there was no occasion for 
for resistance to him could not have ended so happily for me, 
did in the case of Covey. Master Hugh was not a man to bet 
resisted by a slave ; and I freely own that in my conduct tc 
him, in this instance, there was more foUy than wisdora. 
dosed his reproof, by telling me that hereafter I need give a 
no uneasiness about getting work ; he " would himself ae 
getting work for me, and enough of it at that." This thre 
confess, had some terror in it, and on thinking the matter 
during the Sunday, I resolved not only to save him the tronb 
getting me work, but that on the third day of September I n 
attempt to make my escape. His refusal to allow me to bira 


tittle Uierefore hastened the period of my flight. I had three 
KMlia in whiuh to prepare for my journey. 

Once resolved, I felt a certain degree of repose, and on Mouday 

•Homing, instead of waiting for Master Hugh to seek employment 

tor rae, I was up by break of day, and off to the ship-yard of Mr. 

Butitr, on the City Block, near the draw -bridge. I was a 

^VGorite with Mr. Bittler. and, yoimg as I was, I had served as 

"la foreman, on tlie float-stage, at caulking. Of com-se I easily 

obtiined work, and at the end of the week, which, hy the way, 

w^B exceedingly line, I brought Master Hugh nine dollars. The 

eC^Bct of this mark of returning good sense on my part, was 

tx:ce!lent. He waa Very much pleased; ho took the money, 

c*:>«3imended me, and told nio I might have done the same thing 

'**^ week before. It is a blessed thing that the tyrant may not 

aJ.'^nfsjs know the thoughts and purposes of his victim. Master 

tt«3gii httle knew my plans. The gomg to oamp-meetmg withont 

ittalfiiig his permisaion, the insolent answers to his reproaehes, the 

***-*liy deportment of the week, after being deprived of the privilege 

** liiiTjig my time, had awakened the suspicion that I might be 

^"«rishing disloyal purposea. My object, ihoreforo. iu working 

^*'»di]y, was to remove suspicion ; and in this I succeeded 

^***Urably. He probably thought I was never bettei- satisfied with 

,^^ Condition than at the vei-y time I waa planning my escape. 

**fe second week passed, and I again carried him my fuU week's 

*8e«— ni«i' dullars : and ho well pleased was he that ho gave me 

y'*^ntii-jire cma '. and bade me " make good use of it." I told him 

^ould do BO ; for one of the uses to which I intended to put it 

^*3 lo pay my ^e on the " underground railroad." 

Tlungs without went on as usual ; but I waa passing thi-ough 
internal excitement and anxiety which I had experienced 
^o years and a half before. The failure iu that instance was 
^ot calculated to increase my confidence in the success of thia, 
""y second attempt ; and I knew that a second failure could not 
"^V* me where my first did. I must either get to the far Nurih 
"^ ^mU to the far SuiU/i. Besides the eKerciee of mind from thia 
'■^t* uf facts, I had the painful aenaation of being about to 
"^P^Jiite from a circle of honest and wai'm-hearted friends. The 
^Wougiij of such a separation, where the hope of ever meeting 
■> was excluded, and where there could he no coiTespondenoe 



was very painfdl. It is my opinion that thousands more would 
haVe escaped from slavery but for the strong affection which 
bound them to their fieunilies, relatives, and friends. The daughter 
was hindered by the love she bore her mother, and the Jeither 
by the love he bore his wife and children, and so on to the end 
of the chapter. I had no relations in Baltimore, and I saw no 
probability of ever living in the neighbourhood of sisters and 
brothers ; but the thought of leaving my friends was the strongest 
obstacle to my running away. The last two days of the week, 
Friday and Saturday, were spent mostly in collecting my things 
together for my journey. Having worked four days that week for 
my master, I handed him six dollars on Saturday night. I seldom 
spent my Sundays at home, and for fear that something might 
be discovered in my conduct, I kept up my custom and absented 
myself all day. On Monday, the third day of September, 1888. 
in accordance with my resolution, I bade farewell to the city of 
Baltimore, and to that slavery which had been my abho^enee 
from childhood. 


Beufoiij for not having revealed the maniifr of escape — Nothing of t'omanco in 
the method— Danger— Free Papora— Unjust tui— Protection pitpera — "Free 
bade and SBiltire' ri^ht« " — Araerioan eogie — Railrond tnun — UnobBerving 
■undniTtor — Capt. McGowan— Honest Gemmn — Feara— Safe arrival in Phila- 
delphia—Ditto in New York. 

IN tbe first narrative of my cxpcrionce in slavery, written nearly 
forty years ago, and in various writings eince, I liave given 
tbe public what I conBidered very good reasons for witliliolding 
tlio manner of my escape. In Bnbstance these rcasjons were, first, 
tliat such public B.t ion at any time during the existence of slavery 
luigbt be used by the master against the slave, and prevent the 
fitUirc escape of any who might adopt the same means that I did. 
Tbe second reason was, if possible, still more binding to silence 
— for publication of details would certainly have put in peril the 
peraons and property of those who assisted. Murder itself was 
not more sternly and certainly punished in the State of Mary- 
Imnd, than that of aiding and abetting the escape of a slave. 
Muiy coloured men, for no other crime than that of giving aid to 
B fugitive slave, have, like Charles T. Torrey, perished in prison. 
The abolition of slavery in my native state and throughout the 
country, and the lapse of time, render the caution hitherto 
obeerved no longer necessary. But even since the abolition of 
sl&very, I have sometimes thought it well enough to bafQe 
eariosity, by saying that while slavery existed there were good 


reasons for not telling the manner of my esoape. and since alai 
had ceased to exist, tbere was no reason for telling It. I shall 
however, cease to avail myself of this formula, and as fl 
I can, endeavour to satisfy this very natural cui-iosity. I ahi 
perliapB have yielded to that feeling sooner, had there been 
thing very heroic or thi-iUing in the incidents connected with 
escape, hut I am soiTy to say I have nothing of that sort to 
and yet, the courage that could risk betrayal, and tlie bravely w 
was ready to encounter death, if need be, in pursuit of fre«( 
were essential features in the undertaking. My success 
to address rather than courage ; to good luck rather than brai 
My means of escape were provided for me by the very i 
were making laws to hold and bind me more securely in slal 
It was the custom in the State of Maryland to require the 
coloured people to have what wore called free papers. Tliis ini 
ment they were required to renew very often, and by char^ 
fee for this writing, considerable sums, &om time to time, 
collected by the State. In these papers the name, age, od 
height, and form of the fi-ee man were described, togetlier with 
soars or otlter marks upon his person, which could assist 
identification. This device of slaveholding ingenuity, like ti 
devices of wickedness, in souse measure defeated itself— since 
than one man could be found to answer the same general desi 
tion. Hence many slaves could escape by personating the 
of one set of papers ; and this was ofteu done as follows : A d 
nearly or sufficiently answering the description set fortli in pa{ 
would borrow or hire them till ho could by their means escape I 
free State, and then, by mail or otherwise, return them to 
owner. The operation was a hazardous one for the lender aa 
as the borrower. A failure on the part of the fugitive to 
back the papers would imperil his benefactor, and the discovei 
the papers iu possession of the wrong man, would imperil both 
fugitive and his friend. It was. therefore, an act of suprei 
on the part of a freeman of colour thus to put iu jeopardy his 
liberty, that another might be free. It was. however, not 
frequently bravely done, and was seldom discovered. I was ni 
fortunate to sufficiently resemble any of my free acquaiaW 
as to answer the description of their papers. But I had one ft 
— a sailor — who owned a sailor's protection, which answered 


"list the purpose of free papei-e— describing his peraon, and certi- 

ying to tlie fact that he waa a free American aailor. The iustru- 

■"eat had at its head the American eagle, whioh gave it the 

sppearance at once of an authorized document. This protection 

id not, ^heu in my hands, describe its bearer very accurately. 

indeed, it called for a man much dai'ker than myself, and close 

examination of it would have caused my aiTeet at the start. In 

order to avoid this fatal scrutiny on tlie part of the railroad official, 

I bad arranged with laaac Bolls, a hackman, to bring my baggage 

to the train just on the moment of its starting, and I jumped upon 

the car inyBclf when the train was already in motion. Had I gone 

"ito the station and offered to pui-chaae a ticket, I should have been 

^TOatanlly and carefully examined, and undoubtedly ai-rested. In 

g this plan upon which to act, I considered the jostle of the 

in, and the natural haste of the conductor, in a train crowded 

b passengers, and relied upon my skill and address in playing 

) sailor as described in my protection, to do the rest. One 

a my favour, waa the kiud feeling which prevailed in Balti- 

n and other seaports at the time, towards " those who go down 

to the 8«a in ships." " Free trade and sailors' rights " expressed 

^e sentiment of the country just then. In my clothing, I was 

'■tfged out in sailor style. 1 Lad on a red shirt and a tarpaulin 

"^t ujd black ci'avat, tied in sailor fashion, carelessly and loosely 

lOout my neck. My knowledge of ships and aailor's talk came 

mdch to my assistance, for I knew a ship from stem to stem, and 

A keelson to cross- trees, and could talk sailor like an " old salt." 

' Sped the train, and I was well on the way to Havre de Grace 

the conductor came into tlie negro car to collect tickets and 

G the papers of his black passengers. This was a critical 

*lBMit in the drama. My whole future depended upon the 

^8ion of this conductor. Agitated I waa while this ceremony 

*^ proceeding, but still externally, at least, I was apparently calm 

** Self-possessed. He went on with his duty — examining several 

. '^Ured passengers before reaching me. He was somewhat harsb 

^■T^^no, and peremptory in manner nntil he reached me, when, 

^^p^gely enough, and to my surprise and relief, his whole manner 

^^^F^*iged. Seeing that I did not readily produce my free papers, as 

^^^* Other coloured persons in the oar had done, he said to me, in a 

^dly contrast with that observed towards the others : " I suppose 

168 ma knowixdos of seips. 

yon have your free papers ? " To wliicli I answered : " No, sir ; J 
never carry my free papers to sea with me." '■ But yon have some^ 
tiling to show tliftt yott are a free man, have you not ? " " Yea, 
sir." I answered ; " I have a paper with the American eagle on it) 
and that will carry rae ronnd the world." With this I drew from 
my deep sailor's pocket my seaman's protection, as before described. 
The merest glance at the paper satisfied him, and ho took my f 
and went on about liis bnsiness. This moment of time was one ol 
the most anxious I ever esperienced. Had the conductor 1 
closely at the paper, he could not have ia'ded to discover that i 
called for a very different looking person from myself, and in thai 
case, it would have been his duty to arrest me on that instant, and 
Bend me back to Baltimore from the Bret station. When he 1^ 
me with the assurance that I was all right, though much relievei, 
I realised that I was still in great danger. I was still in Maryland^ 
and subject to arrest at any moment. I saw on the train several 
persons who would have known mc in any other clothes, and 1 
feared they might recognise me, even in my sailer " rig," and 
report me to the conductor, who would then subject me to a c 
examination, which I knew well would be fatal to me. 

Though I was not a murderer fleeing from justice, I felt perb^ 
quite as miserable as such a criminal. The train was moving at I 
very high rate of speed for that time of railroad travel, but to m] 
anxious mind, it was moving far too slowly. Minutes were honrsi 
and hours were days, during this part of my flight. After Maty' 
land, I was to pass through Delaware — another slave State, whei 
fllave -catchers generally awaited their prey, for it was i 
interior of the State, but on its borders, that these human bonnd) 
were most vigilant and active. The border lines between slavoij 
and freedom were the dangerous ones, for the ftigitives. The heai 
of no fox or deer, with hungry hounds on his trail in full chasa 
oould have beaten more anxiously or noisily than did mine, front 
the time I left Baltimore till I reached Philadelphia, The passagt 
of the Susquehanna river at Havre de Grace was made by ferry 
boat at that time, on board of which I met a young coloured man 
by the name of Nichols, who came very near betraying me. H( 
was a " hand " on the boat, but instead of minding his buGiness, 
he insisted iipon knowing me, and asking me dangerous question! 
as to where I was going, and when I was coming back, &c. I 

yvt away (rom my old and inconveoieDt acquamtancQ as soon as 
I conld decently do so, aud went to another part of tlie boat. 
Once across the river I enconntered a new danger. Only a few 
days before, I had been at work on a re venue -cutter, in Mr. Price's 
ship-yard, under the care of Captain McGowan. On the meeting 
at this point of the two trains, the one going South stopped on the 
track just opposite to the one going North, and it so happened that 
thia Captain McGowan sat at a window where he conld see me very 
distinctly, and would certainly have recognised me had be looked 
at mo bat for a second. Fortunately, in the hurry of tbe moment, 
be did not see me ; and tbe trains soon passed each otlier on their 
rcapeolive ways. But this was not my only hair-breadtb escape. 
A German blacksmith whom I knew well, was on tho tram with 
me, and looked at me very intently, aa if he thought he bad seen me 
somewhere before in bis travels. I really believe be knew me, but 
had no heart to betray me. At any rate bo saw mo escaping and 
lir'ld bis peace. 

The last point of imminent danger, and the one I dreaded most, 

..ka Wilmington. Here we left the train, and took tbe steamboat 

I- Philadelphia. In making the change here I again apprehended 

.irreat. but no one disturbed me, and I was soon on tbe broad and 

!" iiDtiful Delaware, speeding away to tbe Quaker City, On reacb- 

■ 1 M Philadelphia in tbe afternoon, I inquired of a coloured man how 

1 conld get on to New York. Ho directed mo to tbe WiUiam 

,^[re*t depot, and tbitber I went, taking tbe train that night. I 

readied New York on Tuesday morning, having completed the 

jonmey in less than twenty-four hours. Such is briefly the manner 

af my escape from slavery — and the end of my experience aa a 

^^■Me. Other chapters will tell tbe story of my life as a freeman. 



Loneliness and Insecurity — ** AUender's Jake" — Saocoored by a Sailor — IHn 
Ruggles — Marriage — Steamer J. W. Blohmond — Stage to New Bedforc 
Arrival there — Driver's detention of baggage — ^Nathan Johnson — Change 
Name — ^Why called ** Douglas" — Obtaining work — ^The Liberator and 

MY free life began on the third of September, 1888. On t 
morning of the 4th of that month, after an anxious az 
most perilous, but safe journey, I found myself in the big citj 
New York, a free nian ; one more added to the mighty throe 
which, like the confused waves of the troubled sea, surged i 
and fro between the lofty walls of Broadway. Though dasste 
with the wonders which met me on every hand, my thought 
could not be much withdrawn from my strange situation. Fc 
the moment, the dreams of my youth, and the hopes of m 
manhood, were completely fulfilled. The bonds that had hel 
me to **old master" were broken. No man now had a rigk 
to call me his slave, or assert mastery over me. I was in tfa 
rough and tumble of an out-door world, to take my chanc 
with the rest of its busy number. I have often been aske 
how I felt, when first I found myself on free soil ; and in 
readers may share the same curiosity. There is scarcely an; 
thing in my experience about which I could not give a mo9 
satisfactory answer. A new world had opened upon me. 
life is more than breath, and the '* quick round of blood/' 
lived more in one day than in a year of my slave life. It wi 
a time of joyous excitement which words can but tame 
describe. In a letter written to a friend soon after reacbii 
New York, I said : '* I felt as one might feel, upon escape fro 
a den of hungry Hons." Anguish and grief, like darkness ai 
rain, may be depicted ; but gladness and joy, like the rainb(^ 


iety the skill of peu or peucU. During teu or fifteen years I had, 

»B it were, been dragging a heavy chain, which no strength of mine 

conid break ; I was not only a slave, but a slave for life. I might 

become a husband, a father, an aged man, but through all, from 

birth to death, from the cradle to the grave, I had felt myself 

doomed. All efforts I had previously made to secure my freedom, 

liad uot only failed, but had seemed only to rivet my fetters the 

Miore firmly, and to render my escape more difficult. Baflled, 

entaugied, and discouraged, I bad at times asked myself the ques- 

^oa : may not my condition after all be God's work, and ordered 

foi » wiae purpose, and if so, was uot submissiou my duty? A 

*i*Mitest had in fact been going on in my mind for a long time, be- 

[ tiKenthe dear conBciousnesa of right, and the plausible make-shifts 

>f theology and superstition. The one held me an abjeot slave — a 

: for life, punished for some transgression in which I had 

Hi lot or part ; and the other oouneellod me to manly endeavour to 

■ Btcnre my freedom. This contest was now ended : my chains were 

"flken, and the victory brought me unspeakable joy. But my 

I was short lived, for I was uot yet out of the reach and 

r of the slave-holders. 1 soon found that New York was not 

«B0 free, or so safe a refuge as I had supposed, and a sense of 

n*Ihiess and insecurity, again oppressed me most sadly. I 

«ced to meet on the street, a few hours after my lauding, a fugitive 

P*'e, whom I had once known well in slavery. The iuformation 

^ived from him alai-med me. The fugitive in question was 

■***iTni in Baltimore as " AUender's Jake," but in New York he 

^^''e the more respectable name of " William Dixon," Jake, inlaw, 

"**» the property of Doctor Allender, and Tolly Allender, the son 

the doctor, had once made an effort to recapture Mr. DUnu, but 

^"i failed for want of evidence to support his claim. Jake told 

™^ ttie circumstances of this attempt, and how narrowly he escaped 

,^*-*3g s^'it back to slavery and tortm-e. He told me that New 

'^♦■k was then fall of Southei-ners returning from the watei'ing 

^^ 'wa North ; that the coloured people of New York were not to be 

; that tliere were hired men of my own colom' who would 

oie for a few dollars ; that there were hired men ever on the 

t for fugitives ; that I must trust uo man with my secret ; 

t I most not think of going either upon the wharves, or into 

r coloured boarding- bouse, for all such places were closely 

watched ; tbat lie was himself iinabic to help mc ; and, in bet. U« 
seemed while speakiug to me to fear lest I myself might be S igjt 
and a boti'ajor. Under this apprehension, as I suppose, he showsd 
signs of wishing to be rid of me, and with white wash-bniali il 
band, in search of work, be soon disappeared. This picture, gma 
by poor "Jake," of New York, was a damper to my enthua 
My little store of money would soon be exhausted, and since il 
would be unsafe for me to go on the wharves for work, and I b 
no introductions elsewhere, the prospect for me was fej fn 
cheerful. I saw the wisdom of keeping away from the ship-jan 
for, if pursued, as I felt certain I should be. Mr. Auld wonl 
natui-ally seek me there, among the caulkers. Eveiy door sea 
closed against me. I was in the midst of an ocean of my foil 
men, and yet a perfect stranger to everyone. I was withouthomi 
without aquaintance, without money, without credit, without W(d 
and without any definite knowledge ns to what course to take, I 
where to look for succour. In such an extremity, a man has som 
thing beside his new-bom freedom to think of. While wanderiii 
about the streets of Now York, and lodging at least one aig) 
among Uie barrels on one of the wharves, I was indeed free bOi 
slavery — but free from food and shelter as well. I kept my sew 
to myself aa long as I could, but was compelled at last to seek Bon 
one who would befriend me, without taking advantage of a 
destitution to betray me. 6uch an one I found in k sailor dbdu 
Stuart, a warm-beai'ted and generous fellow, who from ll 
bumble home on Centre Street, saw me standing on the opp 
sidewalk, near " The Tombs." As he approached me, I ventured 
remark to him which at once enlisted bis interest in me. He ti 
mo to his home to gpcnd the night, and in the morning went iril 
me to Mr. David Buggies, the secretary of the New York Vig 
Committee, a co-worker with Isaac T. Hopper, Lewis and j 
Tappan, Theodore S. Wright, Samuel Cornish, Thomas Dow] 
Pliillip A. Bell, and other true men of their time. All these " 
Mr. Bell, who still hves, and is editor and publisher of a | 
called the Elevatur, in San Francisco," have finished their work < 
earth. Once in the hands of these brave and wise men, I E 
comparatively safe. With Mr. Buggies, on the comer ofLiapenU 
and Church Bti'eets, I was hidden several days, during which tin 
my intended wife came on from Baltimore at my call, to share Ul 


aus of life with me. She was a free woman, and came at once 

■ getting the good news of my safety. Wo were married by Rev. 
bW. C. Pennington, then a well-known and respected Presbyterian 

I had no money with which to pay the marriage fee, but 
I seemed well pleased with our thanks. 

r. Roggles was the first officer on the tmderground raih-oad 
ih whom I met after coming North ; and was indeed the only 
ie with whom I bad anytliing to do, till I became such an officer 
!8elf. Iieaming that my trade was that of a caulker, be promptly 
■id«d that the best place for me was in New Bedford, Mass. He 
e that many ships for whaling voyages were fitted out there, 
d that I might there find work at my trade, and make a good 
So on the day of the marriage ceremony, we took our little 

to the steamer " John W. Bichmoiid," which at that time 
e of the line rimning between New York and Newport, B. I, 

•ty-three years ago coloui'ed travellers were not permitted in the 
is, nor allowed abaft the paddle-wheels of a steam vessel. They 
« oompelled, whatever the weather might be, whether cold or 
t, wet or dry, to spend the night on deck. Unjust as this re- 
Uion was, it did not trouble us much. We had fared much 
r before. We arrived at Newport the next moraing. and 
Bi after an old-fashioned stage-coach with "New Bedford " in large 
W lettera on its aides, came down to the wharf. I had not mouey 

1 to pay our fare, and stood hesitating to know what to do. 
inately for us. there were two Quaker gentlemen who were 

nt to take passage on the stage, — Friends Wilham C. Taber and 
eph Ricketson,^ — who at once discerned our true situation, and 
t pecuharly quiet way. addressing me, Mr. Taber said : " Thee 

■ in." I never obeyed ati order with more alacrity, and we were 
1 on our way to our now home. When we reached " Stone 

" the passengers alighted for breakfast, and paid their fares 
1 driver. We took no breakfast, and when asked for our 
I I told the driver I would make it right with him when we 
'" ^bed New Bedford. I expected some objection to this on his 
'>"l, but he made none. When, however, we reached New 
■idford he took onr baggage, including three music books, — two 
"I iLem collections by Dyer, and one by (Shaw. — and held them 
"^Btil I was able to redeem them by paying to him the sums due 
^ our rides. Ximja^oca^ona, for Mr. Nathan Johnson not 


^^^^B about onr baggage, at once loaned me tbe two doUara with w] 

^^^^H to sqnare accounts witb the stage-driver. Mr. and Mrs. Nal 

^^^H Johnson reached a good old age, and now rest from their lal 

^^^H I am under many grateful obhgations to them. They not 

^^^H "took mc in when a stranger," and " fed me when hungry,' 

^^^B taught me how to make an honest living. 

^^H Thus, in a fortnight after my flight from Maryland, I was 

^^B m New Bedford,— a citizen of the grand old commonwealtii 

I ' 

r = 

f ^ 


Once initiated into my new life of freedom, and assured 
Mr. Johnson that I need not fear recapture in that city, a (M| 
paratively unimportant question arose, as to the name by wluq 
should be known thereafter, in my new relation as a free 
The name given me by my dear mother was no less pretenl 
and long than Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey. 
however, while living in Maryland dispensed witli the Aii( 
Washington, and retained only Frederick Bailey. Beti 
Baltimore and New Bedford, the better to conceal myself from 
slave -bimters, I had parted with Bailey and called myself Jol 
but fmding that in New Bedford the Johnson famUy was 
BO numerous, as to cause some confusion in iUBtingmBliing on«: 
another, a change in this name seemed desirable. ] 
Johnson, mine host, was emphatic as to this necessity, and 
me to allow him to select a name for me. I consented, aod 
called me by my present name, the one by which I have 
known for three and forty years, — Frederick Douglass. 
Johnson had just been reading the '■ Lady of the Lake," i 
pleased was he with its great character, that he wished me 
his name. Since reading that charming poem myself, i 
often thought that, considering the noble hospitality and 
character of Nathan Johnson, black man though hi 
more than I, illustrated the virtues of the Douglas 
Sure am I that if any slave-catcher had entered las domioj 
a view to my recapture, Johnson would have been like 
■■ stalwart hand." 

The reader may be surprised, — living in Baltimore 
done for many years — when I tell the honest truth of ibj 
I bad in some way conceived of the social aui 


of the people at tbe North. I had no proper idea of the 
I. refinement, enterprise, and high civilization of this Bection 

coontry. My Columbian Orator, almost my only book, had 
nothing to enlighten me concerning Northern society. I had 
bnght that slavery was the bottom-faot of all wealth. With 
'foondation idea, I came naturally to the conclusion, that 
ty must be the general condition of the people of the free 
). A white man holding no slaves in the country &om which 
le. was usually an ignorant and poverty-stricken man. Men 
is class were contemptuously called "poor white trash." 
i I supposed, that since the n on -slaveholders at the South 
ignorant, poor, and degraded as a class, the n on -slaveholders 

North, must be in a aimUar condition. New Bedford there- 
wbicli at that lime was really the richest city in the Union, 
>portion to its population, took me gi-eat!y by surprise, in the 
noes it gave, of its sohd wealth and grandeor. I found that 
the labouring classes hved in better houses, that their houses 
tnbre elegantly furnished, and were more abundantly supplied 
Qonvenienees and comforts, than the houses of many who 
i slavea on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. This was true, 
nly of the white people of that city, but it was so of my friend, 
lotmson. He lived in a nicer house, dined at a more ample 
1, was the owner of more books, the reader of more news- 
«, was more conversant with the moral, social, and political 
i&oa of the country and the world, than nine-tenths of the 
Holders in all Talbot county. I was not long in finding the 
1 of the difference in these respects, between the people of the 
hand South. It was the superiority of educated mind over mere 
I force. I will not detain the reader by extended illnstrationa 

how my understanding was-enhghtened on this subject. On 
of New Bedford I received my first light. I saw there 
withont bustle, labour without noise, toil — honest, earnest, 

Lhanative, without the whip. There was no loud singing or 
at the wharves of Southern ports when ships were 
ig or unloading ; no loud cursing or quarrelling ; evorything 

on aa smoothly as well-oiled machinery. One of the first 

mts which impressed me with the superior mental chai-acter 

ibo^ in the North, over that of the South, was in the 

of loading and unloading vessels. In a Southei-n port 




supERioarrY ov toee states. 

thirty hands wonld be employed to 
or six men. with the help of one oi, would do at the 
in New Bedford. Maiii strength — human muflcle— iinassial 
intelligent akiU, was slaveiy's method of labour. With a i 
of about sixty dollars, in the shape of a good-natured 
ox, attached to tlie end of a stoat rope, New Bedford AH 
work of ten or twelve thousand dollars, represented in 
■ bones and musoles of slaves, and did it far better. In a wi 
I found everything managed with a much more Bci-upulous r 
to economy, both of men and things, time and strength, th 
the country irom which I had come. lustead of going a hni 
yards to the spring, the maid-servaut had a well or pump a| 
elbow. The wood used for fuel was kept dry. and snugly, 
away for winter. Here were sinks, drains, self-shutting { 
pounding-barrels, washing- machine a, wringing-msichines, ai 
hundred other contrivances for saving time and money. The 
repahing docks showed the same thoughtful wisdom as was seen 
wliere. Everybody seemed in earnest. The carpenter strool 
nail on it9head,and the caolkers wasted no strength in idle floDli 
of their mallets. Ships bronght here for repairs, were 
stronger and better than when new, I could have landed 
part of the United States where I should have found a. more stri 
and grati^^g contrast, not only to life generally in the 8< 
but in the condition of the coloured people, than in New Bed 
No coloured man was really &ee, while residing in a slave S 
He was ever more or less subject to the condition of his I 
brother. In his colour was his badge of bondage. I saw in 
Bedford the nearest approach to firccdom and equality that 1 
ever seen. I was amazed when Mr. Johnson told me that ' 
was nothing in the laws or constitution of MassachnaettB, 
would prevent a coloui'ed man from being governor of the E 
if the people should see fit to elect him. There too the 
man's children attended the same public schools with the ' 
man's children, and apparently without objection team 
quarter. To impress rae with my security from recapture, 
return to slavery, Mr. Johnson assured me that no slaveh 
could take a slave out of New Bedford ; that there were men j 
who would lay down their hvea to save me from such a 
satwae onoe made byft coloured man, to inform a Soathem m 


n his niD&w&y slave oould be found. Aa soon as tbis tlireat 
me koown to the coloured people, tliey were rarions, A notice 
road from the pulpit of the Third Christian chnrcli^olonred — 
I public meeting, when important business woidd be transacted 
M stating what the important business was. In the meantime 
:ial measures had been taken to secure the attendance of the 

'be Judas, and these had proved successful, for when the 
r of meeting arrived, ignorant of the object for which they 
« called together, the offender was promptly in attendance. All 
naoal formalities were gone through, the prayer, appointments 
Resident, secretaries, etc. Then the president, with an air of 
Uwlemnity, rose and said: " Well, fi-iends and brethren, we have 
him here, and I would recommend that yon young men should 
e him ontside tlie door and kill him." This was enough ; there 
I B rush for the villain, who would probably have been killed 
'for his escape by an open window. He was never seen again 
New Bedford. 

The fifth day after my an-ival I put on tlie clothes of a common 
and went upon the wharves in search of work. On my 
down Union Street, I saw a large pile of coal in front of the house 
tbe R«v, Ephitiim Peabody, the Unitarian minister, I went to the 
iken door, and asked the pririlege of bringing in and putting 
ty this coal. " What will you charge ? " said the lady. " I will 
wtliat to you, madam." " You may put it away," she said. I 
I not long in acoomplisliing the job, when the dear lady put 
» toy hand ta-o rilrer litilf-ilolhirs. To understand the emotion 
«l swelled my heart as I clasped this money, realizing that I had 
lluter who could take it from mo — that il inii iniru- — thnt my 
> aere my oa-n, and coidd earn more of the precious coin — one 
' Lave been in some sense himself a slave. My nest job was 
aig a sloop, at Uuele Gid. Rowland's wharf, with a cargo of 
'*■ New York. I was not only a freeman, but a free-working 

and no Master Hugh stood ready at the end of the week to 

ray hard earnings, 
le season was growing late and work was plenty. Ships 

being fitted out for whaling, and miich wood was used in 
Qg them. The sawing of tbis wood was considered a good job. 
I Uie help of old Friend Johnson — blossingg on his memory I 
■ a " saw " and •■ buck," and went at it. When I went into a 


deerr- — , 

178 UNKJ 

store to bny a cord with which to brace up my saw in the 
I aaked for a " tip's " worth of cord. The man behind the c 
looked rather sharply at me, aud said with equal sharpness, " Yotc 
don't belong about here." I was alarmed, and thought I hat 
betrayed myself. A iip in Maryland waa sis and a quarter ceuta 
called fourpeuce in Massachusetts, Bnt no harm came, except n 
fear, from llie " fipenny-bit " blunder, aud I confidently and cheerr j 
fnlly went to work with my saw and buck. It was new busiuei 
to me, but I never did better work, or more of it in the same 8pa*~_ 
of time for Covey, the uegi'o-breaker, than I did for myself 
these earliest years of my freedom. 

NotwithRtanding the just and humane sentiment of New n^=— ^ 
ford three aud forty years ago, the place was not entirely i^c-^a 
from race and colour prejudice. The good influence of 'Cruise 
Boachee, Bodmaufl, Arnolds, Grinnella, and Bobesona did imiaol 
pervade all classes of its people. The teat of the real civilisat>i.oii 
of the community eame when I apphed for work at my trade, a 
then my rcpnlae waa emphatic aud deciaive. It so happened t 
Mr. Hodncj French, a wealtliy and enterprising citizen, disti 
guished as an anti-slavery man. Was £lttng out a vcasel f(»i 
whaling voyage, upon which there was a heavy job of cawllciK^^S 
aud coppering to be done. I had some skill in both branch^^^i 
and applied to Mr. French for work. He, generous man that A ''• 
was, told me he would employ me, and I might go at once to t^ " 
veasel. I obeyed him, but upon reaching the float-stage, mke^^' 
other caullcera were at work, I was told that every white i 
would leave the ship in her tmfinished condition, if I sti-uck 
blow at my trade upon her. This uuci%'il, inhuman, aud s 
treatment was not so shocking and scaudahms in my eyea a 
time as it now appears to me. Slavery had inured me to t 
ships that made ordinary trouble sit Ughtly upon me. Could ! 
have worked at my trade, I could have earned two dollars a 
but as a common labourer, I received but one dollar, 
difference was of great importance to me, but if I could not g-^^* 
two dollars. I was glad to get one ; and so I went to work for IC^ 
French as a common labom'er. The consciousuesa that 1 w^^*^ 
free — no longflr a slave — kept me cheerful under this, aud ma*^^' 
similar proscriptions, which I was destined to meet in Now Bew^£^ 
ford, aud elsewhere on the free soil uf Massachusetts. 


:e, tliougii white und coloured children atleudcd the aame 
K>ls, aad were treated kindly by their teachers, the New Bed- 
t Lycenin refused, till several years after my residence in that 
, to allow auy coloured person to attend the lecturea delivered 
^ta hall. Not until such men as Hou. Chas. Sumner, Theo- 
! Parker, Ralph W, Emcrsoii, and Hoiacc Mann refused to 
ue in their course while there was such a restriction, was it 

lag satisfied that I could not rely on my trade in New 
1 to give me a liviag, I prepared myself to do any kind of 
pk that came to hand. I sawed wood, shovelled coal, dug cellars, 
Wed rubbish from back-yards, worked on the wharves, loaded 
l unloaded vessels, and suotu'ed theb cabins. 

a was an uncertain and unsatisfactory mode of life, for it 

le too much of the time is search of work. Fortunately it 

> not to last long. One of the gentlemen of whom I Lave spoken 

a company with Mr. Tabsr on the Newport wharf, when 

(Baid to me ■■ thee get m," was Mr. Joseph Ricketson ; and he 

■ Ihe proprietor of a large candle-works in the aoutii part of the 

In this " candle-works " as it was called, though uo i-imdlnt 

fre manofactui'ed there, by the kindness of Mi'. Ricketson, I 

pd what is of the utmost importance to a young man just 

. life— constant employment and regular wages. My 

k ia this oil refinery required good wind and muscle. Large 

B <^ oil were to bo moved from place to place, and much heavy 

g to be done. Happily I was not dehcient in the requisite 

■ities. Voung, twenty-one years old, sti'ong, and active, and 

l^tioaa to do my full share, I soon made myself useful, and, I 

} liked by the men who worked with me, though they 

e all white. I was retained here as long as there was anything 

B to do 1 when I went again to the wharves, and obtained 

b H a labourer on two vessels which belonged to Mr, George 

wland, and which were being repaired and fitted up for whahng. 

r employer was a man of great industry : a hard driver, but a 

' i paymaster, and I got on well with bun. I was not only 

howate in finding work with Mr, Howlaud, but in my work 

Krvn. I liave seldom met throe working-men more intelligeul 

Dvere Juiin Briggs, Abraham Bodman, and Solomon Penning- 

• Who laboured with me on the "Java" and " Golconda. 


They were sober, thonglitful, and upright, tlioronglily imbupd 
the spirit of liberty, and I am much indebted to them, for i 
valuable ideaa and impressions. They taught mc that aU coloB 
uien were not light-hearted triflers, incapable of serious Ihougl 
effort. My next place of work, was at the brass -foundry owne 
Mr. Richmond. My dnty here was to blow the bellows, aving 
crane, and empty the flasks in which castings were made ; aai 
times this was hot and heavy work. The articles produced 
were mostly for ship work, and in the busy soason, the foun 
was iu operation night and day. I have often worked two ni{ 
and each working day of the week. My foreman, Mr. Cobb, 
a good man, and more than once protected me from abuse ' 
one or more of tiie hands was disposed to tlirow upon me. W 
in this situation I bad little time for mental improvement. B 
work, night and day, over a ftirnace hot euoagb to keep the n 
running bke water, was more favourable to action than tbnn^_ 
yet here, I often nailed a newspaper to the post near my bellcfl 
and read while I was performing the up and down motion of a 
heavy beam, by which the bellows was inflated and discharged, 
was the pursuit of knowledge under difficulties, and I look b 
to it now, after so many years, ^vitl] some complacency and a li 
wonder, that I coidd have been so earnest and persevering in I 
pursuit, other than for my daily bread. I certainly saw nothing in 
conduct of those aroiud to inspire me with such interest r tt 
were all devoted esclusiTcly to what their bands found to do. 
am glad to be able to say that during my engagement in 1 
foundry, no complaint was ever made against me, that I did nol 
my work, and do it well. The bellows which I worked by 
strength was, after I left, moved by a steam engine. 

I had been living four or five months in New Bedford wl 
there came a young man to me with a copy oi the Liberalar, 
paper edited by William Lloyd Garrison, and published by 1 
Enapp, and asked me to subscribe for it. I told him I had 
just escaped from slavery, and was of course very poor, and had 
money then to pay for it. He was very willing to take me 1 
subscriber, notwithstanding, and &om this time I was brongbt: 
contact with the mind of Mr. Garrison, and bis paper took a pi 
in my heart, second only to the Bible. It detested slavery, 
made no truce with the traffickers in the bodies and souls at 

oowtiOT WITH ataaaoK. 181 

reached biiman brotherhood ; it exposed bypocrisy and wicked- 

I in high places; it denounced oppreBsion, and with all the 
unity of " Thus saith the Lord," demanded the complete 
icipation of my race, I loved this paper and its editor. He 
led to me. an all-sufficient match for every opponent, whether 

f gpoke in the name of the law, or the gospel. His words were 
of holy fire, and straight to the point. Something of a hero- 

Bhipper by nature, here was one to escite my admiration and 

a after becoming a reader of the Lilieriitor, it was my privilege 

iBten to a lecture in Liberty Hall, by Mr. Garrison, its editor. 

8 then a young man, of a singularly pleasing countenance, 

. earaest and impressive manner. On this occasion he annoimced 

x\y ftll his heresies. His Bible was his text book — held sacred 

;Uie very word of the Eternal Father. He beheved in sinless 

feotion, complete submission to insults and injuries, and literal 

e to the injunction " if smitten on one cheek, to turn the 

iralBO." Not only was Sunday a Sabbath, but all days vrere 

bUths, and to be kept holy. All sectarianism was false and 

Bchievoue — the regenerated throughout the world, being members 

lebody, and the head Christ Jesus. Prejuilice against coluar, 

* TtbtUitm ayainac liod. Of all men beneath the sky, the slaves — 
e most neglected and despised — were nearest and dearest to 

1 great heart. Ihose nunisters who defended slavery from the 
^^^ i. wore of their " father, the devil ; " and those churches which 
Wsliipped slaveholders as Christians, were synagogues of Satan, 
^ our nation was a nation of liars. He was never loud and 
"y. but calm aud serene as a summer sky, and as pure. " You 

* the man— the Moses, raised up by God, to deliver his modern 
Ml from bondage," was the spontaneous feeling of my heart, as 
■t away back in the hall and hstened to his mighty words,— 
Ifiaty in truth, — mighty in their simple earnestness. I had not 
9 been a reader of the Liberator, and a listener to its editor, 

e I got a clear comprehension of the principles of the auti- 
™Wy movement. I had already its spirit, and only needed to 
^tstaud its principles and measures, and as I became acquainted 
>b these my hope for the ultimate freedom of my race increased. 
'Wy week the Liberator came, and every week I made myself 
'Ster of its contents. All the anti-slavery meetings held in New 


Bedford I promptly attended, my heart bounding at every trae 
utterance against the slave system, and every rebuke of it by its 
friends and supporters. Thus passed the iirst three years of my 
free life. I had not then dreamed of the possibility of my becoming 
a public advocate of the cause so deeply imbedded in my heart. It 
was enough for me to listen, to receive, and applaud the great 
words of others, and only whisper in private, among the white 
labourers on the wharves and elsewhere, the truths which bnmed 
in my heart. 


— Siavtry Coavention at Nimtucitet— Firat Speech— Much Sonsatioo — 
'--^^tLTaordiiuiry Speech of Mr. Qarrison — Anti-SUveij Agency — Youthful 
^''■Uiiuattian— Fugitive Shiveahip Doubted— Esperienoc in Slavery Written — 
"wttjror of Recapture. 

T^N the summer of 18il, a grand anti-slavery convontion was 

"*— beld in Nantnukot, nnder the auspices of Mr. GarriBon and 

J^'s friends, I had taken no holiday ainoe eBtabliahmg myself in 

-^ew Bedford, aud feeling the need uf a little rest, I determined on 

"■tleuding the meeting, though I had no thought of taking part in 

^QJof its proceedings. Indeed, I was not aware that any one 

•connected with the convention so much as knew my name. Mr. 

^'ilham C. Coffin, a prominent abolitionist in those days of trial, 

I "M hourd me speaking to my coloured friends in the little school- 

I ^oiiBfi on Second street, where we worshipped. He sought me out 

I *" the crowd, and invited me to say a few words to the convention. 

I ^h\B Bonglit out, and thus invited, I was induced to express the 

'*^f^ngB inspired hj the occasion, and the fresh recollection of the 

*'*-'*UQa ttirough which I had passed as a alave. It was with the 

""Jtiort difficulty that I could stand erect, or that 1 could com- 

''"uj<i and articulate two words without hesitation or stam- 

""^ring. I tromhled in every limb. I am not swe that my 

^inbarrasament was not the most effective part of my speech, 

speech it could be called. At any rate, this is about the 

""'y part of my performance that I now distinctly remember. 

'life audience aympathised witli mo at once, and from having 

"-'bQ remarkably quiot, became much excited. Mr. Garrison 

"Uo-xi-ed me, taking me as his text, and now, whether I had 

'"*^« an eloquent plea in behalf of freedom, or not, his was 

'"'®- never to be forgotten. Those who had heard him oftenest, 

184 I 

and hod known biin lougest, were aatouisbed at his masterly e. 
For tbe time, he possGHsed that almost fabulous uiapiration, ol 
referred to, but seldom attained, by wbicL a public meeting is tn 
formed, as it were, iuto a single iudividuabtj, tbe orator sw&j 
a tbonsand iieada and hearts at once, aud by the simple majestt; 
bia aU -controlling thought, converting bis hearera into tbe expi 
image of his own soul. That night there were at least a tbona 
Garrisoniaus in Nantucket ! 

At tbe close of this great meeting, I was duly waited on by 1 
John A. Collins, then tbe general agent of the Massachusetts A 
Slavery Society, aud urgently sohcited by him to become an A| 
of that society, and publicly advocate its principles. I was 
luctaut to take the proffered position. I iiad not been quite t 
years from slavery and was honestly distrustful of my ability, 
I wished to be excused. Besides, pubhcity might discover ma 
my master, and many other objections presented themselves. 
Mr. Collins was not to be refused, and I finally consented to go 
for thi-ee months, supposing I should, in that length of time, a 
to tbe end of my story and my consequent usefulness. 

Here opened for me a new life — a hfe for which I had had no 
paration. Mi-, Collins used to say, when introducuig me to an audiei 
I was a "graduate from tbe iwcuhar institution, with my dipk 
im«(7! un my lincb." The three years of my freedom had been s] 
in the hard school of adversity. My bands seemed to be furni^ 
with something like a leather coating, aud I had marked oat 
myself a life of rough labour, suited to the hardness of my hai 
as a means of supporting my family aud rearing my children. 

Youug, ardent, and hopefiil, I entered upon this new life in 
full gush of unsuspecting enthusiasm. The cause was good, 
men engaged in it were good, the means to attain its trinn 
good. Heaven's blessing must attend all. and freedom must 8 
be given to tbe milhons pining under a ruthless bondage. 
whole heart went with the holy cause, and my most fervent prt 
to the Almighty Disposer of tbe hearts of men, was oontioQ 
offered for its early triumph. In this enthusiastic spirit I dnq 
into tbe ranks of freedom's friends, and went forth to tbe bft' 
For a time. I was made to forget that my akin was dark and 
hair crisped. For a time, I regretted that I could not have ahl 
the hardships and dangers endured by tbe earlier workers for 


^'^Te's release. I found, however, fall soon, that my enthnaiasm 
'**d bppii extravagant, that hardships and dangers were not all 
'*^*r, and that the life now before mo had its shadows also, as well 
*^ its sunbeams. 

Among the first duties assigned me on entering the ranks, was 

to travel in company with Mr. George Foster to secui'e subBcribera 

^<* tlte Anti-Sliiien/ SlandanI and the Lihenitor. With him I 

*-ravelied and lectured through the eastern counties of Maasa- 

'^liusetts. Much interest was awakened — large meetings assembled. 

^^Aay came, no doubt from curiosity, to hear what a negro could say 

*o Ilia own cause. I was generally introduced as a " chattel," — a 

"tiling" — a piece of Southern property — the chairman assuring 

•Jie aodience that il could speak. Fvijitirt «/«iy» were rare then, 

^iti\ lis a fugitive slave Lecturer. I had the advantage of being a 

' ■ brivii new tact " — the first one out. Up to that time, a coloured 

^man was deemed a fool who confessed himself a runaway slave, 

1 only because of the danger to which he exposed himself of 

ttg retaken, but because it was a confession of a very low origin, 

9 of my coloured fi-iends in New Bedford tliought very badly 

my wisdom, in thus exposing and degrading myself. The only 

nution I took at the beginning, to prevent Master Thomas 

n knowing where I was and what I was about, was the withhold- 

"*!£ my former name.mymaster's name, and the name of the State 

'Od county from which I came. During the fii'st three or four 

moiitiiB, my speeches were almost exclusively made up of narrations 

'>F loy own personal experience as a slave. "Let us have the 

^*sta, " said the people. So also said friend George Foster, who 

"l^WKys wished to pin me down to my simple narrative. " Give us 

tlao facts," said CoUins, " we will take care of the philosophy. " 

Jost here arose some embarrassment. It was impossible for me 

*** fepcat the same old story, month after month, and to keep up 

■"y iuterest in it. It was new to the people, it is true, but it was 

^ old stoiy to me ; and to go through with it night after night, 

^"^ * task altogether too mechanical for my nature. " Tell your 

^, Frederick." would whisper my revered friend. Mr. Garrison, 

I stepped upon the platform. I could not always follow the 

J'^Uction, for I was now reading and thinking. New views of tlie 

""^iect were bemg presented to my mind. It did not enth'ely 

**Sfy me to tuirrate wrongs ; I felt like ilcHouncinrj them. I could 

186 OIVE9 

not always curb mj moral indignation for the psrpctratora of slave 
holding villainy, long enough for a circtimBtantial statement of thi 
facts, which I felt almost sure everybody must know. Besides, '. 
was growing, and needed room. "People won't believe you eve 
were a slave, Frederick, if you keep on this way," said 
Foster. " Be yourself," said Collins, " and tell your stor?, 
" Better have a little of the plantation speech than not," it wa 
said to me; "it is not beat that you seem too learned." Tbec 
excellent friends were actuated by the best of motives, and vei 
not altogether wrong in theii' advice ; and still, I must speak jui 
tlie word that seoiacd to i/w the word to be spoken by me. 

At last the apprehended trouble came. People doubtud if I fag 
ever been a slave. They said I did not talk like a slave, look IQ 
a slave, uor act like a slave, and that Uiey believed I had nvn 
been south of Mason and Dixon's liuc. " He don't tell iia wliei 
he came fi-om — what his master's name was, nor how he got away 
besides, he is educated, aud is, in this, a contradiction of all tfl 
facts we have coiiceruiug the ignorance of the slaves." Thus 
was in a pretty fau' way to be denounced as an impostor. Til 
Committee of the Massaehnaetts Anti-Slavery knew all the iut 
in my case, and agreed witli me thus far in the prudence ( 
keeping them private ; but going down the aisles of the churches i 
which my meetings were held, and hearing the out-sptikou 
repeatedly saying, " He's never been a slave, I'll warrant you," 
resolved to dispel all doubt at no distant day, by such a revelation 
facts as could not be made by any other than a genuine fugitive. ' 
a little less than four years, therefore, after becoming a pnbl 
lecturer, I was induced to wi-ite out tlie leadhig facts connect 
with my experience in slavery, giving names of persi 
aud dates — thus putting it in the power of any who doubted, 1 
ascertain the truth or falsehood of my story. This statonaei 
Boon became known in Maryland, and I had reason to believe tin 
an effort would be made to recapture me. 

It is not probable that any open attempt to secure me as 
slave could have succeeded, further tlian the obtainment 1 
my master, of the money voliie of my bones and sinews. Pc 
tunately for me, in the four years of my laboiu's in the aboi 
tiou cause, I had gained many &iends, who would have safferi 
themselves to be taxed to almost any extent to save mo 6tj 


slavery. It was felt that I bad committed the double offence 
of nmning away and of exposing the secrets and crimes of slavery 
and slaveholders. There was a double motive for seeking my 
re-enslavement — avarice and vengeance ; and while, as I have 
sftidy there was little probability of successful recapture, if 
attempted openly, I was constantly in danger of being spirited 
away, at a moment when my friends could render me no assist- 
ance. In travelling about from place to place, often alone, I 
was much exposed to this sort of attack. Any one cherishing the 
design to betray me, could easily do so, by simply tracking my 
whereabouts through the anti-slavery journals, for my movements 
and meetings were made known through these in advance. My 
iriends, Mr. Garrison and Mr. Phillips, had no faith in the power 
of Massachusetts to protect me in my right to hberty. Pubhc 
sentiment and the law, in their opinion, would hand me over to 
the tormentors. Mr. Phillips especially considered me in danger, 
and said, when I showed him the manuscript of my story, if in 
my place, he would ** throw it into the fire." Thus, the reader 
will observe, that overcoming one difficulty only opened the way 
for another ; and that though I had reached a free State, and had 
attained a position for public usefulness, I was still under the 
liability of losing all I had gained. 


Work in Rhode laland— Dorr War— Recollections of Old 
labouiB in Rhode iHland and clwwhere in New England. 

IN the State of Rhode Isltind, under the leadership of Thoi 
W. Dorr, an effort was made in 1841 to set aside the 
colonial charter, under which that State had lived and flouria 
since the Revolution, and to replace it with a new coustitnl 
having Buch improvement a as it was thought that time and 
perience had shown to be wise and necessary. Thia ; 
couatitution was oapccially framed to enlarge the basis of la 
sontatiou ao far aa the white people of the Btate were coocemei 
to abohsh an odious property qualification, and to confine . 
right of suffrage to white male citizens only. Mr. Dorr ^ 
himself a well-mcaniug man, and, after his fashion, a mu 
broad and progreaaive views, quite in advance of the party n 
which he acted. To gain their support, he consented to I 
restriction to a class, of a right which ought to be enjoyed hf< 
citizens. In this he consulted poHcy rather than right, and at 1 
shared the fate of all compromisers and trimmers, for he ^ 
disastrously defeated. The prospective features of bis constittll 
shocked the sense of right, and roused the moral jndignatioa 
the abohtiouists of the State, a class which would otherwise b 
gladly co-operated with him, at tlie same time that it did nothl 
to win support from the conaorvative class which clung to the 
charter. Anti-slavery men wanted a uew constitution, bnt t 
did not want a defective instrument, which required reform at 
stai't. The result waa that such men aa WiUiam M. 
Thomas Davis, George L. Clark, Asa Fairbanks, Alpbonso Jai 
and others, of Providence ; the Perry brothers of Westerly ; 
Brown and C. C. Eldridge of East Greenwich; Dauiet Mitcb 


^^'illiam Adams, and Robert Sliove of Pawtucket; Peleg Clark, 

' --leb Kelton, G. J. Adams, and the Anthonys and Goulds of 

'ventry and vicinity ; Edward Soiria of Woonsocket ; and other 

' '■■•litionists of the !:itate, decided that the time had come, when 

" ' It' people of Rhode Island might be taught a more compreliensiTe 

'i^pel of human rights than had gotten itself into this Dorr con- 

~ -itntion. The pnbhc mind was awake, and one class of its people 

»t leant, was ready to work with us to the extent of seeking to 

defeat the proposed constitution, tbotigh their reasons for auoh 

•ork were far different from ours. Stephen S, Foster, Parker 

iUsbury. Abby Kelley, James Monroe, and myself, were called 

Uie State to advocate equal rights, as against this narrow and 

toscriptive constitution. The work to which we were invited was 

i free from difSculty. The majority of the people were evidently 

I the new constitution ; even the word irhice in it chimed well 

1 the popular prejudice against the coloured race, and at the 

C«t, helped to make the movement popular. On the other hand. 

the arguments which the Dorr men could urge against a 

rty qualification for suffrage were equally cogent against a 

k>ar qualification, and tliis was our advantage. But the contest 

I intensely bitter and exciting. We were as usual denounced 

meddlers — carpet-bagger had not come into use at that time 

a told to mind our own business, and tlie like ; — a mode 

a common to men when called to account for mean and 

) conduct. Stephen H. Foster, Parker Pillsbury, and 

**• iMt of UB were not the kind of men to be ordered off by that 

"' '"^ of opposition. We cared nothing for the Dorr party on the 

'lie limd, nor the " law and order party " on the other. What we 

^'anted, and what we labom'ed to obtain, was a constitution free 

ft'oiu ihe narrow, selfish, and Houseless limitation of the word 

"■'"'if. Naturally enough when we said a strong and sti-iking word 

*?aiti9t the Dorr Constitution, the conservatives were pleased and 

*Ppianded, while the Dorr men were disgusted and indignant. 

''*'st6r and Pillsbmy wore like the rest of us, young, strong, and at 

'^ir best in this contest. The splendid vehemence of the one, 

"^ the weird and terrible denunciations of the other, nevei- failed 

■ '^ stir up mob-ocratic wrath wherever they spoke, Foster especially, 

^B effective in this line. His theory was that be must make 

***ert8 or mobs. If neither came, be charged it either to bis 


want of skill or his unfaitbfiiljiess. I was much will) Mr. Fo* 
during tlie tour in Bhode Island, and though at times he a 
to me extravagant and needlessly offensive in his manner of | 
senting his ideas, yet take h'rn for all m all, he was one of i 
most impressive advocates the cause of the Amei-ican slave e 
had. No white man ever made the black man's c 
completely liis own. Abby Kelley, since Abby Kelley Fost«r, • 
perhaps the most suecesaful of any of us. Her youth and ein 
Quaker beauty, combined witli her wonderful earnestness, her b 
knowledge and great logical power, bore down all opposition in t) 
end, wherever she spoke, though she had been pelted with fl 
eggs, and no less foul words, from the noisy moba i 
attended iia. 

Monroe and I were less aggressive than either of our co-irorh 
and of course did not provoke the same resistance. He at It 
had tbc eloquence that charms, and the skill that disarms. I 
tliink that our labours in Rhode Island during this Dorr eiciH 
ment did more to abolitionise the State than any previous, < 
subsequent work. It was the " tide taken at the Hood." 
effect of these labours was to induce the old " Law and Order 
party, when it set about making its new constitution, to avoids 
naiTow folly of the Dorrites, and make a, conBtitution which sliod 
not abridge any man's rights on account of race or colour, 
a constitution was finally adopted. 

Owing perhaps to my efficiency in this campaign I w&a, fcr 
while, employed in farther laboiu-s in Rhode Island by the 3 
Anti-Slavery Society, and made ihere many friends to my oi 
as well as to myself. As a class, tlie abolitionists ol this Sbite {I 
took of the spirit of its founder. They had then- own ofuniM 
were independent, and called no man master. I have i 
remember them most gratefully. They received me as a man fli 
a brother, when I was new from the house of bondage, and ll 
few of the graces derived from free and refined society. Tl 
took me witli earnest hand to their homes and hearths, and mi 
me feel that though I wore the burnished Uvei'y of the sun, 1 ■ 
still a coimtrymau and kinsman of whom they were never ashua 
I can never forget the Clarks, Keltous, Chaces, Browns, Adti 
Oreeues, Sissous, Eldredges, Mitchells, Shoves, Anthonys. Apf* 
Janes, Goulds, and Fairbanks, and many others. 


e thus romembering the noble anti-slavery nien and women 

f Bhode Island, I do not forget that I suffered mucli rough usage 

lithiu her borders. It was, like all the Northern States at that 

^e, under the influence of slave power, and often showed a pro- 

SEtiptiou and persecutiui; spo-it, especially upon its railways, 

ateamboats, and pubhc-houaeB, The Stoiiington route was a "hard 

toiiii " for a coloured man " to travel " in that day. I was aeveral 

1 mcs dragged from the ears for the crinif of being colom-ed. On 

:i' Sound, between New York and Stonington, there were the 

Jtiii proscriptions which I have before named, as enforced on the 

"tcamboata running between New York and Newport. No coloured 

man (Tfts ullowed abaft the wheel, and in all seasons of the year, in 

lifator cold, wet or diy, the deck was liis only place. If I would 

' ' <!own at night, I must do so upon the freight on deck, and this 

■ laid weather was not a very comfortable bed. When travelling 

:■ '.oiapauy with my white friends I always urged ihom to leave me, 

■■ '1 !,'o into the cabin and take their comfortable berths. I saw no 

:isoa why they should be miserable because I was. Some of 

I'-fQ took my advice very readily. I confess, however, that while 

' was entirely honest in urging them to go, and saw no principle 

' :it sbunid bind them to stay and sufier with me, I always felt a 

' "'.Ic' nearer to those who did not take my advice, and persisted in 

i'mug my hardships with me. 

Tliere is something in the world above fixed rides and the logto 
I ri^'iit and wrong, and there is some foundation for recognising 
'i'trks, which may be called works of supererogation. Wendell 
I'hiUrps. James Monroe, and William White, were always dear to 
•nc (iir their nice feeling on this point. I have known Jamea 
MoQroe to pull his coat about him, crawl upon the cotton bales 
"■■twoen decks, and pass the night with me, without a, mm-mnr. 
'^ '-ftdoU Phillips would never go into a hrst-cIaBs car while I was 
'"■■ced into what was called the Jim Crow car. True men they 
^tl', who conld accept welcome at no man's table where I was 
refiijed. I speak of these gentlemen, not as singular or exceptional 
""sea. but ns representatives of a large class of the early workers 
'•^ llie abohtiou of slavery. As a general rule, there was little 
*fficolty in obtaining suitable places in New England after 1840, 
i*hWc I conld plead the cause of my people. The abolitionists had 
ted the Bed Sea of mobs, and iiad conquered the right of a 

respectful hearing. I, howGTer, found several towns in which t 
people closed tlicir doors, and refused to cntert&ia the s 
Notably among these was Hartford, Conn., and Graftou. Ma«^ 
In the former place, Messrs, Garrison, Hudson, Foster, AbW.- 
Kellcy, and myself, determined to hold onr meetings under tJt- 
open slcy, which wo did in a httle court under the eaves of thr ^ 
" sanctuary ," where the Bev. Dr. Hawea ministered, with mne^S^M 
Batisfaction to ouraelvee, and I think with advantage lo our oaiis»"^^B 
In Grafton I was alone, and there was neitlier house, hall, cinroi^S^' 
nor market-place, in which I could spoals to the people ; but J'f ^ 
Minril t(i speak, I went to tlie hotel and borrowed a dinner bell, witi^^ 
Avltich in hand, I passed through the principal streets, ringing It" 
bell and crj-iug out, " Xotin- : Frederick Douglas, recently a akv- '■ 
will lectiure on American Slaveiy, on Grafton Common, this cvenii:;:;^^' 
at 7 o'clock. Those who would like to hear of the workings -"' 
slavery, by one of the slaves, are respectfully uivited to attend 
This notice brought out a large audience, after which the lai^j^ -=' 
church in the town was open to me. Only in one instance was ' 
compelled to pm'suc this course thereafter, and that was in Ma-:*]* 
Chester, N.H,, and my labours there were followed by siniiL-MU 
resulta. When people found that I would be heard, they saw- >' 
was the part of wisdom to open the way for me. 

My treatment in tlie use of pubHc conveyances about th*?"*' 
times was extremely rough, especially on the " Eastern Bailro^d' 
from Boston to Portland." On that road, as on many olh^J'S. 
there was a mean, dirty, and uncomfortable car set apart fot 
coloured travellers, called the '* Jim Crow " car. Regarding tbi" 
as the fruit of slaveliolding prejudice, and being det«nnuiod to 
fight the spirit of slaveiy wherever I miglit find it, I resolved W 
avoid this car, though it sometimes rei^uired some courage to do i 
The coloured people generally accepted the situation, and coni[il;ii:i 
of me as making matters worse, rather than better, by v>t.\- 
to submit to this proscription. I, however, persisted, and •"tu 
times was soundly beaten by conductor and brakeman. Ou d) 
occasion, sis of these "fellows of the baser sorl," under Uu I 
direction of tlte conductor, set out to eject me from my seat. As I 
usual, I had purchased a first-class ticket, and paid the reqiursil 
sum for it, and on the requirement of the conductor In leateM 
refused to do so, when he called on these men " to snake me out.'! 


They attempted to obey with an air which plainly told me they 
reliaiied tlie job. They, however, found me mueh aUaclifd to my 
seat. Mid in removint; me I tore away two or three of the sur- 
rounding oneB. on which I held witli a firm grasp, and did the 
oair no senice in some other respects. I was strong and muscular, 
suid the Beats were not then so firmly attached or of as solid make 
ns now. The result was that Stephen A. Chase, superintendent of 
the road, ordered all passenger trains to pass througli Lynn, where 
I then lived, witlioat stopping. This was a great inconvenience 
to the people, large niunbers of whom did business in Boston, and 
at other points of the road. Led on. however, by Jamea N. 
BoSam, Jonathan BiifTiun, Christopher Robinson, WiUiam Bassett. 
imd others, the people of Lyiin stood bravely by me, and 
ilenuauced the railroad management in emphatic terms. Mr. 
'-hase made reply that a railroad coi'poration was neither a 
leligious nor reformatory body ; that the road was run for the 
"BCommodation of the public, and that it required the exclusion of 
Wloured pcoi)lc from its cars. With an air of triumph he told us 
fiAt we ought not to expect a railroad company to be better than 
lie Evangelical Church, and that until the churches abolished the 
" *»«gro pew," we ought not to expect the railroad company to 
'boiiaU the negro car. This argument was certainly good enough 
t the Charch, but good for nothing as against the demands 
I and equality. My old and dear friend, J. N. BufFum, 
left point against the company that they " ofteu allowed dogs 
i monkeys to ride in first-class cars, and yet excluded a man 
B FVederick Douglass I " In a very few years this barbarous 
totice was put away, and I think there have been no instances of 
li oscluston during the past thirty years ; and coloured people 
■, everywhere in Now England, ride upon equal terms with 


THE year 1848 was oue of remarkable anti-slavery ( 
The New England Anti-Slavery Society at its annoat c 
ing, held in tlie spring of that yectr, resolved, imder the a 
Mr. Garrison and bis friends, to hold a seriea of one hundred 
ventions. The territory embraced in this plan for creating a 
slavery sentiment included New Hampshire, Vermont, New H 
Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. I had the houonr to be choa 
one of the agents to assist in these proposed conventions, a 
never entered upon any work with more heart and hope. All 
the American people needed, 1 thought, was hght. Could 1 
know slavery as I knew it, they would hasten to the work i 
extinction. The corps of speakers who were to be associated 
me in carrying on these conventions were Messrs. George Bradbo 
John A. Collins, James Moni-oe, Wilham A. White, Charles I 
Bemond, and Sydney Howard Gay. They were all masters of Ih^^. 
subject, and some of them able and eloquent orators. It was «b 
piece of gi'eat good fortune to me, only a few years from slavorj' ^k.3 
I was, to be brought into contact witli such men. It was a re^akl 
campaign, and re^uii-ed nearly sis months for its accompli sbiuea. *. 
Those who only know the State of Vermont as it is to-day, i:^>.;>i 
hardly understand, and must wonder that there was need for ant-"'- 
alavery effort within its borders forty years ago. Our first conve^o- 
tion was held in Middlebiu'y, its chief seat of learning, and li 
home of William Slade, who was for years the co-worker with Jot 
Quincy Adams in Congress ; and yet in this town the oppositw 
to our anti-slavery convention was intensely bitter and viola 
The only man of note in the town whom 1 now remember 


giving aa B^rapatliy or welcome v&a Mr. Edward Barber, who was 

& HUD of courage aa well as ability, aud did bis best to make onr 

c<»Kveiitioii a sncceag. In advance of oiu' aiTival, tbe college 

stradents had very indiistrioualy and mischievously placarded the 

'to'WD with violent aspersions of our characters, and tbe groaaest 

miarepresentatious of our principles, measnrcB, and objects. I was 

described aa an escaped convict from tbe State Prison, and the 

rtifr speakers were assailed not less sianderonsly, Few people 

rttended our meeting, and apparently little was aocoiuplished by it. 

I Uie neighbouring town of Ferrieburgh the case was different 

*>d more favoiirable. The way had been prepared for lis by such 

■Iwart anti-alavery workers as Orson 8. Murray, Charles C. 

otleigh, Rowland T. Hobinaon and others. Upon the whole, how* 

r, the several towns visited showed that Vermont was surprisingly 

•Dder the influence of the slave power. Her proud boast that no 

™ft bad ever been delivered up to hia master within her borders 

™^ Cot liinder her hatred of tine i-sla very. What was true of the 

''reiin Mooiitaiu State in tliis respect, was most disc our agingly true 

"' New York, the State next visited. All along the Erie canal, from 

"ilisny to fitiSalo, there w^ apathy, indifference, averaiou. and 

"'^'QBtiraesmob-ocratJc spirit evinced. Even Syracuse, afterwards the 

""me of the humane Samuel J. May, and the scene of the " Jerry 

""^^siie," where Gerrit Smith, Bcriah Greene, William Goodell, 

■^'vin Stowart, and other able men afterwards taught tlieir noblest 

''**0n9, would not at that time furnish us with church, market, 

•^uap, or hall in which to Jiold om' meetings. Discovering this state 

"' things, aome of our number were disposed to turn their backs upon 

^fi town, and shake its dust from their feet, but of these, I am glad 

" »ay, I was not one. I had somewhere read of a command to 

^ into tlie hedges and highways and uonipel men to come in, 

^'"- Stephen Smith, under whose hospitable roof wo were made 

* _^oiDe. thought aa I did, It would be easy to silence anti-slavery 

"'''t*»iion if refusing its agents the use of halls and churches could 

''^*^^l that result. The house of our friend Smith stood on the 

'"tlj.^cgt corner of tlie park, which was well covered witli yomig 

*^a, too small to furnish shade or shelter, but better than none. 

,'^ing my stand luider a small tree, in the south-east corner of 

" ^ park, I began to speak in the morning to aa audience of five 

^*'ft«ns, and before the close of tbe afternoon meeting 1 had before 



me Bot leBs than five baodred. Iii the evening I v&b waited apt 
by the officers of the Gou^egatioual church, who tendered the n 
an old wooden biiUdmg, which they had deserted for a better, b 
atill owned ; and here our convention was continued daring llui 
days. I believe there hae been no trouble to find places in Syraoi 
in which to hold anti-alavery meetings since. I never go thj 
without endeavouring to see that tree, which, hke the o»U8»J 
sheltered, Las grown large and strong and imposing. i 

I believe my first offence against our Anti-t^la very Israel, was od 
mitted dui'in^' these Syracuse meetings. It was on this wii 
Our general agent, John A. Collins, had recently returned M 
England full of communiutic ideas, which ideas would do aJ 
with individual property, and have all things in common. He ■ 
arranged a corps of speakers of his communistic persoSM 
consisting of John 0, Wattles, Nathaniel Whiting, and John Od 
to follow our anti-slavery conventions, and while our meeting 1 
in progress in Syracuse, a meeting, as the reader will obsetl 
obtained under much difficulty, Mr. CoUius came in with his Vt 
friends and doctrines, and proposed to adjourn our antj-slaw 
discussions and take up the subject of commum'sm. To thil 
ventured to object. I held that it was imposing an additioi 
burden of unpopularity on our cause, and an act of bad faith in 
the people, who paid the salary of Mr. CoUins, and were responsil 
for these hundred conventions. Strange to say, my course in tt 
matter did not meet the approval of Mrs. W. H. Chapman, \ 
infiuential member of the board of managers of the Massachuni 
Anti-Slavery Society, and called out a sharp reprimand from U 
for my insubordination to my superiors. This was a strange ■ 
difitreBsing revelation to me, and one of which I was not soon relievl 
I thought I had only done my duty, and I think so still. IE 
chief reason for the reprimand was the use which the libai 
party papers would make of my seeming rebellion against 1 
commanders of our Anti-Slavery Army. I 

In the growing city of Bochester we had in every way a be4 
reception. Abolitionists of all shades of opinion were bn 
enough to give the Garrisonians, for such we were, a liearil 
Samuel D. Porter and the Avery family, though they beloogM 
the Gerrit Smith, Myron Holly, and William Goodell school, id 
not so narrow as to refuse us the use of their church for I 

OPPOSES coionmisTs. 

*"toTsii[ion. They heard our moral suasion ai^menta, and in a 
""•"Jy way met us in debate. We were opposed to carrying the 
*nEi-sla very cause to the ballot-box, and they believed in carrying 
jULepe. They looked at slavery as a creature of Imc: we regarded 
"Ma creature of public opinion. It is surprising how small the 
"iflfereupe appears as I look back to it, over the space of forty years ; 
yWat the time, this difference was immense. 

I'iriujj our stay at Rochester we were hospitably entertained by 
'ssftc and Amy Post, two people of all-bounding benevolence, the 
'fost and best of Long Island, and Elias Hicks, Quakers, 
''''y were not more amiable than brave, for tliey never seemed to 
•**■ What will the world say ? but walked straight forward in what 
^tt>ed to them the line of duty, please or offend whomsoever it 
""Sot. Many a poor fugitive slave found shelter under their roof, 
"^en 9iich shelter was hard to find elsewhere, and I mention them 
"*^fe in the warmth and fulness of earnest gratitude. 

Pleased with our success in Bochoster, we — that is Mr. Bradbum 
f^^ myself — made our way to Buffalo, then a rising city of steam- 
"**t8, bustle, aiid business. Buffalo was too busy to attend to 
"di matters as we had in hand. Our friend, Mr. Marsli, had been 
*We to secure for our couvention only an old dilapidated and 
•*oseMed room, formerly used as a post-office. We went at the 
«mo appointed, and found seated a few cabmen in their coarse, 
ovepj.jay clothes, whips in hand, while their teams were standing 
'"^ the street waiting for a job. Friend Bradbum looked arotmd 
^Po»i this nnpromisiug audience, and turned upon his heel, saying 
^ ^onld not speak to " such a set of ragamuffins, " and took the 
J"^t steamer l« Cleveland, the homo of bis brother Charles, and 
^^ me to "do" Buffalo alone. For nearly a week I spoke every 
*y in this old post-office, to audiences constantly increasing in 
■•tiabers and respectability, till the Baptist church was thrown open 
^ tie ; and when this became too small, I went on Sunday into the 
I****! Park and addressed an assembly of four or five thousand 
^^aoiis. After this my coloured friends, Charles h. Bemond, 
*J^^»ary Highland Garnett, Theodore 8. Wright, Amos G. Beaman, 
**arles M. Ray, and other well-known coloured men, held a 
^***veution hero, and then Remond and myself left for our next 
^^eting in Chester county, Ohio. This was held in a great shed, 
^**It by the aboUtionists, of whom Dr. Abram Brook and Valentine 


Nichokon were tlic most uoted, for this special puT|iose. Thous&tii 
gathered here and wei-e addressed by Bradbum, White, Monro 
Romond, Gay, aisd myself. The influence of this 
was deep and wide-spread. It would be tedious to tell of all. Of 
a small part of all that wan interesting and illnstratiTe of tbt 
difficulties encountered by the early advocates of unti-slavei 
in oonnectiou with this catnpaign, and hence I leave this part of i 
at once. 

From Obio we divided our forces and went into Indiana, 
our first meeting we were mobbed, and some of us got oor 
clothes spoiled by evil-smelling eggs. This was at Bichmn 
where Henry Clay had been recently invited to the high seat 
the Quaker meeting-house, just after his gross abuse of Mr. Jl> 
denhall, because of his presenting him a respectful petttic 
askiug him to emancipate his slaves. At Pendleton this mob- 
spirit was even more pronounced. It was found impossibla 
obtain a building in which to hold our convention, and our frieud 
Dr. Fussell and others, erected a platform in the woods, wliar 
quite a large audience assembled. Mr. Bradbum. Mr. White. WB 
myself were in attendance. As soon as we began to speak, a mi 
of about sixty of the roughest characters 1 ever looked upoi 
ordered us. through its leaders, to ''be silent," threatening at, 
we were not, with violence. We attempted to dissuade them, bi 
they had not come to parley but to tight, and were well 
They tore down the platfoiin on which we stood, assaulted U 
White, knocking out several of his teeth : dealt a heavy bl( 
on William A. White, striking him on the back part of the lies 
badly cutting his scalp and felling him to the ground. Unde 
taking to fight my way through the crowd with a stick which 
caught up in the melee, I attracted the fury of the mob, wlut 
laid me prostrate on the ground under a torrent of blows, Leaviii 
me thus, with my right baud broken, and in a state of unconsoioi 
nesfi, the mob-ocrats hastily mounted their horses and rode 
Anderson ville, where luost of them resided. I was soon raised 
and revived by Neal Hardy, a kind-hearted member of the 8oci( 
of Friends, and carried by him in bis wagon about three tnil«a 
the comitry to his home, where I was tenderly nursed and bi 
daged by good Mrs, Hardy, till 1 was again on my feet, but as tl 
bones broken were not properly set my hand has never reooT. 


its natural strength and dexterity. We lingered long in Indiana, 
and the good effects of our labours there are felt at this day. I 
Ittve lately visited Pendleton, now one of the best Eepubhcan towns 
in the State, and looked again upon the spot where I was beaten 
down, and have again taken by the hand some of the witnesses of 
ttftt scene, amongst whom was the kind, good lady — Mrs. Hardy 
~^who, so like the good Samaritan of old, boimd up my wounds, 
*nd cared for me so kindly. A complete history of these hundred 
inventions would fill a volume far larger than the one in which 
^8 simple reference is to find a place. It would be a grateful 
duty to speak of the noble young men, who forsook ease and 
lUeasTire, as did White, Gay, and Monroe, and endured all manner 
^* privations in the cause of the enslaved and down-trodden of 
^y I'ace. Gay, Monroe, and myself, are the only ones who par- 
ticipated as agents in the one hundred conventions who now 
®^**^ve. Mr. Monroe was for many years consul to Brazil, and 
r^s since been a faithful member of Congress from the Oberlin 
*^strict, Ohio, and has filled other important positions in his State. 
^^^ Gay was managing editor of the National Anti-Slavery Standard^ 
y^^ afterwards of the New York THJbune, and still later of the New 
X o*-!^ i?r«itnsr Post. 



Siinger to be averted — A rofugs aougM abroad — Voyage oa Uie Stem 
Cambria — Refusal of fint-olasH paaiage — ^Attraatioua of the ioncnttio- 
— HutchinBoii fainUy^Inviled to make a speech — SoutberoBrs feel iam 
— Captain threatcna to put them in irons — Experienoea abrood- 
tioiiB rcueivfd — ImprasfdooH of difFenint mi>iiibcirs of PurliajnmC, and 
other public men — Contrast with Life in America — KindneBfi of trita 
— Their purchase of my pcTBOu, and the gift of the same to myaslf' 
My return. 

AS I liave before intinaated, tbe publishing of my ■• Narrati«' 
was regarded by my friends with mingled feelings of sitil 
faction and appreltension. They were glad to have thedoabtsuil 
insinuations which the advocates and apologists of slavery ili 
made against me, proved to the world to be false, but thejlai 
many fears lest this very proof should endanger my safety, «■ 
make it necessary for me to leave a position which ii 
manner bad opened before me, and one in which I bad thm ftf 
been efGcicnt in assisting and arousing tbe moral sentiment of 
community against a system which had deprived me. in comaoit 
with my fellow- slaves, of all the attributes of majibood. 

I became myself painfiilly alive to the liability which surroimJei' 
me, and which might at any moment scatter all my proud liopMr 
and return mc to a doom worse than death. It was tbos I n 
led to seek a refuge in monarchical England, from tbe dongeii < 
Bepubbcan slavery. A nide, uncultivated fugitive slave, I >< 
driven to that country to which American young gentlemen go I 
increase their stock of knowledge — to seek pleasure, and to hH 
their rough democratic manners softened by contact with £i 
aristocratic refinement. 

My friend, James N. Buffum, of Lynn, Mass.. who wu 
accompany me, applied on board the steamer " Cambria," of ^' 


1 line, for tickets, and was told that I could nrit be received 
^3 a cabin passenger. American prejadicQ against colour had 
tritimpbed over British liberality and civilisation, and liad erected 
^ colour test as condition for crossing the sea iu the c&bin of a 
-13r-itish vessel. 

The insult was keenly felt by my white friends, but to me such 

*iisnlt3 were so frequent, and expected, that it was of no great 

*=<»i6eqaence whether I went into the cabin or into the steerage, 

■Moo'eoYer.Ifdt tliat if I could not go into the first cabin, first cabin 

l*O.SBeugera could come into the second cabin, and in tliis thought I 

'^*8 not mistaken, as I soon found myself an object of more 

K^-Oeral interest than I wished to be, and, so far from being 

Q^C'Sraded by being placed in the second cabin, that part of the ship 

e the scene of as much pleasiu-e and refinement aa the cabin 

The Hutchinson family from New Hampsliire — sweet 

3g6rs of anti-slavery songs, and the "good time coming" — 

ire fellow-paasengers, and often came to my rude forecastle-deck 

ad sang their sweetest songs, making the place eloquent with 

l^te»«Mic and alive with spirited conversation. They not only visited 

**>e. bat invited me to visit them ; and in two days after leaving 

"o«toQ one part of the ship was about aa free to me as another. 

*5- J visiva there, however, were but seldom, I preferred to live 

"^^^tlxJQ my privileges, and keep upon my own premises. This 

*^'3tnsp was quite as much in accord with good pohcy as with my 

'^■'VTi feelings. The effect was, that with the majority of the 

pa.Bseiigers all colour distinctions were Hung to tiie winds, and I 

lomiii mj'self treated with every mark of respect from the beginning 

'^** tho end of the voyage, except in one suigle instance ; and in that 

I ^ c«iiie near being mobbed for complying with an invitation given 

I ""^by the passengers and the captain of the '• Cambria " to deliver a 

I '®ctiire on slavery. There were several young men — passengers 

r '*'**iQ Georgia and New Orleans ; and they wore pleased to regard 

I ^^y lectore as an insult offered to them, and swore I should not 

'*^'»It. They went so far as to threaten to throw me overboard, 

** but for the firmness of Captain Judkius, they would probably, 

■* *ier the inspiration of slavery and brandy, have attempted to put 

'"-It- Lhreate into execution. I have no space to describe thia 

"•e, although its tragic and comic features are well worth 

tiptioa. An end was pnt to the metre by the captain's coll to 


le bIu'p's oompauy to put the Holt-watcr mob-ocrnts in irons, at 
f hich detcrmliied order tbe gentlemen of the laeli scampered, and 
the remainder of the voyage conducted themselves very 

This incident of the voyage brought me, within two d&ys after 
1 landmg at Liverpool, before tlie British pnbhc. The gentlemen bo 
' promptly withheld in their attempted violence toward tne, Abw to 
the press to justify their coudnct, and to denounce me as a worth- 
less and insolent negro. This com'se was even less wise tlian the 
conduct it was inteuded to sustain ; for, besides awakening sanio-^ 
thing like a national interest in me, and seciu'ing me an andience,* 
it brought ont counter statements, and threw tlie blame upon theiD. 
selves, whicli they had sought to fiisten upon me and the 
captain of the ship. 

My visit to England did much for me every way. Not the li 
among the many advantages derived from it was the opportuni~^«E 
it afforded me of becoming acquainted with educated people, ai^K::_j 
of seeing and hearing many of the most distinguished 
country. My &iend, Mr. Wendell PhiUips. knowing something 
my appreciation of orators and oratory, liad said to me 
leaving Boston : "Although Americans are generally be! 
speakers than Englishmen, you will imd iu England indivi&^ia 
orators superior to the best of ours." I do nut know that Vhfr. 
Philhps was ijuite just to himself in this remark, for 1 fonnA in 
England few, if any, superior to him in the gift of speech. Wlieu 
I went to England that country was in the midst of a tromend.XM 
agitation. The iienple were divided by two great question. 
" Bepeal ; "^tho repeal of the corn laws, and the repeal of 
union between England and Ireland. 

Debate ran high in Parliament, and among the people 
where, especially concerning the com laws. Two pows 
interests of the country confronted each uUier ; one vi 
from ago, and the other yonng, stalwart, and growing. 
strove for ascendancy. Conservatism united for retaining 
com laws, while the rising power of commerce and mannfaott 
demanded reiical. It was interest against interest, but Bani< 
more and deeper : for, while there was an aggrandizement 
landed aristocracy on the one side, there was famine and pee 
^on the other. Of the anti-corn law movement, Biuhard 

**>d John DrigLl. both tUen membera of Parliament, were the 
lenders. They were ihe rising statesmen of England, and pos- 
^eas^d a yej-y friendly disposition toward America. Mr. Bright, 
wbo is now the Right Honourable John Bright, and occupies a 
liigb place iu Uie British Cabiuet, was friendly to the loyal and 
Ptigreaaire Bpirit which abolislied our slavery aud saved our 
■■'I'Uilry from di^oiembermeut. I have seen and heard both of 
' i-ese great men. and if I may be allowed so mucli egotism, I may 
~^,v I was acquaiuti'd with both of them. I was, besides, a 
'welcome gwest at the house of Mr. Briglit, iu Rochdale, and 
'■•'dialed as a friend and brother among his brothers aud siatera. 
^ipBsnt. Cobden and Bright were well-matched leailers. One was 
■" large measure the complement of the other. They were spoken 
■ Qsually as Cobiltn and Bright, but there was no reason, except 
' 'lai Cobtk-n wufi the elder of the two, why their names might not 
liiiVu been reversed. 

They were about equally titted for their respective parts in the 
Kreftt movement of which they were the distinguished leaders, mid 
"*?ithpr waa likelj to encroach upon the work of Ijio otiier. Tho 
■""ntraat was nuJle marked in their persons as well as in their 
"nttory. The powerful speeches of the one, as they travelled 
''»a«tlier over the country, heightened the effect of the speeches of 
^f> oilier, BO tliat their difference waa &a effective for good, as was 
^"ip a^jroomeDt. Mr. Cobden — for an Englishman— was lean, 
'*ll, mid slightly sallow, and might have been taken for an 
»tOeriean or t^renchmau, Mr. Bright waa, in the broadest sense, 
**» EagliBhman, abounding in all the physical perfections pecuhar 
*** Iiis cimntrymen — full, round, and ruddy. Cobden had dark eyea 
**>«! hair, a well-formed head, high above his shoulders, and. 
*h«ii sitting quiet, had a look of sadness and fatigue. In tlie 
'*onao (if Commons, he often sat with one hand supporting Iiis 
' ' t*ad. Bright appeared the very opposite in this and other respecta. 
*>e Byes were blue, his hair light, his head massive, and firmly 
""-t upon his shoulders, suggesting immenao ei^ergy and deter- 
"uiiation. In his oratory Mr. Cobden was cool, candid, deliberate, 
' *^'Bhl-forward. yet at times slightly hesitating. Bright, on the 
-■thDr hand, waa fervid, fluent, rapid ; always ready in thought or 
Mr. Cobden was full of facts and figures, deahng in statis- 
' by the hour. Mr. Bright was full of wit, knowledge, and 


patboB, and posaesaed amazmg power of expression. Ooe q 
to the cold, calculating side of the British nation, which aski 
the new idea will pay ? " The other spoke to the infinite aidt 
human nature— the aide which asks, first of all, " is it right? 
jiist ? is it hnniane ? " Wherever theae two great men ajipuH 
the .people assembled in tliousanda. They cotild, at an he 
notice, pack the Town Hall of Bii-misgham, which wonld hold M 
thonaand persons, or the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, 
Coveut Garden Theatre, London, each of which was capabit 
holding eight thousand. 

One of the first attentions shown me by theae gentlemen, fl 
make me welcome at the Fi-ee Trade Club in Loudon. 

I was not long in England before a crisis was reached b 
anti-corn law movement. The announcement that Sir B«i 
Peel, then Prime Minister of England, had become a conntt 
the views of Messrs. Cobdeu and Bright, came upon the MSB 
with startling effeut, and formed the tinning point in the a 
com law question. Sir Robert had been the strong defence of ' 
landed aristocracy of England, and his defection left them niA 
a competent leader, and just here came the opportonity fwl 
Benjamin Diaraeh, the Hebrew— since Lord Beaconsfield. Tol 
it was in public al!Fa!rs, tlfe " tide which led on to fortune." w 
a bitterneaa nnsnrpassed, lie had been denounced by Dm 
O'Connell as a lineal descendant of the thief nii the cross. '. 
now his time bad come, and he ^vas not the man to permit i 
pass nnimproved. For the first time, it seems, lie conceived 
idea of placing himself at tlie hea<l of a great party, and I 
become the chief defender of the landed aristocracy. The way «■ i| 
plain. He was to transcend all others in efiective denuuciatioti n 
Sir Kobert Peel, and surpass all otliers in zeal. His abihty rtt 
equal to the situation, and the world knows tlie resiUt of his bidW- 
tion. I watched him narrowly when I saw him in tlie Houm o 
Commons, but I saw aud heard nothuig there that foreshadovw 
the immense space he at last came to fill in tlie miud of li» 
country and the world. He had notliing of the grace and warratl* 
of Peel in debate, and hia speeches were better in print tlian ffli^ 
hatencd to, — yet when be spoke, all eyes were fixed, and all W* 
attent. Despite all his abjhty and power, however, ns U" 
defender of the lauded interests in England, his cause was aii^y 


Wt. TLe iuci-casing power of the ftiiti-ooru law league — the 
Wdea of the tax iipou bread, the cry of distress coming from 
iniiiiiiG-Blrickeu Ireland, and tlie adliesiou of Peel to llie viewa of 
Cobdeii and Bright, made the repeal of the com laws speed; 
^ud certaiu. 

The repeal of the union between England and Ireland was not 
^*> furtimate. It is still, under one name or anotlicr, the cherished 
liope and aspiration of her sons. It stands Uttle better or stronger 
•Jian it did aix-aud- thirty years ago, when its greatest advocate, 
Daniel O'Counell. welcomed me to Ireland, and to " Conciliation 
Hall," and where I first had a specimen of hia truly wondrous 
eloquence. Until I heard this man, I had thought that the story 
'^f Uis oratory and power were greatly exaggerated. I did not see 
how a man could speak to twenty or thirty thousand people at one 
liaie, and be Iteai'd by any considerable number of them ; but the 
'QysU-ry was solved when I saw his vast person, and heard hia 
'iiUaical voice. His eloquence came down upon the vast assembly 
'■=!& a summer thunder- shower npon a dusty road. He could stir 
'lie multitude at will, to a" tempest of wrath, or reduce it to the 
e with which a mother leaves the cradle-side of her sleeping 
, Such leaderaess — such pathos — such world-embracing love I 
I, on the other hand, such uidignation — such tiery and thmi- 
Fong denunciation, and such wit and hmnour, I never heard 
used, if equalled, at home or abroad. He held Ireland within 
t grasp of his strong hand, aud could lead it whithersoever he 
nld, for Ireland boheved in him and loved him, as she has loved 
i believed in no leader since. In Dublin, when he bad been 
snt from that city a few weeks, I saw him followed through 
iekvUle Street by a multitude of little hoys and girls, shouting in 
[ accents: "There goes Dan 1 there goes Dan I " while he 
>k«d at the ragged and shoeless crowd with the kindly air of a 
ini; parent returning to his gleeful children. lie was called 
Liberator." and not without cause ; for, though he failed lo 
it the repeal of the union between England and Ireland, ho 
Uglit out the battle of Cathohc emancipation, and waa clearly the 
"^tiid of hberty the world over. In introducing mo to an inunenae 
"^Wdience in Conciliation Hall, ho playfully called me the "Black 

■^^'Counell of the United States ; " nor did he let the occasion 
BHtbout bis usual word of deuonciatiou of our slave system. 0. 

Brownaoa hai! then recently become a Catholic, and 
advantage of his new Catholic audience, in "Brownson's Bm 
bad charged O'Conuell with attacking American inBtitntions. 
reply, Mr. O'Connell said : " I am charged with attacking Am< 
inatitntioua, as slavery is called ; I am not ashamed of this a 
My sympathy ia not confined to the narrow limits of my own 
Ireland ; my spirit walks abroad upon sea and land, and wh« 
there is oppression, I hate the oppressor, and wherever the Ij 
rears his head. I will deal my bolts npon it ; and wherever 1 
is sorrow and suffering, tliere is my spirit to succour &nd reli( 
No transatlantic stateanian bore a testimony more marked 
telling against the crime and curse of slavery, than did Dl 
O'Connell, He would shake the hand of no slaveholder, nor I 
biinself to be introduced to one, if he knew him to be such. 1^ 
the friends of repeal in the Southern States sent him money < 
which to carry on his work, he. with iiiei&ble scorn, refused 
bribe, and sent back what he considered the blood-stained offe 
saying he would ■■ never purchase the freedom of Ireland witJi 
price of slaves." 

It WHS not long after tny seeing Mr. O'Counoll that bis heiJi 
broke down, and his career ended in death. I felt that a gr^ 
champion of freedom had fallen, and that the cause of the Aniericic 
slave, not less than the cause of his couuti'v. had met with a ^i 
loss. All the more was this felt, when I saw the kind of men "► 
came to the front when the voice of O'Conuell was no 
heard in Ireland. He was succeeded by the Duffys, Milcheil- 
Meogher, and othera.^men who loved liberty for tbemaelvi-s u» 
their country, but were utterly destitute of sympathy with Ik 
cause of liberty in countries other than tlieir own. Onu of lli 
first utterances of John Mitchell on reai/bing the United Stale; 
from bis exile and bondage, was a wish for a " slave planiatiun 
wall stocked with slaves." 

Besides hearing Cobden, Brighi, Peel, Disraeli. U'ConnuU, Lur 
John Russell, and other Parbanientary debaters, it was my gof' 
fortune to hear Lord Brougham when nearly at bis best. He wa 
then a little over sixty, and that for a British statesman i« ic: 
considered old ; and in his case there were thirty years of life stl 
before him. He struck mo as the most wonderful speaker of thw 
all. How lie was ever reported I cannot imagine. Listening I 


J^n, was like standing near the track of a railway train, drawn by 

^^Aooomotive at the rate of forty milea an hour. Ynu wore riveted 

^^B the spot, charmed with the sublime spectacle of speed and 

B^to*rer, bnt could give no description of the carriages, nor of the 

pasgengers at the windows. There was so much to see and hear, 

«id 80 little time left the beholder and hearer to note particulorB, 

^^t when this strange man sat down, you felt lilte one who had 

MtJly passed through the wildering wonders of a world's cxhibi- 

On the occasion of my listening to him, his speecli was on 

k postal relations of England with the outside world, and he 

med to have a perfect knowledge of the postal arrangements of 

Wy natioD in Europe, and, indeed, in the whole universe. He 

. the great advantage, so valuable to a Parliamentary 

bater, of being able to make all interrnptiona serve the purposes 

I hia thought and speech, and carried on a dialogwe with several 

hona without interrupting the rapid current of his reasoning. I 

had more curioaity to hear this man than any other iu England. 

"^'id lie more tlian fulfilled ray expectations. 

While iu England, I saw few hterai^ celebritioa, except William 
Hid Mary Howitt, and Sir John Bowering. I was invited to 
'■r«k(ast by the latter in company with Wm, Lloyd Garrison, and 
^p«ot a delightful morning with him, clitetly as a listener to their 
notiverjation. Sir John was a poet, a statesman, and a diplomat, 
•"tdWl represented England as minister to China. He was fiill 
**' iiitereBting information, and had a charming way of imparting 
4 luiuwledge. The conversation was about slavery, and about 
I, and as niy knowledge was very slender about the " Flowery 
a," and its people, I was greatly interested in Sir John's 
•Tiption of the ideas and manners prevailing among them, 
ding to him, the doctrine of substitutiou was carri«d so far 
Y Uut eoantry that men sometimes procured others to suffer even 
> penalty of death in their stead. Justice seemed not intent 
1 the punishment of the actual ci-iminal, if only somebody was 
lished when the taw was violated. 

VtUiain and Mary Howitt were among the kindliest people I 

^ met. Their interest in America, and their wcll-kiiowti testi- 

s against slavery, made me feel much at home with them at 

r bouse in that part of London known as Clapliam. Whilst 

lug there, 1 met the Swedish poet and autlior— Hans Christian 


Andersen. He, like oiyBelf, was a guest. Gpendiug a few days. 
saw but little of him, though tmder the same roof. He was i 
^nlar in his appearauce, and equally singular in his aileDce. 
mind seemed to mo all tlie while turned inwardly. He walked 
about the beautiful garden as one might iu a dream. The HowitU 
had translated his works into Euglisb, and could of course addresi 
him in liia own language. Poasibly his bad Engliali aud my des- 
titution of Swedish, may account for the fact of our mntnal 
silence, and yet I observed be was much tbe same towards every 
one. Mr. and Mrs. Howitt were indefatigable writers. Two mora 
industrious and kind-hearted people did not breathe. With ill 
their hterary work, they always bad time to devote to strangers, 
and to all benevolent efforts, to ameliorate tbe condition of Ui« 
poor and needy. Quakei-s tliougb tliey were, tbey took deep in- 
terest in tbe Hutcbinsoua— Judson, John, Asa, and Abbv. who 
were much at their house during my stay there. Mrs. Howitt not 
inaptly styled them a " lliiml hi youm} itpvttles." They sang (w 
the oppressed and tbe poor — for hberty and humanity. 

Whilst in Edinburgh, so famous for its beauty, its educational 
institutions, its literoiy men, and its history, I had a very intens* 
desire gratilicd — and that was to see and converse with George 
Gombe, tbe eminent mental philosopher, and author of " Comb«'> 
Constitution of Man," a book which had been placed in my hands 
a few years before by Dr. Pelig Clark, of Bhode Island, the reading 
of which bad relieved my path of many shadows. In compani 
with George Thompson, James N. BufFum, and William L. Garrison, 
I had the honour to be invited by Mr. Combo to breakfast, and iha 
occasion was one of the most delightful I met in dear old Scotland. 
Of course iu tbe presence of sucb men, my part was a very Kubor 
dinate one. I was a listener. Mr. Combe did tbe most of 
talking, and did it so well, that nohody^felt like interposing a worf 
except so far as to draw bim on. He discussed tbe com laws, oni 
the proposal to reduce tlie hours of labour. He looked at al 
political and social questions through his peculiar mental aoienct 
Hia manner was remarkably quiet, and be spoke as not expeediii 
opposition to hia viewa. Phrenology explained everything to bin 
from the finite to the inlinite, I look hack to the morning i 
with this singularly clear-beaded man willi much satisfaction. 


ronid detain the reader too long, and make this volume too 
large, to tell of the man; kindnesses shown me while abroad, or 
even to mention all the great and noteworthy persons who gave 
:nc a friendly hand and a cordial welcome ; but there is one other, 
■low long gone to hiB rest, of whom a few words must be spoken, 
ind tiiat one was Thomas Clarksou^the last of the noble Uno of 
Ivnglishmen who inaugurated the anti-slavery movement for Eng- 
land and the civilized world — the life-long friend and co-wo#ker 
nth Granville Sharpe, William Wilberforce, Thomas Powell 
ixton, and other leaders in that great reform which has nearly 
i an end to slavery in all parts of the globe. As in the case of 
1 Combe, I went to see Mr. Clarkson in company with 
I. Garrison and Thompson. They had hy note advised him 
r coming, and had received one in reply, bidding ns welcome. 
We foond the venerable object of our visit seated at a table, 
where he had been busily writing a letter to America against 
slavery ; for, though in his oighty-soveuth year, he continued to 
AT-ite, ftTien we were presented to him, he roae to receive us. 
Tbci scene was impressive. It was the meeting of two centm'ies. 
Garrison, Thompson, and myself were yonng men. After shaking 
bands wit)) my two distinguished friends, and giving them welcome, 
lie took one of my hands in both of hia, and, in a tremulous voice, 
-rud, "God bless you, Frederick Douglass I I have given sixty 
'rears of my life to the emancipation of your people, and if I had 
=ixty j-ears more they should all be given to the same cause." Our 
r [ay was short with this great-hearted old man. He was feeble, 
:iii4 onr presence greatly excited him, and we left the house with 
^iioetbing of the feeling with which friends take final leave of a 
beloi'ed friend at the edge of the grave. 

8ome notion may be formed of the difference in my feelings and 
cirenmstances while abroad, from an extract from one of a series 
of letters addressed by me to Mr. Garrison, and published in the 
Uhtrator, It was written on the Ist day of January, 1846. 

" JtfV ft"'- Fritnd Garr 

" Up <A ti>i>- time, I havC! given m 

u dittwt exprossioD of the liewa, feeling, 

^nd cpimuiu which I have formed respoctin^ the charaoter oud rnnditioD of 

■ ^Am peopl* of Ou» Isnd. I bavo refruned thus purpusoly. I ndnli to apeak 

^^^Kfiaedlf, aai, is oider to do this, I have wiiitad till, I tmst, ezperionco haa 

^^^■■^t 117 ojnnioii to on intelligent mAtoiity. I have been thiu careful. 


not because I tUnk what I anj nill have mucb ^ect ii 

of the world, but becautia what influenos I may poBsew, irhetlier Uttls'] 
maoh, I winh to go in the right direction, and uucordin^ to trntfa. 
need sa? that in itpcaldng of Ireland, I shall be ioAueoMi] bjr no fnejnd 
in f aronr o{ America. I think my circiunBtanDcs all forbid that. I hav*] 
eod to serre, no creed to uphold, no government to defend ; and u 
I belong to Done. I have no protoution at home, or ntatiDg-pIaroa abp 
The land of my birth welcomca mo to her shores onlj as a Blav(^, Mid ■ 
with contempt the idea of treating me differently ; so Uint I i 
bom the society of my childhood, and an outlaw in the land of mj ti 
' I aiD a stranger with thoe and a sojourner, as all my fathen « 
men should be patriotic, is to mo perfectly natuiat ; and as a [ 
fact, I am able to give it an intellectual reooguition. But no fortliar a 
go. If ever I had any patriotism, or any capacity for the feeling, it 1 
whipped out of mo long since by the laah of the Amorican sonl-dnreis. i 
thinking of America, I soroetiraes find myself admiring- her brigtt Wat d 
ber grand old woods, her fertile fletds, her beautiful rivers, her nugh;^ II 
and stor-orowDcd mountains. But my raptoic is soon checked — my jHf 
soon turned Co mourning. When I nemember that all is cursed ■riOi t 
infernal spirit of idaveholding, robbeij, and wrong ; when I r 
with the wat*T9 of her noblest river*, the tears of my brethren a 
the ocean, disregarded and forgotten, and that her most fertile fields i 
daily of the warm blood of my outraged sisters, I am fiUed with n 
loathing, and led to reproach myself that anything could fall & 
lips in praioe of anch a land. America will not allow her children to li 
She aeem« bent on compelling thoso who would be her warmest 
to be her worst enemies. May God give her repentanoe before It b t 
i« the ardent prayer of my heart. I will continue to pray, labour, an 
believing that she cannot always be insensible to the dictates of jnjtiei^ M 
dsaf to the voice of humanity. My opportunities for learning the c^ 
and condition of the people of '>ii« land have been vety great, 
travelled from the Hill of Howth to the Giant's Causeway, and fi 
Giant's Causeway to Cape Cleiar. During these travels I have m 
much in the character and condition of the people to approve, am 
to oondcmn ; much that has thrilled me with pleasure, and much thlt ■> 
filled me with pain. I will not, in this letter, attempt to giro SBJ ■ 
•Eiqition of those aoeiiiea which give me pain. This I will do i 
have asough, and more than your snbeoriben will be disposed to n 
time, of the bright dda of the picture. I can truly oaj I have ^ 
i days of mj life since landing in this country. 

I live a new life. The warm a 
o me by the Mends of my despised race ; 
and Hbanl ' rr"">'' with which the Preaa has rendered a 

(Btlinaia^ wilk wfaidi thousands have Socked to hear the czael 4 

Biy down-trodden and loog-aoilaTed fellow oountrymen pourtrajad; 
deep sympathj for Out slaw, aad the strong abhorrence of the slavt 

id 1 tha aotdialily with which members and tninisUa 4 




-f tdigioiu bodiee, and of varitnig shoikH of reKgious opinion have 

^"**A aa^ed me and lent me their aid ; the kind hoiipitaljly conalantly prof- 

e by pcr^oiia of the highest nuik in Bocisty ; the spirit of freedom 

nu to aBimate all with n-hom I «>me in contact, and t]ie entire 

Ooe of pverjthin^ that looks like prejudice against me, on account of the 

^ ■■■^Ti^ of my skin, pontrasta m> strongly with my long and bitter erparien™ 

'" *1m. United States, that I look with wonder and amaicmcnt on the tran- 

***»- In the Soulhem part of the Unitfid Statca, I was a. slave — thought of 

^^^*~ Bpoien of as property; in the language |of lair, 'hold, token, reputed, 

^^*3. sdj adged (o be a chattel in the haods of my owners and possessors, end 

^^"'^ir executors, odminiatratora, and assigns, to all inteota, cooatructions, and 

Y^^f^'Ma. whaleoerer." (BreT. Digest., 224.) In the Northern StatcB, a 

'~^^tive tiave, liable to be hunted at any moment like a felon, and to be 

^"""'^I into the terrible jaws of slavery — doomed by an invpterato prejadlM 

**-**n»it coloor, to insult and outrage on every hand — Maasachusetta out of the 

*_ **<io« — Jonied the privileges and courtesies common to others in the 

* of the most hnmble mesna of conveyance— -shut ont from the cabins on 

, refused admismon to respecCsblo hotels, caricatured, sooraed, 

*-OeiJ, mocked, and maltreated with impunity by any one — no matter how 

.'?^**fc hi* heart— BO he has a white akin. But now behold the change! 

-lOvcn days and a hall gone, and I have crossed three thousand miles of 

■ "'^''ilinig deep. Instead of a democratic government, I am under a moa- 

' '''^'Ucal gOTDrnmcct. Instead of the brigbt, Uue sky of America, I am 

' ^'*etiBd with the soft, gray fag of the Emerald Isle. I breathe, and !o ! the 

^ ***ttU beccTOEB a man ! I gaxe around in vain tor one who will qnestion 

y *qiul humanity, chum me as a slave, or offer me an insult. I employ 

\ * *»l*— 1 am seated bedde white people— I reach the hotel— I enter the same 

.1 **^(ir — I loB Hhown into the same parlour— I dine at the same table — and no 

I ^^JiB if offended. No delicate nose grows deformed in my presence. I find 

. ( ^iffi^ty here in obtaining admission into any place of worship, instmotion, 

^ •ttmscment, on eqoal terms, with people as white as any I ever saw in the 

-^*it*d SUtes. I meet nothing to remind me of my complexion. I find 

'"'^gU regarded and treated at every turn with the kindness and deference 

~i to white people. When I go to church I am met by no upturned noae'and 

il lip, to tell me — 'We don't allow niggers in here.' " 

I tomembor about two years ago there waa in Boston, near the 

h-west comer of Boston Common, a menagerie. I had long 

^^si«d to see such & collection aa I understood was being exhibited 

"**«. Never having had an opportunity while a slave, I resolved to 

^<« thie, and as 1 approached the entrance to gain admission, I 

I told by tlio door-keeper, in a harsh and contemptuona tone, 

I Am't alluie rnggern in here." I also remember attending a 

I meeting in the Rev. Henry Jackson's meeting-bouae, at 

P*tV Bedford, and going up the broad aisle for a seat, I was met 

9 a 


by a good deacon, who told me, in a pioua tone, •" ll'« itan't n 

Ttiitgers in li^re." Soon after my arrival in New Bedford, 1 

South. I had a strong desire to attend the Lyceum, but wae t 

'■ Thei/ diti'l allow niff'jfn th^re." \VluIe passing from New Soricfl 

Boatoa on the steamer " Massachusetts," on the night of the 9th ■ 

December, 1843, when chilled ohnost through with the eoUil 

went into the cabin to get a tittle warm. I was soon touched n 

tho shoulder, and told, " Wf don't allow nigijem in here," 

or two before leaving the United States, I had a meeting a 

at Weymouth, the bouse of that glorious band of true abolitiot 

— the Weston family and others. On attempting to take a s 

the omnibus to that place, I was told by the driver — and I nei 

shall forget his fiendish hate^" I don't allow niggers i 

Thank heaven for the respite 1 now enjoy I I had been i 

but a few days when a gentleman of great respectability k 

offered to conduct me through all the public buildings of t 

beautiful city, and soon afterwards I was in\ited by the Lard 1 

to dine with him. What a pity there was not 

Christian at the door of his splendid mansion to bark out at I 

approach, " Tliey don't allow niygen in here!" The truth is, 

people here know nothing of the republican negro-hate pT&l 

in our glorious land. They measure and esteem men i 

to their moral and intellectual worth, and not according to tl 

colour of their skin. Whatever may be said of the aristo 

here, there ia none based on the colour of a m 

species of aristocracy belongs pre-eminently to " 

free, and the home of the brave." I have never found il 

in any but Americans. It sticks to them wherever they g 

find it almost as hard to get rid of as to get rid of their skins. 

The second day after my arrival in Liverpool, in company vi*^ 
my friend Buffum, and several other friends, I went to Eaton S 
the residence of the Marquis of Westminster, one of the n 
splendid buildings in England. On ^proaching the door. I k 
several of our American passengers who came out with i 
" Cambria," waiting for admission, as but one party i 
in the house at a time. We all had to wait till the oompi 
came out, and of all the faces expressive of chagrin, I 
Americans were pre-eminent. They looked as sour as t 
as bitter as gall, when they found I was to be admittodi 

^B with themselves. When the door was opened, I walked in 
footing with my white fellow- citizens, and, from all I could 
I had as mach attention paid me by the Eerrauts who showed 
— brougb the Loase, as any with a paler skin. As I walked 
***-*"^^t»gh the building, the statuary did not fall down, the pictures 



Hot leap from tlioir places, the d'xirs did not refuse to opoo.B 

semuitB did not say, ■• We il'in't allow nijijera in Itere." 

"tj- time and labours while abroad were divided between Eng- 

'^**d., Ireland. Scotland, and Wales. Upon this experience alone I 

^'-^-•glit fill a volume. Amongst the few incidents which space will 

r*^*Tnit me to mention, and one which attracted much attention 

"■^^d provoked much discussion in America, was a brief statement 

^^^^debyme in the World's Temperance Convention, held in Co vent 

^^»rden Theatre, London, August 7, 1846. The United States was 

^^'gely represented in this convention by eminent divines, mostly 

****ctor3 of divinity. They had come to England for the double 

I^'U-jioae of attending the World's Evangelical Alliance, and the 

"'orid's Temperance Convention. In the former these ministers 

Were endeavouring to procure endorsement for the Christian cha- 

*"*ct«- of slaveholders ; and, naturally enough, they were adverse 

^ tho exposure of slaveholding practices. It was not pleasant to 

^eni to aee one of the slaves running at large in England, and 

l^mng the other side of the story. The Rev, Samuel Hanson Cox, 

"•t>; of Brooklyn, N, Y., was especially disturbed at my presence 

*Qil speech in the Temperance Convention. I will give here, first, 

"'e reverend gentleman's version of the occasion in a letter from 

■'"n as it appeared in the New York EvaniietUt, the organ of his 

oeocminatjon. After a description of the place, Coveut Garden 

*heatre,Mid the speakers, he says; 

'' 'tding, and the effect wu constantly raised — the roorat eoene woa inperh 

' jloriiiTu — wlioo Fredoriok Douglass, the oolouricd abolition agitator md 

le to the platform, and so spake, a la moiit, an to ruin the inflnenoe 

Viitggt all that preceded I He lug'ged in anti-elavery, or abolition, no 

,,_"*■ pnwoptod to it by same of the politic ones, who can oac him to do irhat 

i^"' ■'onhl not theraselrra adventure to do in person. Ho is supposed to have 

"^ *feU paid for the abomination, 
^^^^liat a jwrrernon, an abuse, an iniquity against tho law of redprooal 
,^^^**OluBio«, to aall tboosands together, and get ihem, some oertmn onea, 
"Ui mnfpieuodp and devoted for one sole and grand object, and then all 


I, with obliquity, upen an ayulsnclie on thorn for ■ 
■tiily, for which, whstuver be t)io wound or iojucy ii 
were both too fatigued Bud hurried with surprise, and too straightened 1 
time to be properly prepared. I say it is a gtreak of roesju 
abominable 1 On this ocoauon Ur. DouglasH allowed, himxelf I 
America and all its temperatioe societies tof^tber, as a fading 
of the enomiea of his people : said evil, with no alloy of good, i 
the whole of ua ; waa perfectly indiscnminate in his severities ; talked et Itr | 
American deli-gatea, and to tbcra, as if he had been our achoolm 
we hia docile aod devoted pupils ; and launched hia rereii^efu] miaalw 
onr country without one palliatire, and as if not a CHiriatian or a tnw ml 
slavery man lived in the whole of the Uniled Statea. The fact ia, the r"^ -bi 
hsH been petted, and flattered, and used, and paid by certain abolitiouiifc^a, 
not unknown to ua, of the tu pliu ultra atanij), till he forgets himself ; uk^L. 
though he may gratify his own impulsos, and those of old Adam in uUiear^ 
yet sure I am that all this is juat the way to ruin hia own inflnenoe, t 
hia own object, and to do mieohief — not good — to the yoij cause be pi 
to love. With the single exception of one ooid-hearted parricide, wltf^^*^ 
character I abhor, and whom I will not name, and who has, I fear, no I<c1ix*8^ 
of true patriotism or piety within him, all the delegates from our onint-"-/ 
were together wounded and indignant. No wonder at it. I write btA^f' 
It waa not done in a comer. It waa inapired, I believe, from benealii, i**^ 
not from above. It was adapted to re-kindle on both udes of the Atlut^^^ 
the flames of national exasperation and war. And this is the game vliic^ 
Hi. Frederick Douglass and hia silly patrons are playing in England aid ^*-^ 
Sootland. and wherever they con find ' some mischief still for idle handi «=^' 
do.' 1 came here his sympathising friend ; I am such no more, as I hio """^ 
him. Uy own opinion is inoreoaing that this spirit must be exomiscd » 
of England and America before any subatantial good can be eltected lof tli 
cause of the slave. It ia adapted only tx 

the passions of indignant milliona to on incurable resentment. None but tf 
ignoramus or a madman could think that this way was that of the \x 
apostlai of the son of Crod, It may gratify the feelings of a aell-d 
and malignant few, but it will do no good in ao] 
all to the poor slave I It is short-sighted, impuhdve 
and tending only to sanguinary ends. None of this with i 

"We all wanted to reply, but It was too late; the whole theatn n 
taken ,with the spirit of the Ephesian uproar ; they were turioui v 
boisterous in the extreme, and Mr. Eirk could hardly obtain A mom 
though many were desirous in his behalf to say a few words, as he /*••*, n 
calmly and properly, that the oansi 
for slavery, and had no connection with it 

Now, to show the reader wbat grooad there was for this ti 
it<yax the pea of this emiueat divlue, and how easily Am 

authob's address. 2IG 

1 ' -T- -»-" t,ed with their candour and aelf-posBesBion when slavery waa 
"^i^xationed adversely, I will give here the head and front of my 
*-*^f**iioe. Let it be borne in mind that this was a u-orld't convention 
***^ the friends of temperance. It wag not an American or a white 
's [convention, but one composed of men of all nations and 
i; and aa such, the convention had the right to know all about 
^"^^ temperance cause in every part of the world, and especially to 
•*-*^Ow what hindrances were interposed in any part of the world, 
^"^ i t* progress. I was perfectly in order in speaking precisely aa I 
^-»^. 1 was neither an "intruder," nor "out of order." I had 
**^^ii invited and advertised to apeak by the same committee that 
•-*■*■ "^rited Doctors Beecher, Cox, Patton, Eirk, Marsh, and others, 
^xx^ my speech was perfectly within the limits of good order, as the 
•Allowing report will show : 

* * Mr. Chairman— LadUt and OtntUmta :— 

• " I ■m not B. delegate to this convention. Those who wonld hare been 
**a«>«t likelj to elect n>o aa a delegate could not, bcDaaiie they ore to-niglit 
■>^l<3 ia abJE«t nlDvery in tlie I7iut«d States. Sir, I regret that I cannot fullj 
'^'■^ute vith the) American delegates in their patriotdo eulogies of America, and 
Ajnerican twoperance sodetieH. I cannot do so for this good readon : there 
^''B >l this mumeot three mUlions of tho Ajnericon popolation, by Blavery 
^'^ piejadiu;, placed entirely beyond the pale ol Ameriuan tcmperanoB 
'KxnniFH. The three million Blavea are oompletely exoluded by alavery, and 
™v> InindRd thooBand free coloured people arc almont aa completely excluded 
I ^y Kb innterate prejudice ugaingt thero, on acoaiint of theii colour. [Crlea of 
" I jo oul nay these things to wound the feelings of the American dela< 
- 'W, I gimply mentiOD them in thoir prescnco and before this audience, 
I ^**» •MJiiA I"""' yu regard Ihia hatred and neglect of the coJoiirBd people, 
r vaxj be inclined on their return home to enlarge the field of their tcim- 
lu, and embrace within the scope of their influonoo, my long- 
[Graat cheL'rin^, and some confusion on the platfonn.] Sir, 
Sive you some idea ol the difflcultioa and obBtaoloa in tic way of the torn- 
le reformation of the coloured population iu the Uuited States, allow me 
"" ^t*tB a k-w f aila. 

~^^ -^Jiout the year 1S40, a few intelligent, sober, and benevolent coloured 
i^^**^*aaea in Pbiladelpliia, being acquainted with the appalling ravage* of 
(L**'*>.pcTwioe among a nunteroua class of coloured people in that city, and, 
^!r*^**»>g thMniclvoa neglected and excluded from white aooieties, organiied 
p_J|^^tiM unong themaalTea, appointed committees, sent out agents, built tem- 
(^ ""asxoe haUo, and were oamnitly and auoaosatully texcoing many from the 
^^^^» of jntvmpetauce . 

*^^ csiue went nobly on tiil August 1, 1813, the day when England 



gave tilierty to fight hnndTed tHoiuaiid aools in the W«t ladiM. ^^^| 
coluured temperonoe Bocietiee Belected this da; Ut inarch in prooeaaon Uuoq^^H 
the city, in the hope that each a d«DUiiBtratioii vonM bave Lhei efliMl ^^M 
iaoging others into their ranks. Thej fanned their pnxcasiiin, anlnik^^M 
th«r teetotal bajinerti, and proceeded to the acoompliahment of tlieir pnTpM^^I 
It was a deUghtfol sight. Bat, ai, thej had not prm'eeded down two itM^^^ 
before thity were brutallj aiciailed by a nithle« mob ; their banner wm tM^^| 
down, and tmmpled in the dost, their rsnb broken up, their pemii* taUi^^l 
and pelted with stones and brickbats. One of their churches was bomed U fl^^H 
gronnd, and their best tcmpc^t&nce hall ntterl; damolifihed." [■•Sm»^^| 
shame! Hhtune ! " from Ibe andieDOe — gteat confusion, and cries of "S^^H 
down" from the American delegates on the platform.] ^^M 

In the midst of tliis oommotion, tbe chairman tapped me on Ut^^f 
shoulder, and, vbispering, informed me that the fifteen minnli^^l 
allotted to each speaker had expired ; wherenpon the vast aiidi«M^^| 
simultaneoiiBly sbotited; "Don't interrupt I " "don't dictate! ^H 
"go on!" "go on!" " Donglasa I " "Douglass I" Tliifl M**' | 
tinned several minutes, when I proceeded as follows: "Kiiv-™ 
friends, I beg to assure you that the chairman has not id tt*-* 
slighteBt degree aongbt to alter any sentiment which I am aiiiicrc*-^ 
to express on this occasion. He was simply reminding me Ih^^' 
the time allotted for me to speak bad expired. I do not wisL fc^ 
occupy one moment more than is allotted to other speaker^' 
Thanking your for your kind iudnlgence, I will take my st*l— 
Proceeding to do so again, " there were cries of " Go on ! " '■ ff^- 
on I " with which I complied for a few minutes, but without B!i;Fii> £ 
anything more that par ticnlarly related to the coloured peoptco' 
America. I did not allow the letter of Dr. Cox to go nuanawsr^^ 
throngh the American journals, hut promptly exposed its unfii^*" 
neas. That letter is too long for insertion here. A part of i"! 
was published in the Evamjelut, and in many other papers, bot^ 
in America and in England. Our eminent divine made »* 
rejoinder, and his silence was regarded at the time as an adniiinvV^ 
of defeat. 

Another interesting circumstance connected with my visit t^ 
England, was the position of the Free Church of Scotland mts*' 
the groat Doctors Chalmers, Cunningham, and Candlisb si i^^ 
head. That chnrob had settled for itself the question wbis^ 
was frequently asked by the opponents of abolition at home^^ 
■' What have we to do with slavery?" by accepting contribntJO**-' 


" •-'01 slaveholders; i.e., receiving the price of blood into ite 

treasury, with which to build churches and pay miniatera for 

P*"eacliing the gospel; and worse than this, when honest John 

^^iiTray of Bowlein Bay, with William Smeal. Andrew Paton, 

^'*'"e<ierick Card, and other sterling anti-slavery men in Glasgow, 

•i^tiomiced the transaction as disgraceful, and shocking to the 

^^lieiotiB sentiment of Scotland, this Church, through its leading 

'"Vines, instead of repenting and seeking to amend the mistake 

^*o which it had fallen, caused that mistake to become a flagrant 

'**! by undertaking to defend, in the name of God and the Bible, 

**'0 principle not only of taking the money of slave-dealers to 

^***Ud ohnrches and thus extend the gospel, but of holding fellow- 

f'^ip with the traffickers in human flesh. This, the reader will see, 

_ *"*Jiij;ht ap the whole question of slavery, and opened the way to 

*^^ fall discossion. I have never seen a people more deeply moved 

^•laan were the people of Scotland on this very question. Public 

**^^oung socceeded public meeting, speech after speech, pamphlet 

^■"Gr pamphlet, editorial after editorial, sermon after sermon, 

^^sbed Uie concientions Scotch people into a perfect juror t, 

Bei>D BACK THE MONEY I " was indignantly shouted from Greenock 

■^ Edinburgh, and from Edinburgh to Aberdeen. George Thomp- 

**•*! of London, Henry C. Wright, J. N. Buffiun, and myself from 

■Oierica, were of course, on the anti-slavery side, and Chalmers, 

'^Uttlingham, and Cavendish, on the other. Dr. Cunningham waa 

*® most powerfiil debater on the slavery side of the question, Mr. 

oompeon the ablest on the anti-slavery side. A scene occurred 

"*ti»een these two men, a parallel to wliich I think I have never 

^^tijKSSod before or since. It waa caused by a single exclamation 

^** the part of Mr. Thompson, and was on this wise : 

The general assembly of the Free Church was in progress at 
■^Unon Mills, Edinburgh, The building would hold twenty-five 
J'^^Qdred persons, and on this occasion was densely packed, notice 
"^■Vnng been given that Doctors Cunningham and Candlish would 
^*«»ok that day in defence of the relations of the Free Church of 
^^*^lland to slavery In America. Messrs. Thompson. Biiffum, 
^y self and a few other anti-slavery friends attended, but sat at such 
^Jtance and in such position as not to be observed from the plat- 
"^ -The excitement was intense, having been greatly increased 
of meetings held by myself and friends, in the most 



splondid lial) in tbat most beautiful city, just preTtons to | 
meeting of tbe geoeral OBScmbly. " Send back thb itONsrI"] 
Imge capitals, stared from every street comer ; " Senp back 1 
iioNsr I " adorned the broad flags of tbe paveiufiat ; " Ssxo I 
THE MONKv! " was the chorus of the popular street-song; " 
UACK THE MONKV ! " was tbe heading of leading editorials i 
daily newspapers. This day, at Cannon Mills, the great doolona 
tiic church were to give an answer to this loud and stem den 
Men of all parties and sects were most eager to hear. Somelhi 
great was expected. Tbe occasion was great, the men weregl 
aud great speeciies were expected from them, 

In addition to tlie outward pressure there was wavering yr. 
The conscience of the Church itself was not at ( 
faction with the position of the Church touching slavecj 1 
sensibly manifest among the members, aud something must H 
done to counteract this untoward influence. The great I 
Chalmers was in feeble health at the time, so hia most p 
eloquence could not now be Bommoned to Cannon '. 
formerly. lie whose voice had been so powerful i 
asunder and dash down the granite walls of the J 
Church of Scotland, and to lead a host In solemn pre 
it as from a doomed city, was now old and enfeebled, 
had aaid his word on this very question, and it had not a 
the clamour without nor stilled the anxious heavings withi 
The occasion was momentous, and felt to be so. The ChuK^ * 
in a perilous condition. A change of some sort must take pi 
or she must go to pieces. To stand where she did was imps 
The whole weight of the matter fell on Cunningham and Can 
No shoulders in the Church were broader than theirs ; and I n 
say, badly as I detested the principles laid down and defended I 
them, I was compelled to acknowledge the vast mental endov 
of the meu. 

Cunuii^ham rose, and his rising was the signal for tni 
applause. It may be said that this was scarcely In keej^ng i 
the Bolemnity of the occasion, but to me it served to i 
its graDdenr and gravity. Tbe applause, though tmuoltaooB, M 
not joyous. It seemed to me, as it thundered up &om th« % 
andieaoe, like the tail of an immense shaft, flong from shot 
already galled by ita oni&hing weight. It was like saying *' Doeus, 

> hare borne this burden bug enough, and willingly fling it upon 
Sicce it va,e you vho brought tt upon us, take it now and do 

*t you will with it, for ^ 

f to bear it." 

3 weary t' 

^ THe Doctor proceeded with bis speech — abounding in logic, 

'^^'ning, and eloquence, and apparently bearing down all oppoai- 

^**M ; bnt at the moment— the fatal moment — ^when he was just 

^ringing all his arguments to a point — that point being that 

Ueither Jesus Christ nor His holy apostles regarded slaveholding 

' ^ a sin " — George Thompson, in a clear, sonorouB, bat rebuking 

■ ' '»oe, broke the deep atillneas of the audience, exclainung " Heab I 

£h*8 I Heab I " The effect of this simple and common exclama- 

■■•in is almost incredible. It was as if a granite wall had been 

'iddenly flung up against the advancing current of a mighty 

' 'ver. For a moment ex^aker and audience were brought to a 

'^Kd silence. Both the Doctor and his hearers seemed appalled 

''S the audacity, as well as the fitness of the rebuke. At length a 

shout went up to the cry of "Put him out I" Happily no one 

**teinpled to execute this cowardly order, and the discourse went 

***> ; but not as before. The exclamation of Thompson must have 

'"®-*clioed a thousand times in the memory of the Doctor, who, during 

'■ue remainder of his speech, was utterly unable to recover from 

'■l»e blow. The deed was done, however ; the pillars of the Church 

" *A* f/roud Free CTiurch iif Scottiiml — were committed, and the 

"oiailily of ippentance was absent. The Free ChurcJi held on to 

^o hlood-stoiued money, and continued to justify itself in its 


One good result followed the conduct of the Free Church : it 
^°niighed an occasion for making the people tlioroughly acquainted 
^'tti the character of slavery, and for arraying against it the moral 
*^^ religious sentiment of that country; therefore, while we did 
'"*t procure the sending back of the money, we were amply justified, 
''>" tfit good which really did result from our labours. 

I must add one word in regard to the Evangehoal AUiance. 
' "lia was an attempt to form a union of all Evangehcal Christiana 
Mnghout the world, and which held its first session iji London, 
I the year 1846, at the time of the World's Temperance Conven- 
1 there. Borne sixty or seventy ministers from America 
I tiuB convention, the object of some of them being i^m 
E-'VOtld-widfi garment with which to clothe evangelii^H 


slaveholders; and in this thej partially aacceeded. Bnt i 
qneation of slavery was too large a queatiou to be finally dispi 
of by the Evangelical Alliance, and from its judgment we ap| 
to the judgment of the people of Great Britain, vrith the hiq 
effect — this effort of our countrymen to shield the cliaract«rl 
slaveholders serving to open a way to the British ear for i 
slavery discussion. 

I may mention here an incident somewhat amasiiig and J 
structive, as it serves" to illustrate bow easily Americans could i 
aside their notoriously inveterate prejudice against colour, wbeS 
stood in the way of their wishes, or when in an atmoBphere v 
made their prejudice unpopular and un- Christian, 

At the entrance to the House of Commons I had one day b 
conversing for a few moments with Lord Morpeth, and jtu 
I was parting from him I felt an emphatic push against mj a 
and, looking around, I saw at my elbow the Rev. Dr. Kirk of B 
"Introduce me to Lord Morpeth." he said. " Certainly," said I.I 
introduced him ; not without remembering, howevor, th»t J 
amiable Doctor would scarcely have asked such a Savcna < 
coloured man at home. 

The object of my labours in Great Britain was the ooncentr 
of the mural and rehgious sentiment of its people against A 
slavery. To this end, I visited and lectured in nearly all tfaeb 
towns and cities in the United Kingdom, and apoyed I 
favoni'able opportunities for observation and information. I a] 
like to vrrite a book on those countries, if for nothing elsfl^ I 
make gratofiJ mention of the many dear friends whose benew 
actions towards me are inefiaceably stamped upon my mm 
and warmly treasured in my heart. To these friends, I ow* t 
freedom in the United States. 

Mrs. Ellen Richardson, an excellent member of th« sooui^fl 
friends, assisted by her sister-in-law, Mrs. Henry Bicbardson,— 
lady devoted to every good word and work — the friend of t 
Lidian and the African, conceived the plan of raising a fund i 
effect my ransom from slavery. They corresponded with f 
Walter Forward of Pennsylvania, and through I 
that Captain Auld would take one hundred and fifty poBB 
sterhng for me ; and this sum they promptly raised, and paid ft 
my liberation ; placing the papers of my ] 


i, before they would tolerate the idea of my return to my 
e tftod. To this commercial trajisaction, to this blood-mouey, 
» my immunity from the operation of the fugitive slave law 
I, and also &om that of 18S0. Tbo whole affair spoaka 
ilf, and needs no comment now that slavery has ceased 
lot in the United States, and is not likely ever again to be 

< of my uncompromising anti-slavery friends in America 

see the wisdom of this commorcioJ transaction, and were 

I that 1 consented to it, even by my silence. They 

t it a violation of anti-slavery principles, conceding the 

f property in man, and & wasteful expenditui-e of money. 

rself, viewing it simply in the light of a ransom, or as money 

d by & robber, and my liberty being of more value to nae than 

\ Iraadred and fifty pounds sterling, I could not see either a 

a of the laws of morality or of economy. It is true, I was 

e poeeeasion of my claimants, and could have remained in 

md, for my friends would have generously assisted me in 

bbliebiag myself there. To this I could not consent, I felt it my 

) labour and sufTer with my oppressed people in my native 

Considering all the circumstances, the. Fugitive Slave Bill 

ied, I think now as then, that the very best thing was done 

i Master Hugh have the money, and thus leaving me free 

py appropriate field of labour. Had I been a private 

> relations or duties other than those of a per- 

l and family nature, I should not have consented to the 

snt of BO large a sum, for the privilege of living securely 

: glorious republican (?) form of government. I could 

i elsewhere, or perhaps might have been nuobserved 

in the United States ; but I had become somewhat 

Hods and withal quite as unpopular in some directions 

and I was therefore, much exposed to arrest 

I capture.* 

mm no 

» foUowin; is a oapy ot theae curious papcra. both ot mj transfer from 
IB to Hugh Auld, and from Hugh to mynelf ; — 

aeu, by these preaenta : That 1. Thomas Auld of Talbot oountj 
le of Uarylsnii, for, and iu coiuuderation of the sum of out) hundred 
), uuTEnt money, la be paid by Hugh Anld, ot the city of Baltimore, 
■aid atAte, at and before the sealing and delirer]' of iheae presents, the 


Having remained abroad nearly two years, and being a 
retiu'u to Aroerica, not as I left it — a slave — but a freeman, p 
ncDt frieads of the cause of emancipation intimated their ii 
tton to present me with a testimonial, both on grounds of p 
regard for me, and also of the cauae to which they were bo ai 
devoted. How such a project would have succeeded I ( 
know, but many reasons led me to prefer that my friends a 
simply give me the means of obtaining a printing press ■ 
materials, to enable me to start a paper, advocating the ii 
of my enslaved and oppressed people. I told them that perhi 

receipt vliereof, I the said Thomru) Auld, do bereby acknowledge; 1 
grsnWd, bargtuat?d. and «old, and b; these presents do grsut, bargain ai 
nnto the awid Hugh Autd, hin execnUm, adnuniBtratani, and aaoigD 
inMioiCAK, by (ho name of Fbjoibbick Bailt — or SotroLAss BHhecalbU 
aelf — he i» now about twenty-eight fean of &ge—to have and to tuddtlierf 
DHgtvi man for life. And I the aud Thoma< Anld, tor myself, my bi 
ciecntors, and adnunistraton, all and 'singular, the gaid Fkxdesicx Biai d 
DODOLASS unto the [said Hu^ AoM, his execators and admrniatiaton, M 
agaiiut all and every other person or peraons whataoerer, ahaU and v 
warrant and forever defend bj these presents. In wituen wheieoi^ 1 1 
liand and aaal, this tiiirteenth day of November, eighteen hundnd an 
ni (1840). Taoiu5 A 

"Signed, oealed, anddelivend, in the preeanoe of Wrighton Jone^ h 

e antlientioity 


re&tfst hindrftnce to the adoption of abolition principles by the 

e of the United States was the low estimate everywhere in 

y placed upon the negro as a man ; that because of hia 

1 natural inferiority, people reconciled theraaelves to hie 

nit and oppression, as being inevitable if not desirable. 

1 thing to be done, therefore, was to change this cstima- 

■ by disproving hia inferiority and denaonstrating liia capacity 

'*■ a more exalted civilization than slavery and prejudice had 

^signed him. In my judgment, a tolerably well -conducted press 

* the hands of persons of the deapiaed race, would, by calling out 

*^'i making them acquainted with tlieir own latent powers, by 

**lsiiidling their hope of a future, and developing their moral force, 

i^'jve a most powerful means of removing prejudice and awakening 

iutercst io them. At that time there was not a single news- 

! ■■-*r regularly pubhshed by the coloured people in the country, 

':tgh many attempts had been made to establish such, and had 

:j^ one canse or another failed. These views I laid before my 

■ uda. The result was, that nearly two thousand five hundred 

'iirs were speedily raised towards my establishing such a paper 

1 had indicated. For this prompt and generous assistance, 

ulercd upon my bare enggeation, without any personal effort on 

p&rt, I Bhall never cease to feel deeply grateful, and the 

;llt of fulfilling the expectations of the dear friends who 

le tliis evidence of their confidence, was an abiding 

ratjon for persevering exertion. 

raposing to leave England, and turning my face towards 
a the spring of 1817, I was painfully reminded of the 
p of life which awaited me on my arrival. For the first time 
(ha many months spent abroad, I met with proscription on 
mt of my colour. While in London I had purchased a ticket, 
I secnred a berth, for returning home in the " Cambria " — the 
I which I had come from thence — and paid therefor the 
"^^iBil sum of forty pounds, nineteen shillings sterling. This was 
'*^ai cabin fare ; but on going on board I found that the Liverpool 
'K^Bt had ordered my berth to be given to another, and forbidden 
"^y entering the saloon. It was rather hard after having enjoyed 
p^ so long a time equal social privileges, after dining with persona 
flbgreat literary, social, political, and religious eminence, and 
^Hv, during the whole time, having met with a single word, look, 


or gesture, which gave the slightest reason to think my colour 
an offence to anybody — ^now to be cooped np in the stem of the 
" Cambria," and denied the right to enter the saloon, lest m} 
presence should disturb some democratic fellow-passenger. The 
reader can easily imagine what must have been my feelings nndez 
such an indignity. 

This contemptible conduct met with stem rebuke from the 
British Press. The London Times, and other leading journals 
throughout the United Kingdom, held up the outrage to unmiti- 
gated condemnation. So good an opportunity for calling out 
British sentiment on the subject had not before occurred, and it 
was fuUy embraced. The result was, that Mr. Gunard came out 
with a letter expressive of his regret, and promising that tl^ like 
indignity should never occur again on his steamers ; which promise* 
I believe, has been fiuthfully kept. 


TRnnapHs and trials. 

r (opmeniiBB -Painfnl rtiwigreemeiit of opinion with old friends^Final 
1 U> publish tny pApvr in Bw.heitler— Itji fortuDeB — Chanfi^ in my 
\ewt nijardin^ the CongtitutioTi of the United Stal^i'^ — Fidulit}^ to 

mrictiiin— LiwH of old frirndn— Support of new ones— Loss of house, 
., by fire — Triiunphs aod tnalH — UndergTound r^n&d — Incidents. 

)B£PABED as I waa to meet vith many trials and perplexities 

on reaching home, one of which I little dreamed was 

My plana for future usefolneBS, as indicated in the 

: chapter, were all settled, and in imagination I already saw 

self wielding my pen as well as my voice in the great work of 

novating the pubhc mind, and building up a public sentiment, 

1 should send slavery to the grave, and restore to " liberty 

I pursuit of happiness " the people with whom I bad 


[y friends in Boston had been informed of wliat I was intending, 

I expected to find them favourably disposed towards my 

rished enterprise. In this I was mistalien. They had many 

J against it. First, no such paper was needed; secondly, 

d interfere with my usefuhiess as a lecturer ; thirdly, I was 

r fitted to speak than to write ; fourthly, the paper cotUd not 

This opposition &om a quarter so highly esteemed, and 

1 I had been accustomed to look for advice and direction, 

I me not only to hesitate, but inoUued me to abandon the 

idertaking. All previous attempts to establish such a journal 

; failed, 1 feared lest I should but add another to the 

I thus contribute another proof of the mental deficiencies 

Very much that was said of me in respect to my 

set literary attainments, I felt to be moat painfully true, 

i unsuccessful projectors of all former attempts had been my 


snpericrB m point of edacation, and if tkey bad failed bow oool 
bope for success ? Vet I did hope for success, and persisted in 1 
tmdertakiiig, encouraged by my English friends to go forward, 

I can easily pardon those wbo saw in my persistfince. an B 
warrantable ambition and presumption. I was but nine yoi 
escaped from slavery. In many phases of mental experieaw 
was but nine years old. That one nnder sucli circuuiBU&oe 
should aspire to estabbsh a printing press, surrounded by II 
educated people, might well be considered unpractical if BqI 
ambitious. My American friends looked at me with astomBbmait 
" A wood-sawyer " offering himself to the public as an editor! k 
slave, brought up in the depths of ignorance, assuming to inatiot 
the highly civibzed people of the North in the principles of libari^ 
justice, and humanity ! The thing looted absurd. Neverthdf* 
I persevered. I felt that the want of education, great as it «i 
could be overcome by study, and that wisdom would come 
experience ; and further, what was perhaps the most contn 
consideration, I thought that an intelligent pubbc, knomug i^ 
early history, would easily pardon the many deficiencies whicfa I 
weU knew my paper must exhibit. The most distressing f 
of it all, was the offence which I saw I must give myfriendll 
the old anti-slavery organization, by what seemed to then I 
reckless disregard ol their opinion and advice. I am not snre th 
I was not under the influence of something like a slavish adontt 
of these good people, and I lahom'ed hard to comance them fl 
my way of thinking about tlie matter was tlie right one, t 
without success. 

From motives of peace, instead of issuing my paper in 
among New England friends. I went to Rochester. N.Y., i 
strangers, where the local circulation of my paper — " Tbk Nttf 
Stak " — would not interfere with that of the LilmrabiT, of ti 
Anti-SlaKc Staiuiard : for I was then a faithful disciple of ^ 
Lloyd Qarrisou. and fully committed to Lis doctrine touching t) 
pro-slavery character of the Constitution of the United Stat) 
also the ru>n-rolin(i pritwiple, of which ho was the known and A 
tinguished advocate. With bim, I held it to be the first duty 
the non-slaveholding States to dissolve the union with the sis 
holding States, and hence my cry, like his. was " No 
slaveholders." With these views I came into west«rn New Yi 


•iiid dnring the first four years of my laboErs th^re, I advocated 
liiem with pea and tongue, to the best of my ability. After a 
(Jnie, a careM reconsideration of the subject convinced me that 
there was no neccBsity for dissolving the " union between the 
^otthem and Southern States ; " that to seek this dissohition was 
no part of my duty aa an abolitionist ; that to abstain from voting 
&6 to refuse to exercise a legitimate and powerful means for 
>ltshtng slavery ; and that the Constitution of the United 
Spates not only contained no guarantees in favoui' of slavery, but 
the contrary, was in its letter and spirit an anti-slavei-y in- 
Btr-Qnient, demanding the abohtion of slavery as a condition of its 
**^wTi existence, as the supreme taw of the land. 

^This radical change in my opiniona produced a corresponding 
•sljange in my action. To those with whom I had been in agree- 
■Qont and in sympathy, I came to be in opposition. What they 
''eld to be a great and important truth, I now looked upon aa a 
^^•ageroos error. A very natiu-al, but to me a very painful tiling, 
"^■^"W happened. Those who could not see any honest reasons for 
"littnging their views, as I had done, could not easily see any aucb 
''^^aons for my change, and the common punishment of apostates 
'*^*^a mine. 

^y first opioions were naturally derived and honestly euter- 
^ijied. Brought directly, when I escaped from slavery, into 
'^'^•Titact with abolitionists who regarded the Constitution aa a 
'**^vflliolding instrument, and finding their views supported by the 
''~**iled and entire history of every department of tho Government, 
"- «B not strange that I assumed the Constitution to be just what 
'**^Be friends made it seem to be. I was bound not only by their 
'**Xwrior knowledge to take their opiniona in respect to this subject, 
* ^ tbe true ones, but also because I had no means of showing their 
"*">aonndncs8. But for the responsibihty of conductiug a public 
^'^■<*iial, and the necessity imposed upon me of mooting opposite 
' < *^vi Iroia abohtionisU outside of New England, 1 should in all 
'*^"ohabihty have remained firm in my disunion views. My new 
'' *-*"camstanceB compelled me to re-think the whole subject, and 
"^^-Ody with some care not only the just and proper rules of legal 
'^^t«rpretation, but the origin, design, nature, rights, powers, and 
I^^^^Utifls of civil governments, and also the relations which human 
^L*^iiigs sustain to it. By auoh a course of thought and reading I 



■ms ooKdootod to tbe conclusion that the Constitution of the 
Intiited States — inaugurated "to form a more pt?rfoct union, 
I eBtablisL justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the 
common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure Uie 
blessings of liberty " — could not veil have been designed at the 
same time to maintain and perpetuate a system of rapine and 
murder, like slavery, especially as not one word can be found in 
the Constitution to authorize such a belief. Then, again, if the 
declared purposes of an instrument are to govern the meaning of 
all its parts and details, as they clearly should, the Constitution of 
our country is our warrant for the abolition of slavery in ereiy 
State of the Union. It would require much time and space to set 
forth the arguments which demonstrated to my mind the un- 
conatitutionality of slavery ; but being convinced of the fact, my 
duty was plain upon this point in the further conduct of my paper. 
The North Stnr was a large sheet, published weekly, at a cost of 
$80 per week, and an average circulation of 3,000 subscribers. 
There were many times, when in my experience as editor and 
publisher, I was very hard pressed for money, but by one means 
or anotlier I succeeded so well as to keep my pecuniary engage- 
ments, and to keep my anti-slavery banner steaddy flying daring 
all the conflict from the autumn of 1817 till the tmion of the 
States was assured, and emancipation was a fact accomphshed. L^ 
had friends abroad as well as at home who helped me liberally. M 
can never he too grateful to the Rev. Russell Lunt Carpenter an^m 

to Mrs. Carpenter, for the moral and material aid they tendered m 

through all the vicissitudes of my paper enterprise. But to i^h 
one person was I more indebted for substantial assistance than -^ 
Mrs. Juha Griffiths Crofts. She came to my reUef when t^E^u 
paper had nearly absorbed all my means, and was heavily in de^cs 
and when I had mortgaged my house to raise money to m^se 
current expenses ; and by her energetic and effective mauagemea:]! 
in a single year enabled me to extend the circulation of my pax'^'' 
from 2,000 to 4,000 copies, pay off the debts and lift the mortj 
from my house. Her industry was equal to her devotion. &be , 
seemed to rise with every emergency, and her resources appears^ i 
inexhaustible. I shall never cease to remember with ainoe^ / 
gratitude the assistance rendered me by this noble lady, and * J 
mention her here in the desire in some humble measure to " p^ i 


"onour to wbom hononr is due." Dorrng the first three or four 

^ years my paper was published under the name of Tlie North Star. 

I It *B3 subsequently changed to Frederick Doiujlau' Paper in order 

I ^ distinguish it from the many papers with " Stars " in their 

^L ''tlflg. There were "North Stars," " Morning Stars," "Evening 

^^H^ »tUfi," and I kitow not how maay other stars in the newspaper 

^^H Armament, and some confusiou arose naturally enougli in dls- 

^^V ^Qgnisbing between them ; for this reason, and also because some 

^^" of these stars were older than my star I felt that mine, not theirs, 

"•^ht to be the one to " go oat," 

Of course there were moral forces operating againat me in 
^MXjheater, as well as miiterial ones. There were those who 
•■t^^pardpd the pnbhcatioo of a " Negro paper " in that beautiful city 
*^ ft blemish and a misfortune. The New York Herald, true to 
"-•^ spirit of the times, counselled the people of the place to throw 
^'^:y printing press into Lake Ontario, and to banish me to Canada ; 
***-^ while they were not quite prepared for this violence, it was 
P*-^»Jn that many of them did not well rehsh my presence amongst 
''^■^ni. This feeling, however, wore away gradually, as the people 
***.«w more of me and my works. I lectured every Sunday evening 
***:ring an entire winter in the beautiful Corinthian Hall, then 
^'"^v-ned by Wm. R, Reynolds, Esq., who though he was not on 
*t>^|itionist, was a lover of fatr-play, aud was willing to allow me 
'"^ be heard. If in these lectures I did not make abohtiom'sts, I 
iS^ancceed in making tolerantand moral atmosphere in Rochester ; 
*o much so, indeed, that I camo to feel as much at home there as 
*- lud ever done iu the most friendly parts of New England. I had 
aeen at work tJjero with my paper but a few years before coloured 
traveUpra told me that they felt the influence of my labours when 
'***J came within fifty miles. I did not rely alone upon what I 
could do by the paper, but would write all day, then take a train to 
*^icior, Famiington, Canandaigua, Geneva, Waterloo, Batavia, or 
"Qfi*l«, or elsewhere, and speak in the evening, returning home 
*"*rwardB or early in the morning, to be again at my desk writing 
^^ taaihng papers. There were times when I almost thought my 
^^tou friends were right in dissuading me from my newspaper 
^ject. But looking back to those nights and days of toil aud 
"Height, compelled often to do work for which I had no educational 
Preparation, I have come to think that, under the circumstances 


it was the best school possible for me. It obliged me to thiri I 
read, it taught me to express my thoaghtE clearly, and 1 
perhaps better than an; other course I could have adopted. Basidi 
it made it necessary for me to lean upon myself, and not npoQ i 
heads of our anti-slavery church ; — to be a principal, and not i 
agent. I had an audience to speak to every week, and must M 
something worth their hearing, or cease to speak altogether. Thus 
ia nothing like the lash and sting of necessity to make a man votk, 
and my paper furnished this motive power. More than c 
gentleman from the South, when stopping at Niagara, cametoM 
me, that they might know for themselves if I could indeed nt 
having, as they said, beUeved it impoesible that an uneducated fti| 
live slave could write the articles attributed to me. I found itbi 
to get credit in some quarters either for what I wTote or wlat! 
said. While there was nothing vei7 profound or learned in eidui 
the low estimate of Negro possibilities induced the belief that botk 
my editorials and my speeches were written by white persoiiB. I 
doubt if this scepticism does not still linger In the minds of so 
of my democratic fellow -citizens. 

The 2ud of June, 1872, brought me a very grievous lost. K 
house in Eochester was burned to the ground, and among otbl 
other things of value, twelve volumes of my paper, covering ft 
period from 1848 to 1800, was devoui-ed by tlie tlames. I hW 
never been able to replace them, and the loss is immeagnrwh 
Only a few weeks before, I had been invited to send those b 
volumes to the hbrary of Harvard University, where they 1 
have been preserved in a fire-proof building, and the result of O 
procrastination attests the wisdom of more than one proverb. Ol 
side the years embraced in the late tremendous war, there b 
been no period, more pregnant i^'ith great events, or better aoit 
to call out the best mental and moral energies of men, than ti 
covered by Lhcse lost volumes. If I have at any time saii 
written that which is worth remembering or repeating, I ma 
have said such things between the years 1848 and 1860, &nd E 
paper was a chronicle of most of what I said during Uiat tux 
Within that space we had the great Free Soil Conventiao i 
Buffalo, the nomination of Martin Van Buren, the Fugitive SI 
Law, the 7tb March Speech by Daniel Webster, the Dred & 
decision, the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, the Eu 


Nebraska Bill, tbe border war in Eansaa, the John Brown raid 

flpoii Harper's Ferry, and a part of the War against the Rebellion, 

*ith mncb else, weU calculated to fire the souls of men having 

"lie spark of Liberty and Patriotism within them. I have only 

fragments now. of all the work accomplished during these 

twelve years, and must cover this chasm, as best I can, from 

memory and the incidental items wliiob I am able to glean fimn 

*»rioua sources. Two volumes of the Xorth Star have been kindly 

^applied me. by my friend, Mai'shall Pierce, of Saco, Me. He had 

Ui^»e carefully preserved and bound in one cover and sent to me 

'1 Washington. He was one of the most ayatematically careful 

ttj^nof all my anti-slavery friends, for I doubt if another entire 

^*i>lame of the paper exists. 

One important branch of my anti-slavery work in Eocheater, in 

*»A^tion to that of speaking and writing against slavery, must not 

fbrgottea or omitted. My position gave me the chance of hitting 

at old enemy some telling blows, in another direction than these. 

1 ~*»M on the southern border of Lake Ontario, and the Queen's 

**oiBinioD8 were right oter the way — and my prominence aa an 

*-*>olitionist, and as the editor of an anti-slavery paper, naturally 

*i»domethe station master and conductor of the underground 

r'^fcilroad passing through this goodly city. Secrecy and conceal- 

"^eci were necessary conditions to the successful operation of this 

f^ibwid, and hence its prefix " nndergi'onnd." My agency was 

*^1 the more exciting and interesting, because not altogether free 

""oia danger. I could take no step in it without exposing myself 

^ Sue and imprisonment, for these were the penalties imposed by 

tile pTigiiive Slave Law, for feeding, hai-bouring, or otherwise aaaist- 

"'e a slave to escape from his master ; but in face of this fact, I can 

^^y, I never did more congenial, attractive, fascinating, and satis- 

^''torj work. True, as a means of destroying slavery, it was like 

^ Attempt to bail out the ocean with a teaspoon, but the thought 

^*t Uiere was one less slave, and one more freeman, — having my- 

^^ been a slave, and a fugitive slave — brought to my heart 

^■pieakabie joy. On one occasion I had eleven fugitives at the 

^"e time under my roof, and it was necessary for them to remain 

'th me. until I could collect sufficient money to get them on to 

^ada. It was the largest number I ever had at any one time, 

"'d I had some difficulty in providing so many with food and 


■tua ' 

shelter, but as may veil be imagined, they were not nrj 
fastidious in either direction, and were well coDtent with vtTj 
plain food, and a strip of carpet on the floor for a bed, or a plw 

on the straw in the barn loft. 

The underground railroad had many branches ; bat tbst one 
with which I vaB connected had its main Btatione in Baltimoni 
Wilmington, Philadelphia, New York, Albany, Syracuse, BochwW. I 
and St. Catharines. Canada. It is not necessary to tcU who v«rk | 
the principal agents in Baltimore, Thomas Garrett was the ipk 
in Wilmington; Melloe McKim, William Still, Eobert Purvi*, 
Edward M, Davis, and otliers did the work in Philadelphia ; D»n^- 
KugglsB. Isaac T, Hooper, Napolian, and others, in New YirB* 
City ; the MiBses Mott and Stephen Myers, were forwarders frot*^ 
Albany ; Eeva. Samuel J. May and J. W. Loguen, were the agenU-^ 
in Syracuse ; and J. P. Morris and myself received and despatdi*^^^ 
paaaengers from Rochester to Canada, where they were receivedb,^^ 
the Bev. Hiram Wilson. When a party arrived in Rochester, it**-^" 
the business of Mr. Morris and myself to raiae funds with whiciit^-— ' 
pay their passages to St. Catharines, and it is due to troth to sUlt 
that we seldom called in vain upon whig or democrat for he^— 
Men were better than their theology, and truer to humanity, tl 
to their pohtics, or their offices. _ 

On one occasion while a slave master was in the office of a Uiut»^^* 
States commissioner, procuring the papers necessary for the biim&"^ 
and rendition of three young men who had escaped from Marjltf"!^ ■* 
one of whom was under my roof at the time, another at Pannington-— ^ 
and the other at work on the farm of Asa Anthony just a liBi*' ^ 
outaide the city limits, the law partner of the commissioner, ti 
a distinguished democrat, sought me out, and told me what v 
going on m his office, and urged me by all moans to get t 
young men out of the way of their pursuers and claimants. 0^^ 
oourse no time was to be lost. A swift horseman was desftkUHu^^^ 
to Farmington, eighteen miles distant, another to Asa Anthonj'^^ 
farm about three miles, and anotJier to my house on the south ai^ ■^* 
of the city, and before the papers could be served, all three of iJ*- 
young men were on the free waves of Lake Ontario, bound ^^ 
Canada. In writing to their old master, they liad dated tb^^" ^ 
letter at Rochester, though they had taken the precaution to s- 
it to Canada to be mailed, but this blunder in Iha datu had bete 


I wbereabontB, so that tlie hunters were at onca on their 


So Qiinterous were the fngttivea passing through Eochester, that 

-* wm obliged at last to appeal to my British Erienda for the meana 

of Wnding them on their way, and when Mr, and Mrs. Cai-penter 

*nd MrB. Crofts took the matter in hand, I had never any further 

'^oabla in that respect. When slavery was abolished I wi-ote to 

"*^. Carpenter, congratulating her that she was reheved of the 

Work of raising funds for such purposes, and the characteristic 

fejjlj. of that lady waa that she bad been very glad to do what she 

**a-fi done, and had no wish for relief. 

-Mj pathway was not entirely free from thorns in Eochester, and 

*^^ 'Wounds and pains inflicted by them were perhaps much less 

^*^ilj born, because of my exemption from aucii annoyances while 

^^^ Elngland. Men can in time become accustomed to almost any- 

"^•■Og, even to being insulted and ostracised, but such treatment 

"^^mes hard at first, itnd when to some extent milooked for. Tho 

''•'^lear prejudice against colour, bo common to Americana, met 

"^^^ in several disagreeable forms. A seminary for young ladies 

**^*l misses, under the auspices of Miss Tracy, waa near my house 

^^ A^lesander btreet, and desiroua of having my daughter educated 

""G the daughters of other men. I apphed to Miss Tracy for 

****■ admission to her school. All seemed fair, and the child was 

****ly sent to "Tracy Seminary," and I went about nay businesa 

**ttppy hi the thought that she was in the way of a refined and 

^lATiatian education. Several weeks elapsed before I knew how 

^**nipletely I was mistaken. The httle girl came home to me 

^i» day and told me she was lonely in that school ; that she was 

"' fact kept in solitary confinement ; that she was not allowed to 

™ in the room with the other girls, nor to go into the yard when 

'^^S went out ; that she was kept in a room by herself and not 

P'**Tiiitted to bo seen nor heard by the others. No man with tlie 

'oeling of a parent could bo less than moved by such a revelation, 

'^4 I confess that I was shocked, grieved, and indignant. I went 

"'■ (ince to Misa Tracy to ascertain if what I had beai-d waa true, 

^'^^ was coolly told it was, and the miserable plea waa offered that 

"■ 'Wcmid have injui'ed her school if she had done otherwise. I told 

' she shoold have told me so at the beginning, but I did not 

I "blieve that any girl in the achool would be opposed to the presence 


flf mv daughter, and that I should be glad to have the qnert 
■abmitted to them. She conseated to this, and to the credit (^ 
(Ih yoaag l«dies, not one made objection. Not satisfied with tl 
^imiidt of the Batural and uncorrupted aense of jaatiee a 

]r of these vooDg ladies. Miss Tracy insisted that the pamilt'l 
I )m cpDsolted, and if one of them objected she ah 
il mv ehUd U> the same apartment and privileges of the otlur I 
b. One pareot only had the cruelty to object, and he wu lb. I 
> G. Wuner. a democratic editor, and npon bia a 
a. m; daughter was excluded from " Tracy Seminuj." I 
18 Tr*ej was a devout Christian lady after the fft^utn I 
I tbt tOM and locality, in good and regular standing in the I 

a atteoding the education of my children were tuttt 
i hate. Tkin were not allowed in the public school In tiisj 
[ lived, owned property, and paid taxes, hut 
)d. if Ihey went to a public school, to go over to the 
t Iba eity. to an inferior coloured school. I hardly need 
1 was not prepared to submit tamely to tliis proscription, any 
tlian I had been to submit to slavery, so I had them tan^t it 
Irninfl for a wliile. by Mias Thayer. Meanwhile I went to Ihl 
|ipO|>le with the question and created considerable agitation. 
MnuKht and obtained a hearing before the Board of Education, ■ 
■rtur repeated efforts with voice and pen, the doors of the pnfaU 
ncJiools were opened and coloui-ed children were permitted to at 
tiinn in common witli others. 

Thero were barriers erected against coloured people in mo 
■ither places of instruction and amusements in the city, and an 
I went there, they were imposed without any apparent senae 
(■(justice or wrong, and submitted to in silence; hat, one by oi 
Ihey liavo gradually been removed, and coloured people now enl 
tvMly alt places of public resort without hindrance or obserratta 
Thin change has not been wholly effected by me. From the fin 
1 WB« cheered on and snpported in my demands for equal ri^ 
by •uch respectable citizens as Isaac Post, Wm. Hallowell, Sami 
II. Porter. Wm. C- Bloss, Benj. f'ish, Asa Anthony, and ma; 

ntK' I -^ -- ' men of Rochester. 

^ ^tt I have said of the adverse feeling exhibit 

. > nt my selection of Rochester as the plaoe 


establish my paper, and the trouble in educational matters just 

''^erred to, that selection was in many respects very fortunate. 

*^^ ciiy was, and still is, the centre of a various, intelligent, 

^ierprising, liberal, and growing population. The surrounding 

^Qntry is remarkable for its fertility ; and the city itself possesses 

^'^e of the finest water-powers in the world. It is on the line of 

^® New York Central railroad — a line that with its connections, 

^P^ns the whole country. Its people were industrious and in 

^Bifoptable circumstances ; not so rich as to be indifferent to the 

^*^ima of humanity, and not so poor as to be unable to help any 

^*^^ cause which commanded the approval of their judgment. 

•™© ground had been measurably prepared for me by the labours 
of others — notably by the Hon. Myron Holley, whose monument of 
«idaring marble now stands in the beautiful cemetery at Mount 
**®P®» ixpon an eminence befitting his noble character. I know of 
^^ Plarce in the Union where I could have been located at the time 
^*" less resistance, or received a larger measure of sympathy and 
^^Per^tion ; and I now look back upon my life and labours there 
^th Uiiaiioyed satisfaction, and having spent a quarter of a century 
among its people, I shall always feel more at home there than any 
^here else in the United States. 



Tdy firHt mectingr with Capt. Jolm Brown — Th» Free-Soil IforoiiflDt^ 
Golourpd Onvention — Uncle Tom's Cabin — Indnfltrial aohobl for coknacd 
people — Letter to Mrs. H. B. Stowe. 

ABOUT the time I began my enterprise in Rochester, I clumeed 
to spend a night and a day under the roof of a man whose 
character and conversation, and whose objects and aims in life 
made a very deep impression upon my mind and heart. His name 
had been mentioned to me by several prominent colomred men, 
among wliom were tlie Rev. Henry Highland Oamet and J. W. 
Logucn. In speaking of him their voices would drop to a whisper, 
and what they said of him made me very eager to see and know 
him. Fortunately I was invited to see him in his own house. At 
the time to which I now refer, this man was a respectable merchant 
in a populous and thriving city, and our first place of meeting was 
at liis store. This was a substantial brick building, in a pro- 
minent, busy street. A glance at the interior, as well as at the 
massive walls without, gave me the impression that the owner most 
be a man of considerable wealth. From this store I was conducted 
to his house, where I was kindly received as an expected guest 
My welcome was all I could have asked. Every member of the 
family, young and old, seemed glad to see me, and I was msdi 
mucli at home in a very little while. I was, however, a little dis- 
appointed with the appearance of the house and with its locatioo. 
After seeing the fine store, I was prepared to see a fine residenee, 
in an eligible locality, but this conclusion was completely dispelled 
by actual observation. In fact, the house was neither commodioiii 
nor elegant, nor its situation desirable, It was a small woodsn 
building, in a back street, in a neighbourhood chiefly occupied Iff 
labouring men and mechanics ; respectable enough to be sure, bot 

bot quite the place, I thought, where one would look for the reei- 
d^Ece of a flounahing and Buccessftil merchant. Plain as waa the 
ontaide of this man's house, the inside was plainer. Its furniture 
"^OTiId have eatiafied a Spartan. It would take longer to tell what 
"^^8 not in this house than what was in it. There was an air of 
plajnuess about it which almost suggested destitution. My first 
meal passed under the misnomer of tea, thongh there was nothing 
at>oot it resembling the usual significance of that term. It oon- 
BiBtcd of beef soup, cabbage, and potatoes ; a meal such as a man 
•^ijfibt relish after following the plough all day, or performing a 
«^rced march of a dozen miles over a rough road in frosty weather. 
"^Hocent of paint, veneering, varnish, or table-cloth, the table an- 
louaced itself unmistakably of pine and of the plainest workman- 
■Jfaip, There waa no hired help visible. The mother, daughters, 
***<! Bona did the serving, and did it well. They were evidently 
"^^cd to it, and had no thought of any impropriety or degradation in 
'*^Hig their own servants. It is said that a house in some measure 
''^fleets the character of its occupants ; this one certainly did. In it 
'**ete were no disguises, no illusions, no make behevea. Everything 
"**plied stera truth, solid purpose, and rigid economy. I was nat 
^'^S in company with the maater of this house before I discovered 
^**t he was indeed the master of it, and was likely to become mine 
'^^^^ if I stayed long enough with him. He fulfilled St. Paul's idea 
2 t'te head of the family. His wife believed in liim, and hia chil- 
'*^^a observed him with reverence. Whenever he spoke his words 
*-**iiiiiB.nded earnest attention. Hia arguments, which I ventured at 
"^■^e points to oppose, seemed to convince all ; his appeals touched 
^*^. and his will impressed all. Certainly I never felt myself in the 
^^^^«Qce of a stronger religious influence than while in this man's 

I -tjn person he waa lean, strong, and sinewy, of the best New Eng- 
^'^i mould, built for times of trouble, fitted to grapple with the 
*^t.io8t hardships. Clad in plain American woollen, shod in boots 
<iowhide leather, and wearing a cravat of the same substantial 
^terial. under six feet high, less than 150 pounds in weight, 
^^»^ about fifty, he presented a figure, straight and symmetrical 
^ ^ mountain pine. His bearing was singularly impressive. His 
^*^0^^ ^jj^g uji^ large, but compact and high. His hair was coarse, 
, slightly gray and closely trimmed, and grew low on his 



forehead. His fn^e was smoothly shaved, and revealed a strong- 
xinare moutb, supported by a broad and promment chin. His 
eyes were blaiah gray, and iu conversalion tliey were full of light 
aiid fire. When in the street, he moved with a long, apringing 
racc-faorse step, absorbed by Lis own reflectioss. neither seeking^ 
Dor Bhurmiug observation. Such was the man, whose name I hftd 
heard is whispers, such was the spirit of bis house and fiunily, 
such was the bouse in which he lived, and such was Captain 
John Brown, whose name has now passed into history, as one 
of the most marked characters, and greatest heroes knows to 
American fame. 

After the strong meal already described. Captain Brown oftD- 
tiously approached the subject which he wished to bring to my 
attention ; for he seemed to apprehend opposition to liis views. 
Ho denounced slavery in look and language fierce and bitter. 
thought that slaveholders had forfeited their right to Uve, that the 
slaves bad the right to gain theh: hberty in any way they conld, 
did not believe that moral suasion would ever hbcrate the slave, or-- 
that political action would abolish the system. He said that he^ _ 
had long had apian which could accomplish thiit end, and he lia iy=^ 
invited me to his house to lay that plan before me. He said b^_^g 
had been for some time looking for coloured men to whom he cavl^ .^^ 
safely reveal bis secret, and at times he had almost despaired c^ q| 

linding such men, but that now he was encouraged, for he ""~ j i[ 

heads of such, rising up in alt directions. He bad observed lo^c^zj^j 
course at home and abroad, and be wanted my co-operation. ^^^~H n 
plan as it then lay in bis mind, had much to commend it. It ^^^iid 
not, as some suppose, contemplate a general rising among the slar~^;^fe.<i. 
and a general slaughter of the slave masters. An insurrection ^ he 
thought would only defeat the object, but his plan did contempl..^Hatr 
the creating of an armed force, which should act in the very he 
of the South. He was uot averse to the shedding of blood, 
thought the practice of carrying arms would be a good one for 
coloured people to adopt, as it would give them a sense of t 
manhood. No people, be said, could have self-respect, o 
spected, who would uot fight for their freedom. He called, mj 
attention to a map of the United States, and pointed out to me the 
far-reaching Allegbaiiies, which stretch away from the borders q^ 
New York, into the Southern States. " These mountains," bt 

said, '■ are the basia of my plau. God has given the strength of the 

^^ AiUs to freedom, they were placed bore for the emaucipatioo of the 

^^pDfiigrc race ; they are full of natural forts, where ooe mau for 

^"Sefeacc will be equal to a hundi-ed for attack ; they are full also of 

^■>od hidiug places, where large numbers of brave men cuuld be 

"'•ncealed, and baffle and elude pursuit for a long time. I know 

''J-iese iQoiuitatns well, and could take a body of men into them and 

kt»«jp them there, despite all the efforts of Virginia to dislodge 

tli^Mu. The true object to be sought is first of all to destroy the 

tcKsaey value of slave property; and that can only be done by 

■"G! tidering snob property insecure. My plan then is to take at tirat 

* t»*:3ut twenty-five picked men, and' begin on a small scale ; supply 
"*^m with arms and ammunition, post them in squads of fives on 

* line of twenty-five miles, the most persuasive and judicious of 
^"■taom shall go down to the fields from time to time, as opportunity 
•^^^•ers, and induce the slaves to join them, seeking and selecting the 

'^^^^Mt restless and daring." 

He saw that in this part of the work the utmost cai'e must be 
' ^ed to avoid treachery and disclosure. Only the most conscien- 
■•■Oiisand skilfot should be sent on this perilous duty; with care 
^**d enterprise he thought he could soon gather a force of one 
'*<Xiidred hardy men, men who would be content to lead the free 
***d adventurous life in which ho proposed to ti-ain them ; when 

**ese were properly drilled, and each man had found the place for 
™"**ich he was best suited, they would begin work in earnest ; 

**ey would run off the slaves in large numbers, retain the brave 
^^^ strong ones in the mountains, and send the weak and timid 
^^ the North by the underground railroad ; hia operations would 
"^ enlarged with increasing numbers, and would not be confined to 
***»« locality. 

"When I asked him how he would support these men, he said 
'emphatically, he would subsist them upon the enemy. Slavery 
'^'^5 a state of war, and the slave had a right to anything necessaiy 

'^ his freedom. But, said I, "suppose you succeed in running 

'9 a few slaves, and thus impress the Virginia slaveholders with 
*■ Hense of insecurity in their slaves, the effect will be only to make 
-»«mn sell their slaves further Sooth," " That," said he, " will be 

* *Vt what I want to do ; then I would follow them up. If w« 
^^^E^Old drive slavery out of oni^ coimty, it would be a great 


it would weakon the system throughout the State." "Bnt t 
would era[jloy bloodhounds to Jmut you out of the monutaiB 
" That they might attempt," said he, "but the chances are. 
should whip them, and when we should have whipped o 
they would be careful how they pursued." " But you might 
surrounded ttud cut off from your provisions or mean 
tence." He thought that could not be done so that they could i 
cat their way out ; but even if the worat came, he could but 
killed ; and he liad no better use for his life tlian to lay it down 
the cause of the slave. When I suggested that we might con? 
the elaveholderB, he became much excited, and said that i 
never be ; — " he knew their proud hearts, and that they v 
never be induced to give up their slaves, until they felt s i 
stick about their heads." He observed, that I might have notu 
the simple mauner in which he lived, adding that he had adopj 
this method in order to save money to carry out his purpog 
This was said in no boastful tone, for he felt that he had delaj 
already too long, and had no room to boast either his zeal or '. 
aelf-denial. Had some men made such display of rigid v 
should have rejected it, as affected, false, and hj'pocriCical, bat 
John Brown, I felt it to be real as iron or granite. From i 
night spent with John Brown in Springfield, Mass., 1847, whih 
continued to writ« and speak against slavery, I became all t 
same less hopeful of its peaceful ahohtion. My utterances b 
more and more tinged by the colour of this man's strong imp 
sions. Speaking at an anti -slavery convention in Salem, Ohi 
expressed the apprehension that slavery could only be dostrai; 
by bloodshed, when I was suddenly and sharply interrupted 
my good old &iend. Sojourner Truth, with the qnestai 
"Frederick, is God dead?" "No." I answered, and " becal 
God is not dead slavery can only end in blood." My quaint d 
sister was of the Garrison school of non-resistants, and V 
shocked at my sanguinary doctrine, but she too bccamfl I 
advocate of the aword, when the war for the maintenance o( fl 
Union was declared. 

In 1848 it was my privilege to attend, and in some measore,' 
participate in, the famous Free-Soil Convention held in Bii&li 
New York. It was a vast and variegated assemblage, composed) 
persons from all sections of the North, and may be SEud to kv 

E-HOtL PARTY, 2'11 

fomwl a Dew departure in tbe history of forces organized to resist 

llie growing and aggressiTe demauda of aiavery and tbe slave 

pvei. Until this Buffalo Convention, anti-slavery agencies had 

t^en mainly directed to the work of changing public sentiment, by 

eiposbg through.the press and on the platform, the nature of the 

slave system. Anti-slavery thus far bad only been sheet light- 

ling ; the Buffalo Convention sought to make it a thunderbolt. It 

I true the Liberty party, a political organisation, had been in 

JStence since 1840. when it east seven thousand votes for James 

' Biniey, a former slaveholder, but who, in obedience to an 

^tened oonscienee, had nobly emancipated his slaveB, and 

* How devoting his time and talents to the overthrow of alaveryi 

I tme that this little party of brave men had increased their 

"Rubers at one time to sixty thousand voters. It, however, had 

■'"■■^ apparently reached its culminating point, and was no longer 

'>le to attract to itself and combine all the available elements of 

''^ North, capable of being marahalled against the growing and 

-^'Snessive measures and aims of the slave power. There were 

■'ti\hy in the old Whig party Icnown as Conscience Wliigs ; and 

'n ihe Democratic party known as Barnburners and Free Demo- 

'^•^ta, who were anti-slavery in sentiment and utterly opiwsed 

*** the extension of the slave system to territory hitherto uncursed 

"y ite presence ; but who, nevertheless, were not willing to join 

^o« Liberty party. It was held to be deficient in numbers, and 

^'anting in prestige. Its fate was the fate of all pioneers. The 

'•'ork it had been required to perform had exposed it to assaults 

'foin all sides, and it wore on its front tlie ugly marks of conflict. 

'^ Was unpopular trom its very fidelity to the cause of hberty and 

J'lstice, No wonder that some of its members, suchasUerrit Smith, 

"illiam Goodell, Beriah Green, and Juhus Lemoyne refused 

"• luit the old for the new. They felt tliat the Free-Soil party 

**s a step backward, a lowering of the standard, that the people 

^houlJ come to them, not they to the people. Tbe ^jarty which 

'^ been good enough for them ought to be good enough for all 

"^^Ijers, Events, however, over-ruled this reasoning. The con- 

^"^ction becajne general that the time had come for a new organisa- 

*>on, which should embrace all who were in any manner opposed 

"^ llftvery and the slave power, and this Buffalo Free-Soil 

invention was the result of that conviction. It is easy to say 

that this OF that measnre would have been wiser and bottor t 
the one adopted. But an; measaro is viadioated by its neceesi^ 
and its results. It was impossiblo for the mountain to go i 
Mahomet, or for the Free-Soil element to go to the oM hlh&r 
party, so the latter went to the former. " All is well that el 
well." This Buffalo Convention of Free-Soilers, however low tp 
their standard, did lay the foundation of a grand superstructoH 
It was a powerful link in the chain of events by which the sU« 
system has been abohshed, the elave emancipated, and the coontl 
saved from dismemberment. 

It is nothing against the actors in this new movement that tfaej 
did not see the end from the beginning ; that they did not at & 
take the high ground that fm^her on in the conflict their snooi 
Bora felt themaelves called upon to take ; or that their Free-Soil par 
like the old Liberty party, was ultimately required to step aside b 
make room for the groat Republican party. In ail this, and more, 
illuBtratee the experience of reform in all ages, and conforms 
the laws of human progress — Measures change, principles aerer. 

I was not the only coloured man well known to the country a 
was presCDt at this convention. Samuel Rtngold Ward, 
Highland Garnet, Charles L. Bemoud, and Henry Bibb, wa 
there, and made speeches which were received with surprise « 
gratification by the thousands there assembled. As a colooi 
man I felt greatly encouraged and strengthened in my cAX 
while hstcning to these men — in the presence of the ablest men 
the Caucasian race. Mr. Ward especially attracted attention i 
that convention. As an orator and thinker he was vastly snperior, 
thought, to any of us, and being perfectly black and of unmixed A 
can descent, the splendours of his intellect went directly to the g 
of his race. In depth of thought, fluency of speech, readiness of wi 
logical exactness, and general intelligence, Samuel B. Ward has U 
no successor among the coloured men amongst us, and it was a n 
dayfor our cause when he was laid low in the soil of a foreign coonti] 

After the Free Soil party, with " Free Soil," "Free Imbaa,' 
" Free States," " Free Speech," and " Free Men," on its bsjuun 
had defeated the almost permanently victorious Democratic pu^ 
under the leadership of so able and popular a staiidard-bearw M 
General Lewis Cass, Mr. Calhoun, and other Southern statuma 
were more than ever alarmed at the rapid increase of anti-alftW! 


; in tlie North, aod devotei their energies, more and mote. 
to the work of devising means to stay the torrents and tie up the 
Rtonii. They were not ignorant of whereuuto this sentiment would 
l^^nw if uuBubjected and ancxtinguished. Hence they became 
^Hbtoo and furious in debate, and more extravagant than ever in 
^^Hkeir demands for additional safeguards to their system of robbery 
HBod murder. Assuming tliat the Constitution guaranteed theii' 
rights of property in their fellow-men, they held it to be in open 
viol&tion of the C'ouatitntiou for any American citizen in any part 
of the United States to speak, nTite, or act, against this right. 
Bat this shallow logic they plainly saw could do them no good 
OoIeSB they could obtain further safeguards for slavery. In order 
to effect this, the idea was snggeated of so changing the Consti- 
totion that there should be two instead of one President of the 
United States— one from the North and the other from the South 
— sad that no measure should become a law without the assent of 
both. But this device was ao utterly impracticable that it soon 
dropped out of sight, and it is mentioned here only to show the 
desperation of slaveholders to prop up tlieir system of barbarism, 
against which the sentiment of the North was being directed with 
destmctive skill and effect. They clamoured for more slave States, 
more power in the Senate and House of Eepreaentatives, and 
isted upon the suppression of free speech. At the end of two 
1 1S50, when Clay and Calhoun, two of the ablest leaders 
a Sonlh ever had, were still in the Senate, we had an attempt 
ft % settlement of differences between the North and South which 
r legislators meant to be final. What those measures were I 
i not here enumerate, except to say that chief among them was 
" Fugitive Slave Bill," framed by James M. Maaon of Virginia, 
1 supported by Daniel Webster of Massachusetts ; a bill, 
idonbtedly more designed to involve the North in comphcity 
jnth slavery and deaden its moral sentiment, than to procure the 
retom of fugitives to their so-called owners. For a time this 
design did not altogether fail. Letters, speeches, and pamphlets 
literally rained down upon the people of the North, reminding them 
of their constitutional duty to hunt down and return to bondage 
runaway slaves. In this the preachers were not much behind the 
8 aJid the pohticiaus, especially that class of preachers knon-n 
I Doctors of Divinity. A long hst of these came forward with 

844 rtGITTTE 9LA\-E LAW. 

their Bibles to show that neither Christ nor His holy apn 
objected to returning fugitives to slavery. Now, tlial this evil Jj^ I 
is past, a, sight of those sermons would, I doubt not, bring Qtd I 
red blush of shame to the cheeks of many. 

Living as I then did in Bochestei, on the borders of Canadk i 
was compelled to see the terribly distressing effects of this & 
enactment. Fugitive slaves, who had hved for many years ta 
and securely in Western New York and elsewhere, sol 
had by industry and economy saved money and bought httle lu 
for Uiemsclves and their cliildren, were suddenly alanued, t 
compelled to flee to Canada for safety as from an enemy's 
doomed city — and talce up a dismal march to a new abode, empt; 
handed, among strangers. My old friend Ward, of whoi 
jiiat now spoken, found it necessary to give up the contest and fl^^^ 
to Canada, and thousands followed his example. Bishop Dauid .^^' 
Payne, of tlio African Methodist Episcopal Church, c: 
about this time to consult me as to whether it was best to ii 
our ground or flee to Canada. I told him I csould not if^ 
my post until I saw I could not hold it, adding that I did uul wi^^^ 
to leave while Garnet and Ward remained. " Why," said ii^ 
•■ Ward, Ward, he is already gone. I saw him crossing frn^*^ 
Detroit to Windsor." I asked him if he was going to stay, and 1* 
answered, " Yes ; we are whipped, we are whipped ! and b 
as well retreat in order." This was indeed a stunning blow. 
man had power to do more to defeat this inliumau enH«tnieiil tb 
any other coloured man in the land, for no other could bring 8i 
brain power to bear against it. I felt like a besieged city at tl 
news that its defenders had fallen at its gates. 

The hardships imposed by this atrocious and shameless law w ^_^ 
cruel and shocking, and yet only a few of all the fugitives of ili*^*^ 
Northern Stales were returned to slavery under its infamonsl-*-^"^ 
wicked provisions. As a means of recapturing their runass.-^^'^' 
property in human flesh the law was an utter failure. Its efficieuc ^=-'^- 
waa destroyed by its enormity. Its chief effect 
produce alarm and terror among the class subject to its opera 
and this it did most eSectually and distressingly. Even colon 
people who had been free all their hves felt Ihemselvos vbtJ it 
secure in tlieir freedom, for under this law, the oaths of any f 
villains were sufficient to consign a free man to slavery for U 

FDOrnvE BiiiVE i^w. 245 

h the law was a terror to the free, it waa a etill greater terror 
M escaped bondman. To him there was no peace. Asleep or 
ee, at work or nt rest, in church or market, he was Uable to ' 
nse anil capture. By the law the judge got ten dollars a head 
II he could consign to slavery, and only five dollars apiece for 
Irlucb he might adjudge free. Although I waa now myself 
I was not without apprehension. My purchase was of doubtful 
Iftj, having been bought when out of the posBOsaion of my 
ir, and when he must take what was given or take nothing. 
H a question, whether my claimant could he stopped by such a 
from asserting certain or supposable equitable rights in my 
' and soul. From rumours that reached mo my house was 
ded by my friends several nights, when i-idnappera, had they 
U would have got anything but a cool receptiou, for there 
d faavd been " blows to take aa well as blows to give." 
pily this reign of terror did not continue long. Despite the 
Is of Dauiel Webster and Millard Fillmoro and oui- Doctors of 
ttity, the law fell rapidly into disrepute. The rescue of Shad- 
I resulting in the death of one of the kidnappers, in Boston, 
Maes of Simms and Anthony Burns, in the same place, created 
^epest feeling against the law and its upholders. But the 
^ which more than all else destroyed the fugitive slave law was 
Insistanco made to it by the fugitives themselves. A decided 
i WOB given to the execution of the law at Cliristiana, Penn., 
tethree coloured men, being pursued by Mr. Gorsuch and hia 
I, Blew the lather, wounded the sou, drove away the officers, 
[made their escape to my house in Eochester. The work of 
ing those men safely mto Cauada was a dehcate one. They 
) not only fugitives from slavery but charged with murder, and 
Bra were in pursuit of them. There was no time for delay. 
nld not look upon them as murderers. To me, they were 
{o defenders of the just rights of man against man-stealers and 
lerers. So I fed them, and sheltered them in my house. 
; they been pursued then and there, my home would have 
i stained with blood, for these men who had already tasted blood 
i well armed and prepared to sell their livec at the expense of 
fives and limbs of their probable assailants. What they had 
tiy done at Christiana, and the cool determination which 
|«d very plainly, especially in Parker, for that was the name 

HG sruMs AND 

of the leader, left no doubt on my mind that their com 
gennine and that thoir deeds would equal their words. The situ- 
ation was critical and dangerous. Tbe telegraph had that day 
umoonced their deeds at GhriBliana, their escape, and that the 
mountains of Pennsylvania were being aoarclied for the murderera. 
These men had reached me simultaneously with this news in the 
New York papers. Iiomediately after the occurrence at Christiana, 
they, instead of going into the mooutaiua, were placed on a train. 
which brought them to Kochestcr. They were thus almost in 
advance of the lightning, and much in advance of probable pursaiti 
unless the telegraph had already raised agents here. The honra 
they spent at my house were therefore hours of anxiety &a well a 
activity. I dispatched my friend Miss Julia Griffiths to ihe landing. 
three miles away on the Genesee Biver to ascertain if a steamu 
would leave that night for any port in Canada, and remained at 
home myself to guard my tired, dust-covered, and sleeping guesto,' 
for they had been harassed and travelling fur two days and nighta,' 
and needed rest. Happily for us the suspense was not long, for U 
turned out, that that vary night a steamer was lo leave for Torootof 

This fact, however, did not end my anxiety. There waa dangoi 
that between my house and the landing or at the landing itself vi 
might meet with trouble. Indeed the landing was the place whers 
trouble was likely to occur, if at all. As patiently as I could, I 
waited for the shades of night to come on, and then put the i 
in my "Democrat carriage," and started for the landing on tlu 
Genesee. It was an esciting ride, and somewhat speedy will 
Wo reached the boat at least fifteen minutes before the time of il 
departure, and that vdthout remark or molestation. But thoi 
hfteen minutes seemed much longer than usual. I remained C 
board till the order to haul in the gang-way was given ; I sho^ 
hands with my friends, received from Parker the revolver that 5 
from the hand of Gorsuch when he died, presented now as a tok: 
of gratitiide and a memento of_the battle for Liberty at ChriBtiaB 
and I returned to my home with a sense of rchef which I can^ca 
stop here to describe. This affair, at Christiana, and the Je:! 
BeBCUe of Syracuse, inflicted fatal wounds ou the Fugitive E 
Bill. It became thereafter almost a dead letter, for slavebol 
found that not only did it fail to put them in possession o 


8l»Te8, but that the att€mpt to enforce it brought odium upon 

Mieinaelves and we&kened the slave system. 

I in the midst of these fugitive slave troubles came the book 

Miown as ■' Uaole Tom's Cabin," a work of marvellous depth and 

power. Nothing could have better suited the moral and humane 

1 'wjuirements of the hour. Its effect was amazing, inatantaneoua, 

^_ and universal. No book on the subject of slavery had so generally 

^B >>iid favonrably touched the American heart. It combined all the 

^H t^^'Ver and pathos of preceding publications of the kind, and 

^p *M hailed by many as an inspired production. Mrs. Stowc at 

r lace became an object of intereat and admiration. She made 

' 'Oftune and fame at home, and awakened a deep interest abroad. 

'■nimeut persons in England roused to anti-slavery enthusiasm by 

'iBr " Uncle Tom's Cabin," invited her to visit that country, and 

i'rotuiaed to give her a testimonial. Mrs. Stowe accepted the invi- 

''■*ti<m and the proffered testimonial. Before sailing for England, 

•"^■^^ver, she invited me from Rocheater. N, Y., to spend a day at 

■"^>:r- house in Andover, Mass. Dehghted with an opportunity to 

*^^*i«me personally acquainted with the gifted authoress, I lost no 

''*«a.e in making my way to Andover. I was received at her home 

^^^tfa genuine cordJahty. There was no contradiction between the 

^'**-thores8 aud her book. Mrs. Stowe appeared in conversation 

^**l*ially as well as she appeared in her writings. She made to me a 

■^*-*<3e httle speech in announcing her object in sending for me. " I 

■i^-ve invited you here, she said, " because I vrish to confer with yon 

^s to what can be done with the free coloured people of the country. 

I ajn going to England, and espect to have a considerable sum of 

**ioucy placed in my hands, and I intend to use it in some way, for 

*-l»e permanent improvement of the free coloured people, and 

•especially for that class which has become free by their own exer- 

*'oB8. In what way I can do this most successfully is tlie subject 

* ^vish to talk with you about. In any event I desire to have some 

y^oiinment raised after ' Uncle Tom's Cabin,' which shall show that 

" produced more than transient influence." She said several plana 

^*4 been suggested, among others an educational institution pure 

"^^ simple, but that she thought favourably of the estabUshment 

*** »o industrial school ; and she desired me to eipress my views 

** to what I thought would be the best plan to help the free coloured 

P^ple. I was not alow to tell Mrs. Stowe all I knew and had 


thought on the subject. As to a parel; eduoatioDal iDstatoiil 
agreed with hor that it did not meet our necegsitioa. I arf 
against expending money in that way. I was abo opposed to 
ordinary iuduati-ial school where pupila should merely earn 
means of obtaining an education in books. There were s 
Bohoola. already. What I thought of as best was rather a serii 
of workshops, where coloured people could learu somo of the 
crafts, learu to work in iron, wood, and leather, and whure spin 
EngUsh education could also be taught. I argued that the w«ilt 
of money waa the root of all evil to tlie coloured people, fbtf 
wore shut out from all lucrative employments and compelled to bl. 
merely barbers, waiters, coachmen and the like, at n'agea io knf 
that they could lay up little or nothing. Their poverty kept thl 
ignorant, and their ignorance kept them degraded. Wo need 
more to learn how to make a good living, than to learn Latic ti 
Greek. After hsteniiig to me at considerable length, she 7 
good enough to tell mo that she favoured my views, and mt 
devote the money she expected to receive abroad* to meeting Ua 
want I had described as the most important ; by establishing II 
institution in which colotu'ed youtli should learu trades as veil u 
to read, write, and count. When about to leave Andover, Mr* 
Stowe asked me to put my views ou the subject in the fbimcJ 
letter, so that she could take it to England with her and show it I 
her friends there, that they might see to what tbeir contribnlioo 
were to be devoted, I acceded to her request, and wrat« btf tt 
following letter for the purpose named :^ 

RooHEaTBB, Usnh i, ISiL 

Ut ObiLB Mbs. StovB : 

You loudly iufonued mc, wlien at jour bouse a fiirtiu(^}it ago, IhU p 
defflgned to do Bomething which would pennanently contribule to Uie in^W 
ment aud eluvntiou of the free coloured people iu the United Stales. T( 
eapecially expressed iuterest iu such of this Flasa as hnd become bee bf U 
own eiGctioujt, and deidrt'd mout of all to be of veiTioe to them. In wluit nuH 
and by what meiaia you can UBSint this daas modt KUBOewfolly. ia tlie inlJM 
upon which jou huve done mo the honour to ask my opinion. 
then that puvrrli/, ignoratice and drgradalian are the Cdmbiniid evila; 01 
other words, thcHe constitute the Mwial disease of the free ooloiued pMfl 
the United States. 

To deliver tiiem from this triple malady, is to improve and elevate tluni 
which I meau, eimplj to put them on an equal footing with their white (b 
countrymen in the «acredrighCto " Life, LibrHy, and the pursuit a( h 

'\b faudod or artifiui&l elcTation, but Qiily usk fair play. How shall 

alibuned F 1 answer, first, not by eslablisMng for our use liigb (wliaols 

le^OB. Su(<h iiutituticiiis ore, in my jnAgmeat, beyond our iuuuodUto 

13 nnd HTP not adapted to our present moat pressing' wonts. High 

"loolii mill GoUei^H are eioeUent inBtitutiDns, and will in due wosou be greatly 

'il-»errii'iit lo our progreBs; but they are the result, aa well bs tliey are the 

''UimiJuF a point of progTea.i, which wg aa n people have not yet attained. 

-^'''^uattimed sa <re huTH been, hi^he roufrher and hordur modes of living-, and 

"1 (raining a lirelihood, we uannot, and we ought nut tfl bnpo that in a nngle 

'"ap tniia our low condition, we can reach that of MiniiUi'i, Lcurw^'- Dottori, 

'■*ilt,ni, KrrrtianU, et«. ThcHO will doubtless be uttiuned by qb ; but this will 

""'t le, wbpu wo have patiently and hiborioualy, and I may odd suGceflsfutly, 

"""Uired and pawfod through the intermedinte gradalionB of agriculture and the 

'"'™lMuiiial ojta. Besides, there ore — and perhaps this is a better reoaon for my 

''"O" o[ the uase^numdnnis institatieos of learning in this country, already 

' '^"^n open to oolouied youth. To my thinking, there bph quite as many 

" Uiliei now afforded to the coloured people, as they oan qiam the time from 

"' "fanipr duties of life, to avail thmnselvea of. In their present condition of 

"'''«T1y, they cannot spare their sons and daughters two or three years at 

™*»4inp.schoola or colleges, U) say nothing of finding the moauB to sustain 

J^etn »hile at such institutions. I take it, therefore, that wo are well provided 

, bi thit< respect ; and that it may be fairly inferred from the fact, that the 

^^Uiijiv ior our education, so far as sohools and colleges in the Free States ore ( 

^^*^imcd, will increase quite in proportion with our future wauts. Colleges 

^^^■> he«n open to ooloured youth in this country during the last dozen yeais. 

. ** ttw comparativoly, have acquired a classical education ; and even this tew 

***** found themselves educated tar above a Uving condition, there being no 

r^'^4)joda by which they could turn their learning to account. Several of this 

^^** g« elaes have entered the ministry ; but you noed not be told that lUi oduoatad 

' ^fple is needed to (nstain an educated ministiy. There must be a. oertoin 

^J****nnt of ciUtivHtion among the people, to sustain such a ministry . At present 

^ burp not thai cultivation amongst us ; and therefore, we value in llie 

'"^^•cher. strong luugs. rather than high learning. I do not say, that edu'^ated 

^~***isteT« an> not needed amongst ua, far from it ! 1 wlah there were more of 

••M but to ini^rease their number, is not the largest benefit you can bestow 

•P* have two or three coloured lawyers in tliia country ; and I rejoice in the 

'^t ; for it affords very gratifying evidence of our progress. Yet it must be 

■^^'•■■Jd, that in point of success, oar lawyerw are aa great failures oa our ministers, 

■**•!* people will not employ them to the obvious embarrassmeut ot tboir uuuae*, 

T^" tlt« bluckf, taJdug their eiit from the whites, have not auflioient confldenoe 

Uteir abilities to employ them. Hence educated coloured men, among the 

^****»ml people, are at a very great diaoount. It would «ecm that education 

enugrution go together with us, for as soon as a man rises amongst as, 

if \}j his genius and learning, to do us great service, Just bo soon he finds 

If better by going elsewhere. In proof of this. I might 

n the ButswuiniB, the Qomets, the Words, the Crummulls and others, all 

250 eis VIEW3 OP kducatio.v. 

ruBil of Bnperior ability and attaimnents, and capable of removing 
prejodioe ajrainst their raoe, bj their simple presenoe in the oountiy ; but ( 
frentlemea, finding themsclveB embairaBaed here b; the peculiar disadvanti 
to which I have referred, dittadvantagu* in part growing' out of their odQCat 
being repelled by ignoranoe on the one hand, and prejudioo on the other, 
baring no tante to continae a context against anch odda, they have sought i 
uongenial dimes, where they can live nmre peaceable and quiet live*. I re 
thair election, but I cannot blame them : for with an equ&l umou 
and the hard lot which was theirs, I might follov their example .... 

There is little reason lo hope that any considerable niunberof the&eeoolou 
people will erer be induced to leave this country, even if such a thing w 
deurable. This black niiui — luilike the Indian — loves civilizatiou. He i 
not make very great progress in civilization bimself bnt he likos t« be In 
midfit of it, and prefers to share its most gallingeviis, to encountering barbarl 
Then the lore of the country, the dread of isolation, the lack 'of ndvcDtm 
spirit, and the tiiougbt of seoming to desert their " brethren in bonds," an 
powerful check upon all schemes of colonization, which look to the irnuovBl 
the coloured people, trithout the slaves. The truth is, dear madam, ire i 
here, and here wc are likely to remain. Individools emigrate — ^nationa ne* 
We have grown np with (his republic, and I see nothing in her chanotO', 
even in the character of the American people as jret, which compels the fad 
that we must leave the tTiiitod States. If then, we are to remain h0i«, 1 
* qoestiua for the wise and g^rad is precisely that yon have submitted to UK 
namely; What can be done to improve the nondition of the free people 
colour in the L'njicd Stales ? The plan which I humbly submit in answer to t 
inquiry— and in IJie hope that it may find favour with you, and with the na 
frieuds of humanity who honour, love, and co-operate with yon — It ' 
eatablishment in Rochester, N. T., or in some other part of the United 8ta 
equally favourable to such an enterprise, of an Industuul Colu(oe in wk 
shall be tau);ht se^'eral important branches of the mechanical arta. This oaQl 
to be opened to coloured youth. I will pass over the details of such on initil 

tion as I propose Ni-ver having had a day's sohnolioy in all i 

life I may not be expected to map out the details of a plan so comprehenniv 
that involved in tlie idea of a college. I repeat, tiien, I leave the organiMti 
and administration to the superior wisdom of yourself and the fiieiKb w 
second your noble efiorts. The argument in favour of an Industrial Oolkigl 
u college to be oouducted by the bent men — and the best workmen whidi t 
, meohaniral arts con afford ; a college where coloured youth con be ii 
nse their hands, lis wcU as their heads ; where they can be put 
the means of getting a living whether their lot in after life may be cast tut 
tdvilized or uncivilized men ; whether they choose to stay here, or yt^K 
rctom to the land of their fathers — is briefly this : Prejudice agaiiut tlwf 
coloured people in the United States has shown itself nowhere so iuriDdUl 
among mechanics. The farmer and the professional man cherish fto fediv 
bitter as that cherished by these. The latt«r would starve us out of the oonl 
entirely. At Uds moment I con more erunly get my son into n lawyer'aofflw 
n law than I can into a bhicksmitli's shop to blow the bellows and bt wii 



Denied the meanB o( learning imeful trades va aru 
it llmitA to obtain a livelihood. In tjmes pant we have 
of wood and the druwcnt uf wtLl«r for Anmriuan imdety, and 
enjoyed » monopoly in meniiJ enjoyments, but this in so no longw- 
D theae enjoymentu are mpidly pnasinfn' away out of our hands, Tbefoat in 
— eriE^ dajr beginn with the lesson, and ends with the lesson — that coloured 
mcoi mnM learn IiadM : and muHt find new employment : now modes of usoful- 
oeaa Ui aooietj, or that they most decay under the presdiig: wants to wbiob their 
(KmditioD is rapidly bringing them. 

Wo miut beoome mechaoius; we most tmild as well as live in hooses ; we 
most muke as well as use furniture ; we must (tonstruet bridges as well as pasa 
OTcr them, before we can properly live or bo respected by our fellow men. We 
need nfahaiUDH aa well ug ministers. We need workers in iron, olay, and 
laMther. We tutve orators, nnthors, and other professional men, bnt those reach 
osly B eertain class, and get respect for our ntoe in certain select circles. To 
lire here as we ou^ht wo must fast«n onraelres to our countrymen through their 
«*err day cardinal wants. We must not Only be able to Hnc/i boots, but to 
mai* tliem. At present we are unknown in the Northern States as mechanics. 
We givp no proof of genius or «lrill at the county, State, or national fairs. 
>Ve arc unknown ul any of the great exhibitions of the industry of our fellow- 
■ ' 'iBcns, and being unknown we are nnoonsidered. 

The fact liiat we moke no show of our ability is held concliinve of our 
.r.ibjUt;!^ moke aaj, hence all tbc indifference And contempt with whioh 

: ,'^Lpiu;ity is regarded, fall npon as, and that too, when we have had no means of 
-ixpcvring the infamous opinion of our natural inferiority. I havo during the 
liKt doEen yean denied before tlie Amerioans that we are an iuferior race ; but 

^thi* has been done by arguments based upon admitted pHnoiples rather than by 
iW ptevnlation of facte. Now, firmly believing, as I do, that there arc skill, 
Wniiun, power, indiisty, and real mechanical genius, among the coloured 
rwpl*. which will bear favourable testimony for them, and whi<* only need the 
oitmLt to develop them, I am decidedly in favour of the establishment of such a 
''Usge as I have mentioned. The benefits of such an institution would not be 
'i-TAiod to the Northern Btatea, nor to thefroe coloured people. They would 
' ^ Vnd over the whole Union. The slave not le«s than tJie freeman would be 
"-'ndll«d by such an iustitntion. It must be confessed thst the most powerful 
'"'I^taOBst now used by the Southern slaveholder, and the one most soothing to 
~ ^ ■« a>nw3en<!«, is that derived from tlic low condition of the &ee coloured people 
Z**^ tli« North. I have long felt that too little attention has been given by our ^ 
_ _^ aait tnends in this country to removing this stumbling block out of the way 
^^"* the slave's liberation. 

__ The most telling, the roost killing refutation of slavery, is the presentation of 
k, lindostriona, enterprising, thrifty, and intelligent free block population. 
ii a population I believe would rise in the Northern States under the fosterinjf 
^Js of such a college as that supposed. 

To show that we are capable of becoming mechanios I might adduce any 
^^*aiaant of teatimoDy ; but dear madam, I need not ring the chunges on snoh a 
♦■•"opodtion. There is no question in the mind of any unprejudiced person that 

2G2 AN ikudbtrui. 

the negro is capnble of makuig a (food mechanio. Indeed, even ItuHC «t 
olieTiBh the bittorest fe(>lmg« towards us have admitted that the appnJieiun 
that uegrooa mig-lit be employed id their ateod, dictated the poller at eicludia 
them from traden altognther. Bat I will not dwell upon this point aa I tetr 
hare already trespasMd too long' npon tout precious time, and wiidai laol 
lliim I ODg-ht to expect you to read. Allow me to Hay in ooncliudan, thai 
believe every intelligent cMlonred nian in America will approve and rej'dce ■! tl 
eBtablislimeiit of «ome euchiiuititution as that nowanggceted. Then ■!« mai 
respeotahle ooluun-d men, fathers of large fiunilca, having boys nearly groin] O] 
whuse minds are tuwed by day and by night with the anxiooa enquiiy , " whi 
shall I do with my boys P " Suoh an institution would meet the wants of sad 
peraons. Tlien, too, the establinhment of such an institution would be i 
oharacter with the eminently practical philanthropy of your trans-AttaaU 
friends. America oould gcaroely object to it as an attempt to (^totc Uu pnUi 
mind on the Hubject of Blavery, or to tUnohe thi Vman. It oould not be lormil 
into a cause for hard words by the American people, but the noble and good I 
all ulasseH would see in the eSurt an excellent motive, a benevolent objed 
tomperately, wiuely, and practically manifested. * 

Wiahing, yoD, dear madam, renewed health, a pleasant passage, and id 
return tu yonr native land. 

I am most troly, your grateful friend, 

PKKDEaiCK I>oin)UM. 
Xt,. S. B. SiBK-r. 

I was not only requested to write the foregoing letter for ih 
purpose indicated, but I waa also aaked, with admirable forestgbt 
to see aad ascertain, as far as possible, tlie views of the Era 
coloured people themselves iu respect to the proposed. niMisuro fill 
theii' benefit. This I was able to do in July, 18oS, at the lari 
and most enlightened coloured convention that, up to that lii 
had ever assembled in the countt}*. This convention 
approved the plan of & manual labour school, as already described 
and expressed high appreciation of the wiailom and benevoleuM ol 
Mrs. Stows. This convention was held in Eochester, N. Y„ and 
will long be remembered there for the surprise and gratificatios 9 
^caused our friends in that city. They were not lookiug for snchu 
exhibition of enhghtened zeal and abihty as were there displayadii 
speeches, addi-esses, and resolutJous ; and in the conduct of tfa( 
business for which it had assembled. Its proceedings attndaj 
wide-spread attention at home and abroad. 

While Mrs. Stowe was abroad, she was attacked by the pn 
slavery press of the United States so persistently and vigoroiulji 
for receiving money for her own private use, thai the Rav. 


Beecher felt called upon to notice and reply to them in the 
QS of the New York Independent, of which he was then the 
He denied that Mrs. Stowe was gathering British gold for 
f ; and referred her assailants to me, if they would learn 
she intended to do with the money. In answer to her 
lers, I denounced their accusations as groundless, and assured 
blic through the columns of my paper, that the testimonial 
►eing raised in England by Mrs. Stowe, would be sacredly 
d to the establishment of an industrial school for coloured 
. This announcement was circulated by other journals, and 
backs ceased. Nobody could well object to such an apphcation 
uey, received from any source, at home or abroad. After her 
. to this country, I called again on Mrs. Stowe, and was 
disappointed to learn from her that she had reconsidered her 
or the industrial school. I have never been able to see any 
n the reasons for this change. It i^ enough, however, to say 
ley were sufficient for her, and that she no doubt acted con- 
iously, though her change of purpose was a great disappoint- 
and placed me in an awkward position before the coloured 
\ of this country, as well as to friends abroad, to whom I had 
assurances that the money would be appropriated in the 
er I have described. 



Inareaaed demands of sUverj — War in Kansas — John Brovn'l nuJ-B 
uLptuie aiiul execi^an — Mf escape to England from United SUttmnaiM 

NOTWITHSTANDING the natural tendency of the hiiB 
mind to weai-y of an old atory, and to turn away I 
chronic abuses for which it bqcb no remedy, the anti-slAverj 1 
tion for thirty long years — from 1830 to 1860 — was sastuncd 
ever increasing intensity and power. This was not entirely dn* 
the extraordinary zeal and ability of the anti-slavery 
themselves ; for with all their admitted ardour and i 
they could have done very httle without the aid rendered lb 
unwittingly, by the aggressive character of slavery itself. It 
in the nature of the system never to rest in obscurity, 
that condition was in a high degree essential to its security. It< 
for ever forcing itself into prominence. Unconscious, ftpi 
of its own defoi-mity, it omitted no occasion for inviting di^vrt 
seeking approval and admiration. It was noisiest when it i 
have been most silent, and unobtrusive. One of Its defender!, 
asked what would satisfy him as a slaveholder, said, "he lUl 
would be satisfied until he could call the roll of his slaves in 
shadow of Bunker Hill monument." Every effort made to 
down agitation only served to impart to it new strength audvigc 
Of this class was the " gag rule," attempted and partially eniiR 
in Congress — the attempted suppression of the right of petitiOD 
the mob-ocratic demonstrations against the exercise of freespei 
— the display of pistols, bludgeons, and plantatiou manners in t 
Congress of the nation — the demand, shamelessly made by 
Government upou England, for the return of slaves wti« had 
their liberty by their valour on the high seas — the bill tat 

"Tecaplnre of runaway slaves — the annexation of Tesas for the 
»vo-wed purpose of increitaing the number of slave States, and thna 
increasing the power of slavery in the union — tlie war with Mexico 

t^lie fillibustcring expeditious against Cuba and Coutral America 

tlae cold-blooded decision of Chief Justice Taney in the Dred 

Scott case, wherein he states, as it were, a historical fact, that 

** negroes are deemed to have no rights which white men are 

*5c»jixid to respect" — the perfidious repeal of the Missouri compro- 

^^ixia&, when all its advantages to the South had been gained and 

^■Ppropriftted. and when nothing had been gained by the North — 

tl»e armed and bloody attempt to force slavery upon the virgin soil 

•^f Kansas— the efforts of both of the great pohtical parties to drive 

'fona place and power every man suspected of ideas and principles 

•»oatile to slavery — the rude attacks made upon Giddinga, Hale, 

^^hage, Wilson, Wm. H. Seward, and Charles Sumner— the effort 

***■ degrade these brave men, and drive them from positions of 

P^'onuDcnce — the siunmary manner in which Virginia hanged John 

^fown ; — in a word, whatever was done or attempted, with a view 

"* tte support and security of slavery, only served as fuel to the 

^f^, and heated the furnace of agitation to a higher degree than 

**iy before attained. This was true up to the moment when the 

^'Stion found it necessary to gird on the sword for the salvation of 

'^e country and the destruction of slavery. 

4.t DO time during all the ten years preceding the war, was the 
I'Qbltc mind at rest. Mr. Clay's compromise measures in 1850, 
*t>€reby all the troubles of the country about slaveiy were to be 
" in the deep bosom of tlie ocean buried," was hardly dry on the 
P*ee3 of the statute book before the whole laud was rocked with 
'lUnoured agitation, and for one, I did my best, by pen and voice, 
^d by ceaseless activity to beep it aUve and vigorous. Later on, 
"• 1854, we had the Missouri compromise, which removed the 
^ly grand legal ban-ier against the spread of slavery over all the 
^rritory of the United States, From this time there was no 
P*tiHe, no repose. Everybody, however dull, could see that this 
^M a phase of the slavery question which was not to be sUghted or 
I *SQored. The people of the North had been accustomed to ask, in 
* tone of cruel indifference, " What have we to do with slavery?" 
f ^Jld now ao l;iboured speech was required iu answer. Slaveholding 
I Vlgression settled this question for us. The presence of slavery 

in a tei'i'ibiry would certainly exclttde tbe sons and daugbters 9^^| 

tbo Preo States more effectually than statutes or yellow feret^H 
Those who cared nothing for the slave, and were willing to toIerab^H 
slavery ineide the slave States, were nevertheless not quite pf^^H 
pared to find themaelvea and their children excluded fi-oin tlH^H 
common inlieritance of the nation. It is not surprising thcreforfl^H 
that the public mind of tlie North was easily kept intensely allvd^H 
on tliia aubjeot, nor that in 185ti an alarming expression of feelia|^H 
on (his point waa seen in the large vote given for John C. Fremoid^H 
and William L. Dav'ton for President and Vice-President of tll^^| 
United States. Until this last uprising of the North against tl^^H 
slave power the anti-elavery movement was largely retained in tl^^H 
hands of the original abolitionists, whose most prominent leado^^H 
have already been mentioned elsewhere in this volume. After 186^^| 
a mightier arm and a more numerous host was raised against i^^H 
Uie agitation becoming broader and deeper. The times at tU^^H 
point illustrated the principle of tension and compression, acttt!^^| 
and reaction. Tiie more open, flagrant, and impudent the slM^^f 
power, the more (irmly it was confronted by the rising anti-sIavei^^H 
spirit of the North. No ono act did more to rouse the Korth I^^H 
a comprehension of the infernal and barbarous spirit of 8lavei^^| 
and its determination to " rule or ruin," than the cowardly M^^H 
bi-ntal assault made in the American Senate upon Charles Stunnfl^^l 
by Preston S. Brooks, a member of Congress from South Carolin^^H 
Shocking and scandalous as was tliis attack, the spirit in which tl|^^H 
deed was received and commended by the community, was st^^H 
more disgraceful. Southern ladies even applauded the anaa^^H 
bttlly for his murderous assault npon an unarmed Nortfaei^^H 
senator, because of words spoken in debate I This, more than i^^l 
else, told the thoughtful people of the North the kind of civilizati<^^H 
to which they were hnked, and how plainly it foreshadowed ^^M 
conflict on a larger scale. 

As a measure of agitation, the repeal of the Missouri Compromise ^-^ 
alluded to, was perhaps the most effective. It was that tIuq1i^c4 
brought Abraham Lincoln into prominence, and into conflict witl^rA 
Stephen A. Douglas — who was the author of that measnre — an^^j 
compelled the Western States to take a deeper interest than the^^^ 
ever had done before in the whole question. Pregnant words wui> ^S' 
now spoken on the side of freedom, words which went atraight k^Bn 


Be heart of the nation. It was Mr. Liucolii who told the American 
people at tliiB crisis that the " Union could not long endure half 
slave and half free ; that they must be all one or the other, and 
At the public mind could find no resting place but in tlio belief 
B the nlthnate extinctJon of slavery." These were not the words 
abohtionist — branded a fanatic, and carried away by an 
ihnBJastic devotion to the Negro — bnt the calm, cool, deliberate 
I atateamflj], comprehensive enough to take in the 
3 of the whole coimtry. No wonder that the friends of 
»clom saw iu this plain man of Illinois the proper standard- 
r of all the moral and political forces which could be united 
1 vielded against the slave power. In a few simple words ho 
i embodied the thought of the loyal nation, and ijidicated the 
fcoter fit to lead and guide the country amid perils present and 

The Soath was not far behind the North iu recognising Abraham 
UDcoIu as the natural leader of tlie rising political sentinaent of 
the country againtft slavery : and it was equally qaick in its efforts 
to counteract and destroy his influence. Its papers teemed with 
tile bitterest invectives against the " backwoodsman of Ulinoie," 
^le ■' flat-boatman," the " rail -splitter," the " third-rate lawyer," 
•lid much else and worse. 

-E*recediiig the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, I gave at the 
■"**iiversary of the American Anti-Hlaveiy Society in New York, 
"'e following picture of the state of the anti-slavery conflict as it 
'''On csisted. 

' Tt is cTident thiit in in tliis oountry a purely Blavery party, a party 
"'•■irii «xisM for no other earthly purpose but U» promote the mtj?n>st of 
*'^Very. It is kuown by no particular nam?, and hiu uasunipd no definit*^ 
"*Sie, bot itsbranohesreaolifac and wide in Churcli and Stoto. Thid shupeless 
'"1 luuQtJeu party ih not intangiblo ia oIlieT and more important respectB. It 
''***• fixed, definite, and oomprcheuMve policy toward* the whole free coloured 
['■pijaljon of the United Statoa. I nnderntand that policy to comprehend : 
^^■t, the romplptc HuppieBidoa of all anCi-Blavery discuatuon; second, the 
**l'«Liioii of the entire free coloured people of the United States ; third, the 
"^Munklizatjon of nlavery ; fourth, guarantees for the endless perpetuation of 
''"^^rerj nud its eitennion over Ueiico and Central Amenoa. Sir, these objeots 
"^ forcibly preneutod to us in the Ht«m logic of paesing oventji, and in oil the 
^*^ta that have been before us during the lost three years. The country has 
r*^ and is dividing- on these grand issues. Old party ties are broken. Like 
'J* Ending its like on both sidea of these issues, and the great battle is at hand. 
~^ir the present the beet reprewntation of the slavery party is the Demoeratio 


party. Its great lieud for the prcaenl w Fn<sideiit Pierce, whoi<e boast il 
bofure Kin electioD, tWt bin wbolo lite hud been uuiiBiHt^iit with the interetta 
slavery— that he in above reproach on that score. In his iiiaii)jriir»l 
rc&SHurvB the South on thin point, so that there shall be no misappi 
Well, the head of the slave power bein^; in power, it is natural that the pro* 
alavery elemenbi should cluster aroiuid his udministrtilion, and that u ispidlf 
being done. The stringent protectionist and the free-tradn- Htrike handa. 
The Bupportera of Fillmore are becoming the supporlew o( Pieivc. Silver Giajr 
Whigs shake hands with Hunker Democjats, the former only differing 
the latter in name. They are in fact of one heart and one mind, and the 
is natural and perhaps inevilahle. Pilate and Herod made frienils. 'Hie key- 
stone to the aruh of Ihia grand onion of forces of the slave party 
i-Alled Compromise of 1S50. In that measure we have all the objects of 
slaveholding polioy specified. It is, tdr, favoorablc to this view of the 
tion, that the Whig party nnd the Democntit party benl lower, sunk 
and utrained harder in their eonventiona, preparatory to the late Pi 
election to meet the demands of slavery. Never did parties come before the 
Northern people vrith propositions of such undisguised contempt for the marvl 
sentiment iind religious ideas of that people. Thej dared to ask them 
with them in a war Dpon free speeuh, upon consdenoe, and to 
Almighty presence from the eouncils of the nation. Beating their 
upon the Fugitive Sla re Bill they have boldly asked this people foe poIjfiMl 
power to execute its horrible and hell-black provisions. The hisloiy ot 
election revoftla with gr^t clearnos*, the extent to which slavery has " A 
leprous distilmenl " through the life blood of the nation. The party 
thoniughly opposed to the cause of justiee and humanity triunipbud, 
party only xuspected of leaning toward those principlee wiis ovorw 
defeated, and some say annihilated. But here is a still more importaiit 
which still bettor discloses the designs of the slave power. It is a fact foU 
moaning, that no sooner did the Democratic party cgme into 
system of legislation was presented to all the legislatures ot 
States designed to put those States in harmony with the Fugitive Slave Law, 
and with the malignant spirit evinced by the national government towaida tfw 
free colonred inhabitants of the country. The whole movement on the pail of 
the States bears unmistakable evidence of having one origin, of emanating tn^ 
one head and urged forward by one power. It was simultaneous, unifonn wai 
general, and looked only to one end. It was intended to put thoma under fMt . 
already bleeding ; to crush a people already bowed down ; to enslave a 
already bnt half free ; in a word, it was intended iLiid well calculated 
eourage, dishearten, and it possible to drive the whole free oolunied people ou' 
ot the country. In looking at the black law then recently enacted in the Stai- 
ot Dlinois one is struck dumb by its enormity. It would seem that the me- 
who passed that law, had not only sucoessfully banished from their minds a^ 
sense of justice, but all sense of shame as well ; these law codes propow * 
BoU the bodies and souls of the blacks to provide tlic means ot inteltigenM aiv 
refinement for the whites ; to rob every black stranger who veutur&> amo^ 
m to inoreas« their oducational fund. 


hfle thia kind of legislation is going- on in the States a pro-slavery 
tl hoard of health ia being establialied at Washington. Senators Hale, 
and Sumner are robbed of their eenatoriiil rights and dignity us repre- 
^ires of sover^gn states, because tbey have refused ki be inoculated with 
Tims of the tiiacs. Among' the services which a seoator is 
orm, ore many that can only be dooe efficiently aa members of 
ittoes, and the ulave power in the Senate in saying to t^eee 
tors, you xhall not serve on tlie oonunittees of this body, took 
Mponaibility of insulting and robbing the States whiah hod seat them 
I. It ia an attempt at Washington to decide for the States who the Stales 
id to the Senate. Sir, it striSces me that this aggreasLon on Che port of 
f power did not meet at the hands of the proscribed and insulted 
the rebuke wiiich they had a right to expect from them. ItHcenis to me 
Kat opportunity won lost, that the great principle of scDatorinl equality 
undefended at n tijne when its vindicatiou whs alemly demanded. But 
I to the purpose of my present statement to oritioiBe the conduct of 
Much should be left to the discretion of anti -slavery men in Congress. 
of recmaney should never be made but on the moat sufficient grounds, 
U places in the world where an anti-slavery man needs the ronildeiiee 
md eneouiagBnient of his friends, I take Washington — the citadel of slavery— 
^'' W that place. 

"Let attention now be mlled to the social influences opemtiug and co- 

"potating with the slave power at the time, designed to promote all its malign 

"^jfifta. We see here the black man attacked in his moat vital interests : 

("^indicn and hate are systematioslly excited against him. The wrath of other 

'ubnunir*! is stirred up against him. The Irish, who at home madily sympathise 

^tth the oppressed everywhere, ure instantly taught ivhen they step upon our 

■"1 la hate aiid despise the uegro. They are taught to believe that be eats 

'^ hnad that belongs to them. The cruel lie is told them, that we deprive 

"tojn of labour and receive tbe money which would otherwiae make its way 

""*> their pockets. Sir, the Irish -American will find out his mistake one day. 

" ^ vil] tind that in assuming our avocation, ho has also assumed our degrada- 

'»». But for the present we are the suiferers. Our old employments, by 

^^^^oh we have been accustomed to gain a livelihood are gradually slipping 

^^HpB oar hands ; every hour sens us elbowed ont of some employment to moke 

^^^HRm fcr Hnne newly-arrived emigrant from the Emerald Isle, whose hunger 

^^^pt Dolonr entitle him to special favour. These white men are becoming house- 

^^^*>»ntB, cooks, stewards, waiters, and flunkies. For aught I see they odjust 

^*^>iiaelv(« to their stations with all propter humility. It they cannot rise to 

7*^ dignity of white men, thoy show that they can fall to the degradation of 

^uk men. But now, air, look once more 1 While the coloured people ore 

^1« elbowed out of employment : while u ceaseless enmity in the Irish is 

^<!aled against us ; while State after State enacts laws against us ; while we 

^'* being hunted down like wild beasts ; while we are oppressed with the eense 

incrtasing iusecurily, the Amerioan Colonizatiou Souiety. with hypocrisy 

^''itteti on itB brow, oomes to the front, awakens new lite, and vigorously 

'''^nM its wheine for our expatriation upon the attention of the Amerioou 

260 SKETCB or T&£ TUIES. 

peupk'. Fkpen hMve faeeo iiUrbd in the North and the South to pnmHt iHl 
long obcriiihed objcrt^— M get rid of tip npgni, who is pratnmod tu Iw ■ ^aA- 
lug zaeanx to 8lavET7. Each of these psperH i» adapted to ths Iitittliil 
which it i> published, bnt each and all are united in calling npuu thu Qetn- 
meDt for appropriHtion* to enftble the ColoniiatiQn BooJPlJ to •obI TO<<a d 
the coantry bj glf am. Evideotly thi* society looka upon our eiatmli; N 
llicir opportunitj, and whenever the elements are Btin«d against lU. thif U* 
fftilnu!at«d to untisiial actiTity. They do not deplore our mirfortima, l* 
rather rejoice in Uiem, iiince they prove that the two ro(*8 rannot Bouni >■ 
the same soil. But, air. I must hasten. I have thuM liricfl; ^tm Bf 
view of one BHpect of the preaent position and future proFtp^rtA of tiie imlW" 
[icoph) of the tJnitt-d Slal«H. And what I have Bold in fur from EnoHingtiigK 
ray affliclflsi people, I have Been the elond gather upon .the sable htOM* 
some who hear me. I oonteaii the caae looks bad enough. Sr, 1 am «( 
liopeful man. 1 think I am apt to uoderc.alculat'i the benofitA of tlie fitM 
Yet, >dr, in thin Heemingly desperate case, I do not despair tor my pHtph 
There ia a bright aide to almost every picture, and oum is no eieeptioD 9 ■ 
general mle. If the influennea agsinat ua are strong, tboae for ta ntil 
Htrong. To the inquiry, wiU onr enemies prevail in the eiecntiaii of M 
deigns — in my Ood, and in my soul, I b«rlieve they rf ill not. Let oilauitlB 
Brst objeot Hoiijflit for by the slavery party of the country, via., the jujJiuiM* 
of the anU-slavery diwuiisiuu. They deain to suppress diacnaian <*■' 
Kubj'eot, with a view to the psaoe of the slaveholder and the setnijritf of ihWI 
Now, sir, neither the principle nor the subordinate objects, hete dedlR^X 
be at all gained by the slave power, and for this renson : it inrdlTN i 
proposition to padlock tlie lipg of the white*, in order to secure tht fcitlMa 
Che limbs of the blauliB. The right of speech, precious and priceless, mM^ 
inill not — be surrendered to slavery. Its suppression is asked for, sal'*' 
s*td, to give peace and security to slaveholders. Sir, that thing oamul ' 
done. God has interposed an insupotable obstacle to any such retulL "1^ 
iian be no /imm, anith my Ood. to the wicked." Suppose it were poaaibll ttf 
down this discusaion, what would it avail the guilty alareholder. piltowvAW' 
is upon the heaving hoaoraa of mined souls i He eonld not have a ptaJ 
spirit. If every anlj-alavery tongue in the nation were silenl— ewij 
slavery organization dissolved — every anti-idavery periodioal, paper, 
book, or what not, aearohed out, burned to ashes, and their adic* gi 
four winds of heaven, stiU, still the slaveholder could have no pmei. 
pulsation of the heart, in every throb of his life, in every glsnoe of hit e^ 
thebtccie that soothes, and in the thunder that atartlcB, would be wikad q 
wouarr. whose cause is ■ thou art verily guilty oonoemfng thy brolLw.' " 

This is no fancy sketch of the tunes indicated. The sitoali 
duriiig all the admiuiatration of President Pierce was on^ 1 
threatening and stormy than that under the administratioil 
James Buchanan. One sowed, the other reaped. One vu 
\niid. the other was the whirlwind. Intoxicated by tlieir i 


in repealing the Missouri compromiee — in divesting the native-born 
coloured man of American citizens hip— in harnessing both the 
Whig and Democratic parties to the car of slavery, and in holding 
<7ontinae4 possosaion of the national government, the propagandists 
of slavery threw off all diagiiises, abandoned all semblance of 
moderation, and very natarally and inevitably proceeded under 
Mr. Buchanan, to avail themselves of all the advantages of their 
victories. Having legislated out of existence the great national 
wall, erected in ihe better days of the Eepublic, against the spread 
of slavery, and against the increase of its power^having blotted 
oat all distinction, as they thought, between freedom and slavery 
in the law, theretofore, governing the territories of the United 
^^^ States, and having left the whole question of the legislation or pro- 
^^K hibition of slavery to be decided, by the people of a territory, the 
^^H next thing in order was to fill up the territory of Kansas — the one 
^^H likely to be first organised — with a people friendly to slavery, and 
^^H to keep out all snch as were opposed to making that territory a 
^^^1 ^ne ijtatc. Here was an open invitation to a fierce and bitter 
^^r strife; and the histoiy of the times shows how promptly that 
■ mvitittion was accepted by both classes to which it was given, and 

tim scenes of lawless violence and blood that followed. 

All advantages were at first on the side of those who were for 

'»»»kiBg Kansas a slave State. The moral force of the repeal of 

^ t-M. e Missonri Compromise was with them ; the strengtli of the 

'*-~imnphant Democratic party was with them; the power and 

' "^^tronage of the Federal government was with them ; the various 

""^^^vemors. sent out under the territorial government, were with- 

^*- em ; and, above all, the proximity of the teiTitory to the slave 

'"~^ "*:-ate of Missonri favoured them and all their designs. Those who 

"^^^poged the making Kansas a slave State, for the most part were&r 

*" "^•%'ay from the battle-ground, residing chiefly in New England, more 

*-*ana thousand miles fi^m the eastern border of the territory, 

^'•^fcd their direct way of entering it was through a country violently 

*-*^stile to them. With such odds against theni, and only an idea 

~~ — —though a grand one— to support them, it will ever be a wonder 

*- "-lat they succeeded in making Kansas a Free State. It is not my > 

t»Urpo8e towriteparticularlyof thisor of any other phase of the con- 

't-ut with slavery, but simply to indicate the nature of the struggle, 

^d the successive steps leading to the final result. The important 

R)r>lnt to ine, as one desiring to see the slave power crippled, 
Jslavery limited and abolished, was the effect of this Eaosas battle 
I upon the moral sentiment of the North : how it made abolitionists 
f before they themselves became aware of it, and how it rekindled 
the zeal, stimulated the activity, and strengthened the faith of our 
old anti'Slavery forces. " Draw on me for £200 per month while 
the conflict lasts," said the great-hearted Gerritt Sraitli. George 
Btearns poured out his thousands, and anti-slavery men of 
smaller meana were proportionally liberal. H. W. Beecher 
shouted the right word at the head of a mighty column ; Samner 
in the Scnute spoke as no man had ever spoken there before. 
Lewis Tappan representing one class of the old opponents of slavery, 
and William L. Garrison the other, lost sight of their foruer 
diHerences, and bent all their energies to the freedom of Kansas. 
But these and others were merely generators of anti-slavery force. 
The men who irmt to Kansas with the pnrpose of making it a Free 
State, wei'e the heroes and martyrs. One of the leaders in this 
holy crusade for freedom, with whom I was bronglit into near 
relations, was John Brown, whose person, house, and purposes I 
have already described, This brave old man and his sous were 
amongst the tirst to heai- and heed the trumpet of freedom caUing 
them to battle. What they did and suffered, what they sought and 
gained, and by what means, are matters of history, and need not 
be repeated here. 

When it became evident, as it soon did, that the war for and 
I-against slavery in Kansas was not to be decided by the peacefal 
■■ means of woi-ds and baUots, but swords and bullets were to be 
employed on both sides. Captain John Brown felt thai now, after -^^ 
long years of waiting, his hour had come ; and never did man meet ..^-^.t 
the perilous requirements of any occasion more cheerfully,^ "^v. 
courageously, and disinterestedly than he. I met him often durin p^ 
this struggle, and saw deeper into his soul tlian when I met him ir:»i. 
Springfield seven or eight years before, and all I saw of him gav*-^ 
me a more favourable impression of the man, and inspired me gi tr_-^ ^ 
a higher respect for hia character. In his repeated risits to tltL^tli 
East to obtain necessary arms and supplies, ho often did me tl^ 
honour of spending hours and days with me at Rochester. G^ 
more than one occasion I got up meetings and solicited aid to '' 
used by htm for the cause, and I may say without boasting that ie 

B m &\b respect wore not entirely friiitleas. D»5eply interested 

OS " Oasawatamie Brown" was in Kansas he never lost sight of 

what he called his greater work — the liberation of all the slaves in 

t United States. But for the then present he saw his way to the 

»t end through Kansas. It would be a grateful task to tell of 

B exploits in the border struggle, how he met persecution with 

Mution, war with war, strategy with strategy, assassination and 

e-buming with signal and terrible retaliation, till even the . 

3-tbirBty propagandists of slavery were compelled to cry for 

The liorrors wrought by his iron hand cannot be con- 

Kiplat«d without a shudder, but it is the shudder which one feels 

I the execution of a murderer. The amputation of a limb ia a 

! trial to feeling, but necessity is a fall justification of it to 

rMSon. To call oiit a murderer at midnight, and without note or 

W4ming, judge or jury, run him through with a sword, was a 

terribleremedy for a terrible malady. The question was not merely 

which class should prevail in Kansas, but whether free-state men 

should live there at all. The border ruffians from Missouri had 

openly declared their purpose not only to make Kansas a slave 

litate. but that tbey would make !t impossible for free-state men to 

live there. Tbey burned their tovras, burned their farm-houses, 

had by assassination spread terror among tliem until many of the 

e-state eettlexs were compelled to escape for their lives. John 

fown was therefore the logical result of slavebolding persecutions. 

bntU the hves of tyrants and murderers shall become more precious 

^ the sight of men than justice and liberty, John Brown will need 

D defender. In dealing with the ferocious enemies of the free-state 

e in Kansas he not only showed boimdiess courage but eminent 

Xntlitary skill. With men so few and odds against him so great. 

few captains ever surpassed him in achievements, some of which 

I too disproportionate for belief, and yet no voice has called 

jbern in question. Witli only eight men he met. fought, whipped, 

i captured Henry Clay Pate with twenty-five well-armed and 

Kll-moimted men. In this battle he selected his ground so wisely. 

mdled his men so skilfully, and attacked bis enemies so vigor- 

laaly, that they could neither run nor fight, and were therefore 

mpelled to surrender to a force less than one-third their own. 

Vith just thirty men ou another memorable occasion he met and 

vaoquishcd 400 Missourians under the command of General Read. 

Tliose men had come into the ten-itory uuder an oath nertr ta 
return to their faomea in MiBHom'i tiU they hod stamped out th« Li> 
vostige of the free-atate Bpu-it in Kausas. But a broali with nil 
Itrown JDstaQtly took this high conceit out of them, and tl 
were glad to get home upon any terms, without stopping to e6^ 
late. With less than 100 men to defend the tonii of Lawieao^ 
lie oQered to lead them and give battle to 1,400 men o 
of the Waukeruaia river, and was much vexed when hia oITmW 
refused by General Jim Lane and others, to whom the defenoee 
the place was committed. Before leaving Kansas he went in 
the border of Missom-i, and liberated a dozen slaves in & siigt 
night, and despite of slave laws and marshals, he bronght tlM 
people through half a dozen States and lauded them e 
Canada. The successful eflbrts of the North in making £ui9 
a Free State, despite all the sophistical doctrines and the sangniiiti 
measures of the South to make it a slave State, exercised a p 
influence upon subsequent pohtical foixjes and events in the tb 
neai' future. It is interesting lo note the facility with wliiobtl 
statesmanship of a section of the country adapted its conviotia 
to changed conditions. When it was found that the dnctrioBl 
popular soveretgnty-^first I think invented fay General Caas,*! 
afterwards adopted by Stephen A. Douglas — failed to make KaU 
a slave State, and could nut be safely trusted in other enM 
gencies. Southern statesmen promptly abandoned and r^ 
bated that doctrine, and took what they considered finn 
ground. They lost faith in the rights, powers, and wisdon ' 
the people, and took refuge in the Constitution, 
the favourite doctrine of the South was that the people of a U 
lory bad no voice in the matter of slaverj- whatever ; that ti 
Constitution of the United States, of its own force and e 
carried slavery safely into any territory of the United States u 
protected the system there until it ceased to be a territory II 
became a State. The practical opei-ation of this doctrine wouldl 
to make all the futui-e new States slaveholding States, for slam 
once planted and nursed for years in a territory would e 
streugtbeu itself against the evil day and defy eradication. 
doctrine was in some sense supported by Chief Justice Taney, i 
the infamous Died Scott decision. This new ground, howeW 
was destined to bring misfortiuie to its inventors, for it dividedtl 


A time tlie Democratic partj', one faction of it going with John C. 

Br^okenridge and the other espausiug the cause of Stephen A, 

iJoDglftB ; the one held (irmly to the doctrine that the United States 

Constitution, without any legislation, tei-ritorial, national, or other- 

■"JM, by its own, force and effect, carried slavery intro all the terri- 

toriea of the United States ; the other held that the people of a 

territory bad the right to admit slavery or reject slavery, as in 

tlirir judgment they might deem best. Now, while thia war of 

*Dtd3— this conflict of doctrines— was in progress, the porteutoua 

-■^Wow of a stupendous cicil war became more and more visible. 

»"tter complaints were raised by the slaveholders that they were 

"oout to be despoiled of their proper share in territory won by a 

'■"tnmon valour, or bought by a common treasure. The North, on 

"'o other hand, or rather a large and growing party at the North, 

'"listed that the complaint was unreasonable and groundless ; that 

'"^tiling properly considered as property was excluded or meant to 

™ excluded from the territories ; that Southern men could settle 

la any territory of the United States with some kinds of property, 

"^^ on the same footing and with the same protection as citizens 

"* the North ; that men and women are not property in the same 

^Use as houses, lands, horses, sheep, and awine are property, and 

''*&t the fathers of the Republic neither intended the extension nor 

''^'o perpetuity of slavery ; that hberty is national, and slavery is 

'■'^otiounl. From 1856 to 1860 the whole land rocked with this 

^eat controversy. When the explosive force of this controversy 

^*»<3 already weakened the bolts of the American Union ; when the 

Sitatiou of the pubUc mind was at its topmost height; when the 

^o sections were at their extreme points of difference ; when com- 

•''■ehending the perilous situation, such statesmen of the North as 

*iliiam H. Seward sought to allay the rising storm by soft per- 

***teive speech, and when all hope of compromise had nearly 

^tlishcd, as if to banish even the last glimmer of hope for peace 

'^'tween the sections, John Brown came iipon the scene. Ou the 

*'f?ht of the 16th of October, 1859, there appeared near the con- 

^«ncc of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, a party of nineteen 

*^n — fourteen white and live colom'ed. They were not only armed 

■^eiuselves, but they brought with them a lai-ge supply of arms for 

**^sli persons as might join them. These men invaded the town 

* Harper's Perry, disarmed the watchman, took possession of the 


arsenal, rifle factory, aruioury, and other Government properlT 
tliat place. aiTested and made prisonera of nearly alt the 
citizcna in the neighbourhood, collected about fifty slates, Jf 
bayonets into the hands of such as were able and wining to fifj 
for theii' liberty, killed three men. proclaimed general »nuuwi; 
tiim, held the ground more than thirty hours, were sohMqnonl 
overpowered and nearly all killed, wounded, or captored b J a bn 
of United States ti-oopa under command of Cnl, Robert E, U 
since famous aa the rebel Genera! Lee. Three out of tlic 
invaders were captured while fighting, and one of tiiem «m 
John Brown — the man who originated, planned, itod 
the expedition. At the time of his capture Capt. Brown wm* 
posed to be niortnliy wonnded, aa be had several ugly gaabni 
bayonet wounds on his bead and body, and apprehending tfatt 
might speedily die. or that be might be rescued by hia bieods, I 
thus the opportimity to make him a signal exaniph 
iiig vengeance, would be lost, his captors hurried him to Chilli 
town, ten miloa further within tlie border of Virginia, plwcd U 
m prison strongly guarded by troops, and before hie woiuida m 
healed he was brongbt into court. 

[Tlie preiiwinnry e^wninaiJQii of Brown um\ pl*« at Chttrleatawn, 
He protesttd agaiiut the anf nirDBtiB of being' so btutUy oIiBrgvd, and daoooi 
the whole {iTDueedingti an a niocbia? of justice. Ilia wmviption WW * tm^ 
vonclusioii. aa the conTictdon of anj man muAt he, who is taken in tlw t0J < 
of breaking the lawH. He hud tjiallengcd the strength of Viryinim, ud ilil 
of nil the Southern SUtes, iind of the Fcdeiiitiou itseU. He had dfAal ff 
nuncefi which he knew to exist, and ruuHed the pawioiu nod (nun i>f men. 
VHK not to be expected that the Hlare-ownen would tihow him itajt nuntj. T 
hadpowerontheirside, and legnl right ; nnd, however great on^'t adniinfiiiciill 
motives wbieh inflneuued this man, it is impoiuible not to «ee that • ill 
inBurreotion, had it lieen reidly brought about, would hnvo ptored Uw V 
dixaatroiu method of eettling the great difficulty that ouuld poioiblf haM t 
devined. Brown vaa warmlj- supported by the Abolitionista ; but, emn is 
North, more temperate politidans deplored the error he had coaunitlod, ud 
that there was no reasonable hop>e of his being spared. The ease wu iai 
over to the grand juty, and the trial took place on the STlh of Oclobw. 
prisoner requested time to prepare bis defence, the aanstance of oinuud { 
the Free States, and liberty of eouununicating with the other piiiuiiBn; 
most of these demands were refused, and the ttial was pushed on with onid 
indecent haste, Virginia was frightened and Tindictire, nM^ as an exena 
not granting any delay, it was urged that the w-imenof the State were h«r 
by alarm and anxiety as long as their husbands were away from home, and 


Blkjaiynieii dedred U> return Ui thDm. Wlien Brown wbh brought in) 

l* ■«• no weak, owing to tLe wouadfl hi liad received, that he «)uld n 

n hia feet, but ]ay /uU-leiigih upon a bpd; yet thefeureof his encin 

o pndomiiiBat. The Qovemor of Virginia, Mr. Wise, in titnt«d to have 
■A itt Richmond, before the luembors of the Legislature, that Brown m 
mltiaiieivT, sod ought to be hanged. As it vas one of the prerogatiTeB uf the 
■Dtetntir to grant pardone, aitei convictiong whioh might appear to him no 
b Kccordanre with juBtioo, it woa a raonatrouB outrage on propriety li 
I Huah an opinion while the case wa« jet awnitjng trial. Bu 
iH only of a piece with the whole procedure. The prisoner was 
, famished with counHel by the court ; but the gentlemen to whom the 
uuly of detending him waa assigiied, had no time for preparing their speeches, 
""■ CHlling witnonsea, or for examining the Law of the cii*c. He wan aupplied 

**"> no lint of witnesses, for the proseoution, nor hud ho any knowledge of who 

o be, until they wen^ produced in court. Drown himself had si 

to the Northern State* ; but on arriving, they were so eihaiistod by 

f long and hurried ioumey that they oalied fiir a nhort delay, which v 

All this while, the prisoner lay on his pallet, nick, fereriah, and 

I, knowing little of the methodH by which hia conviction waa to be 

I, but feeling oertoin from the Brnt that conviction was ineritnble 

<t of guilty, on the 31st of October, woa folbwcd by sentence of death, and 

' vxeinition was fliod for the 'ind of December. The deciHion won appealed 

"**ili(.t, but oltimately confirmed. On hearing the verdict and the m 

^ iudge, Brown aaid, " Gentlemen, make an end of slavery, or slavery will 

*■* an end of you. ' " It was an utterance in the spirit of prophecy. 

I *.j^ t^ ^1*1 ^y approached, the feeling of apprehenidon on the part of the 

I ''KilaMul became still more intense. Governor Wise ordered out a Urge 

I ^*"t»i7 force, to overawe any attempt at rescue that might bo made. It was 

I ^'^J proposed to eatubliah martial law ; but this was not done. Brown eiprcsHed 

^•ilw TBfflgnatiDn to bis fate, and money was Lberally contributed in the 

*'*tliem and Weatem States to support his family. At eleven o'clock on the 

_r^'*'ning of the 2nd of December, the pris-mer was brought out of gaol. Before 

B ^^''ng, he bade adieu to his fellow -prisoners, and was very afiectionate to all 

|^*%pting hia jiriu(!ipHl asfdstant, a man named Cooli, whom he charged with 

T'**''ig deceived and misled lum respecting the support he was to receive from 

Brown, it appears, had been led to believe that they weru ripe for 

n ; hut, whether from fear, or from sotual dismclination, thin seoms 

' to have been the case. Cook denied the charge, but otherwise said very 

'c. When asked whetlier he waa ready. Brown replied, ' ' 1 am always 

**3r,*' and it was the cimple truth. His arms wore pinioned, and, wearing a 

c alouehed hat, and the same clothes in which he hud appeared at the trial, 

o the door, apparently calm and cheerful. As he stepped out int« 

e saw a negro woman with her child in her anas : he paused for ft 

, and kissed the infant tenderly. Another black woman exclaimad. 

3 blCM you, old man ! I wish I could help you, but I cannot." Six com- 

« of infantry, ond one troop of horse, were drawn up in front of the gaol ; 

by was a waggon, containing a onlRn. After talking with Bume persons 


whom Le kapw, Brown Bcatod liimiwlf in the WB^gnn, and kxiked «t the 
gathered about him. The vehioh? then moved oR. flanked trr two fih«( 
men in olose order. The field where the gallows hod been erected ww 
full possesion of thv militiuy. I^cket<i were stutioned at rarious localiB 
the apectatoni were k^t bark nt the paint of the bayonet, t() prermt all fttt 
bihty of a rescae. When Brawn had monntej the gsllowa, aod the i^ M 
been put on hie head, to)^Uter with tbe rope amond hia neck, the erBoata 
aaked him to step forwiird on to tho trap. He replied, " You mnat Ifsd H 
cannot see." All wiw now ready on the scaffold itself ; but, owiug toMWl 
OD the port of the aulhoritins, ^e noldiers were marched and countn-inarf 
freqaeotly rJiHnj.'ing- iheir positioiw aa if in the fane of an fiOeniy. This bi 
ten minutes, and the exocutiouer ankfd the unfortunate man if hn «M not i 
" No," answered Brown, "out tinid: bnt don't keep me waiting Inn^Al 
nroesaary." At length the fatal aot was ooropleled ; but Brown was aM 
man, and the pulKe did not entirely eesae, until after thirty-fire ■""■"*" '■ 
compamuue were execatcd in Uaruh, 1860, 

It van a <Mirious feature in the coae that the mminol had cxfreaaed a ll 
that no rell^ous ceremony should bo performed over his body by "nJnil 
who oonsent to or approve of the en-davement of their fellow- cre»turc»." 
«aid ho should prefer to be accompanied to the scaffold by a dnzeo da>*-diBJ 
and a f^od old slave-utotber, with their appeal to Uod for blt!s«ingi< on hiii 
rather than have all the eloquence of tbe whole clergy of the oomiiwn«< 
eumbined. — Ed . } 

Hia corpse was given up to his woe-stricken widow, and i 
ftssisted by anti-slavery frieiids, caused it to be borae to Elo 
Elba, Essex county, N.Y., and thei-e his dust now reposms il 
the sUent, solemn, and snowy grandeurs of the Adirondie 
Tliia raid upon Harper's Ferry was as tbe last straw to the csn 
back. What in tbe tone of Boutbeni sentimeut had been U 
before, became furious and uncontrollable now. A scre&in 
vengeance came up from all sections of the slave States, and ft 
great multitudes in tbe Nortli. All who were supposed lo l**^ 
been any way connected with John Brown were to be htmted don* 
and surrendered to the tender mercies of slaveholdiug and puUC- 
stricken Vii'ginia, and there to be tried after the fashion of Jci" 
Brown, and of coiu'se to be Bunimarily executed. 

On the evening when tbe news came that John Brown had tiln'^' 
and was then holding the town of Harper's Ferry, it bo bappeof* 
that I was speaking to a largo audience in National Hall. PbtU- 
delpbin. The announcement caroe upon us with the startling eBed 
of an earthquake. It was something to make the boldest Ijold bi* 
breath. I saw at once that my old friend had attempted whalb^ 

; 4UTB0R >-EAKS ABRXBT. 269 

long ago resolved to do, and I felt certaLa that tlio result must 

oe hie capttire mid destruction. As I expected, the nest day 

troagbt ihe news that with two or three men he had fortified and 

'VW holding a small engine houBe. but that he nas surrotmded by 

body of Virginia militia, who thus far had not ventured to 

the insurgeuts, but that escape was impossible. A few 

later, and word came that Coloue! Robert E. Lee, with a 

.y of United States troops had made a breach in Capt. 

'sforl, and bad captured him alive, though mortally wounded. 

carpet bag Lad been aeciired by Governor Wise, and it 

{bund to contain Qumerous letters and documents whidi 

itiy implicated Gerritt Smith, Joshua K. Giddings, Samuel G. 

Frank P, Sanborn, and myself. This intelligence was soon 

by a telegram saying that we weit) all to be arrested. 

that I was then in Philadelphia, stopping with my &iend, 

J. Dorsey, Mr. John Horn, the telegraph operator, came 

and with others urged me to leave the city by the first train, 

it was known through the newspapers tliat I was then in 

lelphia, and officers might even then be on my track. To mo 

)was nothing iiuprobable in all this. My &iends for the moat 

were appalled at the thought of my being arrested then and 

!, or while on my way across the fei-ry from Walnut Street 

to Camden, for there was where I felt sm'c the aiTCst would 

tDsde, ajid asked some of them to go so far as this with me 

:ely to see what might occur, but upon one ground or another 

>y all thought it best not to be found in my company at such a 

except dear old Franklin Turner— a true man. The truth 

that iu the excitement which prevailed, my friends hail reason to 

that the very fact that they were with me would be a sufdeieut 

*'^«aou for their arrest with me. The delay in the departure of the 

*'6iUner seemed unusually long to lue, for I confess I was seized 

*'tii a desire to reach a more Northern latitude. My friend Frank 

'd iiot leave my side till " all ashore " was ordered and the 

^**'ddl(.8 began to move, I reached New York at night, still under 


apprehousion of arrest at any moment, but no signs of such 

, ' *<it being made, I went at once to the Barclay Street Ferry, took 
.''^ boat across the river and went direct to Washington Street, 
' '*^boken, the home of Mrs. Marks, where I spent the night, and 

'^'ay add without undue profession of timidity, an aiudviu night. 


The morning papers brought no relief, for they announced that the 
Government would spare no pains in ferretting out and bringing to 
punishment all who were connected with the Harper's Ferry 
outrage, and that papers as well as persona would be searched for. 
I was now somewhat uneasy from the fact that sundry letters and 
a constitution written by John Brown were looted np in my desk 
in Rochester. In order to prevent these papers from faihng into 
the hands of the government of Virginia, I got my friend Miss 
Ottiha Assing to write by my dictation the following telegram to I 
B. F. Blackall, the telegraph operator in Rochester, a friend and ' 
frequent visitor at my house, who would readily understand the ' 
meaning of the dispatch : 

B. F. Rt .f»in. Eaq., 

"Tell Lewis — my eldest sou— to 

jiiportiiiit jiitpfre in my high 

y wvulto. 

I did not sign my name, and the result showed that I had riglitly 
judged that Mr, Bhickall would imderstand and promptly attend to \ 
the request. The mark of the chisel with which tlip desk ' 
opened is still on the drawer, and is one of the traces of the Johi 
Brown raid. Having taken measures to secure my papers t 
trouble was to know just what to do with myself. To stay i 
Hoboken was out of the question, and to go to Rochester v 
all appearance to go into the hands of the hiuiters, for they -y 
^B naturally seek me at my home if they sought me at all. I, hoi 

^B ever, resolved to go home and risk my safety there. I felt su^ .^re 
^H that once in the city I could not he easily taken from there withor «zzDat 
^^k a preliminary hearing upon the requisition, and not then, if tH^^^ihe 
^^B people could be made aware of what was in progress. But how -^ to 
^H get to Rochester became a serious question. It would not do to 

^^m go to New York city and take the train, for that city was not 1> ^ABcgg 
^H incensed against the .Tohn Brown conspirators than many port^^- 3 of 
^H the South. The course hit upon by my friends, Mr. Johnson ^b; and 
^H Miss Assing, was to take me at night in a private convojanoe fi 
^H Hoboken to Paterson, where I could take the Erie railroad 
^H home. This plan was can'ied out and I reached home i 
^^B but had been there but a few moments when I was called upc 
^H Samuel D. Porter, Esq., and my neighbour, Lieutenant- Go ve^ - 
^^^ Leiden, who informed me that the Governor of the State na^^nJiJ 


certainly surreuder ine on a proper reqiiiaitiou from tlie Governor 
of Virginia, and that while the people of Rocliester would not 
permit me to be taken Soutli, yet in order to avoid collision with 
the Government and consequent bloodshed, they advised me to 
fait the country, which I did^going to Canada. Governor Wise, 
■Q the meantime. beiQj> advised that I had left Rochester for the 
State of Michigan, made requisition on the Governor of that State 
fc»»r my surrender to Virginia. 

TThe following letter from Governor Wise to President JamA 
^uehsnan — which since the war was sent me by B, J. Lossing, the 
'im^torian — will show by what means the Governor of Virginia 
"^ ^ant l« get me in his power, and that my apprehensions of arrest 
"■*iK^ not altogether groundleBS : — 


BicaMOUD, Va., Nov. 13, IS.'iS. 
''- -ffi. Exfrllrne!/, Jaiati ISuehaimn, FmlHent of the United Slila, a'ul lo thr 
SotUHToiU Fmtmaiter-aeatnU oftKe Vnitai Staitt: 
^^KnuaOK — I hare infonnstioli SDoli aa Loh caused me, upon proper offidavita, 

* ^KAke TequidtioQ upon the Executive of MiuhigBD for the deliveiy up of the 
' ^'' V'lwti of Frederick Doaglaas, a negro msn, mpponed now to be in Hichigtts, 

_* **.T)(k1 witli murder, robbery, and iuuitiug servile iusurreatiun in the State of 

■-■-jriiuii. H; S(i:etit8 for the arrciet aiid reclMouIioii of the peniou bo charged 

' *~^^ BenjonuQ U. Aforria and William N. Kellj. The latter hits the rcquiHition, 

*'^ will wait on you to the end of obtaining' nominal authority as pont-offioe 

^S^^rnU. They need be very secretive in tbj;i matter, and some pretext for 

*'^' TKlliug thrungh the dangerouH section far the execution of the laws in this 

*~^^>lf, and flome protection agaiDSt ubtnudre, unruly, or lanleaa, violence. If 

*>p ppjptT BO to do, will the Poiitniaster-GoDeral be pleased lo give to Mr. Kelly. 

' *• eaiii of those men, a permit and authority to act an detectives for the poat- 

* ^ij'ii dspartinent, without pay, but to paan and ropaas without queetion, deUy, 

Re»tpectfully Hubniilted by your obedient servant, 

Hkhbt a. Wub. 

There is no reason to doubt that James Buchanan afforded 
*''C:ivemor Wise all the aid and co-operation for which ho was asked. 
^ bave been informed that several United States marshals were in 

•Chester in search of me within six hours after my departure. 
[ do not know that I can do better at this stage of my story than 

insert the following letter, wr^t^^^m^^^^Sg^oa 
^^tnocrat aful American : 


CiSini Wem, Oct. 31st. ISS?. 
Mr. Editok: 

I Doticv thnt ihe telegraph iduJipb Ur. Cook — one of the unfortanate ii 
gent* ui Harper'B Ferry, and now a pTisaner in the hand* of the thing m 
iUelf the GnveiTiment of Virginia, but which in fact is bnt an orgai 
i-<nupiracy b; one piuty of the people againtit anothct mad 
rae B8 H cowanl, and asBert that I pronuaed to be preeent in peniDn at 
Harpor'i Ferry InHuireutioii. Thui is certoioly a, very grave impeadun 
whether viewed in ita hearingH upon frienda or upon foes, and yon will 
think it Btranfre that I ehould tdke ii twunewhut eerioiu noliGe of it. Baving 
luxjiuuntanca! whatever »ith Mr. t'ook, and never havin|f exchanged ■ wc 
with him about the Harper'n Ferry Imflirrectiun, I am djapttsed to doabt if 
Rould have uaed the language nmeeming me, which the wiren attriliuto to U 
The lig-htoing whim epealdn)^ for itnelf, ia amon^ the miiet direet, relialale, » 
fmithftil of things ; but when speaking of the terror-stricken slavcholdea 
Harper's Ferry, it has been, mode the awifteat of liara. UndiT its nimbla ■ 
trembling tingc?ni it magnifies 1 T nun into TOO and has since filled the uohtB 
of the New York Htrald (or days with its intenninahle couttnilietiims. I 
aBauming that it hs« told only the ample tmth aa Co the aayinga of Hr. 0( 
in this ioatanee, I have this answer to make to my accuser : Mr. Cook m^ 
perfectly right in denouncing me as a coward ; I have not one woi 
defence or vindication of my character for courage ; I have always 
diatin^iished for running than fighting, and tried by the Haipei'e 
mutectioh tc6t, I am mcuA iai«erably deftsient in coutuge, even mi 
<!oolt, when he doaerted hlH brave old captain and fled 
thia extent Ur. Cook in entirely right, and will meet no nontradictiini bom ■ 
or from anybody elae. But wholly, grievously and moat unaoconntably wtOd( 
Mr. Cook when he aHaert* that I promised to he present in peraon st ! 
Harper's Ferry InaiuTeotion. Of wliatever otiier imprudence and indiacratia 
may have been guilty, I have never made a promLie so raah and wild oa tl 
The taking of Harper's Ferry was a measure never enoonraged by my wMd 
by my vole. At any tinie or plaee, my wisdom or my cowardioe, ban mrt «< 
ki'pt me from Harper's Ferry, but has eqnally kept me from Tnalring any prMS 
to go there. 1 desire to be quite emphatic here, for of all gnilty men, he )• I 
guiltiest who lurea hia fellowmcn to an undertaking of this sort, nader jnmi 
uf BSBistance which he afterwards fails to render. 1 therefore doolaie that tlM 
is no man living, and no man dead, who if living, could truthfully ay tU 
ever promised him, or anybody else, either conditionally, or otherwise. Uiat 
would be present in peraon at the Harper'a Feny Insurrection. My lioU iw-^ 
labour for the abolition of alavery bus not extended to an attack upon the Tiulfr.^ 
States Arsenal. In the teeth of the dociunents slrendy published, and of ttii^c«H 
which may hereafter be published, I affirm that no man oonneoted with 
insurreiAion, from its noble and heroin leader down, can connect my name ' 
a aiof^le broken piomiao of any sort whatever. So much I deem it pmpi 
say negatively. The time for a full statement of what I know, and of ^ 
know, of this desperate but Hublimely disinterested oSmi to emanoipal* 
sUves of Maryland oud Virginia from their cruel taak-masten, has nd 

d nuf IU^Te^ oome. In the denial whioh I Imviy now mode, my motivp 
ie«respootful«niaidenxtion for theopinioiuiof the Blayo'dfriondgthan from 
f being mode an oooomplice in the gonersl oonspiracj against Hlarery, 
« in a reasannble hope for Huccess. Meri wlio lire by rubbiag- their 
n of their labour and liberty have forfeited their right to know ftny- 
F the thoughts, feeliDgs, or porposea of those whom they rob and 
They have by the single act of sluTeholding, voluntarily pUoed 
idves beyond the Ihwh of justice and honour, and have become only fitted 
) with thiovea and piratea—the common enemies of God and 
lO mankind. While it ahall be oonndered right to protect oneself agnioBt 
rlani, robberfi, and asaasBlns, and t« alay a wOd bea»t in the act of 
[s homan prey, it can nerer be wrong for the imbruled and whip- 
i alavee, or their friends, to hunt, harasfl, and even Htrike down the 
lan flesh. If anybody is disposed tothinkleasof meonaooountof 
>r because I may have had a knowledge of what was about to 
i did not aasume Che base and detestable obaroi^ter of an informer. 
a whose gvod or bad opinion of me may be equally repugnant and 

ig' these eentimeaU, I may be naked why I did not join John Brown 

Id beru whose one right hand has shalien the foondation of the 

JOQ, and wtiuae ghost will haunt the bed-ohambere of all the bom 

I nbonl slaveholders of Virginia through all generations, fiUi[ig them 

tematioD. My answer to this has already been given — at 

Kfaqdiedly given — "The tools to those who can uaotheml" Let every 

\ for tiic abolition of slavery in his own way. I would help all and 

DE. My position in regard to the Harper's Ferry Insurrection may be 

9 istiSTvd from theae remarks, and I ahull be glad if those papers whiuli 

in conncotion with it, would find room for this brief 

I have no apology for keeping out of the way of those gentlemanly 

I Manhola, who are said to have piud Roehexter a somewhat 

it lately, with a view to an interview with me. A goveminent 

g t^e validity of the Jhid Sail detaaon, at such a time as this is not 

re any very obaritable feelings towards me, and if I am to meet its 

tot I prefer to do so at least upon equal tonna. If I have oommitted 

» against society I have done so on the soil of the State of New York, 

d be perfectly willing to be arraigned there before an impartial jury ; 

i quite inHuporable objeotiona to being caught by the hounds of 

and " bagged " by Gov. Wise. For this appears to b» 

Buchanan does the fighting and hunting, and Wise ■ ' Ao^i ■ ■ 

Some refleiTtions may be made upon my leaving on a tour to 

i jnst at this time. I have only to say that my going to that oonn- 

m rather delayed than hastened by the inimrreetion at Harper's 

1 know that 1 had intended to leave here in the lirat week in 

Fbh^ebici: DoroLisa," 


WHAT was my conoection with John Brown, and i 
knew of his Bcheme for the captnre of Harper's Par 
1 may now proceed to state. From the time of my visit to b 
Springfield, Maas., in 1847, our relations were friendly and ( 
tidentJat. I never passed through Springfield without calling a 
liim, and he never canie to Kocheater without calhng on me. 
often stopped over night with me, when we talked over the t 
bihty of his plan for destroying the value of slave property. & 
the motive for holding slaves in the border States. That plu), f 
already intimated elsewhere, was to take twenty or tweutf-S 
discreet and trastworthy men into the mountains of Virginia a 
Maryland, and station them in squads of five, about five i 
apart, on a line of twenty-five miles ; each squad to co-ope 
vnth aU, and all with each. They were to have selected for tl 
secure and comfortable retreats in the fastnessea of the monnta 
where they could easily defend themselves in case of attack. 
were to subsist upon the country roundabout. They were to i 
well armed, but were to avoid battle or violence, unless oompc 
by pursuit or in self-defence. In that case, they were to roMi* ■ 
as costly as possible to tlie assailing party, whether that p 
should be soldiers or citizens. He farther proposed to havfl j 
number of stations from the line of Pennsylvania to the Can 
border, where such slaves as be might, througli his meu, indnw t 
run away, should be suppUed with food and shelter, and bs K 
warded from one station to another till they should ieaoll»|| 
of safety either in Canada or the Northern States. Hft^ 


to a^d to his force in tlie motmlaina any conrageons and intelligent 
frtgitivps who miglit be willing to remain and endure the hardships 
and brave the dangers of tliis mouutain life. These, be tlionght, 
if properly selected, on account of their knowledge of the surroimd- 
iiig country, could be made valuable auxiliarieB. The work of 
going into the valley of Virginia and persuading the slaves to flee 
to the mountains, was to be committed to the moat courageons and 
jndioious man connected with each squad. 

Uating slavery as I did, and making its abolition the object of 
my life, I was ready to welcome any new mode of attack upon the 
slave system whicli gave any promise of success. I readily saw 
that this plan could be made very effective in rendering slave 
property in Maryland and Virginia valueless by rendering it in- 
a«oure. Men do not like to boy runaway horsea, nor to invest their 
money in a species of property hkely to take legs and walk oS with 
itself. In the worst ease, too, if the plan should fail, and John 
Brown should be driven from the mountains, a new fact would be 
dtveloped by which the nation would be kept awake to the existence 
of slavery. Hence. I assented to this, John Brown's scheme or 
ptbn for running off slaves. 

To set this plan in operation, money and men, arms and 

Ataiuimition, food and clothing, were needed ; and these, from the 

Oaturo of the enterprise, were rot easily obtained, and nothing 

**'aa immediately done. Captain Brown, too, notwithstanding his 

'^({id economy, was poor, and was unable to arm and equip 

^ciu for the dangerous life he had mapped out. So the work 

^*»eered till after the Kansas trouble was over, and freedom was 

* *«ct accomplished in that Ten-itory. This left him with arms 

?** ^ men, for the men who had been with him in Kansas, believed 

*** him, and would follow him in any humane but daJigerous 

^■* ^erpriae he might undertake. 

'Aher the close of his Kansas work, Captain Brown came to my 
^'^xjse in Rochester, and said he desired to stop witli me several 
*=* «kB ; '■ but," he added, " I will not stay imless you will allow 
""^^ to pay Ward." Knowing that he was no trifler and meant all 
"** said, and desirous of retaining him under my roof, I charged 
"-»teo dollars a week. While here, he spent most of his time in 
"^"^trespondeuce. He wrote often to George L. Steams of Boston, 
^ 'irrit SmiUi of Peterboro, N. Y., and many others, and received 

1 ^ 

276 BBOWN AT AtrTHOB'B Honss. 1 

many tetters in return. When be was not writmg letters, be w&i I 
writing and revising a couetitulion frhich he meant to pnt in I 
operation by the men who Bliould go with him into tlic mouutuns^l 
lie said that to BToid anarchy and confusion, there shoold be &I 
regularly constituted government, to which each man who cams I 
with him should be aworn to honour and support. I have a copy I 
of this constitution in Captain Brown's own handwriting, aaM 
prepared by himself at my bouse, ■ 

He called his friends from Chatham, Canada, to come tagethttf-J 
that he might lay his constitution before them, for their appronlfl 
and adoption. His whole time and thought were given to thiM 
subject. It was the first thing in tlie morning and last thing ad 
night, till I confess it began to be something of a bore to me.S 
Once in a while, be would say he could, with a few resolute men, 
capture Harper's Ferry, and supply himself witli arms belonging 
to the Government at that place, but he never announced bia 
iuteutioii to do so. It wsb, however, very evidently paasiiig ia bia ■ 
mind as a thing he might do. I paid but little attention to sooh m 
remarks, though I never doubted that bethought just what ho 8&id.J 
Soon after bis coming to nie, be asked me to get for him twdy^ 
smoothly planed boards, upon whioli he could illustrate, vrith a pwn 
of dividers, by a drawing, the plan of fortiiicatioa which he n 
to adopt iu the mountains. 

These forte were to be bo aiTanged as to connect ooo with tlia] 
other, by secret passages, so that if one was cari'ied, another o 
easily be fallen back upon, and be the means of dealing death t 
the enemy at the very moment when be might think 
viotoriouB. 1 was less interested in these drawings than ] 
children were, but they showed that the old man had an eye to tl 
means as well as to the end, and was giNnng hiB beat thought to tl 
work lie was about to take in hand. 

While at my bouse, John Brown made the acquaintance of i 
coloured man, who called himself by different names — sometil 
" Emperor," at other times, " Shields Urecu." He was a fugitirtl 
slave, who had made bia escape &-am Cborlestowu, South GarotioCiM 
a State from which a slave found it no easy matter to riin atnj, T 
But Shields Green was not one to shrink from hardships or I 
dangerB. He was a man of few words, aud his speech was sio--- 
gularly broken ; but his courage and self-respect made him q 

" BBIELDe OKEEK." 277 

A dignified character, Jobn Brown saw at once what "stuff" 
Green "web made of," and confided to him hia plans and pur- 
poses. Green easily beheved in Brown, and promised to go with 
^^^xa wfaeDever he should be ready to move. About thrue weeks 
^H^re the raid oa Harper's Feny, John Brown wrote to me, 
^Hpformlng me tliat a beginning in hia worli woiild soon be made, 
^^%nd that before going forward he wanted to see rae, and appointed 
nil old stone qnarry near Cbambersbnrg, Penn., as our place of 
meeting. Mr. Kagi, his secretary, would be there, and they wished 
e to bring any money I could command, and Shields Green along 
In the same letter, he Baid that his "mining tools" 
I were tJien at Cbambersbnrg, and that he would be there 
> remove them. I obeyed the old man's siunmons. Taking 
hields, we passed through New York City, where we called upon 
« Bev. James Glocester and his wife, and told them where and for 
lat we were going, and that our old friend needed money. Mrs. 
Olooest«r gave me ten dollars, and asked me to hand the same to 
John Brown, with her best wishes. 

When 1 reached Chambersburg, a good deal of surprise was 
., for I was instantly recognised, that I should come there 
inounced, and I was pressed to make a speech to them, with 
] invitation I readily complied. Meanwhile, I called upon Mr. 
f Watson, a simple-minded and warm-hearted man, to whom 
1 Brown had imparted the secret of my visit, to show me 
td to the appointed rendezvous. Watson was very hnsy in 
a barber's shop, but he dropped all and put me on the right track. 
ftpproacbed tlie old quarry very cautiously, for John Brown was 
msrally well armed, and regarded strangers with suspicion. He 
I there under the ban of the Government, and heavy rewards 
offered for his arrest, for offences said to have been com- 
d in Kansas. He was passing under the name of John Smith, 
came near, he regarded me rather suspiciously, but soon 
sogutzed me, and received me coi-dially. He bad Jn his hand 
1 1 met him, a fishing tackle, with which he had apparently 
1 fishing in a stream hard by ; but I saw no fish, and did not 
»Be that he oared much for his " fisherman's luck." The 
ing was simply a disguise, and was certainly a good one. He 
cl every way hke a man of the neighbourhood, and as much at 
lome SB any of the farmers around there. His hat was old, and 

278 harpkk'9 fekry, | 

storm-beaten, and his clothing was about the colour of the stoma I 
quarry itself— hia then present dwelling-place. I 

His face wore au auxions expression, and be was much worn 1^1 
thought and exposure. I felt that I was on a dangerous miasion,! 
and was as Uttle desirous of discovery as himself, thongb do revsrdfl 
bad been offered for me. I 

We — Mr. Kagi> Captain Brown, Shields Green, and myself, sat j 
down among the rocks and talked over the enterprise which wa» 
about to be undertakeu. The takiog of Harper's Ferry, of which 
Captain Brown had merely hinted before, was now declared as 
hia settled purpose, and ho n-anted to know wbat I thought oil 
it. I at once opposed the measure with all the arguments otl 
my command. To me, such a measure would he fatal to nm*! 
ning off [slaves, as was the original plan, and fatal to all engagedl 
in doing so. It would be an attack upou the Federal Govern.^ 
nient, and would array the whole country against us. Captainfl 
Brown did oioBt of tbe talking on the other side of the question.^ 
Ho did not at all object to rousing the nation ; it scorned I 
him that something startling was just what the nation needed.l 
He had completely renounced his old plan, and thonght tlufel 
the capture of Harper's Ferry would serve as notice to ths'l 
slaves that tbeir friends had come, and as a trumpet, to TtiOyC 
them to his standard. He described tbe place as to its means * 
of defence, and how impossible it would be to dislodge him if 
once in possession. Of course, I was no match for him in 
such matters, but I told him, and these were my words, that ■ 
all hia arguments, and all his descriptions of tbe place, o 
vinced me that be was going into a perfect steel-trap, and t 
once in he would never get out alive ; that he would be aar-J 
rounded at once and escape would be impossihlc. Ue 
to be shaken by anything I could say, but treated my viewal 
respectfully, replying that even if suiTounded bo would findT 
means for outtijig bis way out ; but that would not be forced I 
upon him; be should have a number of the best citizens of J 
the neighbourhood as his prisoners at the start, and that boldiltf I 
them as hostages, he should be able if worse came to i 
dictate terms of egress from the town. I looked at him witii j 
some astonishment, that be could rest upon a reed i 
^Igi broken, and told him that Virginia would blow him i 

-WN. 279 

I bostages sky-high, rather than that he should hold Harper's 
f an hour. Our talk was long and earuest ; we spent tlie 

1 of Saturday and a part of Sunday in this debate — Brown 
Harper's I'Vrry, and I against it ; he for striking a blow 
which Bhoold instantly ronse tbe country, and I for the policy 
of gradually and unaccountably drawing off the slaves to the 
mountains, as at drat suggested and proposed by him. When 
I found that he bad fully made up his mind and could not be 
diHsnaded, I turned to Shields Green and told him he heard 
what Captain Brown had said ; his old plan was changed, and 
|kt I should return home, and if he wished to go with me 
k ooold do 80. Captain Brown urged ua both to go with him. 
\ I could not do so. and could but feel that he was about tn 
pet tbe fetters more firmly than ever on the limbs of tbe 
laved. In parting he put bis arms around me in a manner 
I than friendly, and said : " Come with me, Douglass, i 

II defend you with my life. I want you for a special purpose. 
I I strike, the bees will begin to swarm, and I shall want 

t to help hive them." But my discretion or my cowardice 

i me proof against the dear old man's eloquence — perhaps 

I somethuig of both which deteimined my course. When 

t to leave I asked Green what he had decided to do, and 

I enrprised by his coolly saying in bis broken way, " I b'leve 

1 go wid de ole man." Here we separated ; they to go to 

Mr's B'erry, I to Rochester. There has been some difTer- 

9 of opinion as to tbe propriety of my course in thus leaving 

r friend. Somo have thought that I ought to have gone 

1 him, but I have no reproaches for myself on this point, 

i since I have been assailed only by coloured men who kept 

I fertber from this brave and heroic man than I did, I 

I not trouble myself about their criticisms. They oompli- 

tnent me iu assuming that I should perform greater deeds 

llian themselves. 

Such tlieu was my connection with John Brown, and it may be 

^vMked if this is all, why should I have objected to being sent to 

^^Kiginia to be ti'ied for the offence charged. The explanation is 

^HU difficnit. I knew if my enemies could not prove me guilty 

^^t the offence of being with John Brown they could prove that 

^ "Was Frederick Douglass; they oonld prove that I was in aorrea- 

pondence and conspiracy with Brown against slavery ; they cod 
prove that I brought Shields Green, one of the bravest of h' 
soldiers, all the way from Rochester to him at ChaJnbersbtirg 
tbey could prove that I brought money to aid him, and in n 
was then the state of the pnbho mind I could not hope to make 
jury of Virginia beheve I did not go the whole length which 1 
went, or that I waa not one of his supporters, and I knew that A 
Virginia, were I once in her clutches, would aay "let him 1 
hanged." Before I had left Canada for England, Jerem 
Anderson, one of Brown's men, who was present and tt»ok part I 
the raid hut escaped by the mountains, joined me, and he told B 
tliat he and Shields Green were sent out on special duty as so 
as the capture of the arsenal, etc., was effected. Their buaini 
was to bring in the slaves from the surrounding country, K 
hence they were on the outside when Brown was surrounded. 
said to him, " Why then did not Shields come with yoo t 
" Well," he said, " I told him to come ; that we could do notb 
more, but ho simply said he must go down to do ole mt 
Anderson further told m» that Captain Brown was carefiil { 
keep his plans from his men, and that there was much oppoBitit 
among them when they found what were the precise ntovetD 
determined upon ; but they were an oath-bound company, 
like good soldiers were agreed to follow their captain wherevar ] 
might lead. 

On the 12th of November, 1859, I took passage from Qneh 
on board the steamer " Scotia," Captain Thompson, of the i 
line. My going to England was not at first suggested 1^ i 
connection with John Brown, but the fact that I was aoir 
danger of arrest on the ground of complicity with him. ma 
what I had intended a pleasure a necessity, for though in Cana 
and imder British law, it was not impossible that I might be "^^^^ 
napped and taken to Virginia. England had given me shelter s 
protection when the slavehounds were on my track fonrtesD yo 
before, and her gates were still open to me now that I was pmraa 
in the name of Virginian justice. I could but feel that I 
going into exile, perhaps for life. Slavery seemed to be afc ' 
very top of its power ; the national government, with al 
powers and appliances, were in its hands, and it bade fair to i 
them for many years to come. Nobody could then see that ix 

I harper's ferbv affaib. 281 

lort space of fonr years this power would be broken and the 
e Bystem dcBtroyed. 80 I started on my voyage with feelings 
r from eheerfiJ, No one who has not himself beeu compelled to 
I hie home and country to go into permanent banishment, 
a well imagine the state of mind and heart wliich such a con- 
1 brings. The voyage out was by the North Passage, and at 
season, as naual, it was cold, dark, and stormy. Before 
ing the coast of Labrador, we had four degrees below zero. 
|ltboagh I had crosaed the Atlantic twice before. I had not 
rienced such unfriendly weather as during the most of this 
e. Onr great ship was dashed about upon the surface of the 
! tliough she had been the smallest "dug-oot." It seemed 
E all the seamanship of oxa captain to keep her in manage- 
) condition ; but after battling with the wavea on an angry 
1 during fourteen long daya, I gratefully found myself upon 
1 of Great Britain, beyond the reach of Buchanan's power 
Virginia's prisons. On reaching Liverpool, I learned that 
was nearly as much alive to what bad happened at 
oer'fl Ferry as the United States, and I was immediately 
■ -lulled npon in different parts of the country to speak on the 
■ object of slavery, and especially to give some account of the 
^«i) who had thus flimg away their lives In a desperate attempt to 
«llie slaves. My own relation to tlie affair was a subject of 
■.veh interest, as was the fact of my presence there being in some 
« to elude the demands of Governor Wise, who having learned 
I Michigan, but iraji on a British steamer bound 
' '*" England, publicly declared that "could he overtake that vessel, 
^'^ Would take me from her deck at any cost." 

I While in England, and wishing to visit France, I wrote to Mr. 
'^tgo M. Dallas, the American minister at the British court, to 
■^ill a passport. The attempt upon the life of Napoleon III. 
^^% that time, and the suspicion that the conspiracy against him 
3 been hatched in England, made the French government very 
*Ot m the enforcement of its passport system. I might possibly 
*e been permitted to visit that country withont a certificate of 
y citii:ensbip. but wishing to leave nothing to chance, I applied to 
'^ only competent authority; but, true to the traditions of the 
itic party — true to the slaveholdlng poUcy of his country 
B to the decision of the United States Supreme Ckturt, and 

ixi«n wj 
^Ttiat 1 1 


true, perhaps, to the petty meanDess of his own nalnre, Mr. 
George M. Dallas, the Democratic Americau minister, refused ti 
grant ine a passport, on the ground that I was oot a citizen of tfaftV 
United States. I did not beg or remonatrate with this digni 
furtlier. bnt simply addressed a note to the Frencli miuister ioM 
London, asking for a permit to visit France, and tiiat paper eamsfl 
without delay. I mention this, not to be-Uttle the civilization t 
my native country, but aa a part of the atory of my life. I oonl 
have born iliia denial with more serenity, could I have foreami^ 
what haB since happened, but, uuder the circumstiiuces. it 1 
galling disappointment, 

I had at tliiH time been about six months out of the UoiU 
States. My time had been chiefly occupied hi speaking on alaw 
and other siibjeuts, in different parts of England and Sootlaodj 
meeting and enjoying the while the society of many of Jbe 1 
friends whose acquaintance I had made during my visit t( 
countries fourteen years before. Much of the excitement caoeed 
by the Harper's Feri'y Insurrection had subsided, both at home ft 
abroad, and I should have now gratified a long-cheriahed desire I 
visit France, and avail myself, for that purpose, of the permit s 
promptly and civUly given by the French miuister, had not nsi 
reached me from home of the death of my beloved daughter AtmJaJ 
■ 4iM light and life of my house. Deeply distressed by thia bcreaVt 
lud acting upou the impulse of the moment, regardlee 

B peril, I at once resolved to return home, and took the first oall 
*'4(euig steamer for Portland, Maine. After a rongh passage ( 
seventeen days. I reached home byway of Canada, and remu 
in my house nearly a month before the knowledge got abroad tl 
I was again in America. Great changes had now taken pla 
in the public mind touching the John Brown Raid. Virginia had 
satisfied her thirst for blood. She had executed all the raiders 
who had fallen into her hands. Bhe had not given Captain 1 
the benefit of a reasonable doubt, but hurried him to the bi 
in panic-stricken haste. Bhe had made herself ridiculous b 
fright, and despisable by her fury. Emerson's prediction I 
Brown's gallows would become hke the Cross, was already h 
fulfilled. The old hero, in the ti'ial hour, had behaved so grandly 
at men regarded him not as a murderer, but as a martyr. 
; the North men were singing the John Brown song. Hi<| 

e raiders 

tion tha4^H 
Ldy betBR ' 


idy wftB in the dnst, but his soul waa marching on. His defeat 

woe alread; asfluming the form and prossm-e of victory, and his 

dettth was giving newjLfe and power to the principles of justico 

^•d bberly. He had spoken great words iu the face of death and 

^^B obampionB of slavery. He had quailed before neithui'. What 

^Bl ll&d lost by the sword, he had more than gained by tho truth. 

^Wiad he wavered, had he retreated or apologized, the case had 

I'l't-n different. He did not even ask that the cup of death might 

I ASS from him. To his own soul he was right, and neither 

'' priiicipahties nor powers, life nor death, things present nor 

I to come," could shake his daiuitless spirit, or move him 

a his ground. He may not have stooped on his way to tho 

lenra to kiss a httle coloured child, as it is reported he did, but 

f act would have been in keeping with the tender heart, as well 

'f with iJie heroic spirit of the man. Those who looked for 

fession heard only the voice of rebuke and warning. 
Buly after the insurrection at Harper's Ferry, an investigating 
punittee was appointed by Congress, and a" drag-net" was spread 
Borer the coimtry, in the hope of inculpating many distingni shed 
They had imprisoned Thaddeua Hyatt, who denied their 
bt to interrogate him, and ha<l called many witnesses before 
I, as if the judicial power of the natiou had been confided to 
r committee, and not tho Supremo Court of the United States. 
I Captain Brown implicated nobody. Upon hie own head he 
d all the bolts of slaveholding vengeance. He said that he, 
B he alone, was responsible for all that had happened. He had 
By friends, but no instigators. In all their efiorts this corn- 
tee Bignally failed, and soon after my arrival home, they gave 
Bie search, and asked to be discharged, not having half fulMed 
Bdnty for which tliey were appointed. 

( have never been able to account satisfactorily for tlie sudden 
uadonment of this investigation on any other ground than that 
■ii^ men engaged in it expected soon to be iu rebellion themselves, 
'iicl tiiat. not a rebeUion for liberty Uke that of John Brown, but a 
'I bolhon for slavery ; and that tliey saw that by using their send- 
i"ria] power in search of rebels they might be whetting a knife for 
■iji-jr own throats. At any rate the country was soon reheved of 
''<' oongresaional drag-net, and was now engaged in the heat and 
' i^oil of a presidential canvass — a canvass which had no parallel. 


involving as it did tlie queBtion of peace or war, the integrity a 
tlie dtsmemberment of tbe Republic', and I may add, the i 
teuance or destrnction of slavery. In some of the SoDtbern Slate 
the people were ah-eady organizing and arming to be ready far I 
B[^rohended contest, and with this work on their hands they h 
no time to spare for thoae they had wislied to convict as itidtjgato 
of the raid, however desirous they might have been lo do so undl 
other circumstance a, for they had pai'ted with none of their fafttl 
Ab showing their feeHng towards me. 1 may state, that a coloi 
man appeared abont tliia time in Knoxville. Ten., and was 1 
by a fiirions crowd with knives and bludgeons, becau 
snpposed to be Fred. DouglasB. But, however perilous it woold 
have been for me to have shown myself in any Southern State, 
there was no especial danger for me in the North. 

Though disappointed in my tour on the Continent, and t 
home by one of the saddest events that can afiOict the dom 
circle, my preaence here was fortunate, since it enabled me to p 
ticipate in the moat important and memorable presidential oanvi 
ever witueseed iu Uie United States, and to labour for the ela 
of a man who in the order of events was destined to do a f 
eeiTice to his country and to mankind, tlian any man who bad g 
before him in the presidential office. It is something to oongt 
one"B name with gieat occasions, and it was a great thing to n 
bo permitted to bear some humble part iu this, the greatest I 
had thus far come to the American people. It waa n great i 
to achieve American independence when we numbered ' 
millions, bnt it was a greater thing to save^the country firoto d 
mcmberment and ruin when it numbered tlilrty millions. He a 
of all our Presidents was to have the opportunity to destroy alavs 
and to lift into manhood millions of his countrymen hitherto i 
as chattels and numbered with the beasts of the field. 

The preaidontial canvass of 1860 was three sided, and each ffl 
had its distinctive doctrine as to the question of slavery and slam 
extension. We had three candidates in the field. Stephen i 
Douglas was the standard-bearer of what may be caU«d I 
Western faction of the old divided Democratic party, and Jt>hli ^ 
Hreckenridge waa the standard-bearer of the 8outhem or alA-rv-r 
holding faction of that party. Abraham Lincoln represented U« 
then young, growing, and united Kepubhcan par^, !I3|B £^riH 



een these parties and candidates were about as diBtiuct); and 

Ittarly dravn aa political lines ar^ capable of being drawn. The 

■ of Douglas atood for territorial soverei^ity, or in other 

s. for the right of the people of a tenitory to admit or exclude, 

tablieh or aboliah. slavt^ry. us to them might seem best. The 

ino of Ereokenridge was that Blaveholders were entitled to 

f their slaves into any territory of the United States and to 

tbem there, with or without the consent of the people of the 

; that the Constitution of its own force carried slavery, 

rotected it, into any territory open for settlement in the United 

To both these parties, factions, and doctrines, Abraham 

gin and the Republican party stood opposed. They held that 

Federal Government had the right and the power to exclude 

y from the territories of the United States, and that thai 

Uid power ought to be exercised to the extent of confining 

7 inside the slave States, with a view to its ultimate extinction, 

position of Mr. Doiigiati gave him a splondid pretest for the 

|r of a species of oratory of which he was a distinguished 

r. He alone of the throe candidates took the stump, as the 

ler of popular sovereignty, called in derision at the time 

liter" sovereignty. This doctrine, if not the times, gave 

I chance to play fast and loose, and blow but and cold, as 

□ might require. In the South and among slaveholders he 

Bay, " My great principle of popular sovereignty does not 

a not intended by me to prevent the extension of slavery ; 

i contrary, it gives you the right to take your slaves into tlie 

iHm and secm-e legislation legalizing slavery ; it denies to 

tdenl Government all right of interference against you, and 

is eminently favourable to your interests." When among 

known to be indiHeront, he could say, " I do not care 

» slavery is voted up or voted down in the territory," 

len addressing the known opponents of tlie extension of 

', be could say that the people of the territories wore in no 

t of having slavery forced upon them since they could keep 

'bj adverse legislation. Had he mode those representations 

railroads, electric wires, plioiiograpby, and newspapers had 

B the powerful anxih'aries they have done. Mr. Douglas might 

[uned many votes, but they were of little avail now. The 

B too sagacious to leave slavery to the chance of defeat 



in a fair vote by the people of a territory. Of all property, noai 
could less afford to take auoh a risk, for no property can r 
more strongly favouring conditions for its existence. Not on! 
the intelligence of the slave, but the instincts of htunajiityj 
must be barred by positive taw, liencc Breckenridge and 
Mends erected the flinty walls of the Constittition and 
Sttpreme Court for the protection of slavery i 
Against botli Douglas and Breckenridge, Abraham Lincoli^ 
proposed his grand historic doctrine of the power and duty t 
the National Goveniment to prevent tlie spread and purjietnity <■ 
slavery. Into this contest I threw myself, with firmer foid 
aud more ardent hope than ever before, and what I could do I 
pen or voice was done with a will. The most reuiarkablo i 
memorable feature of this canvass, was that it was [iroBccata 
under the porl-entous shadow ol a threat. Leading public ineti of tl 
South had with the vehemence of fiery piUTWse, given it out i 
advance that in case of their failure to elect their caudid&te — U 
C, Breckenridge — they would proceed to take the slavelioldiid 
Btatea out of the Union, and that in no event whatever would tliq 
submit to the rule of Abraham Lincoln. To many of the peM 
loving friends of the Union, this was a fearful announcement, a 
it doubtless cost the RepubUcan candidate many votes. By n 
others, however, it was deemed a mere bravado — sound aai I 
sijunifying nothing. With a third class its effect was very differe 
They were tired of the rule-or-ruin intimidation adopted by 1 
Soatli, and felt then, if never before, that they had quailed bei 
it too often and too long. It came as an insult and a challenge i 
one, and imperatively called upon them for independence, 
assertion, and resentment. Uad Southern men puzzled ! 
brains to find the most eiTeotive means to aiTay against slavery t 
slaveholding manners the solid opposition of the North, tliey e 
not have liit upon any expedient better suited to that end, than « 
this threat. It was not only unfair, but insolent, and more I 
an address to cowardly slaves than to independent freemen ; 
in it the meanness of the horse-jookoy, who, on entering a race, l 
poses, if beaten, to run off with the stakes. In all my apeec 
made during this canvass, I did not fail to take advantage of t 
Southern bluster aud bullying, 
|_ As I have said, this Southern threat lost many votes, bat H 

ore tbaa would have covered the loss. It frightened tlic timid, 
Iml stimulated Lhe brave ; and tlie result was— the triumphajit 
tleetion of Abraham Lincoln. 

Then came tlie question, what will the South do about it ? Will 
she eat her bold words, and submit to the verdict of the people, or 
proceed to the execution of the programme she bad marked out for 
herself prior to tlie election ? The iuquiry was an anxious one, and 
the blood of the North stood still, waiting for the response. It had 
not to wail loQg. for the trumpet of war was soon sounded, and the 
tramp of armed men was heard in that region. During all the 
winter of 1660 notes of preparation for a tremendous conHict came 
to as from that quwter on every wind. Still tlie warning was 
not taken. Few of the North could really beheve that this insolent 
display of arms would end in anything more substantial than dnst 
knd smoke. 

The shameful and shocking course of President Buchanan and 
his Cabinet towards this rising rebellion against the Government 
wliich each and all of them had solemnly sworn to •■ support, 
defend, and maintain" — that the treasury was emptied, that the 
urny was scattered, that our sliips of war were sent out of the way, 
that our forts and arsenals iu the South were weakened and 
crippled— purposely left an easy prey to the prospective in- 
sorgents^tbat one after another the States were allowed to secede, 
that these rebel measures were largely encouraged by the doctrine 
of Mr. Btichanau, that he found no power in the constitution to 
coerce a State, are all matters of history, and need only the 
briefest mention here. 

To arrest this tide of secession and revolution which was 
Eweepiug over the South, tlie Southern papers, which still had 
aome dread of the consequences Ukely to ensue &om the course 
nuirkcd out before the election, proposed aa a means for pro- 
loling conciliation and satisfaction, that " each Northern State, 
Igh her legislature, or in convention assembled, should repeal 
i laws passed for the injury of the constitutional rights of 
I South — meanmg thereby, all laws passed for the protec- 
i of persoual liberty ; — that they should pass laws for the 
f Uid prompt execution of the Fugitive Slave Law ; that they 
old pass other laws imposing penalties on all malefactors 
) should hereafter assist or encomage the escape of fugitive 

ibitiiijf 1 
if mflD I 

288 cuMPKotngE ths obdsb of tbb d*t. ■ 

glavcB ; also, laws declaring and protecting the rigbt of sUre-l 
holders to travel and snjoum in Northern States, accompaoied 
by their slaves ; also, that they should instruct their representa- 
tives and senators in Congress, to repeal the law prohibiting 
Ifib eale of slaves in the district of Colniubia, and ] 
^B|lcieut for the Full protection of slave property in the 
■'MsnOB of the Union." 

It may, indeed, be well regretted that there was a class of mm 
in the North willing to patch up a peaoo with this rampant spirit 
of disunion, by compliance with these offensive, scandalous, and 
hniuihating terms ; and to do so without any guarantee that the 
South would then be pacified i rather with the certainty, lesmed 
by past experience, that it would by no means promote this end. 
I confess to a feeling allied to satisfaction at the prospect of a 
oonilict between the North and the South. Standing outside the 
pale of American liumaoity, denied citizenship, unable to call (be 
land of my birth my country, and adjudged by the Supreme Court 
of the United States to have no rights which white men were 
bound to respect, and longing for the end of the bondage of my 
people, I was ready for any political upheaval which should bring 
about a change in the existing condition of things. Whether the 
war of words would or would not end in blows was for a time & 
matter of doubt ; and when it became certain that the Sonth v 
wholly in earnest, and meant at all hazards to execute its thre&td 
of disruption, a visible change in the sentiments of the North « 

The reaction &om the glorious assertion of freedom and i 
pendenec on the part of the North in the triumphant electioo < 
Abraham Lincoln, was a painful and humiliating development OJ 
its weakness. It seemed as if all that had been gained i 
canvass was about to be surrendered to the vanquished ; that t 
Bouth, though beaten at the poll.s, was to be victorious and bav< 
everything its own way in the final result. Daring all the inter- 
vening months, from November to the ensuing March, the drift of 
Northern sentiment was towards compromise. To smooth the way 
for this, most of the Northern legislatures repealed their personal ^ 
liberty bills, as they were supposed to embarrass the surrender (rf"^^t 
fugitive slaves to their claimauts. The feeling everywhere seemed.^i| 
to be that something must be done to convince the South that Ui^^H 


electiou of Mr. Lincoln meant no harm to slavery or the slave 

power, that the North waa sound on the question of the right 

of the master to hold and hunt hi^ stave as long as he pleased, 

and that eveo the right to hold glaves in the Territories should be 

aabmitted to the Supreme Court, which would probably decide ia 

favour of the most extravagant demauds'of the slave States. The 

Northern Press took a more conservative tone towards the slavery 

propagandists, and a corresponding tone of bitterness towards 

anti-slavery men and measures. It came to be a no unoommon 

thing lo bear men denoimcing South CaroUna and Masaaohusetta 

in the same breath, and in the same measure of disapproval. The 

old pro-slavery spirit which, m 1636, mobbed anti-slavery prayor- 

meetiugs, and di-aggcd Wilham Lloyd Garrison through the streets 

of Boston with a halter about bis neck, was revived. From * 

Massaohusettfl to Missouri, anti-slavery meetings were ruthlessly 

uaailed and broken up. With others, I was roughly handled by a 

mob beaded by one of the wealthiest men of that city, in Tremont 

Temple, Boston. The talk was that the blood of some abolitionist 

tnast bo shed to appease the wi'ath of tlie offended Soutli, and to 

restore peaceful relations between the two sections of tlio country. 

A bowling mob followed Wendell Phillips for three days whenever 

lie appeared on the pavements of his native city, because of his 

>bihty and prominence in the propagation of anti-slavery opinions. 

While this humiliating reaction was going on in the North, 

*%rious devices were suggested and pressed at WashbgtoD, to 

t't'ing about peace and reconciliation. Committees were appointed 

^* hsteu to Suutboru grievances, and, if possible, devise means of 

''^**irfss for such as might bo alleged. Some of these peace propo- 

** ^ jfins would have been shocking to the last degree to the moral 

^^«3Be of the North, had not ,fear for the safety of the Union over- 

**elmed all moral conviction. Such mt'U as William H. Seward, 

**.arlea Francis Adams, Henry B, Anthony, Joshua R. Giddings, 

*-*-^ Eithers — mou whose courage had been equal to all other cmer- 

^^*ioieB — bent before this Southern storm, and were ready to pur- 

^~* See peace at any price. Those who had stimulated tlie courage 

^ the North before the election, and had shouted ' ' Who's ali'aid ? " 

*'^iie now shaking in their shoes with apprehension and di'ead. 

^x^ae was for passing laws in the Northern States for the better 

^^citection of slave- banters, and for the greater efficiency of the 


Furtive Slave Bill. Another was for enacting laws to piuush tlie 
iDvaaion of tlie slave States, and others were for so altering the 
Conatitution of the United States that the Federal Government 
eliould never aboUBh slaverj- wliilu any one Slate should object to 
such a measure. Everything that could be demanded by insatiable 
pride and selfishness on the part of the slavcholding South, or 
eoold bo surrendered by abject fear and servihty on the part of tba 
North, had able and eloquent advocates. 

Happily for the cause of human freedom, and for the final unity 
of the American nation, the South was mad, and would list«n to 
no concessions. Ihey would neither accept the terms offered, oor 
gffer otlicrs to be accepted. They had made up their minds that 
under a given contingency they would secede from the Union and 
thus dismember the Republic. That contingency had happened, 
and they should execute their tlireat. Mi-. Ireson. of Geor^o, 
expressed the ruling sentiment of his section when he told th« 
Northern peacemakers that if the people of the South were given 
a blank sheet of paper upon which to write their own terms on 
which they would remain in the Union, they would not stay. They 
had come to bat-e everything which had the prefix '■ Free " — free. 
Eioil, free states, free territories, free schools, free speech, and free-' 
dom generally, and they would have no more such profixea. This 
haughty, unreasonable, and unreasoning attitude of the im- 
perious South saved the slave and saved the nation. Uod ti» 
South accepted our concessions and remained in the Union 
slave power would in all probabihty have continued to rule ; th»l 
North would have become ntterly demoralized ; the hands on 
dial-plate of American civilization would have been reversed, 
the slave would have been dragging his hateful chains to-ds] 
wherever the American flag floats to the breeze. Those who 
wish to see to what depths of humihty and self-abasement 
people can be brought under the sentiment of fear, will find ao 
chapter of history more instructive than that which treats of 
events in official circles in Washington during the space bal 
the months of November, 1859, and March. 1860. 



g of tbe 54 th and niiCh Coloured Reguaeata — Vimt to Pnaidoit liuQoln 
and Seoretaiy SCbiiUid — Promiiiad a CommiHaian lu Adjatoat General to 
General Thomas— Disappointnient. 

THE cowardly and diagracefal reaction, from a conrageous and 
manly assertion of right principles, as described in the fore- 
going pages, coDtinued am-priaingly long after seeeBsion and wai- 
were commenced. The patience and forbearance of the loyal 
people of the North were amazing. Speaking of this feature of 
the Bituation in Corinthian Hall, Bocbester, at the time, I aatd : — 

We, the people of the North, are a charitable people, and In the oxreiw of 

UuB feeling we were dinpoBad to put the verj boat ooiutructioii upon the strangv 

bgluaviouT of oar Sonthcm brethten. Wo hoped that all would yet go well. 

Wei thought that South Carolina might secede ; it was ontiielj' like her to do BO. 

She lud talked extravagantly about going oat of the Union, and it wa« nataial 

tliAt ahe shoiild do somothiiig extravagant and titartling if for nothing olae, to 

tbiilce k show of conuHlency. Georgia, too, we thought might poiiaibte aeeede. 

fiutshrangely enough wethoughtaudfeltquitoHnro that these twin robolliouaStBteB 

^(Hilil Bland alone and unsupported in infamy and impotency : that they 

<rould MH>n Ure of their isolation, repent of their foUj, and come back to their 

C>laoeB in the Union. Traitors withdrowufrom the Cabinet, from the House of 

^epreaentatiTea, and from the Senate, and hastened to their sereral Statee to * fire 

Mte Southern heart,' and to fan the hot flamea of treoiwn at home. Sdll ws 

donbteii it anything smous would come of it. We treated it as a bubble on 

ttte irave — a nine days' wonder. Calm and thoughtful men ourselves, we 

■•^^lied upon the sober aeoond thought of the Southern people. Even the captnie 

^>f a fort, a shotat one of our ships — on insult to the Dational flag — caused only 

tv mmnentary feeling of indignation and reaentment. We could not but believe 

1 tiat there existed in the South a latent and powerful Union sentiment which 

^'v-ould assert itself at last. Though loyal soldiers had been fired upon in the 

'^tLrneta of Baltimore; tbougfa loyal blood had stained the pavements, of that 

\>«aiitiful city, and the National Government was warned to send no troops 

igh Baltimore to the defence of the National Capital, we could not be made to 


I BocsEsTBa. 

J tlie bloody ratw "^ 

believe thai the bordcir States would plunge madlj 

" But tbiu confidence, patience, and lorbearance coold nol Uel lot "*■ 
Tboae bllHsful iUuxiuDB of hupe weK in a measure diHpelled when tia l<lW^ 
of Charlertown luu-bour wore opened upon the starving' garrison at Fort Snaq** 
For the tnoment th.? NoHhem lamb was tmufonned into a lioti, and hii O '**' 
terrible. But he only showed his loeth, and clearly had no wish to nan 0^^ 
We preferred to fi^ht with dollars and not daggOT. 'The fewer l-lto th« 
bettor,' waa the hopeful motto at Washingtoo. ' Peace io riitr daj»,' w«» 1"* 
onl hy the astuta Secretory of State. In fact, there was at the North 00 4)*- 
positdon U> fight ; no spirit of hate ; no oanipt«henaion of the tfnpsBAi) 
aharacter and diraentuons of the rebellion, and no proper appredatiuii a : 
inherent wiu'Jcedness. Treason had shot its poisonoos roots deeptr. asd h 
apneadits death -dealing branches further than any Northern ualeulnioii b 
oovered. Thu« while rebels were waging a barbarous war. marahalUng mnh 
Indians to join them in slaughter; while rifled cannon balls were battcni 
down the walla of our fortu, and the iron-clad hand of monanhical power • 
being invoked to assist in the destruction of our gUTemini>nt and Ihl i 
memherment of our countr; ; while a tremendous rebel rajn was ninJong a 
fleet and threatening the cities of our ooaat, we were atitl dreaining oi fW 
This infatuation, this blinduees to the tdgniflcanoe of passing events can cnty 
scoounted for by the rapid passage of these events, and by the fast «( t 
habitual leniency and good-will eherished by the North towards the Sool 
Our very lack of preparation for the conflict disposed ns to look for soma ollwr w 
than the way of blood out of the difficulty. TreaMon had largely infeded be 
army and navy. Floyd hod scattered our arms, Cobb had depleted oar ttcMn 
and Buchanan had poisoned the polittcal thought of the tinies by his doini 
of anti' coercion. It was in such a, oonditian of things as thii> that Abtihl 
liOGoln, compelled from fear of oasas^nation to enter the capital in di^a 
was inaugurated and iasoed his proclauiatdon for the * reposaesaioii of the fof 
places, and property which had'been seized &om the Union,' and hia taHvf 
the militia of the several States to the number of 75,000 men — a paper^ 
showed how little even he comprehended the work then before the loyal niM 
It was perhaps better for the country und for mankind that the good «B 
oould not know the end from the beginning. Had he futeseeQ tl 
who must sink into, bloody graves; the nionntoins of debt to be laid 
of the nation : the terrible hardships and sufferings involved in the ooiittrt,' nl 
his own death by an assastdn's hand, he too might have adopted tb« 
sentament of those who said ' erring usters, deport in peace.' " 

From the first, I, for one, saw in this war tbe end of Bl&verT 
and truth requires mo to say tliat my interest in tbe snecei 
tlie North was largely due to this belief. Tme tt is that this 
was many times shaken by passing events, bat 
When Secretary Seward instructed oar ministers to aay to 

Stents to which they were accredited, that, " terminate how- 
ever it might, the status of no class of the people of the United 
States would be cliiuiged fay the rebellion—tliat the slaves would 
be slaves still, and that the masters would be masters still " — 
when General McClellan and General Butler warned the slaves in 
advance that if any attempt was made by them to gain their 
freedom, it would be suppressed with an iron hand^when the 
Government persistently refused to employ coloured troops — when 
the emancipation proclamation of General John C. Freemout in 
Jliasonri was withdrawn — when slaves were being returned from 
"or lines to their masters — when Union soldiers were stationed 
abont the farm bouses of Virginia to guard and protect the master 

I'", holding his slaves — when Union soldiers made themselves more 
itive in kicking coloured men out of their camps than in shooting 
bela — when even Mr. Lincoln could tell the poor negro that 
he was the cause of the war." I still believed, and spoke as 
believed, all over the North, that the mission of the war 
IS the liberation of the slave, a a well as the salvation 
tlie Union ; and hence from the first I reproached the North 
that they fought the rebels with only one hand, when they might 
Strike effectually with two — that they fought with theii' soft white 
tt&nd whUo they kept their black iron hand chained and helpless 
behind them — that they fought the effect while they protected the 
csuac, and that the Union cause would never prosper till the war 
^sstimed an anti-slavery attitnde, and the negro was enlisted on 
the loyal side. In every way possible, in the columns of my paper 
Qjid on the platform, by letters to friends, at home and abroad, I 
^(1 all that I could to impress this conviction upon the country. 

Bat nations seldom hsten to advice from individuals, however 
maonable. They are taught less by theories than by facts and 
rents. There was much that could be said against making the 
war an abolition war — much that seemed wise and patriotic. 
• • Make the war an aboUtion war," we were told, •' and you drive border States into the rebeUion, and thus add power to the 
enemy, and increase the number you will have to meet on the 
Viattle-field. You will exasperate and intensify Southern feeling, 
i^iaking it more desperate, and put tar away the day of peace 
l^etween the two sections. " " Employ the arm of the negro, and 
the loyal men of the North will throw down their arms and go 



}iome," " This is tlie white man's country, and tlie white man's 
war." •• It would inflict aa intolerable wound apoii the pride and 
spirit of white soldiers of the Union, to see the negro in the 
United States uniform. Besides, if you moke the negro a Boldier, 
you canuot depend on his courage : a crack of his old master's 
whip would eeud him scampering in terror from the &eld." And 
BO it was. that custom, pride, prejudice, and the old-time respect for 
Southern feeling, held back the Government from an anti-slavery 
policy, and from arming the negro. Meanwhile the rebellion 
availed itself of the negro moat effectively. He was not only the 
stomach of the rebeUion, by supplying its commissary department, 
but he built its forts, and dug its entrcnchmeuts, and performed 
other duties of its camp, which left tlie rebel soldier more fr«e to 
tight the loyal army than be coiild otherwise have been. It was 
the cotton and com of the nogro that made the rebclhon sack stand on 
end, and caused a contuiuance of the war. " Destroy these," was 
burden of all my utterances during this part of the struggle, 
and you cripple and destroy the rebeUion," It is surprieing how 
long and bitterly the Government resisted and rejected this view of 
the situation. The abohtion heai-t of the North ached over the 
delay, and uttered its bitter complaints, but the administration 
remained blind and dumb. Bull's Bun. Ball's Bhiff. Big Bethel, 
Fi'edericksborg, and the Peninsula disasters were the only teachers 
whose authority was of sufficient importance to excite the attention 
or respect of our rulers, and they were even slow in being taught 
by these. An important point was gained, however, when General 
B. F. Butler, at Fortress Monroe, announced tlie policy of treating 
the slaves as "contrabands," to be made useful to the Union 
cause, and was sustained therein at Washington, and sentiments of 
a similar nature were expressed on the floor of Congress by Hod. A. 
G. Riddle of Ohio. A grand accession was made to this view of the 
case when the Hon. Simon; Cameron, then Secretary of War. gave Jl -i^i 
his earnest support, and General David Hunter put the measure inta^-^^^ 
practical operation in South Carolina. General Phelps from Ver- 
mont, in command at Carrollton, La., also advocated the 6am^^sz«:i 
plan, though under discoiiragementa which cost him his commaiidf^,^, 
And many and grievous disasters on flood and field were needed t>:^ i, 
['Vducate the loyal nation and President Lincoln up to the realix^ .^^as. 
of the necessity, not to say justice, of this position, and niai^c:_^j,r 

. And 


I'devices, intermediate steps, and make-eliifts were suggested to 
smooth the way for the ultimate policy of freeing the slave, and 
anniDg the freedman. 

When at last the trath began to dawn upon the administration, 
that the negro might be made useful to loyalty, as well as to 
treason, to the Union as well as to the Confederacy, it then con- 
sidered in what way it could employ him, which would in the least 
shock and offend the popular prejudice against him. He was 
already in the army as a waiter, and in that capacity there was no 
I objection to him, and bo it was thought that as this was the case. 
^Hjfiie feeling which tolerated him as a waiter would not serion^y 
^^Biyect if he should be admitted to the army as a labourer, especially 
j^^H no one cared to have a monopoly of digging and toihng in 
I trenches under a Southern sun. This was the lirst step in employ- 
ing negroes iu the United States service. The second step was to 
give them a peciihar costume which should distiuguish them from 
Boldiers, and yet mark them as a part of the loyal force. As the 
eyes of the loyal administration still further opened, it was proposed 
to give these labourers something better than spades and shovels 
Mtith which to defend themselvee in cases of emergency. Still later 
it was proposed to make them soldiers, but soldiers without the 
blue imiform — soldiers with a mark upon them to show that they 

■lere inferior to other soldiers ; soldiers with a badge of degrada- 
ioo upon them. However, once in the anny as a labourer, once 
Iwre with a red shirt on his back and a pistol iu his belt, tl>e 
egro was not long in appearing on the field as a soldier. Bat still 
be was not to be a soldier in the sense, and on an equal footing, 
"With white soldiers. It was giveu out that he was not to he 
employed in the opeu field with white troops, under the inspiration 
«if doing battle and winning victories for the Union cause, and in 
the face and teeth of his old masters ; but tliat he should be made 

tgarriuon forts in yellow fever and otherxvise unhealthy localities 
the South, to save the health of white soldiers, and in order to 
Bp up the distinction further, the black soldiers were to have 
ly half the wages of the white soldiers, and were to be commanded 
entirely by white commissioned officers. While of course I was 
«leeply pained and saddened by the estimate thus put upon my race, 
md grieved at the slowness of heart which marked the conduct of 
|be loyal government, I was not discouraged, and urged every man 


who coiild to onligt ; to get an oagle on his button, a masket on his ' 
shoulder, and the star-spangled banner over his head. Uence, as 
Boon as Governor Andrew of Massachusetts received pennisBion 
fi'om Mr. Lincoln to raise two coloured regiments, the 34th andy 
S5th, I wi-ote the following address to the coloured citizens of UiM 
North. It appeared in my paper, then being published i 
Rochester, and was copied in the leading journals :~ 

" When first the rebel cuniioa Hhattered Uie woUh of SumpliT and < 
dwa; its HtHrving- gumaos, I predicted tbat the war theu a4id there in- 
augurated would nul be Cought out entirely by whjt« ineo. Kxery month's espni- 
I'Qce during these dreary yoara hsH coiitinai<d that opinion. A war underiakea 
nud brazenly carried on for the perpetual enslavemmt of coloured men, oalla 
logically and loudly for coloured men to help and sappresd it. Only a modermte 
Bhue of sagauity wui needed to lee that the arm of the slave was the btttt 
dufeuoe against the arm of the slaveholder. Hence with ever}' reverse to ttw 
national aima, with every exulting shout of victory raised by the elaveholdinj 
rebels, I have implored the imperilled nation to unchain againit her fo«^ i 
powerftil blaek hand. Slowly and relnctiratly that appeal is boj 
heeded. Stop not now to comphun that it was not heeded sooner. It m«j « 
it may not have been best that it should not. This is not (he tl 
that questioD. Leave it to the future. "Wlien the war ia over, the o 
saved, peace established, and the blaub mim's rights eeoired, as they i 
be, history with an impartial hand, .will dispuee of that and s 
questions. Action ' Action ! nut criticism, is the plain duty of this I 
Wolds are now useful only as they stimulate to blows. The office of ij 
now ia only to point out when, where, and how to strike to the best advaulA 
There ia no tjme to delay. The tide is at its flood that hiadi on 
Prom East to West, from North to South, the sky is vnitten aU oi 
NBVES.' Liberty won by white men would lose half its lustre. ' Who 1 
be free, themselves must strike the blow.' ' Better oven die free, than 
slaves.' This is the sentiment of every brave coloured man among 
There are weak and cowardly men in all nations. Wo have tbum amongat n 
Th^ tell you this is the 'white man's war; ' tbat you will be no ' better d 
after than before the war : ' that the getting of yon into the army i 
'sacrifice you on the first opportunity.' Believe them not; cowards Iham* ^i 
Belves, they do not wish to have their oowardice ehamed by your hnra ^e 
example. Leave them to their timidity, or to whatflvor moljvo may bold than -^ 

bock. I have not thought lightly of the words I am now addreasin([ yon. 

The couniicl I give comes of close observation of the great atrug;{le now is ^^ 
progress, and of the deep conviction that this is your hour and mine. In gooi^^^H 
earnest then, and after the best deliberation, I now for the first time during thi^iHiai 
war, feel at liberty to call and counsel you to arms. By every ooiuudenba^^aM 
which binds you to your eoalaved fellow -ootinttTnien, and the peace and welhr—-v 

ir country; by every agpimtion which you Eheriah for the fn>cdoni a 
equality of youmelreB and your chiMren ; by all the ties of blood und ideutity 
vhinh makes aa one with lhL> brave bUck toen iiow Hghtiuj! our battles in 
LuuisiHna and South Caiolinn, I urge you Ui fly to onus and Fiinit« with death 
■he power that would bury the Government and your liberty in the Bune 
feupdeu gnve. I with I oould tell you that the Statu of New York calla yua 
to this hijfh honour. For the moment her constituted authorities are silent on 
[ha lubjact. They will 'upeuk by-and-bye, and doubtless on the right ride ; 
but we are not oompeUod to wait for her. We uan get at the throat of treason 
uid slavery through the State of Ha^gacboBctU. She wao first In the War of 
Independenco ; Srst to break the chains of her slavcH ; fint to make the block 
man «jual before the law; flrnt to admit coloured children to hor common 
■ehodls, and she wa» Brst to answer with her blood the alarm cry of the nation, 
when iti capital was menaced by rebeU. You know her patriotic (i:oTemor, 
and you know Charles Sumner. I need not add more. 

^ Ifratnflhurirfitn now welcomed you to aima as eoldierq. She has bnt a small 
i pupulatiou from which to recruit. She has full leave of the general 
Lt bi aend one regiment to the war, and she has undertaken to do it, 
■qoiokly and help RU up theTGist coloured rc^^ment from the North. I am 
o assure yon that you will receive the same wages, the same rations 
iB equipments, the name protection, the same treatment, and the same 
Vf, aecured to white soldient. You will be led by able and skilful officers, 
n who will take especial pride in your effioiency and success. Tbej will be 
k to BUcord to you all the honour you shall merit \iy your valour, and see 
it your rights and feelings are respeoted by other soldiers. I have assurpd 
"f on these pointa, and con apeak with authority. More than twenty 
* of unswerving devotion to our common cause may give mo some humble 
rJoim to be trusted at this momentous crisis. I will not argue. To do so 
implim hesitation and doubt, and you do not hesitate. You do not doubt. The 
day dawns : the morning star in bright upon Che horizon ! The iron gate of 
VBrpriaon stands half open. One gallant rush from the North will fling it 
!• Opon, while four millions of our brothers and sistenn shall march out intfl 
The chance in now given you to end in a day the bondage of oeutnrieH, 
rise in one bound from social degradation to the plane of common 
Utty with all other varieties of men. Remember Denmiirh VeHcy of 
remember Nathaniel Turner of South Hampton ; ■ remember 
■ Oftvn and Copeland, who followed noble John Brown, and fell as 
a martyrs for the cause of the slave. Bemembor that in u contest with 
I, the Almighty has no attribute which can take iddes with opprBasani. 
is Iwtore you. This is our golden opportunity. Let us accept it, and 
r wipe out the dark reproaches unsparingly hurled against us by our 
us win for ourselves the latitude of our country, and the best 
ir posterity through all time. The nuoieUH of this first regiment 
it Beudville, a short distance from Boston. I will undertake 
Ktorward to Boston all persons adjudged tit to be mustered into the regiment, 
la ahftll apply to me at any time within the next two weeks. 
TKK, March 2, 1883." 

z98 54th and 5Sth BEaorENTs. 

Immediately after authority bad been given by Pre^dent Lini 
to Governor John A. Andrew of Massachnaetts to rftise and e 
two regiments of coloured men for the war, I received a letlerh 
George L. Stearns, of Boston, a noble worker for freedom 
Eanaae, and a warm &iend of John Brown, eameB^y ei 
me to aesist in raising the required number of men. It wu f 
sumed that by my labours in the anti-slavery cause, I lad g 
some influence with the coloured men of the country, and thitll 
would listen to mo in this emergency ; which supposition, I J 
happy to Bay, was supported by the results. There i 
coloured people in Massachusetts then than now, and it i 
necessary iu order to make up the fuU quota of these regimenlt^ 
recruit for them in other Northern States. The nominal ea 
tions ou which coloui-ed men were asked to enlist, were not ■ 
factory to me or them ; but assurances from Governor Andrew f 
they would in the end be made just and equal, together ffitb 
faith in the logic of events, and my conviction that the wise L 
to do, was for the coloured man to get into the army by any 1 
open to him, no matter how narrow, made me accept with a 
the work to which I was invited. The raising of these two K 
ments — the 54tli and 55th — and their splendid behaviour il 
and North CaroliDa was the bBginniiig of great things ibi ' 
coloui-ed people of the whole country ; and not the least Batis& 
I now have in contemplating my himible part in raising theiDi 
the fact that my two sons, Charles and Lewis, were tbe two & 
the State of New York to enlist in them. The Sjtb was not k 
in the field before it proved itself gallant and strong, wortlir 
rank with the most courageous of its white companions iu ai 
assault upon Fort Wagner, iu which it was so fearfoUy eai 
pieces, and lost nearly haU its officers, including its beloved J 
ti-usted commander. Col. Shaw, at once gave it a name and a fi 
tliroughout the country. In that terrible battle, under the f 
of night, more cavils in respect of the quality of negro n 
were set at rest tliau could have been dnring a century of oi 
life and observation. After that assault we heard no more a 
iiig negroes to gaiTison forts and arsenals, to fight miaanu, 
fever, and small-pox. Talk of his abihty to meet the foe in I 
open field, and of his equal fitness with the white man to sto 
bullet, then began to prevail. From this time, and the hctm 

: Action or the govehnment uoaiTisFAOTOBr. 


to be remembered, the coloured troops were called upon to occupy 
positions which required tlie coarage. steadiness, and endurance of 
veterans, and even their enemies were obliged to admit that they 
proved themselves worthy of the confidence reposed in tliem. After 
^e 54th and 65th Massachusetts coloured regiments were placed 
in the field, and one of tliem had distinguished itself with so much 
uredit in the hour of trial, tlie desire to send more such troops to 
llie front became pretty general. Pennsylvania proposed to raise 
ten regiments. I was again called upon by my friend Mr. Steams 
to assist in raising these regiments, and I set about the work with 
foil purpose of heart, using every argument of which I was capable, 
to persnade evei-y coloured man able to bear arms to rally around 
Ute flag, and help to save the ^untry and save the race. It was 
duriug this time that the attitufle of the Government at Washington 
vansed me deep sadness and discouragement, and forced me in a 
measure to suspend my efforts in that direction. I had assured 
ooluared men that once in the Union Army they would be put upon 
an equal footing with other soldiers ; that they would be paid, 
moted, and exchanged as prisoners of war, Jeff Davis' threat 
t they would be treated as felons to the contrary notwithstand- 
Bnt thus far, the Government had not kept its promise, nor 
t promise made for it. The following letter which I find pub- 
Jied in my paper of the same date will show the course I felt it 
f duty to take under the circumstances : — 

kJO> Geobor L. Smxna ; 

"ROCHBSTEB, AugUHt Ut, 1883. 

□ promote enlist- 

'*Jtl/ Star Sir — Uuving declined t« attend the 
t, appointed for me lit Kttflljurgb, in present 
i of explanation. I have hitherto deemed it u duty, sa it c«rtaiulf has been 
\ to co-openLt« with you in the work of luising- coloured troopa in tho 
■ to fl|i;ht the battles of the Bepablio againtit alaveholdiog: rebehi and 
Upon the Gnit call you gave me to this work I responded with atucritj. 
X ^w. or thoug-ht I aaw a ray ot light, brig-htening- the future of my whije 
t^ce a" well lui that of our war-troabled aoimtry, in nrouHJng coloured men to 
ftg^Iit for the nnLion'a life. I continuo to belieTe in the black mao'n arm, and 
' ~ t bam aome hope in the inlegrity of our mien. NevertbeleBfl I most 
save lo others the work of pemuadiug coloured men to join the 
1 Azmy. I on-e it to my loii((-abui«d People, and eHpeciaily to those 
n the army, to eipoiie their wronf^and plead their caUHt. I cannot do 
'l»»l in oonaeotion with recruiting. When I plead for TOcruiti! I want to do it 
^^th all ray heart, without qualification. I cannot do that now. The iiapreiisioii 


■ottlea Upon tne thnt ooloured men have mnch ovpr-iated the i uli)i,l<iiiilMri 
juatice, itnd gcDeronitf of our ruleis at Waahington. In mj liiunhle MI 1 
bare contribuled nomewhat to that false eetiamte. ¥□□ know that vbm A 
idea of rxudn^ coloured tioops was first )iugg«st«d, the Bpecial 'dutj to 1 
OAHi^ed them, was the ^arriaoniiig of fortd and anwruds in oatua m 
unlieaithf, and miasmetiu looolitiex in the South. Tbej were tiunight B) 
better adapted to that service than white troops. White troops trsinad to M 
brave And daring, were to take forttSjiatuinB, and the blacks mre to hoU ll 
from falling again into tho hoiuhi of the rebels. Three advantages wen to ■ 
out of this wise division of labour ; tst, the spirit and pride of wUta M 
waa not to waste itself in dull monotonauit inactivity in fort life; tluir ■ 
were to be kept bright bj oonKtunt use. 2aA, The health of white tnxfi^ 
to be preserved. 3rd, Blaek troopAwere to have the advantage of sound ndlil 
training and to be oChorwiiw oaeful at the name time that thej should be lolMI 
seoure from capture by tbe rebels, who early avowed their ilnliiiiiiiiHliM 
enalave and slaughter. them in defiance bf the laws of war. Two oolol 
three advantages werr to acerue tu the white troops. Thus fat, bomnt 
believe that no such duty as holding fortJficatioDa hsa beenoommittecltomlBd 
troops. They have done far other and more important work than hi^ 
fortillcations. I have no special complaint to moke at this point, oud I Mn 
meatian it to strengthen the statement, that from the beginning of this bdn 
it waa the uooitdont belief among both the cohjured and. white friends of oolH 
euliatmenta that President Lincoln as commander- in- chief of the annf i 
luivj, would certainlysee to it that his coloured troopsshould be so hoBdUl 
disposed of as to be but little exposed to capture by the rebels, and thftt, 1 
exposed, us they have repeatedly been from the firat, the PnaLdent poM 
both the disposition and the means for compelling tho rebels to r«pG«t iha li| 
of such OB might fall into their bonds. The piratical pioclamatiOD of JtdlM 
Davis, announcing slavery and assassination to coloured prisonen wa* hi 
the uiuntry and the world. But men hod faith in Mr. Lincoln and lus adlB 
Ha was silent (o be sure, but oharity auggest«d that being a nian of M 
rather than words he only waited for a cose in whioh he should be lequiadM 
Thin faith in tliu man eimbled us to speak with warmth and effect IB nl 
enlistments among coloured men. That faith, my dear air, is now titnlj f 
Various ociiajuons have arisen during the last ail months for the cxertwtt 
power in behalf of the coloured men in his service, But Do word OOUM I 
fram the War Department, atemly assuring the rebel chief that inqiii<Ai<M I 
yet be made tor innocent blood. No word of retaliation when ■ lAvsk m 
shiin by a rebel in cold btood. No word was said when fras mm i 
HassaohusetM were caught and sold into slavery in Texas. So word It 
when brave bkck men who, ao«ading to the testimony of both fnond nd 
fought like heroes to plant the star-spangled banner on the bhuing jitatf^ 
Port Wagner, and in doing so were captured, some mutilal«d and kflled> 
others sold into slavery. The aame crushing silence reigns over this isandll 
outrage .< g over that of the slaughtered teamsters at Muift^eebom ; ihs I 
OS over that at Millikeo's Bend and Viokaburij;, I am free to say, my Imi 
that the case looks as if the confiding coloured soldiers hod been hetnyal 

> INTO siAVBKr. 


a by .the Governinent in whoEiadptence IheywerK heroically fighting. 
■■ irbaC you will aay to (his ; you will eay ' wait a little longi-r, and lifter 
is best way to hare juntice done to your people is to get them into the army 
L.* ToQ may be right in tliia; my ajgiunent hUh bccti the Huue, 
it have we not already waited, and have we not tdready shown tho highest 
i|aiiUtu» of soldiem, and on thin noouunt demrve the protectioii of the Qovem- 
iQont for which we are fighting? Can any case stronger than that before 
'^larleHtown ever ari»e ? If the Freaident is ever to demand jastice and humanity, 
lilt bUuk soldiers, iH not rhis the time tor him li> do it ? How many olth's must 
tw cat U) pieces,, its mutilated priNoners killed, and its living prisoners sold into 
■l*»ery. to be tortured to death by inches, before Mr. Lincoln shall aay, 
■ Hold, enough ! ' 

Tod know the G4Ui. To you. more than to any man, belongs the credit of 
raising that regiment. Think of its noble and bravo offloerg Uwrally hacked to 
{aeo«, while many of its ranlt and file have been «old into slavery worw than 
death, and pardon me, if I hesitate about aa»is(.ing in rmsing a fourth 
ngiment until the Preadent shall give the same protection to them as to whilu 

With warm and sinoere regards, 

Fbederjce Douqlabb." 
" Since vritiag the foregoing letter, which we hare now put upon record, we 
lave received aaaurencea from Major Stcama that the Oovernment of the Unit«d 

Stfttw it already taking measures whiDh will secure the captured mlonred 
wldiani at Charlestown and elsewhere the same protection against slavery and 
onielty extended to white soldiers. What ought to have been done at the 
s late, but it eomeH. The poor coloured soldiers have purchased 
ue dearly. It reaUy seems that nothing of jujitice, liberty, or humanity 
fi to us except through teurs and blood." 

I My efforts to secure juat and fair treatment for the coloured 
liers did not stop at letters and spcecheB. At the Huggestion of 
friend. Major Stearns, to wliom the foregoing letter was 
[ressed, I was induced to go to Washington and lay the com- 
kints of my people before President Lincoln and the Secretary of 
Var ; and to urge upon them such action as should secure to the 
^oloored troops then fighting for the country a reasonable degree 
of Cut play. I need not say tliat at the time I undertook this 
liisBion it required much more nerve than a similar one would 
feqoire now. The distance tlien between the black man and the 
V\-bite American citizen, was immeaeurable. I was an ex-slave, 
Icleutilied with a despised race ; and yet 1 was to meet the most 
cxolMd person in this great Republic. It was i 


unwelcome duty, &nd one from which I would gladly b&ve bt 
oxenaed. 1 could not know what kiud of a reception would bo 
corded mc. I might be told to go homo &ud mind ray own bosiot 
and leave such queetions as I had come to discuss to be 
by the men wisely chosen by the American people to ieti 
them, or I might be refused au interview allogethe; 
lees, I felt bound to go : and my acquaintance with Senators ' 
Sumner, Henry Wilson, Samuel Pomeroy, Secretary SalniOQ, 1 
Chase, Secretary WiUiam H. Beward, and Assistant Seoretuji 
War Charles A. Dana, encouraged me to hope at least for s Ql 
reception. My confidence was fully justified in the result. I thi 
never forget my first interview with tliis great man. I m 
acuompaniod to the eseontive mansion and introduced to 
Lincoln by Senator Pomeroy. The room in which he reowT 
visitors was the one now used by the president's secretaries, 
entered it with a moderate estimate of my own conseqaeoce, K 
yet there I was to talk with, and even lo advise, the head mu 
a great nation. Happily for me, there was no vain pomp II 
ceremony about him. I was never more quickly or more oompltU 
put at ease in the presence of a great man, than in that of Xhnh 
Lincoln. He was seated, when I entered, in a low arm chair, ni 
hie feet eiiteuded on the door, Burroimded by a large Quiuba 
documents, and several busy secretaries. The room bare i 
mai'ks of business, and the persons in it, the President inclndt 
ap|)cared to bo much over-worked and tired. Long lines of ol 
were already deeply written on Mr. Lincoln's brow, and his strOl 
face, full of earnestness, hghted up as soon as my name * 
mentioned. As I approached and was introduced to lum, be W 
imd extcjided his hand, and bade mc welcome. I at once bit a 
self in the presence of an honest man — one whom I conld la< 
honour, and trust without reserve or doubt. Proceeding lo i 
him who I was, and what I was doing, he promptly, but 
stopped me, saying: "I know who yon are, Mr. Dooglasa; 
Seward has told me all about you. Sit down. I am glad (a 
you." I tlien told him the object of my visit : that I was asstV 
lo raise coloured troops ; that several months before I had l 
very snceessful in getting men to enlist, but that now it was 
easy to induce the coloured men to enter the service, beoauae til 
was a feeling among them that the Government did not deal b 

!l them in several respects. Mr. Liucolu asked me to state 
particulara. I replied that there were three particulars which I 
wished to bring to his attention. First, that coloured aoldiers 
riugbt to receive the same waji^es as those paid to white soldiers. 
Si'cond, that coloured BoldierB ought to receive the same protection 
ffben takeu prisoners, and be exchanged as readily, and on the 
same terms, as anj other prisoners, and if Jefferson Davis sltould 
ahoot or hang coloured soldiers in cold blood, tlio United States 
Government should retaliate in kind and degree without delay upon 
Confederate prisoners in its hands. Third, when aoloured soldiers. 
seeking the " bubble -reputation at the cannon's mouth," performed 
great and uncommon service on the battie-field, they should be 
rewarded by distinction and promotion, precisely as white soldiers 
are rewarded for like services. 

Mr. Lincoln hstened with patience and silence to all 1 liad to 
BM. He was serious and even troubled by what I had said, and 

l^what he had evidently thought himaelf before upon the same 
He impressed me with the sohd gravity of his character, 

(llis silent listening, not less than by his earnest reply to my 

e began by saying that the employment of coloured troops at 
^WBS a great gain to the coloured people ; that the measure could 
P have been succeasfnlly adopted at the beginning of the war : 
it the wisdom of making coloured men soldiers was still doubted : 
it their enlistment was a serious offence to popular prejudice ; 
< they had larger motives for being soldiers than white men : 
Eit they ought to be wiUing to enter the aer^^ice upon any cou- 
; that the fact that they were not to receive the same pay 
^white soldiers, seemed a ueoesaary concession to smooth the 
f to their employment at all aa soldiers ; but that ultimately 
' would receive the same. On the second point, in respect to 
I protection, ho said the case was more difficult. Retaliation 
k & terrible remedy, and one which it was very difficult to apply ; 
\ which if once begun, there was no teUing where it would end ; 
fc if he could get hold of the confederate soldiers who had been 
Suilty of treating coloured soldiers as felons, he could easily 
. Retaliate, bat the thought of hanging men for a crime perpetrated 
r_ others, was revolting to his feelings. He thought that the 
B would stop such barbarous warfare, and less evil 


would be done if retaliatiou were not resort«d to. Thil 
had already received information that coloured soldiers i 
being treated as prisonera of war. In all this I saw the 
heart of tho man rather than the stern warrior and commaaiki-is 
chief of the American army and oBvy. and while I could no) 
with him, I could not but reapect his humane spirit. 

Un the third point he appeared to have less difficulty, thonglib 
did not absolutely commit himself. He simply said that he mt 
sign any commission to coloured soldiers whom hia Secretary 
Wai- should commend to him. Though I was not entirely s&tiifi 
with his views, I was so well satisfied with the man and with I 
educating tendency of the conflict, that I determined to go on t 
tiie recruiting. 

From the President, I went to see Secretary Utaclon. "U 
manner of no two men could be more widely different. I ■■ 
introduced by Assistant Secretary Dana, whom I had known mu 
years before at " Brook Farm," Mass., and afterwards as oianagiii 
editor of the New York Trilmne. Every line in Mr. Stanton's 
told me that my communication with him must he brief, clear, 
to the i>oint ; that he might tiuri his back upon me as a bore at n 
moment ; that politeness was not one of his weaknesses. His fin 
glance was that of a man who says, " Well, what do yon want? 
have no time to waste upon you or anybody else, and 1 shall wi 
none. Speak quick, or I shall leave you." The man and tl 
I)lace seemed alike busy. Seeing I had no time to lose, I 
went over the ground I had gone over with President Lincoln. As 
ended, I was surprised by seeing a changed man before me. Cm 
tempt and suspicion, and hruBquencss, had all disappeared frd 
his face and manner, and for a few minutes he made the bti 
defence that I had then beard from anybody of the treatment 
coloured soldiers by the Government. I was not satisfied, yet 
left in the full belief that the true course to the black man's &M 
dom and citizenship was over the battle-field, and that my businsi 
was to get every black man I could into the Union armies. 
the President and Secretary of War assui'ed me that justice wod 
ultimately be done to my race, and I gave full faitli and credit 
their promise. On assuring Mr. Stanton of my vrillingnesB 
take a commission, he said he would make me assistant adjatia 
to General Thomas, who was then recruiting and organizing trop 


b tlie Missiusippi Valley. He asked me how booh I could be ready. 

(told liim ill two weeks, aud that my Qommissioa might be sent 

I Rochester, For some reaaou, however, my commisaion 

■ came. The Government, I fear, was still clinging to Uiu 

» that positions of honour in the service should be occupied by 

i men, and that it would not do to inaugurate juat then the 

y of perfect equality, I wrote to the department for my com- 

311, but was simply told to report to General Thomas. ThiB 

different from what I expected, and from what I had been 

miaed, that I wrote to Secretary Stanton that 1 would report to 

iseral Thomas on receipt of my commission, but it did not come, 

I I did not go to the Mississippi Valley as I had fondly hoped. 

mew too much of camp life and the value of shoulder straps in 

I army to go into the service without some visible mark of my 

I have no doubt that Mr. Stanton, m the moment of our 

ig, meant all he said, but tliinking the matter over, be felt 

i the time had not then come for a step so radical and aggres- 

Meanwhile, my tliree sons were in the service ; Lewis and 

irlefl, as already named, in the Massachusetts regiments, and 

iderick recruiting coloured troops in the Mississippi Valley. 



Froolamation of emancipatioii — Ita leocpdim io Bosloti— Objecttoiu IncntW 
Bgaiiuit it — It« effsut on tho oauiitrj- — Interview iritK PrendeM yuDib'- 
Ncw York riota — Ho-eleotion of Mr. Lincoln — Hia inangnnScni. ot 
inangiiral itpeoch — Vice-Pregident Johnson^PresidentuJ recoptioD— Tin U 
of Richmond^Fanueil Hall — The BBBaAdnation — Condolenoe. 

THE first of Januaiy, 1868. was a luemor&ble day 
progress of American liberty and civilization. It yna t)i 
ttiming- point in the conflict between freedom aiid slawrji. 
death-blow was then given to the alaveholding rebellion. C' 
then the Federal arm had been more than tolerant to that relic 
barbarism. It had defended it inside the Slave States ; it ll 
countermanded the emancipation pobcy of Joiiu C. Fremont 
MisBouri ; it had returned slaves to their so-called owners ; ft 
had threatened that any attempt on the imrt of the slaves to ff 
their freedom by inamTection, or otherwise, would be put 401 
with an iron baud ; it had even refused to allow the Hiitohi 
son family to sing their anti-slavery songs in the camps of 
army of the Potomac ; it had surrounded the houses of slu 
holders with bayonets for their protection ; and through its 
tary of War, William H. Seward, had given uotice to the 
that, " however the war for the Union might terminate, no 
would be made in tlie relation of master and slave." Upon 
pro-slavery platform the war against the rebeUiou bad been f*9^ 
during more than two years. It had not been a war of couqna 
but rather a war of conciliation. McClellan, in command of It 
army, had been trying, apparently, to put down the rebellion W 
out hurting the rebels, certainly without hurting slavery, and 
Government bad seemed to co-operate with bim in both tesot 
Charlee Sumner, William Lloyd Garrison. Wendell Phillips, G( 
Smith, and the whole auti-slavery phalanx at the Nortli, t 

THK ■■ NEW l>EI>*BTrRE." 807 

ihced tliiB policy, aud had besought Mr. Lincoln to adopt an 
opposite one, but in vain. Generals iu the field, and councils iu 
the Cabinet, had persisted in advancing thia policy through defeats 
and disasters, even to the verge of ruin. We fought the rebellion, 
bnt not its cause. The key to the situation was the four million 
of slaves ; yet the slave who loved us, was hated, and the slave- 
holder who bated us, was loved. Wo kissed the hand that smote 
as, ftnd spumed the hand that helped us. Wheu the means of 
victory were before us — within our gi-asp — wo went in search of 
the means of defeat. And now, on this 1st day of January, 186S, 
the formal and solemn announcement was made that thereafter 
the Government would bo found on the side of emancipation. This 
proclamation changed everything. It gave a new direction to the 
councils of the Cabinet, and to the conduct of the national arms. 
I shall leave to the stateamati, the philosopher, and historian, tlie 
more comprehensive discussion of this document, and only tell 
how it touolied me, and those in like condition with me at the 
time. I was in Boatoo. and its reception there may indicate tlie 
importance attached to it elsewhere. An immense assembly 
in Tremont Temple to await the first fiash of the eleotric 
luires announcing the " new departure. " Two years of war 

Meonted in the interests of slavery, had made free speech 
possible in Boston, and we now met together to receive and cele- 
rate the first utterance of the long-hoped-for proclamation, if it 

tne, and if it did not come, to speak our minds freely ; for, in 
view of the past, it was by no means certain that it would come. 
The occasion, therefore, was one of both hope and fear. Our ship 
WAS on the open sea, tossed by a terrible storm ; wave after wave 
was passing over us, and every hour was fraught with increasing 
peril. Whether we should survive or perish, depended in larj^e 
messwe upon the coming of this proclamation. At least so we 
felt. Although the conditions on which Mr, Lincoln had promised 
to withhold it, had not been complied with, yet, from many con- 
siderations, there was room to doubt and fear, Mr. Lincoln was 
known to be a man of tender heart, and boundless patience ; no 
man could tell to what length ho might go, or might refrain from 
going in the direction of peace and reconciliation. Hitherto, be 

I not shown himself a man of heroic measures, and, properly 
I, this step belonged to that class. It must be the end of all 



compromises with slavery- — a declaration that thereafter the war 
was to be (Mndacted on a new principle, with a new aim. It would 
be a full and fair aasertion that the Govornment would neither 
triiJe.noF be trifled with any longer. But would it come? On the 
aide of doubt, it was said that Mr. Lincoln's kindly nature might 
cause him to relent at the last moment ; that Mrs. Lincoln, oomliig 
from an old slaveholding family, would influence him to delay, and 
give the slaveholders one other chance.* Every moment of wait- 
ing chilled our hopes, and strengthened om' fears. A line of 
messengers was established between the telegraph office and the 
platform of Tremopt Temple, and the time was occupied with brief 
speeches &om Hon. Thomas BuBsell of Plvmoutli, Miss Anna E. 
Dickinson la lady of marvellous eloquence). Rev. Mr. Grimes, J. 
Sella Martin, William Wells Brown, and myself. But speaking or 
hstening to speeches was not the thing for which the people had 
come together. The time for argument was passed. It was not 
logic, but the trump of jubilee, which everybody wanted to hear. 
We were waiting and listening as for a bolt from the sky, which 
should rond the fettei's of four million of slaves ; we were watch- 
insj, as it were, by the dim hght of the stars, for the dawn of a new 
day ; we were longing for the answer to the agoniKing prayers of " 
centuries. Remembering those in bonds as bound with Ihem, we a 
wanted to join in the shout for freedom, and in the nnthem of the^ 

Eight, nine, tea o'clock came and went, and still no word.^ 
A visible shadow seemed falhiig on the expecting throng, wbioU 
the confident utterances of the speakers sought 
dispel. At last, when patience was well-nigh exhausted. an>, 
Buapense was becoming agony, a man — I think it was Jnds 
Russell — with hasty step advanced tlu-ough the crowd, 
with a face fairly illuminated with the news he bore, eiclaim^»,f3Kiied 
in tones that thrilled all hearts, "It is coming 1 " "It is c» on 

the wires I ! " The effect of this announcement was startliKL^^flio^ 
beyond description, and the scene was wild and gi-and. J* 9^^ Joy 
and gladness exhausted all forms of expression from shoxM' -^ZDuts 
of praise, to sobs and tears. My old friend Rue. a coiovmiz^M^ired 
preacher, a man of wonderful vocal power, expressed the hsE 

} know that tiiia imppositiui) did Mth. linooln 



felt emotioD nf the hour, when he led all voices in the anthem, 
" Sottnd the loud timbrel o'er Egypt's dark sea, Jehovali hath 
triumphed, his people aj-e free." About twelve o'clock, seeing 
there waa uo disposition to retire from the hall, whicli must 
be vacated, my friend Grimes — of hlessed memory— rose and 
moved that tlie meeting adjourn to the Twelfth Baptist Church, 
of which he was pastor, and soon that church was packed 
irom doors to pulpit, and this meeting did not break up till 
near the dawn of day. It waa one of the most affecting and 
thrilling occasions I ever witnessed, and a worthy celebration of 
the firBt step on the part of the nation in its departure from the 
Ihraldom of agea. 

There was evidently no disposition on the part of thia meeting 
to criticise the proclamation ; nor was there with any one at 
^£rst. At the moment we saw only its anti-slavery aide. But 
lurther and more critical examination ahowed it to be extremely 
defective. It was not a proclamation of •• liberty throughout all 
the laud, nntn all the inhabitants thereof," such as we bad 
hoped it would be ; bnt was one marked by discriminations 
and reser\-ationB. Its oporation was conlined within certain 
geographical and military lines. It . only ahoUshed slavery 
where it did not exist, and left it intact where it did exist. 
It was a measure appai-ently inspired by the law motive of 
military necessity, and by so far as it was so, it would become 
iaoperative and useless when military neceaaity should cease. 
There was much said in this line, and much that waa narrow 
and erroneous. For my own part, I took the proclamation, first 
and Uet, for a little more than it purported ; and saw in its 
spirit, a life and power far beyond its letter. Its meaning to 
me waa the entire abolition of slavery, wherever the evil could 
be reached by the Federal arm, and 1 aaw that its moral power 
would extend much further. It was in my eatimation an 
immense gain to have the War for the Union committed to 
the extinction of Slavery, even from a military necessity. It 
is not a bad thing to have individuals or nations do right though 
tbey do so from seltish motives. I approved the ono-spur-wisdom 
of " Paddy " who thought if he could get one side of his horse to 
go, he could tmat the speed of the other side. 
The effect of tlie proclamation abroad was highly henefioial to 



tlie loj^ cause. Disinterested parties could now see in it 
& beuevoleut character. It was no longer a mere strife for 
territory and dominion, but a contest of civilization against 

The Proclamation itself was lilie Mr. Lincoln throughout. It 
was framed with a view to the least barm and the moat good 
possible in the circumstances, and with especial cousideratiou 
of the latter. It waB thoughtful, cautious, and well guarded at 
ail points. While he bated slavery, and really desired its 
destruction, he always proceeded against it in 
least likely to shock or drive from him any who were truly 
in sympathy with the preservation of tlie Union, but who were 
not friendly to emancipation. For this he kept up the dis- 
tinction between loyal and disloyal slaveholders, and discrin 
ated in favour of the one, as against the other. In a word, in 
all that be did, or attempted, he made it manifest that the one 
great and all commanding object with him. was the peace and 
preservation of the Union, and that this was the motive and 
main spring of all his measures. His wisdom and moderation .^ 
at this point were for a season useful to the loyal cause in .^^^^ 
the border States, but it may be fairly questioned, whether it-;:#'.«it 
did not chill the Union ardour of the loyal people of tb^^ jcie 
North in some degree, and diminish, rather than increase, th^ ^J^t 
sum of our power against the rebellion: for moderate, cautionajc#'*3i« 
and guarded as was this proclamation, it created a howl o<:» o' 

indignation and wrath amongst the rebels and their aIliefi^r^>.£Jef 
The old cry was raised by the copperhead organs of " nr^r ■* & 
abolition war," and a pretext was thus found for an excus^LCrsiiu 
for refusing to enlist, and for marshalling all the uegro pr»-rx:«3pn 
judice of the North on the rebel side. Men cnutd say the^f:C^lhe; 
were willinj; to fight for the Union, but that they were n».*:«: noi 
willing to fight for the freedom of the negroes : and thus ^^s it 
was made difficult to procure enhstments or to enforce the drK.^'^K^. 
This was especially true of New York, where there was a lar^x-^^Bi^ 
Irish population. The attempt to enforce the di'aft in that CJi^ city 
was met by mobs, riot, and bloodshed. There is perhaps .^3 do 
darker chapter in the whole history of the war, tliau t^ Uiix 
cowardly and bloody uprising in Jidy, 16iiS. For three A-J^jdays 
and nights New York was in the hands oi a ferocious ic^^E^Dt)^, 


1 tliere was not enfficient power in tbe government of the 
intry or of tlie city itself, to stay t)ic liands of violence, and 
! effusion of blood. Though this mob was nomiually against 
: draft which had been ordered, it poured out its fiercest 
wrath upon the coloured people &ud their friends. It spared 
neither age nor aex ; it hanged negroes simply because 
they were negroes; it murdered women in theii' homes, and 
liamed their homes over their heads ; it dashed out the brains 
of young children against the lamp posts ; it burned tho coloured 
orphan asylum, a noble charity on tbe comer of Fifth Avenue, 
and scarce allowing time for the helpless two hundred chOdren 
to make good their escape, plundered the building of every 
-valuable piece of furniture ; and coloured men, women, and 
children were forced to seek concealment in cellars or garrets, 
or wheresoever else it could be found, until] this high carnival 
of crime and roign of terror should pass away. 

In connection with Geo. L. Steams, Thomas Webster, and Col. 
Wagner, I had been at Camp William Penn, Fbiladelpbia, assisting 
mthe work of filling up the coloured regiments, and was on my 
vaybome from there, just as these events were transpiring in New 
York. 1 was met by a &iend at Newark, who informed me of this 
eondition of things. I, however, pressed on my way to the 
Chambers -street station of the Hudson Eiver Railroad in safety, 
the mob being in the upper part of the city, fortunately for me, 
for not only my colour, but my known activity in procuring enliat- 
ments would have made me especially obnosious to its murderous 
Spirit. This was not thi first time I had been in inimineut peril 
in New York city. My arrival there, after my escape from slavery, 
was full of danger. My passage through its borders after the 
attook of John Brown on Harper's Ferry was scarcely less safe. 
I had encountered Isaiah Bynders and his gang of ruffians to the 
old Broadway Tabernacle at our anti-slavery anniversary meeting, 
and I knew something of the crazy temper of such crowds ; but 
this anti-draft — anti-negro mob was something more and something 
worse — it was a part of the rebel force, without the rebel uniform. 
but with all its deadly hate ; it was the fire of the enemy opened 
b the rear of tbe loyal army. Such men as Frankhu Fierce and 
Horatio Seymour had done much in their utterances to encourage 
kMsistanoe to the drafts. Seymour was then Governor of the Btate 



of New York, and wLile tlie mob was doing its deadly work be \ 
addressed them as " My friends," telling them to desist then, 
while he could an-auge at Waahingtou to have the draft arrested. J 
Had Governor Seymour been loyal to his country, and to his | 
country's cause, in this her naoment of need, be would have burned [ 
his tongue with a red hot iron sooner than allow it to call those I 
thugs, thieves, and murderers his " friends." 

My interviews with President Lincoln and his able Becret&ry, I 
before narrated, greatly incrcaaed my confidence in the anti-alavery \ 
integrity of the Government, although I confess I was greatly dis- 
appointed at my failure to receive the commission promised me by 
Secretary Stanton. I. however, faithfully believed, and loudly 
proclaimed my belief, that the rebeUion would be suppressed, the 
Union preserved, the slaves emancipated, and the coloured soldiers 
would in the end have justice done them. This confidence was 
immeasurably strengthened when I saw Gen. George B. McCIcUmi 
relieved from the command of the army of the Potomac, and Gen. 
U. S. Grant placed at its head, and in command of all the armieB I 
of the United States. My confidence in Gen. Grant was not | 
entirely due to the brilhaut mihtary successes achieved by turn, | 
but there was a moral aa well as military basis for my faith in him. | 
He had shown his single mindedncss and superiority to popular I 
prejudice by his prompt co-operation with President Lincoln u 
pohcy of employing coloured troops, and liis order commanding bia J 
soldiers to ti'eat such troops with due respect. In this way he 
proved himself to be not only a wise general, but a great man — 
one who could adjust himself to now conditions, and adopt the 
lessons taught by the events of the hour. This quahty in General 
Grant was and is made alt the more conspicuous and striking ia 
contrast with his West Point education and his former political a 
oiations; for neither West Point nor the Democratic party have b 
good schools ui which to learn justice and fair play to the negro. 

It was when General Grant was fightuig his way through the J 
Wilderness to Richmond, on the " line " he meant to pursue ' 
it took all summer," and every reverse to bis arms was made the I 
occasion for a fresh demand for peace without emancipation, that I 
President Lincoln did me the honour to invite me to the Bsecutive f 
Mansion for a conference on the situation. I need not say 1 v 
most gladly. The main subject on which be wished to confer m'fli \ 

) GRANT. 319 

B to the means most deskablc to bs employed outside tlio 
army to induce the slavea iu the rebel States to come within the 
Fedm^ lines. The increasing opposition to the war. in the North. 
^Mpd the mad cry against it, because it was being made an abolition 
^^Br. alarmed Mr. Lincoln, and make him apprehensive that a peace 
^^B^t be foi-ccd upon bim which would leave still in slavery all 
^^Hio had not come within om- lines. What he wanted was to make 
bis procla.mation as efTective as possible In the event of such a 
peace. He said in a regretful tone, " The slaves are not coming so 
rapidly and bo numerously to us as I hoped." I replied that tho 
slaveholders knew bow to keep such things from their slaves, and 
[>robably very few knew of hia proclamation, " Well," be said, 
' I want you to sot about devising some means for making them 
acquainted with it. and for bringing them into our lines." He 
spoke with great earnestness and much solicitude, and seemed 
ti-onbled by the attitude of Mr, Greeley, and the growing impatience 
there was being manifested through the North at the war. He 
said he was being accused of protracting the war beyond its legiti- 
mate object, and of failing to make peace, when he might have 
done so to advantage. He was afraid of what might come of all 
Lht«e complaints, but was persuaded that no solid and lasting peace 
could come, short of absolute submission on the part of the rebels, 
and he was not for giving them rest by futile conferences at Niagara 
Falls, or elsewhere, with unauthorised persons. He saw the 
il&nger of premature peace, and, lilfe a thoughtful and sagacious 
nan as he was, he wished to provide means of rendering sucli 
L'usummation as harmleas as poaaible. I was the more impreased 
■ly this benevolent consideration because bo before said, in answer 
.■> the peace clamour, that hia object was to wee eke Unifu, and to do 
'I witii or without slavery. What he said on this day showed a 
■ieeper moral conviction against slavery than I had even seen 
"jfore in anything spoken or written by bim. 1 Hstened with tlie 
i< cpcst interest and profoundest satisfaction, and. at his soggestion. 
!';reed to undertake the organizing a band of scouts, composed of 
'loured men, whose business should be aomcwhat after the original 
^-i.a of John Brown, to go into the rebel States, beyond the lines 
- our armies, and carry tlio news of emancipation, and urge the 
Kves to como within our bonndaries. 

hia plan, however, was very soon rendered unnecessary by 


the snccesa of the w&r in the Wilderness and elsewhere, and bjta 
ite termuiatioii in the complete aboUtion of slaverv. 

I refer to this conversation because I think it 
conclnsive on Mr. Lincoln's part that the proclamation, so I 
ae least as he was concerned, waa not effected merely as i 
■■ necessity." 

An incident occurred during this interview which iUiutraUj 
the character of this great man, tliongh the mention of it i 
savour a Utile of vanity on my part. While in oonversatioo ^ 
him liis eecretary twice announced " Governor Buckingham ^ 
Connecticut :" one of the noblest and most patriotic of the loyal 
Govcraors. Mr, Lincoln said, " Tell Governor Buckingham to 
wait, for I want to have a long talk with my hiend Frederick 
Douglass," I interposed, and begged him to see the Governor 
at once, ae I could wait ; but uo, be persisted he wanted to talk 
witli me, and Governor Buckingham could wait. This was pro- 
bably the first time in the hietory of this Republic when its c 
magistrate found occasion or disposition to exercise such an t 
of impartiaUty between persons so vridely different in their | 
tioiis and snppoaed claims npon bis attention. From the ii 
of the Governor, when be was finally admitted, I inferred t 
he was as well satisfied with what Mr. Lincoln had done, i 
omitted to do, as I was. 

I have often said elsewhere what 1 wish to repeat here, ' 
Mr. Lincoln was not only a great President, but a ouut i 
^too great to he small in anything. In his company I i 
never in any way reminded of my liumble origin, or of my 
unpopular colour. While I am, as it may seem, bragging of 
t)ie kind consideration which I have reason to beheve that Mr. 
Lincoln entertained towards me, I may mention one thing more. 
At the door of my friend John A. Gray, where I was stoppiai^ 
in Washington, I found, one afternoon, the carriage of Secretary 
Dole, and a messenger from President Lincoln with an invita- 
tioii for me to take tea with him at the Soldiers' Home, where 
bo then passed bis nights, riding out after the baaiuess pf 
the day was over at tlie Executive Mansion. UnfortunaUh. 
I had an engagement to speak that evening, and having nod'' 
it one of the rules of my conduct in life never to breflit •" 
It, if possible to keep it, I felt obliged to decline ti:' 


I have often I'egretted that I did not iDake this an 
iptioQ to my general rule. Could I have known that no 
I opportonity would come to me again, 1 should have juati- 

I myself In disappointing a large audience for the sake of such 
a visit with Abraham Lincoln. 

It is due perhaps to myself to say here that I did not take 
&fr. Lincoln's attentions as due to my merits or personal quali- 
ties. While I have no doubt that Messrs. Seaward and Chose 
had apoken well of me to him, and the fact of my having been 
a slave, and gained my freedom, and of having picked up some 
sort of an education, and being in some sense a "self-made 
man," ai[d having made myself itsefd as an advocate of the 
claims of my people, gave me favour in his eyes; yet I am 
quite sm'e that the main thing which gave me consideration 
with h'"' was my well-known] relation to the coloured people of 
the Bepubllc. and especially the help which that relation enabled 
me to give to the work of suppressing ^the rebellion and of 
placing the Union on a firmer basis than it ever had or could 
have sustained in the days of slavery. 

t>o long as there was any hope whatsoever of the success of 
I'beUiou, there was of course a coiresponding fear that a new 
I'lise of life would be granted to slavery. The proclamation 
<>!' Fremont in Missoari, the letter of Phelps in the Depart- 
ment of the Gulf, the enlistmeut of coloured troops by General 
Hunter, the "Contraband" letter of General B. F. Butler, the 
-' Idierly qualities surprisingly displayed by coloured soldiei:^ ui 
lie terrific battles of Port Hudson, Vickeburg, Morris Island, 
Hid elsewhere, the Emancipation Proclamation by Abraham 
l.iQcobi had given slavery many and deadly wounds, yet it 
was in fact only wounded and crippled, not disabled and killed. 
With this condition of national affairs come the summer of 
liCii, and with it the revived Democratic party, with the story 
ii itB month that the war was a failure, and witli General 
'ic'orge B. McClellan, the gi-eatest failure of the wai', as its 
i:<iudidale for the Presidoucy. It is needless to say that the 
success of such a party, on such a platform, with such a candidate 
^t such a time, would have been a fatal calamity. All that had 
l>eeD done towards sup^esaing the rebellion and abohslung 
slavery would have proved of no avail, and the tiual settlement 

^^^■between the two sections of the Republic, touchiiig slavery aud 
^^^H the right of secesflion, would have beeu leil to toar and retid 
^^^B the coantr}' agiain at no distant (iitiire. 

^^^1 It was said that tliis Democratic party, which, under Mr. 
^^^V Bauhanau, had betrayed the Goverument into the haiida of seces- 
^^H sion and treason, was the only party which ooold restore the 
^^B country to peace and imiou. No doubt it would have " patched np " 
^^B a peace, but it wotUd have been a peace more to be dreaded than 
^H war. So at least I felt and worked. When we were thws asked lo 
^V exchange Abraham Lincoln for McClellan — a successful Union 
^B President for an unsuccessful Union General — a party earnestly 

H ondoavouring to save the Union, torn and rent by a gigantic 

■ rebellion, I thought with Mr. Lincoln, that it was nut wise to 

■ " swap horses while crossing a stream." Begarding, as 1 did, tb* 

■ continuance of the war to the complete suppression of the rebeUion, 
I and tlie retention in office of President Lincoln as essential to th« 
' total destruction of slaverj-, I certainly esei-led myself to the Utter- 
most, in my small way, to secure bis re-election. This moel 
important object was not attained, however, by speeches, letters, 
or other electioneering appliances. The staggering blows dealt 
upon the rebellion that year by the armies under Grant and Shtr- 
man, and his own great character, ground all opposition tn dust, 
and made his election sure, even before the question reached the 
polls. Since Wilham the Silent, who was the soul of the mighty 
war for religious liberty against Bpaiu and the Spanish inquisition, 
no leader of men has been loved and trusted in such generous 
measure as Abraham Lincoln. His election silenced, in a good 
degi'ee, tlie discontent felt at the length of the war, anil the ootu- 
plaints of its being an Abolition war. Every victory of our arms, 
on Qooi and field, was a rebuke to McClellan and tho Democralie 
party, and an endorsement of Abraham Lincoln for President, and 
his new pohcy. It was my good fortune to be present at bis 
inauguration in March, and to hear on tliat occasion hia reniarkafclf 
inaugural addi'ess. On the night previous I took tea with Chtaf 
Justice Chase, and assisted his beloved daughter, Mrs. Spragoe. is 
placing over her honoured father's shoulders the m>w robe, tlnxr 
being made, in which he was to administer the oatli of office tolk 
re-elected President. There was a dignity and grandeur aboat ihi 
Chief Justice which marked him as one bom great. Ue hadtmuwn 


me in early anti-Blavcry days, and had conquered hia race-prejudice. 
if he ever Lad any ; at any rate, ho had welcomed me to his liome 
and hin table, when to do bo was a strange thing in Washington ; 
and the fact was by no means an insignificant one. 

The inauguration. Ulte the election, was a most important event. 
Four years before, after Mr. Lincoln's first election, the pro-slavery 
spirit determined against his inau(furatiou, and it no doubt would 
have accomplished its purpose had he attempted to pass openly and 
recognised tlirongh Baltimore. There was murder in the air then, 
and there was murder in the air now. His tti'st inauguration 
arrested the fall of the Republic, and the second was to restore it 
t<> enduring foandations. At the time of tbe second inauf^uration 
the rebellion was apparently vigorous, defiant, and formidable : but 
in reahty weak, dejected, and desperate. It had reached that verge 
of madness when it had called upon the negro for help to fight 
against the freedom which he so longed to find, for the bondage 
'i<; wonld escape — ^against Lincohi tbe Emancipator for Davis the 

■ iialaver, But desperation discards logic as well as law, and tlie 
^ 'iith was desperate. Shexman was marching to the sea, and 
^ iiginift with its rebel capital was in the firm grip of Ulysses S. 

■ ■ rant. To tliose who knew the situation it was evident that unless 
<iiie startling change vras made the confederacy hod hut a short 

iTiic to live, and that time full of misery. This condition of things 
1 ade the air at Washington dark and lowering- Tbe friends of 
i I.' Confederate cause here were neither few nor insignificant. 
I liry were among tbe rich and influential. A wink or a nod &om 
iith men might unchain the hand of violence and set order and 
L',v at defiance. To those wlio saw beneath the surface it was 
' loarly perceived that there was danger abroad ; and as the pro- 

"^sion passed down Pennsylvania Avenue, I for one felt an instiuc- 

ve apprehension that at any moment a shot from some assassin in 
; !.■; crowd might end the glittering pageant, and tlu'ow tlie country 

:to the depths of anarchy, I did not then know, what has since 
i . come history, tliat the plot was already formed and its esecution 

iitemplatod for that very day, which though several weeks delayed, 
1 last accomplished its deadly work. Reaching tbe Capitol, I took 
i J y place in the crowd where I could see the Presidential procession 
' it came upon tbe east portico, and where I could hear and see 
il that took place. There was no such throng as that which oele- 



brated the inauguration of President Garfield, nor that of President 
Rutherford B. Hajes. The whole proceeding was wonderfnlly 
quiet, earneBt, and soleuin. From the <iath, as administered by 
Chief Justice Chaae, to the brief bnt weighty address delivered by 
Mr. Lincoln, tliore was a leaden stillness about the crowd. The 
address sounded more like a sermon than a state paper. In the 
fewest words possible it referred to the eouditiou of the country 
four years before, oti his first accession to the presidency — to the 
causes of tho war, and the reasons on both sides for which it had 
been waged. " Neither party," he said. " expected for the war the 
magnitude or the duration which it had already attained. Neither 
anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even 
before the conlliet itself should cease. Each looked for an easier 
triumph, and a result lesjs fimdamental and astounding." Th&n 
a few short sentences, admitting the conviction that slavery 
been the " offence which, in the providence of God, must ni 
eomo, and the war as the woe due to those by whom the offence 
came," he asked if there can be " discerned iu this, any dopartun.' 
from those Divine attributes which the behevers in a loving God 
always ascribe to Him ? Fondly do we hope." he continued, " fer- 
vently do we pray that this mighty scourge of war may speedily 
pass away. Yet if God wills that it continue until all the wealth 
piled by the bondman's two hundred and fifty years of niirequited 
toil shall be sunk, and until every di-op of blood drawn with the 
lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said 
three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, ■ The judgments 
of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.' 

" With malice towards none, with charity for all, with finnness 
in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let na strive i>' 
finish the work we are in, and bind up the nation's wounds, to car; 
for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow auii 
his orphans, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just an'l 
lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." 

I know not how many times, and before how many people I have 
quoted these solemn words of our mai'tyred President ; thoy 81 
me at the time, and have seemed to me ever since to contain 
vital substance than 1 have ever seen compressed into a spai 
narrow ; yet on this memorable occasion when I clapped 
hands in gladness and thanksgiving at their utterance, I 

H| the fttceti of mauy about me expressions of widely different 

^■hi tbifl inauguration day, wliik waiting for the opeuing of 
^v ceremonies, I made a diBoovery in regard to the Vice- 
^nsident — Andrew Johneon. There are momenta in tlie lives 
V moat men, when the doors of their souls are open, and 
^Beonsciously to themselvea, their true chai'acters may be read by 
Bi observant eye. It was at suoh an instant I caught a glimpse of 
^m real nature of (his man, which all subsequent developments 
^BVed true. I was standing in the crowd by the side of Mi's. 
Hernias J. Dorsey, when Mr. Lincoln touched Mr. Johnson, and 
^ktedmeoutto him. The first expression which came to bis 
^Bb> and which I think was the true index of his heart, was one 
^Bitter contempt and aversion. Seeing that I observed him, he 
^Kd to assimie a more friendly appearance ; but it was too late ; 
^■raB nseless to close the door when ail within had been seen, 
^ft first glance was the frown of the man, the second was the 
^Kid and sickly smile of the demagogue. I turned to Mrs. Dorsey 
^B said, " Whatever Andrew Johnson may be. he certainly is no 
^Bud of our race." 

^Ho stronger contrast could well be presented between two men 
Hb> between President Lincoln and Vice-President Johnson on 
^Hs day. Mr. Lincoln was Uke one who was treading the hard 
^B thorny path of duty and self-denial ; Mr. Johnson was like one 
^pt from a drunken debaach. The face of the one was full nf 
^^tally humility, although at the topmost height of power and pride, 
^R other was full of pomp and swaggering vanity. The ia,ct was 
^ftllgh it was yet early in the day, Mr. Johnson was drunk. 
^Kn the evening of the day of the inauguration, another new 
H^erience awaited me. The usual reception was given at the 
Hbcative mansion, and though no coloured persons had ever 
Matured to present themselves on such occasions, it seemed, now 
'liat freedom had become the law of the Repubhc, now that coloured 
iitn were on the battle-field mingling their blood with that of 
iThite men in one common effort to save the country, it was not 
loo groal an assumption for a coloured man to offer his congratula- 
^n-iiis to Iho President with those of other citizens. I decided to go, 
iud sought in vain for some one of my own colour to accompany 
me. It is never an agreeable experience to go where there can 


be any doubt of welcome, and mj coloured friends had ton often 
realised diacomfiture &om this caiise to be willing to subject them* 
selves to sucJi nnhappineas ; tliey wished me to go, as my New 
England coloured friends, in the long ago, hked very well to have 
me take passage on the lirst-class cars, and be hauled out and 
poujided by rough-handed brakesmen, to make way for them. II. 
was plain, tlien, that some one must lead the way, and that if the 
coloured man would have his rights, he must take them ; and now, 
though it was plainly quite the thing for me to attend President 
Lincoln's reception. " they all witli one accord began to make 
excuse." It was finally nn-aiigcd that Mrs. Dorsey should bear 
me company, so to^^ether we joined in the grand proeession of 
citizens from all parts of the country, and moved slowly towards 
the oxecutivo mansion. I had for some time looked upon myself 
as a man, but now in tliis multitude of the olite of the land, I felt 
myself a man among men, I regret to be obliged to say, howeveir, 
that this comfortable assurance was not of long daration. for i 
reaching the door, two pohcemen stationed there took me radsly ■ 
by the arm and ordered me to stand back, fur their directions wet 
to admit no persons of mj colour. The reader need not bo I 
that this was a disagreeable set-back. But once in the battle, I 
did not think it well tn submit to repulse. I told the offiCdTs I ffM 
quite sure there must be some mistake, for no such order eoold 
have emanated from President Lincobi ; and if he knew I was at 
the door he would desire my udmissiou. They then, to pat an 
end to the parley, as I suppose, for we were obstructing the door 
way, and were not easily pushed aside, assumed an air of pohte- 
ness, and offered to conduct mc in. We followed their lead, and 
soon found ourselves walking some planks out of a window, whicit 
hod been arranged as a temporary passage for the exit of visitors. 
We halted as soon as we saw tlie trick, and I said to the offieen : 
" You have deceived me. I shall not go out of this building tilif I 
have seen President Lincoln." At this moment a gentleman who T 
was passing in, recognized me, and I said to him: "Be so kind « 
say to Mr. Lincoln tliat Frederick Douglass is detained by oSem 
at the door." It was not long before Mrs. Doraey and I wilW , 
into the spacious East Room, amid a scene'of elegance such ie» i 
this country I had never witnessed before. Like a inoitcUunpiw J 
high above all others, Mr. Lincoln stood, in his grand simpI'c'V- J 

>RES8. D2} 

and himte-likt btaiiti/. Hecognising me, even before I reached him, 

he esclftimed, so that all around could hear him, " Here oomea 

my frieud DouglaBB."' Tabiug me by the hand, he said, "I am 

glad to Bee yon. I saw you in tlte crowd to-day, listeniog to my 

in&ngural address ; how did you hke it ? " I said, " Mr. Lincoln, 

I mnat not detain yon with my poor opinion, when there are 

^oasauds waiting to shake hands with you." " No. no," he Baid, 

fon must etop a little, Douglass ; there is no man in the country 

e opinion I value more than yours. I want to know what you 

k of it? " I rephed, "Mr. Lincoln, that was a sacred effort." 

E am glad yon liked it I " he said, and I passed on, feeling that 

man, however diatiugtiished, might well regard himself 

jDonred by such expressions, from such a man. 

'it came out tliat the officers at the White House had received 

I orders from Mr. Lincoln, or from any one else. They were 

ply complying with an old custom, the outgrowth of slavery, as 

8 will sometimes rub their necks, long after their collars are 

loved, thinking they are still there. My coloured friends were 

II pleased with what had seemed to them a doubtful experiment, 

1 1 boheve were encouraged by its Buocess to follow my example, 

l»Te found in my experience that the way to break down an 

aonable custom, is to contradict it in practice. To be sure 

Hpnrsoing this course I have had to contend not merely with the 

i race, but with the black. The one has condemned me for 

r presumption in daring to associate with them, and the other 

If where they take it for granted I am not wanted. 

a pained to think that the latter objection springs largely from 

msoiousness of inferiority, for as colours alone can have nothing 

inst each other, and the conditions of human association are 

Bidod upon character ratlier than colour, character depending 

I mind and morals, there can be nothing blameworthy in 

iple thus equal, meeting each other on the plane of civil or 

1 rights. 
k series of important events followed soon after the second iuau- 
ration of Mr. Lincoln, conspicuoua amongst which was the foil 
■Bichmond. The strongest endeavour, and the best generalship 
I the rebelhon was employed to hold that place, and when it fell, 
t pride, prestige, and power of the rebelhon fell with it, never 
The news of this great event found me again in 

Boston. The entbaaiasm of tbat loyal city cannot be easily 
described. As usual, when anything touchea the great heart of 
Boston, Faneuil HaU became vocal and eloquent. This Hall is an 
immense building, and its history ia oorrespoodlngly great. Itlias 
been the theatre of miicb patriotic declamation from tbe days of 
the " Eevolntion " and before ; as it has, since my day, been tha 
scene where the strongest eEforta of tbe most popalar orators of 
Maasachusetta have been made. Here Webster the great 
" expounder "addressed the " sea of upturned facee." HereGhoate, 
the Wonderful Boston barrister, by bis weird, electric eloquence, 
enchained his thousands ; here Everett charmed with his oUasic 
]>oriods the tlowor of Boston aristocracy; and here, too, Cbarlea 
Sumner, Horace Mann, John A. Andrew, and Wendell Phillips, 
tbe last superior to most, and equal to any, have for forty years 
spoken their great words for justice, hherly. and humanity, some-' 
times in tlio calm and annshine of unruffled peace, bat oftener in 
the tempest and whirlwind of mob-oci'atic violence. It was ber« 
tliat Mr. Pbllhps made his bmuua speech in denunciation of the 
murder of Elijah P. Lovejoy in 1837, which changed the whole 
current of his life and made him pre-eminently the leader of anti- 
slavery thought in New England. Here too Theodore Parker, 
whose early death not only Boston, bat the lovers of liberty 
Lhronghoat the world, still mourn, gave utterance to his d^p and 
life-giving thoughts in words of fulness and power. But I set onl 
to speak of tbe meeting, ijhicb was held there in celebration of iho 
fall of Richmond, for it was a meeting as remarkable for its com- 
position, as for its occasion. Among tbe speakers by whom it was 
addressed, and who gave voice to the patriotic soutimenta which 
lilled and overflowed each loyal heart, were the Hon. Ecury Wilson, 
and tbe Hon. Bobert 0. Wintbrop. It would be difficult to find two 
pubhc men more distinctly opposite than those. K any one may 
property boast an aristocratic descent, or if there be any valae or 
worth in that boast, Robert C. Winthrop may without ondna pra- 
sumption, avail himself of it. He was born in the midst of wealth 
and luxury, and never felt the flint of hardship or the grip ul 
[loverty. Just the opposite to this was the eEperieucc of Henry ~ 
Wilson. 'The son of common people, wealth and education liw^E 
done little for him ; but he had In him a true heart, with a worl^^^ 
of common sense ; and these with industry, good habits, ■1^0' 

BOSTON. 828 

peraererance, had carried him further and lifted bim higher, than 
the brilliant man with whom lie formed such a striking contrast. 
Wintbrop, before the war, hke many others of bis class, had resisted 
the anti-slavery current of bis State, had sided largely with the 
demands of the slave power, bad abandoned many of bis old Whig 
friends, when they went for Free Soil and Free Men Ju 184S, and 
Lbad gone into the Democratic party. 

During the war he was too good to be a rebel sympathizer, 
1 not quite good enough to become as Wilson was — a power iu 
Wilson bad risen to eminence by hia devotion 
tl ideas, while Winthrop had sunken almost to obscurity from 
l£fference to such ideas. But now either himself or his 
1b, most likely tbe latter, thought that the time had come 
' when some word implying interest in the loyal cause should fall 
from bis lips. It was not so much the need of tbe Union, as the 
need of himself, that he should speak ; tbe time when the Union 
Deeded him, and all others, was when tbe slaveholding rehelUou 
rused its defiant head, not when as now, that head was in the dust 
and ftshes of defeat and destriictioQ. Gut the beloved Wintbrop, 
the proud representative of what Daniel Webster ouce called the 
".Bolid men of Boston," had great need to apeak now. It had been 
—no fault of the loyal cause that he had not spoken sooner. Its 
es. hke those of Heaven, stood open night and day." If be did 
iDt oomo in, it was his own fault. Regiment after regiment, brigade 
r brigade, had passed over Boston Common to endure the perils 
i bardahips of war ; Governor Andrew bad poored out bis sonl, 
lad exhausted hie wonderful powers of speech iu patriotic words 
the brave departing sons of old Massachusetts, and a word from 
Winthrop would have gone far to nerve up those young soldiers 
going forth to lay down their lives for the Hfe of tbe Bepublic ; but 
DO word came. Yet now iu tbe last quarter of the eleventh hour, 
when the day's work was nearly done, Robert C. Wijithrop was 
seen standing npon the same platform wttb the veteran Henry 
WOson. He was there in all his native grace and dignity, elegantly 
ind aristocratically clothed, hia whole bearing marking bis social 
sphere as widely different from many present. Happily for his good 
, and for those who shall bear it when he is no longer 
J the Uving, be was found even at tbe last hour, in the 
rlit place — in old Faneuil Hall — eide by side with plain Heux^ 

1 'i 

Wilson — the shoemaker senator. But this was not Uie^m^ 
contrast on that platform on that day. It was my strange fortune 
to follow Mr. Wiothrop on tliis interesting oooaBion. I remembered 
him as the guest of John H, Chfford of New Bedford, afterwardo 
Governor of Massachusetts, when twenty-five yesjs before, I had! 
been only a few months from slavery — I was behind his chair as 
waiter, and was even then charmed by bia elegant conversation — 
and now after this lapse of time. I fonnd myself no long^er behind 
the chair of this princely mEin, but announced to succeed him in the 
order of speakers, before that brilliant audience. I was not in- 
Bensible to the contrast in our history and positions, aud was curiona 
to observe if it effected him, and how. To his credit, I am happy 
to say, be bore himself grandly tlu'oughout. His speech was fully 
up to the enthusiasm of tlie hour, and the great audience greeted 
bis utterancCB with merited applause. I need not speak of the 
speeches of Henry Wilson and others, nor of my own. The 
meeting was in every way a remarkable expression of popular 
feeling, created by a great and important event. 

After the fall of Richmond, the collapse of the rebellion was not 
long delayed, though it did not perish without adding to its long 
list of atrocities, one which sent a thrill of horror tlirougbout the 
civihzed world, in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln : a man 
so amiable, so kind, humane, and honest, that one is at a loss to 
know how he could have had an enemy on earth. The details of 
his "taking off" are too familiar to be more than mentioned 
here. The assassination of James Abraham Garfield has made 
us all too painfully familiar with the shock and sensation 
produced by the hell-black crime, to make any description 
necesBary. The curious will note, that the Christian name of both 
men is the same, and that both were remarkable for their kind 
qualities, and for having risen by their own energies from among 
the people, and that both were victims of aasassiuB at the beginning 
of a presidential term. 

Ur. Lincoln bad reason to look forward to a peaceful and ba^y 
term of ofQce. To all appearance, we were on the eve of a restora- 
tion of the Union, and a solid and lasting peace. He had served 
one term as President of the Disunited States, he was now for the 
first time to be President of the United States. Heavy bad btta 

1 bnrden, hard bad been hia toil, bitter had been bis trials, and 


■ ten-ibld had been bis anxiety ; bat the fdtnre seemed now bright 
and faU of hope, Bichmond had &Ilen, Grant had General Lee 
and the army of Virginia firmly in bis clutch ; Sherman had fought> 
and found his way from the banks of the gi'eat river to the shores 
of the sea, leaving the two ends of the rebellion squirming and 
twisting in agony, like the severed parts of a serpent, doomed to 
inevitable death ; and now there was but a little time longer for 
the good President to bear his burden, and be the target of 
reproach. Hia accusers, in whose opinion he was always too fast or 
too alow, too weak or too strong, too conciliatory or too aggressive, 
woold Boon become his admirers ; it was soon to be seen tliat he 
hftd conducted the affairs of the nation with singular wisdom, and 
with absolute fidelity to the great trust confided to him. A country, 
redeemed and regenerated from the foulest crime against human 
oatnre that ever saw the sun I What a bright vision of peace, 
prosperity, and happiness must have oorae to that tired and over- 
Worked brain, and weary spirit. Men used to talk of his jokes, and 
lie no doubt indulged in them, but I seemed never to have the faculty 
of caUing them to the surface. I saw hiin oftener than many who 
liave reported him, but I never saw any levity in him. He always 
impressed me as a strong, earnest man, having no time or djsposi- 
t lon to tri£e ; grappling the work he had in hand with all his might. 
Il'he expression of his face was a blending of suffering with patience 
^and fortitude. Men called him homely, and homely bo was ; but 
& t was manifestly a human homeliness, for there was nothing of the 
tjiger or other wild animal about him. His eyes had in them the 
ti^endemess of motherhood, and his mouth and other features the 
\_iighest perfection of a genuine manhood. His picture, by Marshall, 
kiow before me in my study, corresponds well with the impression 
3 have of him. But, alas I what are all good and great quahties ; 
■^■hat are human hopes and human happiness to the revengeful 
liand of an assassin ? What are sweet dreams of peace ; what 
Are visions of the future ? A simple leaden bullet, and a few 
grains of powder, in the shortest limit of time, are sufficient to 
'blast and ruiu all that is preciona in human existence, not alone of 
the murdered, but of the murderer. I write this in the deep 
^oom Hung over my spirit by the crnel, wanton, and cold-blooded 
_ assassination of Abraham Garfield, as well as that of Abrohuta 


I was in Rochester, N.Y., where I then resided, when news of 
he death of Mr. Lincohi was received. Oar citizens, not knowing 
what else to do in the agony of the hour, betook themselves to the 
City Hall. Though all hearts ached for utterance, few felt like 
speaking. We were stmined and overwhelmed by a crime and 
calamity hitherto nnknown to onr comitry and onr government. 
The honr was hardly one for speech, for no speech could rise to the 
level of feeling. Doctor Robinson, then of Rochester University, 
bat now of Brown University, Providence, R. I., was prevailed 
apon to take the stand, and made one of the most toaching and 
eloquent speeches I ever heard. At the close of his address, I 
was called npon, and spoke ont of the fulness of my heart, and, 
happily, I gave expression to so mnch of the soul of the people 
present, that my voice was several times utterly silenced by the 
sympathetic tumult of the great audience. I had resided long in 
Rochester, and had made many speeches there which had more or 
less touched the hearts of my hearers, but never till this day was I 
brought into such close accord with them. We shared in common 
a terrible calamity, and this '* touch ^i nature, made us,*' more 
than countrymen, it made us " kin." 



1 And uuietj — New fields of labour opening — LjoeumB snd ool- 
le BolioitiDg ad<]reswt^ — Lite my attntctions — Pecntiiury gain — Still plead- 
n rights — PreBidentAndy Johneim — Coloured delegation — Their 
tKplf to bim—NalioDal Loyalist Convention, 1866, and its procession — Not 
"Wanted — Heeting with an old [riend^ — Joy and BnrpriEe — The old master'a 
Welcome, and Misa Amanda'^ friendship — £nfranchiHement diacosAed — Its 
aoMnapliahmeiit — The negro a, citizen. 

~\ II THEN the war for the union was subatantiaUy ended, aod 
V V peace had dawned iipoQ the laud, as was the caBe almost 
^O-iuediately after the tragic death of President Lincoln ; when th9 
ra^^imtic Bystem of American slavery which had defied the march 
'*" time, reaieted all the appeals and argnments of the aboHtioniflte, 
^%^ the httmane teBtimonies of good men of every generatioii 
^A^ringtwohoDdredandfifty years, was finally abolished and for ever 
^■^ahibited by the organic law of the land ; a strange and, perhaps, 
^**TerBe feoUng came over me. My great and exceeding joy over 
^^»e stupendous achievements, especially over the abolition o& 
'•^very — which had been the deepest desire and the great labour 
^ my Ufe,— was shghtly tinged with a feeUng of aadneas. 

3 felt I had reached the end of the noblest and best part of my 
-^^ ; my school waa broken up, my church disbanded, and the 
^*X>ved congregation dispersed, never to come together again. 
■-4ae anti-slavery platform had performed its work, and my voice 
""^M no longer needed. "Othello's occupation was gone." The 
^^*»t happiness of meeting with my fellow- workers was now to bo 
■**ioiig the things of memory. Tlien. too, some thought of my 
^•^Jeonal foture came in. Like Daniel Webster, when asked by his 
*^«ndfl to leave John Tyler's Cabinet, I naturally inqnired : 
^B^here shall I go ? " I was still in the midst of my yeara, and J 

Wis ttAxs POK THS rctuix. 

bad Bomethiiig of life before me, and as the miiuBter. urged by nt 
old friend George Bradbain to preach anti- slavery, when to d^ a 
was nnpopalar, said, " It is necessary for ministers to live," I fel 
it was Deceaeaiy for me to live, and to live lioBestly. But wlier 
sboold I go. and wltat should I do? I could not dow take hold C 
life as I did when I first landed in New Bedford, twenty-five ;eu 
before ; I could not go to the wharf of either Gideon or Georg 
Howland, to Richmond's brass foundry, or Bicheton's candle an 
oil works, load and onload vessels, or even ask Governor Clifibr 
for a place as a servant. Boiling oil casks and shovelling coal 1 
all well enough when I was younger, immediately after getting ok 
of slavery. Doing this was a step up, rather than a step dowu 
but all these avocations bad had their day for me, and I had lui 
my day for them. My pubhc life and labours had unfitted me & 
the pursuits of my earher years, and yet had not prepared me & 
more congenial and higher employment. Outside the question i 
slavery, my thoughts had not been much directed, and I ooa] 
hardly hope to make myself usefol in any other cause than that t 
which I had given the best twenty-five years of my life, 
ill the situation 1 found myself, has not only to divest hUoBelf ( 
the old, which 11 never CEisily done, but to adjust himself to t 
new, which is still more difficult. Cehvering lectures i 
various names. John B. Gough says, " whatever may be the title, i 
lecture is always on Temperance ; " aud such is apt to he the ci 
with any man wlio has devoted his time and thoughts to o 
subject for any considerable length of time. But what shonld 
do? was the question. 1 bud a few thousand dollars — a gn 
convenience, aud one not generally so highly prized by my peo] 
aa it ought to be — saved from the sale of " my bondage and i 
freedom," and the proceeds of my lectures at home and abroad. 
With this sum I thought of following the noble example of m^ 
old friends Stephen and Abby Kelley Foster, purchase a little U 
and settle myself down to earn an honest hving by tilling the a 
My children were all grown up, aud ought to be able to take c 
of themselves. This questioii, however, was soon decided for n 
I had after all acquired — a very unusual thing— « little i 
knowledge and aptitude fitting me for the new condition of t 
than I knew, and had a deeper hold upon public attention ti 
had supposed. Invitatioua began to pour in upon me from oolh 


Lyceums, and literary aooietiea, offering me one buadi-ed, and even 
two hundred dotlars for a siugle lecture. 

I had some time before, prepared a lecture on " Self-made men," 
and also one upon Ethnology, with a special reference to Africa. 
The Utter had cost me much labour, though as I uow look back 
upon it, it wa8 a very defective production. I wrote it at the 
instance of my friend Doctor M, B, Anderson, President of 
Bochester University, himself a diBtinguisbed Ethnologist, a deep 
thinker and scholai'. I had been invited by one of the hterary 
eodetiea of Western Reserve College — then at Hudson, but recently 
letDoved to Cleveland, Ohio — to address it on " Commencement 
Day ; " and never havmg spoken on such an occasion, never, indeed, 
having been inside of a school-house for the purpose of an educa- 
tioo, I hesitated about accepting the invitation, and hnally called 
upon Prof. Henry Wayland, son of the great Doctor Waylaud of 
Brown University, and on Doctor Anderson, and asked their advice 
whether I ought to accept. Both gentlemen advised me to do so. 
Tbey knew me, and evidently thought well uf my abihty, But tlie 
Puzzling question now was, what shall I say if I go there ? It won't 
do Do give them au old-fasLioncd anti-slavery discourse, I learned 
Afterwards that such a discourse was precisely what they needed, 
ttiongh not what they wished ; for the faculty, including the Presi- 
dent, was in great distress because I, a coloiU'cd man, had been 
itivitvd. and because of the reproach this circumstance might bruig 
Qpon the College. But what shall I talk about ? became the difficult 
question. I finally hit upon the one before mentioued. I had read, 
^hen in England a few yeai's before, with great interest, parts of 
lioctor Prit«hard's " Natural History of Man," a large volume 
iXi&rvellously calm and philosophical in its discussion of the 
eoienco of the origin of the races, and was thus in the line of 
my then convictions. I sought this valuable book at once in 
Our bookstores, but could not obtain It anywhere in this conntry. 
I B«ni to England, where I paid tlie sum of seven and a hab' 
doUurs for it. In addition to this valuable work. President 
Andt-rsou kindly gave me a httle book entitled, " Man and his 
Migrations," by Dr. E. G. Latham, and loaned me the hirge 
Work of Dr. Morton, the famous Archieoiogiat, and that of 
tfesars. Nott and Ghdden, the latter written evidently to degrade 
I negro and support the then prevalent Callioun doctrine of 



the riglitfulnesB of slavery. With these booka, uid occaaioni 
Buggestions from Dr. Anderson and Professor Wayland, I m 
nbont preparing my '■ Commencement; address." Kor many day 
and nights I toiled, and succeeded at last in getting some 
thing together in due form. Written orations had not 1 
in my Une. I had nsually depended npon my unsystematiEe 
knowledge, and the inspiration of the hour and the c 
Imt I had now got the " scholar bee in ray bonnet," and suppose 
that inasmuch as I was to speak to college professors i 
students, I must at least, make a show of some famiharity « 
letters. It proved, as to its immediate effect, a great mistaka 
for my caiefuUy studied and written address, full of leamfl 
qnotations, fell dead at my feet, while a few remarks I mM 
BStemporaneously at collation, were enthnslastically rec^ivei 
Nevertheless, the reading and labour expended were of mtu 
value to me. They were needed steps preparatory to the woi 
npon which I was about to enter. If they failed at the begii 
niug. they helped to success in the end. My lecture on '■ Th 
Races of Men " was seldom called for, but that on " Self-mad 
Men " Was in great demand, especially through the West. 
found that the success of a Icctnrer depends more upon Hb 
■piality of his stock in store, than the amount. My frieni 
Wendell Phillips, — for such I esteem him,^who baa a&id moi 
cheenog words to me, and in vindication of my race, than u) 
roan now living, has dehvered his famous lecture on the " Lot 
Arts " during the last forty years ; and I doubt if among ti 
bis lectm-es, and he has many, there is one in sucb roquisitiai 
as this. When Daniel O'Connell was asked why he did 
make a new speech, he playfully replied, that "it would ti 
Ireland twenty years to learn his old ones." Upon some snob 
consideration as this. I adhered pretty closely to my old Idcttire 
on " Self-made Men," retouchiui; and shading it a little from U 
to time OS occasion seemed to require. 

Here, then, was a new vocation before me, tall of a/Avt 
tages. mentally and pecuniarily. When in the employment of ti 
American Anti-Slavery Society, my salarj' was about four hni 
dred and fifty dollars a year, and I felt I was well paid for i 
services ; but I could now make from fifty to a hundred doUl 
- nigbt, and have the satisfaction, too. that I was in ao 


measitre helping to lift my race into coneideration : for no man 

who lives at aJl, lives unto himself; he either helps or hinders 

ail wlio are in anywise connected with liim, I never riae to 

speak before an American audience without something of the 

fueling that my failure or succesB will bring blame or benefit 

to my whole race. Bnt my activities were not now confined 

*Dtircly to lectures before Lyceums. Though slavery was 

abolished, the wrongs of my people were not ended. Though 

they were not slaves they were not yet quite free. No man can 

I I be truly free, whose liberty is dependent upon tho thought, feehng, 

^^^^And action of others ; and who has himself no means in his 

^^^rcwn hands for guarding, protecting, defending, and maintaining 

^^Pttiat liberty. Vet the negro, after his emancipation, was pre- 

^^^ cisely in this state of destitution. Tho law, on the aide of 

/ireedom, is of great advantage only where there is power to 

tuake that law respected. I know no class of my fellowmen, 

J-«.owever just, euhghtened, and humane, which can be wisely 

^wnd safely trusted absolutely with the hherties of any other 

<jlaas. Protestants are excellent people, but it would not be 

"^^nse for Catholics to depend entirely upon them to look after 

^lieir rights and interests. Cathohcs are a pretty good sort of 

i;**ople — tbough there is a soul-shuddering history beliind them, 

jot no enlightened Protestant would commit his liberty to their 

•:=aro and keepmg. And yet the Government had left the freed- 

^K33eii in a worse condition than either of these. It felt that it 

^fc»-»d done enough for them. It had made them free, and hence- 

fonli they must make their own way in the world, or as the 

t^Xang phrase has it, "Root, pig, or die;" yet tliey had none of 

*-ije conditions fur self-preservation or self- protection. They were 

**"«e from the individual master, but the slaves of society. They 

**Bd neither property, money, nor friends. They were free from 

^'*e old plantation, but they had nothing but the ^usty road 

'^-Dder their feet. They were free from the old quarter that once 

Wave them shelter, but slaves to the rains of summer and 

*ie frosts of winter. They were in a word, literally turned loose, 

1*'*ked, hungry, and destitute to the open sky. The lii-st feehng 
"^■Wards them by the old master classes, was full of bitterness 
^^i wrath. They resented their emancipation as an act of 

8S2 stuj. PLBjU)tHa fob bib racz. 

tLe emancipator, they felt like punishing the ob)«:ls 1 
tliat act had emancipated. Hence they drove them off tb 
plantation, and told thero they were no longer wanted t! 
Tiiey not only hated them becaase they bad been freed « 
puniahment to them, hot because they felt that they bad li 
robbed of their larbour. An element of still greater bittei 
came into their hearts : the freedmen had been tho i 
of the Government, and inauy of them had borne anaa a 
their masters during the war. The thought of paying e 
for labour that they could formerly extort by the laab c 
in anywise improve their disposition to the emancipated & 
or improve their owu condition. Now, since poverty b 
can have no chance against wealth, the landless against tl 
owner, the ignorant against the inteUigeat, the Ereedmen ■ 
Ijowerleas. They had nothing left them but a slavery-di 
and diseased body, and lame and twisted limbs with i 
light the battle of life. I, therefore, soon found that tht o 
had still a cause, and that he needed my voice and pea i 
others to plead for it. The American Anti-Slavery Society, iD 
the lead of Mr. GaiTiBon. had disbanded, its uewspapen 1 
discontinued, its agents were withdrawn £rom the field, I 
all systematic efforts by abohtiouists were abandoned. 
of the society. Mr. Phillips and myself amongst the nnn 
differed from Mr. Garriaon as to the wisdom of this < 
I felt that the work of the Society was not done, that ll 
not fulfilled its mission, which was not merely to em 
but to elevate the enslaved class ; but againsi Mr. Oar 
leadership, and amid the surprise Eind joy occasioned I 
emancipation, it was impossible to keep the association I 
and the cause of the freedmen was left mainly to indifil 
effort, and to hastily extemporized societies of ephemeral d 
ter, brought together under benevolent impulse, but htra 
history behind them, and being new to the work, th«j ' 
not as effective for good as the old society would have b 
had it followed up its work and kept its old i 
in operation. 

From the first I saw no chance of bettering the coodilid 
the freedman, until he should cease to be merely a i 
and should become a citizen. I insistad that there i 


itim, nor for anybody else in America, outside the 
American Government : that to guard, protect, and maintain lii^ 
Hberty, the treedmcui abonld have the ballot ; that the libertiee 
of the American people were dependent upon the Ballot-box, 
the Jury-bos. and the Cartridge-box, that without these no 
el&Be of people coald Uve and Sourish in this country ; and 
this was now the word for the hour with me, and the word 
to -which the people of the North willingly listened when I 
■poke. Hence, regarding as I did, the elective franchise as tlie 
one great power fay which all civil rights are obtained, enjoyed, 
and maintained under our form of government, and the one 
withoat which freedom to any class is delusive if not impos- 
Bible. I set myself to work with whatever force and energy I 
possessed to secure this power for the recently emancipated 

The demand for the ballot was Buoh a vast advance upon the 
former objects proclaimed by the friends of the coloured race, that 
it startled and struck men as preposterous and wholly inadmissible. 
Anti-slavery men themselves were not united as to the wisdom of 
anoh demand. Mr, Garrison himself, though foremost for the 
abolition of slavery, was not yet quite ready to join this advanced 
xnovement. In this respect he was in the rear of Mr. Phillips ; 
~who saw not only the justice, but the wisdom and necessity of the 
xueasnrc. To his credit it may be said, that he gave tlie full 
Strength of his character and eloquence to its adoption. While 
LTriaon thonght it too much to ask, Mr. Phillips thought it 
lie. While the one thought it might be postponed to the 
the other thought it ought to be done at once. But Mr. 
!on was not a man to lag far in the rear of ti-uth and right, 
e soon came to see with the rest of us that the ballot was 
ial to the freedom of the freemen. A man's head will not 
amain wrong, when his heart is right. The applause awarded 
. Garrison by the Conservatives, for his moderation both in 
it of bia views on this question, and the disbandmcnt of the 
ican Anti-Slavery Society must have disturbed him. He was 
ftny rate soon foimd on the right side of the anffi-age question. 
The enfranchiiement of the freedmen was resisted on many 
ids, but mainly these two: first the tendency of the messord 
the freedmen into oonfliot with the old master class, and 


the white people of the Soath generally. Secnndly, their nnfitiiesa. 
hy reason of their ignorance, eervihty. and degradation, to exercise 
BO great a power as the ballot, over the destinies of thia great 

These reaaona againat the measure, which were supposed to be 
imanswerable, were in some senses the most powerful arguments in 
its favour. The argument that the possession of the sn&age would 
be likely to bring the negro into conflict with the old master-class 
of the South, had its main force in the admission that the intereata I 
of the two classes antagonized each other and that the maintenanoB 
of the one would prove inimical to the other. It resolved itself 
into tliis, if the negro had the means of protecting his civil rights, 
those who had formerly denied him these rights would be oCFended 
and would make war upon him. Experience has shown, in » 
measure, the correctness of this position. The old master was 
offended to find the negro whom he lately possessed the nght to 
enslave and flog to toil, casting a ballot eqnal to his own ; and he 
resorted to all aorts ol meanness, violence, and crime to dispossess 
him of the enjoyment of thia point of equahty. In thia respect the 
exercise of the right of suffrage by the negro haa been attended 
with the evil, which the opponents of the measure predicted, wid 
they could say " I told you So," bat immeaaurably sjid intolerably ■ 
greater woidd have been the evil consequences resulting ^om the 4 
denial to one class, of thia natural means of protection, andg 
it to the other, and the hostile class. It would have been, toH 
committed the lamb to the care of the wolf — the arming a 
class and disarming the other- — protecting one intereflt,* 
destroying the other — making the rich strong, and the poor ^ 
— the white man a tyrant, and the black man a slave. The 1 
foot, therefore, that tiie old master-classes of the South felt that thei_ 
intereata were opposed to those of the freedmen, instead of beint, 
a reason against their enfranchisement, was the moat powerful oim 
in its favour. Until it shall be safe to leave tlio lamb in the hoH 
of the lion, the labourer in the power of the capitahst, the poor ■ 
the hands of the rich, it will not be safe to leave a newly emanc^ 
pated people completely in the power of .their former m&atem^s. 
especially when such masters have not ceased to be such from € 
lii(hteued moral convictions, but by irresistible force. Then 00 t2« ■ 
t of the Government itaeU, had it denied thia great right (0 'tA* f 


froedmen, it would have been auotlier proof that " Bopublica are 
iingr)iU>ful." It would have been rewarding its enemies, aud 
pnnisliing its frienda — embracing its foea, and apm-uing Its allies, 
— getting a premimji on treaaou, and degrading loyalty. Ab to the 
second puint, viz. : the negi'o'a ignorance and degradation, tliere 
was III) disputing either. It was the nature of slavery, from whose 
iptbs he hod arisen, to make him so, and it would have kept him so. 
I was the policy of the system to keep him both ignorant and 
graded, the better and more safely to defraud him of his hard 
■nings ; and this argument never staggered me. The ballot in 
I bauds of the negro was necessary to open the door of the 
lol-houae. and to unlock the treasures of knowledge to him. 
knting all that was said of hia ignorance, I uaed to aay. " if the 
^o knows enough to light for Lis country, he knows enough to 
le knows enough to pay taxes for the support of the 
remment, ho knowa enough to vote ; if he knows as much when 
, as an Irishman knows when drunk, he knows enough 

i now, while I am not blind to the evila which have thua far 

mded the enfranchisement of the colom-ed people. 1 hold that 

i erils from which we escaped, and the good we have derived 

I that act, amply vindicate its wisdom. The evils it brought 

B in their nature temporary, and the good is permanent. The 

e JB comparatively small, the other absolutely great. The young 

1 bas staggered on to his httle legs, and he has sometimes 

ten and hurt his head iu the fall, but tlieu ho has learned to 

The boy in the water came near drowning, but then he has 

■ned to swim. Great changes in the relations of mankind can 

l^er come, without evila analagous to those which have attended 

) emancipation and cu&anchiaement of the coloured people of 

B United States. I am less amazed at these evils, than by the 

rapidity with which they are subsiding, and not more astonished 

at the facility with which the former slave has become a free man. 

than at the rapid adjustment of the master-claas to the new 


^^VCnlike the movement for the abolition of slavery, the auccesa of 
^^H| efibrt for the enfranchisement of the fi'sedmcn was not long 
^^Bdkyed. It is another illustration of bow one advance in por- 
^^BttDofl of a right principle, prepares and makes easy the way to 


another. The way of transgression Ib & bottomJese pit, Ot 
in that direction invites the nest, and the end is never reubtd: 
and it is the same with the path of righteous obedienw. T*o 
hundred years ago, the piona Dr. Godwin dare^ affirm that it *i 
" not a sin to baptize a negro," and won for liim the riUi 
baptiam. It was a small concession to his manhood; but it n 
strongly resisted by the slaveholders of Jamaica, and Virginia, i 
this they were logical in their argument, but they were uotkigio 
in their object. They saw plainly, that to concede the QCgR 
right to baptism was to receive him into the Christian Ctimd 
and make him a brother in Christ ; and hence they opposed tl 
first step sternly and bitterly. So long as tbey could keep hi 
beyond the circle of human brotherhood, tli^y could scourge tii 
to toil, as a beast of biu-den, with a good Christian c 
and without reproach, " What! " said they, " baptize a negn 
preposterons I " Nevertheless the negro was baptized and ai 
to Church fellowship ; and though for a long time his soul belto 
to God, his body to his master, and he, poor fellow, hod a 
left for himself, be ia at last not only baptized, but emai 
and enfranchised. 

In this achievement, an interview with President 
Jobneou, on the Ttli of February, 1B66, by a delegation ctmeiltil 
of George T. Downing, Lewis H. Dowglaaa, Wm, E. M»tti)«f 
,Iolm Jones, John F. Cook, Joseph E. Otis. A. W. Boas. Wiffii 
Whipper, John M, Brown, Alexander Dimlop, and myselt * 
take its place in history as one of the first steps. What wM A 
on that occasion brought the whole question, virtually, before i 
American people. Until that interview, the country was not ft 
aware of the intentions and jrohcy of Preeident Johnson on ' 
subject of reconstruction, especially in respect of the nei 
emancipated class of the tjouth. After having heard Uie bl 
addresses made to him by Mr. Downing and myself, he o 
at least three-quarters of an hour in what seemed a set apW 
and refuaod to listen to any reply on our part, although wlJciteit 
grant a few moments for that purpose. Seeing the advantage tk 
Mr, Johnson would have over us in getting bis speech [ 
before the cotmtry in the morning papers, the members of I 
delegation met on the evening of that day, and instracted QU 
prepare a brief reply wbicb should go out to the coiuttiyani 

Bltwieoualy with die President's speecli to us. Since this reply in- 
(licatea the points of difference between the President and ourselves, 
1 produce it here as a part of the history of tlie times, it being 
concnrred ai by all the members of the delegation. 

Both the speecli and the reply were commented upon very 

Kb. PsEsniEMT: In oonsideration of a deUoBte reuse of propriety, ae well aa 

jronr own repeated intunationB of Indiiipoaition to diflcuiw. or listen to n reply to 

Che TJewH Hud opinionB you were picatwd to exprenK to on m your etaliorBte 

i i p e n Bh to-day, the imdecidgfDed would respecCfulIy take this method of replyinf; 

^^^feneto. Believintf a» we do that Uie views and opiniona you cipresBed in that 

^^^BbcM are cutirely luuound and prejudicial to the highest interests of onr raoe 

^^^nrell OS OUT county at lar^, wc oannot do other thaD expose the same, and, 

^^Btbr afl maybe in our power, arreat th^ir dangerous influenue. It is not 

neeeewry at this time to cal] attention to more than two or thi«e features of 

yonr nunarkaible address : 

I. The firxt point to which we feel espooially bound to take exception, is yonr 
} found a policy opposed to our enfranchisement, upon the alleged 
an existing hostility on the put of the former slaves towaid the poor 
le of the Soath. "We admit the existence of this hostility, and hold 
it ia entirely reniprocal. But you obviously oommit an error by drawing 
I fnim an incident of alnVeTy, and makiiig it a huis /or a poliof 
a state gf freedom. The hostility between the whitea and blacks of 
loth is easily explained. It has its root and sup in the relation of shivery, 
■ ineited on both sides by tlie cunning of the slave mHsters. Those 
I seonred their ascendancy over both the poor whites and blacks by 
nity between them, 
gr divided both tu conquer each. There was no earthly reason why Uie 
jd not hate and dread the poor whites when in a state of slavery, 
in this oIbss that their masters received their slave uatohers, slave 
They were the men called in upon all occnaionr by the 
r on; fiendish outrage was to be coimnittcd upon thavlave. 
not bnt perceive that the uause of this hatred removed, the 
effect mUKt be removed also. Slnvery is abolLJied. The cause of this antago- 
aiMD is removed, and you must see that it is altogether illogical, and " putting 
UDw wiue into old buttles," to legislate from slaveholdjng and slave driving 
pitmisea, (or a people whom you have repeatedly declared your purpose to 
nuintain in freedom. 

2. Besides, even if it were tme, as you allege, that the hostility of the blacks 
■ovards the poor whites must necessarily project itself into a state of freedom, 
Willi that this enmity between the two races is even mora intense in a stale of 
'toodoni than in a state of slavery, iu the name of Heaven, wo reverently ask 
J^u how you can, in view of your professed desire to promote the welfare of 
*^ black man, deprive him of all means of defence, and clothe him whom you 
***fraTd as bis enemy in the panoply of political power 'f Can it be that jou 

888 t-HABi 

T«oofiiiiiimd ft polic; whicJi would arm tlie utioiig and oaM dam tha ilrfni 
leuaF Can joUiby any pussibUJly of reuKmiiig, leg&rd Uiitiaa jliat,ftil,Ciinl 
Experience provea that Uio«e are meet abused who can be aboacd wiAl 
IfreatoBt impunity. Men are whipped oft«nest who are whipped mil 
Peace between raoea is nut tu be secured by degrading one race and mk 
another, t^ giving- power U> one nice and withholding it from anoQieT, bnl, 
maintaining a state of eqaal juaCioe between all alasse*. Fiist pun, 1 

3. On the colonization theory you were plcanod to broach, rery muii « 
be said. It iH imposHible to suppose, in riew of the nsefulneas of the h 
man in time of peace as a labourer in the South, and in lime of «u u ■ 
diet in the North, and the growing respect for his eights among the people, 
hie inoreaeing adaptation to a high state of civilization in hi» native land, H 
'.'an ever oome a time when he can be n^noved from this eountn' vitlMU 
terrible ahook to its prosperity and peace. Beaidee, the worst sncmy <l 
nation could not cast upon ite fair name a greater infamy than to adml 
negroes could be tolerated among them in H ntale of the miMt iefP 
slavery and oppreasion, and most be cast away, driven into exile, (or no ' 
cause than having been treed from their chains. 

WiBHiNOTon, February Tth, 1866. 

FVoin this time onward, the qnestiou of suffrage for the b 
men, was not allowed ta rest. The rapidity with whicli it gt 
etrength, was eometLing quite maryelloua aiid Hiirprisinjf «eD ' 
its advocates. Senator Charles Humncr soon took up the ai 
in the Senate and treated it in his aaually able and ell 
manner. It was a great treat to listen to his argumeut. n 
through two days, abounding as it did, in eloquence, learning. U 
conclusive reasoning. A committee of the Senate bad nsporlH 
proposition giving to the btates lately in rebeUiou in bo Oi 
words complete option aa to the enfranchisement of their eulw 
citizens ; only coupling with that proposition the condition, tlitl 
such States as chose to en&auchise such citizens, the basis of tk 
representation in Congress should be proportionately in( 
or, in other words, only three-fifths of the coloured citiitens A 
be counted in the basis of representation in States where ex 
citizens were not allowed to vote, while in the States gnilti 
suffrage to coloured citizeua, the entire coloured people sbouU * 
counted in the basis of representation. Against this propoaitici 
myself and associates addressed to the Senate of the Dnil 
States the following memorial : 


■' n (V HtamrMr the SenBlt (/ tkf Utilid SUitr, : 

" JTii' onde reigned, being n delegation represeDting the coloured peopla of 
ihr neveral HtatM, und now Bojoanung in WiuhiiigtOD, i^hargral with the duty 
lo look after the best intf rests of tlic reoentl; emauoipated, would most respeut- 
fiUlj, but (-amestlj, pray yuur honounble bod; to fuvouT no ameudment of the 
ConAitutian of the TJnilcd Staten whioh would jmiiit any one or all of the Statea of 
UuH TJuioD to disfrauchiso any oloiw of citixeni on the gnmnd of niRO or coh>ur, 
lor anj uuuddersdon whaltiver. They would further reiipecthiUy roprenent that 
the Constitntiaii lu adopted hy the futhera of the Bepublio in 1TH9, evidently 
aontemplat^d the rexult which haii now happened, to wit, the abolition of 
(lavery. The mpn who framed it, and thotie who adopted it, framed and 
•debited it foF the people, and the whole people — ooloiired men being at that 
time legal Toten in moat of the Stat««. In that inHtrument, as it now Btands, 
thete u not a sentence nor a nyllable conveying any shadow of right or autho- 
rity by which any State may make colour or race a, disqualification for the 
eieiTJae of the ri^t of nuSnige ; and the undersigned will regard us a teal 
calami'^ tlie introduction of any wonln, oxpreiMly or by implication, giving 
any State or Statea audi power; and we reKpectfully imbniit that if the amend- 
now pending before your honourable body nhall be odoptod, it will enabli- 
a deprive any claw of eitixeuH of the elective franchise, notwitli- 
wan obviously framed with a view to affect the question of negni 

K*'ForUieM, &nd other i«HMnu, the undenufn>"d r^spectfnlly pr&y that tliu 

a the CunHtitotion, recently paiued by thu House, and now befoiv 
V body, be not adopted. And ax in duty bound, etc," 

\ tlie opinion of Seufttor Wni. Pitt Fesseuden, Senator 
f WUaon. Mid mimy others, that the measure here memo- 
iBcd BgaioHt, would, if incorporated iuto the Couetilutiou, 
^^t-iainly bring about the oufrancluBement of the whole coloured 
l''j)^)u]atioii of the South. It was held by tlieio to be an iiidnce- 
•rj<^iit to the Statoa to make suffrage imiveraal, since tlie haafs of 
*"«^? ^irescntation would be enlarged or contract-ed, according as 
^^UTrage should be extended or hmited ; but the judgment of these 
''^aJera was not the judgment of Senator Snmuer, Senator Wade, 

* ates. Howe, and others, or of tlie coloured people. Yot, weak as 
'^ta measure was, it encountered the united opposition of Democratic 
"^Uators. On that side, the Hon. Thomas H. Hendricks of 
^■^ (liana, took the lead in appealing to popular prejudice against 
^'fe negro. He contended that among other objectionable and in- 
^iififerahle restiltfi that would tlow from its adoption would be, that 

* negro would ultimately he a member ot the United States 
*^Uate. I never shall forgot the ineffable soorn and indignation 




nith wbjch Mr. H*eiidrick9 deplored the poBeibtlity of such an 
event. In less, however, than a decade from that debftte, 
Senators Revels and Bruce, both coloured men, have fulfilled Uio 
startling prophecy of the Indiana Benator. It was not. Iiowerer, 
by the half-way measure, which he was opposing for its radicaliaoi, 
but by the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments, that these 
gentlemen reached their houourable posltionfl. 

In defeating the option proposed to be given to the States, ta 
extend or deny suffrage to their coloured population, much credit 
is due to the delegation already named as visiting President 
Johnson. That delegation made it their business to peraon&Iljr 
see and urge upon leading Bepubh'can statesmen the visdom and 
duty of impartial suffrage. Day after day, Mr. Downing and 
myself saw and conTCrsed with those members of the Senate, 
whose advocacy of the suffl'age would be likely to insure its 

The second marked step in effecting the eafi'ancbiscmont of tbe 

negro, was made at the " National Loyalist's Convention," held at ^M 
Philadelphia in September, 1866. This body was composed of ^ftj 
delegates from the South. North, and West. Its object was to ^c:k 
diffuse clear views of the situation of affairs in tbe South, and to -«=»« 
indicate the principles deemed advisable by it to be observed i& tbe«^-e 
reooDstruction of society in tbe Southern States. 

This Convention was, as its history shows, numerously atteudedi^»^ 
by the ablest and moat influential men from all sections of tha 
country, and its deliberations participat«d in. by them. 

The policy foreshadowed by Andrew Johnson, who, by tlie g 
of the assassin's bullet, was then in Abraham Lincoln's seat, 
pahcy based upon the idea that the rebel States were never unt a 
the Union, and hence bad forfeited no rights which his pftFd(= 
could not restore — gave importance to this Convention, c 
anything which was then occurring in the South ; for through ti 
treachery of this bold, bad man, we seemed tlicn about to I 
nearly all that had been gained by tbe war. 

I was residing in Bochester at the time, and was duly elected. Mt 
a delegate from that city to attend this Convention. The houusr 
\vaa a surprise and a gratiliuation to me, It was unprecedented, for 
a city of over sixty thousand white citizens and only about Wo 
hundred coloured residents, to elect a coloiu'ed man to reprcwt 


^Biem in a Dutional political convention, and the announcement of 
^R gave a shock to the country, of no inconsiderable violence. 
^Blany Repiihlicans, with every feehng of respect for me personally 
^ftere unable to see the wisdom of such a course. They di'eaded 
^Be damoor of social equality and amalgamation which would be 
^Hused gainst tlie party, in consequence of this startling innovation. 
^Bbey, dear fellows, foiuid it much more agreeable lo talk of the 
^Knciples of hberty as gUttering geuerahties, than to reduce tliosc 
^Binciples to practice. 

^B When the train on wliioh I was going to the convention reached 

^BuriBburgb, it met and was attached to another from the West, 

^Hmwded with Wcstei'n and Southern delegates on the way to the 

^Btmvention, and among them were several loyal Governors, chief 

^Knong whom was the loyal Governor of Indiana, Oliver P. Morton, 

^B man of Websterian mould in all that appertained to mental 

^Mver. When my presence became known to these gentlemen, a 

^HnenltatioQ was immediately held among them, upon the question 

^ft to what it was heat to do with me. It seems strange now, in 

^Bbw of all the progress whicli has been made, that such a question 

^Kmld arise. But the circumstances of tlie times made me the 

^Bpnah of the Republican ship, and responsible for the contrary 

^HindR and misbehaving weather. Before we reached Lancaster, on 

^Hir eastward bound trip, 1 was duly waited upon by a committee 

^B my brother delegates, which had been appointed by other 

^■Dnonrable delegates, to represent to me the undesirableness of my 

^Bfcendauce upon the National Loyalist's Convention. The spokes- 

^Bui of these sub-delegates was a gentleman from New Orleans, 

^Hitb a very French name, which has now escaped me, but which I 

^Bjbli I could recall, Uiat I might credit him with a high degree 

^H politeness and the gift of eloquence. He began by telling me 

HEal he knew my histoi-y and my works, that he entertained a very 

liigh respect for ine, tJiat both himself and the gentlemen who sent 

him, as well as those who accompanied liini, regarded me witli 

Admiration ; tliat there was not among them the remotest objection 

b sitting in the Convention with me, but their personal wishes in the 

Alter they felt should be set aside for the sake of our common cause ; 

lat whether I should or sliould not go into the Convention was 

rely a matter of expediency ; that I must know that there was a 

n-y strong and hitter prejudice against my race -in the North as 

well aB in tbo Soutli : aud that the cry of social and political ' 
equality would not iail tu be raised agaicat the BepubLcan party If , 
I filiould attend this Loyal National CouveDtioii. He iusisted that 
it was a time fur tlie sacrifice of uy owu persoual feeling, foi Uie 
good of the Republicaii cause ; that there were several districta in 
,. tlie Slate of Indiana so evenly balanced that a very slight ciraim- 
would be Ukely to turn tlic scale against us, and defeat our 
lasional candidates, and thus leave Congress without a two- 
vote to control the headstrong and treacherous niaa then 
in the presidential chair. It was urged that this was a terrible 
responsibihty for me or any other man to take. 

I hstened very attentively to this address, uttering no word 
during its dehvery ; but when it was finished, I said to the speaker 
and the conunittee. with all the emphasis 1 could throw into my 
voice and manner: "Gentlemen, with all respect, you might as 
well ask me to put a loaded pistol to my head and blow my brains 
out, as to ask me to keep out of this Convention, to which I have 
lieen duly elected. Then, gentlemen, what would you gain by this 
esclusion ? Would uot the charge ot cowardice, certain to be 
brought against you. prove more damaging than that of amalgama- 
tion ? Would you uot be branded all over the land as dastardly 
hypocrites, profeasiiig pviuciplea which yon have no wish or inten- - 
tion of carrying out '! As a mere matter of policy or expediency, 
you will bo wise to let me in. Everybody knows that I have been j 
duly elected as a delegate by the city of Rochester. The fact h 
been broadly announced and commented upon all over the country. -i 
If I am not admitted, the public will ask, "Where is Douglass f^T - 
Why is he uot seen in the conveutiou ? ' And you would find that-^ 
enquiry more difficult to answer thiiu any charge brought againti ^ 
you for favouring pohtical or social equahty ; but, ignoring Hi .m 
ijuestion of policy altogether, and looking at it as one of rigltJ 
and wrong, I am bound to go into that Convention ; not to do S' 
would contradict the principle and practice of my life." With Ui -. 
answer, the committee retired &om the car in which I was seate^ 
and did not again approach me on the subject ; but 1 saw plain _ // 
enough then, iis well as on the momiug when the Loyalr^ 
procession was to march through the streets of Philadelphia, I 
while I was not to be formally excluded, I was to be ignored 
the Convention. 

phia, lL^bM-^J 


' I was the ugly and deformed child of the family, and to be kept 

sight as muuh as possible while there was oompaBy in the 

iiae. Especially was it the parpoae to offer me uo inducement 

be present in tlie ranks of the procession of its membere and 

mends, which was to start from Independence Hall oa the first 

ing of its meeting. 

In good aeuDon, however, I was present at this grand starting 

{mint. My reception there confirmed my impression as to the 

policy intended to bo pursued towards me. Few of the maQy I 

I Imew were prepared to give me a cordial recognition, and among 

Wse few I may mention Oen. Benj. F. Butler, who, whatever 

tilers may say of him, has always shown a courage ei^ual to his 

mvictions. Almost everybody else on tlie ground whom I met 

Semed to be ashamed or afraid of me. On the previous night I 

i been warned that I should not be allowed to walk through the 

f in the procession ; feai's had been expressed that my presence 

U it would so shock the pi-ejudices of the people in Philadelphia, 

■ to cause the procession to bo mobbed. 

The members of the Convention were to walk two abreast, and 

Rfl I was the only coloured member of the Convention, the question 

was, as to who of my brother members would consent to walk 

_with me ? The answer was not long id coming. There was im« 

t present who was broad enough to take in the whole situation, 

ind brave enough to meet the duty of the hour ; one who was 

laitber afraid nor ashamed t-o own me as a man and a brotlier ; 

a man of the purest Caucasian type, a poet and a scholar, 

iant as a writer, eloquent as a speaker, and holding a high and 

illlaential position^the editor of a weekly journal having the 

pgest circulation of any weekly paper in the city or State of New 

yrk — and that man was .Vr. Thendnrr Tilum. He came tome in 

J isolation, seized me by the hand in a most brotherly way, and 

proposed to walk with me in the processiou. 

I have been in many awkward and disagreeable positions in 
my life, when the presence of a friend would have been highly 
v-alned. hut I think I never appreciated an act of courage and 
}j;enoroas sentiment more highly than I did in this brave young 
man, when we marched tlirough the streets of Philadelphia on 
B^s memorable day. 

Well I what came of all these dark forebodings of timid men f 


How was my presence reg&rdecl by the populace, and wliat effect 
did it produce ? I will tell you. The feara of onr loyal Governors, 
who wished me excluded, to propitiate the lavour of the crowd, 
met with a signal reproof, their apprehensions were shown to be 
grouudless, and they were compelled, aa many of theiQ confessed 
to rae afterwards, to own themselves entirelyniistaken. The people 
were more enhghtened. and had made more progress than their 
leaders had supposed. An act for which those leaders expected tn 
be pelted with stones, only brought to them unmeasured applause. 
Along the whole line of march iny presence was cheered repeatedly 
and enthusiastically. I was myself utterly surprised by the 
heartiness and unanimity of the popular approval. We wore 
marching through a city remarkable for the depth and btttemeBa of 
its hatred of the abohtioii movement; a city whose iwpulace had 
mobbed an ti- slavery meetings, burned temperance halls and 
churches owned by coloured people, and burned down Feniisylvania 
Hall because it had opened its doors to people i^f different colours 
upon terms of equality. But now the uhildreji of those who had 
committed these outrages and folhes were applauding the very 
principles which their fathers had condemned. After the deoncni- _ 

stratious of this first day, I foimd myself a welcome member of the —a 
invention, aud cordial greeting took the place of cold aversion. . .- 
The victory was short, signal, and complete. 

During the passage of the procession, as we were marching ^ - 
through Chesnnt Htreet, an incident occurred whicli excited some f» m 
interest in the crowd, and was noticed by the Press at the Ume,^ '^^ 
and may perhaps be proiierly related here as a part of the story (Aaj^ 
my eventful hfe. It was my meeting Mrs. Amanda Hears, th^.^^1 
daughter of my old mistress. Miss Lucre tia Auld, the same Lucreli^ k— it 
to whom I was indebted for so many acts of kindness wheiK-^^eii 
under the rough treatment of Amit Katy, on the " old plantation*: ■•^^ij 
home " of Ciil. Edward Lloyd. Mrs, Sears now resided ui Baltf^^^^ti- 
more, and as I saw her at the comer of Nintli and Chesuut 8trc«liT -tls. 
I hastily ran to her, and expressed my surprise aud joy at mee1 
her, "But what brought you to Philadelphia at this time? 
asked. She replied, with animated voice and countenance, 
beard you were to be here, and I came to see yon walk in this 
cession." The dear lady, witli her two children, had been follow 
US for hours. Here was the daughter of the owner of a slave, f( 

ing with enthusiasm that slave now a free man, and listenJnfr with 
joy to the plaudits be received as he marchGd along through the 
crowded atreeta of the great city, And here I may relate another 
circiuostauce which should have found place earlier in this star)', 
which will further explaiu the feeling subsisting between Mrs. 
Sears and myself. 

Heven years prior to our meeting, as just described, I deUvered 
a Iticture in National Hall, Philadelphia, and at its close a gentle- 
man approached me and said. " Mr. Douglass, do you know that 
. ytinr once misti-ess baa been listening to you to-night?" I replied 
1 1 did not, nor was I inclined to believe it. The fact was, that 
pliad four or five times before had a similar statement made to me 
' different individuals in different States, and this made me 
Beptical in this instance. The next morning, however, I received 
i note from a Mr. Wm. Needles, very elegantly written, which 
bated that she who was Amanda Aiild, daughter of Thomas and 
mcretia Auld, and granddaughter to my old master, Capt. Aaron 
uChouy, was now married to Mr. John L. Sears, a coal merchant 
I West Philadelphia, The street and number of Mr. Sear's office 
S given, so that I might, by seeinghim, assure myself of the facts 
1 the case, and perhaps learn something of the relatives whom I 
1«A in slavery. This note, with the intimation given mo the uight 
oofore, convinced me there was something in it. and I resolved to 
luiow the truth. I had now been out of slavery twenty years, and 
Kto word had come to me from my sisters, or my brother Perry, or 
Ciy grandmother. My separation had been as complete as if I had 
len an inhabitant of another planet. A law of Maryland at that 
na visited with heavy tine and imprisonment any coloured person 
■rlio should come into the State ; so I could not go to them any 
B than they could come to me. 
Eager to know if my kinsfolk still lived, and what was their 
condition. 1 inude my way to tlie office uf Mr. Sears, found him in, 
And handed him the note I had received from Mr. Needles, and 
Mslced him to be so kuid as to read it and tell me If the facts were 
ke there stated. After reading the note, he said it was true, but 
hie must decline any conversation with me, since not to do so would 
a a sacrifice to the feelings of his father-in-law. I deeply regretted 
■ deoiston, and spoke of my long separation from my relations, 
jealing to him to give me some infoi'mation concerning them. I 


Bawthnt my words were not witlioat their efiieot. Preseuiljrlieiui ' 
"You pnblish a newspaper. 1 believe?" " I do," I swd, " but i( tlxl 
in your objection to speaking tome, no word shall go into its m1mi» 
of our conversation."' To make a long story aliort. we haJllw. 
quite a long convers&tion, during whioli Mr. Sears said tint in ml 
"Narrative" I had done his father-in-law injustice, for Ho m 
really a kind-hearted man, and agood master. I replied thktl^ 
ninst be two sides to the relation of master and slave, and *1^ 
was deemed kind and just lo the one was tlie opposite tOth*i 
Mr. Sears was not disposed to be imreasonable. and th^j 
talked the nearer we came together. I finally asked 
see Mrs. Sears, the little girl of seven or eight years 
the eastern shore of Maryland. This reqnest was a little toa 
for him at first, and he put me off by saying she was a men ^' 
when I last saw her. and she was now the mother of a l«gt 
family of children, and I would not know her. He coold teDiM 
everything about my people as well as she. I pressed my liAi 
however, insisting that I could select Miss Amanda out at 
thousand other ladies, my recollection of hei- was so perfoct, lA 
begged him to test my memory at this poml. Aft«r much p^ 
of this nature, he at length cousented to my wishes, giving 
number of Lis house and name of the street, with permiuioii' 
oall at 8 o'clock p.u. on the next day. I left him. delighted, 
prompt to the hour was ready for my visit. I dressed mysaU 
my best, and hired the finest caj-riage I could get to t>ka 
liartly because of the distance, and partly to make the oml 
between tlie slave and tlie fi'ee man as strikiug as poesible. 
Bears had been equally thoughtful. He had invited to his 
number of friends to nitness the meeting between Mrs. Sewa 

I was somewhat disconcerted when I was ushered into the ll 
p&rlour occupied by about thirty ladies and gentlemen, (o tH 
whom 1 was a perfect stranger. I saw tlie design to teet 
memory by making it difficult for me to guess which of the 
wu " Miss Amanda." In her girlhood, she was small and alt 
and hence n thin and delicately formed lady was seated 
ehkir, near the centre of the room, with a little girl by her 
The device was good, bat it did not snoceed. Glancing around 
room, I »w in an instant the lady who was a child twentj- 

^^^^^^1 K HAFVV RECIXiNITlON. 347 

^^•^Hjefore, and tlie wife aud mother uow. Satisfied nf this, I 
said. ■' Mr. Sears, if you will allow me, I will select Miss Amanda 
froiD tfats company." I started towards her, and she, seeiiig tliat 
pj recognized her, bounded to me with joy in every feature, and 
BXpressed her gi-eat happiness at seeing me. All thought of slavery, 
^Holour, or what might seem to belong to the dignity of her position 
Btnished, and the meeting was as the meeting of friends long 
■eparatcd, yet still present in each other's memory and affection. 
H Amanda made haste to tell me that she agreed with me about 
^bftvery, and that she had| h-eed all her slaves as tliey had become 
mt age. She brought her children to me, and I took them in my 
Bitiia, with sensationa which I could not, if I would, stop here to 
Htacribe. One explanation of the feeling of this lady towards me 
Bfts, that her mother, who died when she was yet a tender child, 
^bd been briefly described by me in a httle " Narrative of my Life," 
^pblialied many years before our meeting, aud when I could have 
Hpd ao motive but the highest for what I said of her. She had 
^■ftd my story, and learned something of the amiable qualities of 
^Hr mother through me. She also recuUeoted that as I had had 
^balft as a slave, she had had her trials under the core of a step- 
Btotlier, and that when she was harshly spokcu to by her father's 
^Boond wife, she could always read in my dark face the]sympathy of 
Bie who had often received kind words &om the lips of her beloved 
Hotlier. Mrs. Score died thi-ee years ago in Baltimore, but she did 
Upi depart without caUing me to her bed-side, that I might tell her 
Hl much as I could about her mother, whom she was firm in the 
^bth that she should meet in anotlier, and a better world. She 
Hfpeoially wished me to describe to her the personal appeai-ouco of 
^tor mother, and desired to kuow if any of her own children then 
^besent resembled her. I told her that the young lady standing in 
^be comer of the room was the image of her mother in form and 
Bfttures. She looked at her daughter aud said, " Her name ia 
BiBcretift— after my mother." After telhng me that her life had 
Boen a happy one, and tlianklng me for coming to see her on her 
«leftth-bed, she said she was ready to die. We parted to meet no 
»aore in life. The interview touched me deeply, and was, I could 
xxoi help thinking, a strange one — another proof that " Truth is 

stranger than Fiction. " ^m 

If any reader of this part of my life shall see in it the cvideno«MH 


818 rae lonvkst 

a waut iif inaiily resentuieut for wrougs inflicted upon mjsdt a 
race by slavery, and by the ancestors of tliis lady, so it mnel W 
No man can be stronger than nature, one touch of wLidi, we i 
(old, makes all the world akin. I esteem myself a good, persib 
hater of injustice and oppression, but my resentment ceaseevl 
tbiiy cease, and I have no heart to visit upon children the ma ti 
their father B. 

It wilj be noticed, when I first met Mr, Sears in PhUadelpha,!" 
declined to talk with me, on the ground that I had been nujuat tfl 
Capt. Auld. his fatlier-in-law. tSoon after that meetmg. Capt. iM 
had occasion to go to Philadelphia, and. as usual, went stnugblU 
the house of his aou-iu-law. and had hai*dly finished the ordin^ 
salutations, when he said: " Sears, I see by the pftpers iW 
Frederick has recently been In Philadelphia. Did you go to bar 
him?" ■• Yes, sir," was the reply. After asking something n 
about my lecture, he said. " Well, Sears, did Fi'ederick come tow 
you ?" '■ Yes. sir," said Sears. ■' Well, how did you receive himf 
Mr. Sears then told him all about my visit, and had the satisbctit 
of hearing the old man say tliat be had done right in giving a 
welcome to the house, Thislastfactlhavc&om the Bev. J. D.Lui^' 
who, with his wife, was one of the party invited to meet me at A 
liouBe of Mr. Sears, on the occasion of my visit to Mrs. Hears. 

But I must now return from tliis digression, and fuKher r 
my experience in the Loyalist National Convention, and how bd 
that time there was an impetus given to the en&auchiscmentof A 
freedmen, which culminated in the fifteenth ameudmeut to II 
OouBtitulion of tlie United States. From the first, the membeni 
the Convention were diiided in their views of the proper u 
of reconstruction, and this division was in some sense sectitnw 
The men from the far South, strangely enough, were quite rtdk 
while those from the border States were mostly conservative, a 
unhappily, these last had control of the Convention from the fi] 
A Kentucky gentleman was made President, and its other offle 
were for tlie most part Kentitckians, and all opposed to coloori 
8U&age iu sentiment. There was a " whole 
Kentucky phrase — of halfiiesa" in that State during the war for ill 
Union, and there was much more there after the w&r. The Utf 
land delegates, with the exception of the Hon, John L. TbumM,« 
in sympathy witli Kentucky. Those from VU'ginia, except the B 

' 7alm Miner Botts, were luiwilliiig to eutertain tlie questiou. Tlie 
rosnit was, that the Conventiou waa broken square in two. The 
Kentucky President declared it adjourned, and left the chau- afjaiuHt 
the earnest protests of the friends of manhood suffrage. 

Bnt tiie friends of thia measure were not to be out-generalled and 
tfuppressed in tliis way, and inatantly reorganizing, elected Jolm 
M. Botts of Virginia. President, discussed and pastsed resolutions in 
hvour of enfranchising the freedmen, and tiiiis placed the question 
before the country in such a manner that it could not be ignored. 
The delegates from the Soiitiiern States were quite in earnest, and 
li-tre themselves grandly in support of the measure ; but the chief 
speakers and advocates of aufii'age on that <wcasion were Mr. 
Theodore Tilton and Miss Anna K. Dickinson. Uf course, on snch 
^ift question, I could not be expected to be silent, f was called for- 
.. and responded with all t)ie energy ol my soul, for I looked 
atifirage to the negro, as the only meaaui'e which could prevent 
1 from being thrust back into slavery. 
. From tliis time onward tbe question of suSrage had no rest. 
rapidity with which it gained strength was more than 
Surprising to me. 

Is addition to the justice of the measure, it was aoon com- 

itieuded by events as a political necessity. As in the case of the 

*%bolition of slavery, the white people of the rebeUious States have 

tliemsetvea to thank for its adoption. Had they accepted, witli 

kiioderate grace, the decision of the court to which they appealed, 

jid the liberal conditions of peace offered to them, and united 

ily with the National Government in its efforts to reconstruct 

(heir shattered institutions, iustead of sullenly refusing as they 

., their oonnsel and their votes to that end. they might easily 

nve defeated the argument based upon necessity for tlie measui'e. 

it was, the question was speedily taken out of the bands of 

Qoloored delegations and mere individual eflVirta, and became a 

l»rt of the policy of the Republican party ; and President U. S. 

Orant, with his characteristic nerve and clear perception of justice, 

ironiptly recommended the great amendment to the Constitution, 

f which coloured men are to-day invested with complete citizen- 

tiip — the right to vote, and to be voted for, iu tlie American 



Pliidnc«iii«iitji to a politicnl career— Obgectious— A newspaper onterprisp— Thi' ^h 

[ "New National Era"— ItH abandaimient — The Freedmen'a Ssvings and Tnut ^^M 
I Ckimpany Sad experience— -Vindication. ^^H 

THE adoption of the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments, and j{ 

their incorporation into the ConBtitution of the United States, _ ,5=, 
opened a very tempting field to my ambition, and one to which I J^ \ 
Bliniild have probably yielded, had I been a younger man. I vas ^.^^t 
earnestly urged by many of my respected fellow-citizens, both a-f^-^.l 
coloured and white, and from all sectionB of the conntrj', to take^sf^ 
up my abode in some one of the many districts of the Soath^ *Jiil 
', where there was a, large coloured vote, and get myself elected, ii~ ■■ a 
they were sure I eaeily could do, to a seat in Congress — possibly nzxx - 1 
I the Senate. That I did not yield to this temptation was nor«=>.x3io 
entirely due to my ago; for the idea did not square well with ntj^MiKxmj 
[ 'better judgment and sense of propriety. The thought of going t*<^ " U 
I live among a people in order to gain their votes and acqnir>~KL£^stri 
l official honours, was repugnant to my ^elf-respect, and I had nor:».c=M)<i[ 
[ lived long enough in the political atmosphere of Washington L* !<■ 

[ have this sentiment suHicieutly blunted to make me indifferent t^ - I" 
its suggestions. I do not deny that the arguments of my hien^» M:3ad» 
. had some weight in them, and fi'om their stand-point it was a^K nil 
, right; but I was better kiiowii to myself than to them. 1 h^^=:iadim 
I small faith in my aptitude as a politician, and could not hope tQM 

cope with rival aspirants. My life and labours in the North had -I ^^H 
' a measure imlitted me for such work, and I could not readily liii^ ''N[^B 
adapted myself to the peculiar oratory found to be most effect^— in^^l 
L with the newly enfranchised class. In tlie New England aH^Ba<^^| 

' Northern atmosphere I had acquired a style of speaking wL >eb ^^M 

in the Soutli would have been considered tame and spiritless ; ik-^vH^, ^^M 


ueqnently, lie who " could tear & pasaiou to tattert) atid Hplit the 
f of groundlings," Uad far better obaiice of auccess with the 
laes there, than oue so little boisterous as myself. 
DpoD the whole. I have never regretted that I did not enter the 

& of CongrPSBional honoura to which I was invited. 
jDntsidB of mere personal cousidcrations, I saw. or thought I 
r, that in the nature of the case the sceptre of power had passed 
I the old slave and rebellious States, to the fi-ee and loyal 
ind that hereafter, at least for some time to come, the 
X North, with its advanced civilization, must dictate the policy 
I oonta-ol the destiny of the Republic. I had an audience ready 
Q in the irea States : one whicli tho labours of thirty years had 
for me, and before this audience the freedmen of the 
ptb needed au advocate as much as they needed a member of 
I think in this I was right ; for thus far our coloured 
ubers of Congress have not largely made themselves felt in the 
^ ''trislation of the country ; and I liave Httle reason to think I 
■ iild have done any better than they. 

I was not, however, to remain long in my retired home in 
-Etochester, where I had planted niy trees and was reposing ander 
^Leir shadows. Au effort was beiu^ made abtiut this time to 
^Btftblish a large weekly newspaper in the city of Washington, 
'^^hich ahoold be devoted to the defence and enlightenment of the 
*»ewly emancipated and enfranchised i>oople ; and I was urged by 
'^'uch men as George T. Downing, J. H. Hawes, J. Sella Martin, and 
*:*thers, to become its editor-in-chief. My sixteen years' experience 
^kB editor and publisher of my own paper, and the knowledge of the 
'ft^«il and anxiety which such a relation to a pubhc journal must 
%%il|>OBe, caused me much reluctance and hesitation ; nevertheless, 
31 yielded tn the wishes of my friends and counsellors, went to 
"^Wftshington, tlirow myself into the work, hoping to be able to lift 
'^^p a standard at the National Capital, for my people, which should 
*^lieer and strengthen them in the work of their own improvement 
^^jid elevation. 

I was not long connected with this enterprise before I discovered 
>--uy mistake. The co-operation so liberally promised, and the sup- 
i*;>rt wliich bad been assured, wore not very largely realized. By 
pWriea of circumstances, a httle bewildering as I now look 
EQi I found myself alone, under the mental and peci 

S62 THE "N 

burden involved iu tlie proBecution of the euterprlse. I iai bt 
misled by loud talk of a grand inooi-porated pubUsbing oompu 
ill which I should have shares if I wished, and in any caae&Gi 
salary for my services ; and after all these fair -seeming conditiaiii. 
I hod not been connected with the paper one year before its iSat 
had been so managed by the agent appointed by this inraiUt 
company or corporate body, aa to compel me to bear the 
alone, aud to become the sole owner of the printing establislimtiiit. 
Having become publicly associated with the enterprise, I ni u 
willing to have it prove a failure, aud had allowed it to beoocuia 
debt to me, both for money loaned, and for services, and atbftit 
seemed wise that 1 shonld purchase the whole concern, whiob I 
did, and turned it over to my sous Lewis and Frederic, who*i 
practical printers, and who, after a few years, were compelled to' 
discontinue its publication, This paper was the Xew yatvmalBn 
tu the columns of which the coloured people are indebted for ton 
of the best things ever uttered iu behalf of their cause : for. ui 
from its editorials and selections, mauy of the ablest coloured IM 
of the country made it the medium through which to convey Uk 
thoughts to the public. A misadventure though it was, whichw 
me from nine to t^ thousand dollars, over it I have tio teani 
slied. The journal was valuable while it lasted, and the exp^ 
ment was full of instruction to me, which has to some extent b* 
heeded, for I have kept well out of newspaper uudertakings since 

Some one has said that " experience is the best teacher." I 
fortunately the wisdom acquired in one experience seems uot 
serve for another and new one ; at any rate, my first lesson atu 
National Capital, bought rather dearly as it was. did not preeloi 
the necessity of a second whetstone to sharpen my wits I 
new home and new smTouudings. It is uot altogether without 
feeling of humiliation that I must narrate my connection with tl 
" Freedmen's Savings and Trust Company," 

This was an institutiou designed to famish a place of ■ 
and profit for the hard earnings of the coloured people, espeoil 
of the South. Though its title was " The Freedmen's Savin 
and Trust Company," it was known generally as the " Freedmei 
Bank." According to its managers it was to be this and somethi 
more. There was something missionary in its composidon. I 
it dealt largely in exhortations as well as promisea. The n 

lueoted with ha Dianagemeut were generally chiirch members, 
i repnted eminent for their piety. Some of its agents had heon 
Wachera of the " Word." Their aim was now to instil into the 
bids of the niittitored Africans lesBons of sobriety, wisdom, and 
Ibnomy, and to show them how to rise in the world. Ciraulars 
tots, and other papers were scattered like snowflalies in winter 
f this benevolent institution among the sable millions, and they 
were told to " look " to the Freedmen'a Bank and " live. 
Branches were established in all the Southern States, and as a 
result, money Howed into its vaults to the amount of millions. 
With the asnal effect of sudden wealth, the managers felt like 
making a, little display of their prosperity. They accordingly 
erected one of the most costly and splendid buildings of the time 
I one of the most desirable and expensive sites in the National 
pital, finished on the inside with black walnut, and furnished 
I marble counters and all the modem improvements. The 
^lifcent dimensions of the building bore testimony to its 
uiBhiug condition. In passing it in the street I often peeped 
3 its spacious windows, and looked down the row of its gentlc- 
oly and elegantly -diseased coloured clerks, with their pens behind 
beir ears and button-hole bouquets in their coat-&onts, and felt my 
f eyes enriched. It was a sight I had never expected to see. 
L waa amazed with the faciUty with which they counted the money ; 
CLey threw off the thousauda with the dexterity, if not the ac- 
*-aaracy, of old and experienced clerks. The whole thing was 
lAQtiful. I had read of this Bank when I hved in Bochoster, and 
I indeed been solicited to become one of its trustees, and had 
^nctantly consented to do so ; but when I came to Washington 
[ aaw its magnificent brown stone &ont, its towering height. 
I its perfect appointments, and tlic fine display it made in the 
oBaotiou of its business, I felt like the Queen of Sheba when she 
r the riches of Solomon, " the half had not been told me." 
J After settling myself down in Washington in the office of the 
Kinc Em, I could, and did occasionally, attend the meetings of the 
d of Trustees, and had the pleasure of hstening to the rapid 
jrtB of the condition of the institution, which were generally 
f a moat encoiiragiug character. My confidence in the integrity 
i wisdom of the management was such that at one time I had 
ntmated to its vaults about twelve thousand dollars. It seemed 


fitting to me to cast in my lot with my brotiwr 
uid Lolp to build ap an inatitntion which represented tbeii 
and economy to Bncli striking advEintage : for the more miBiooM 
accumulated there, 1 thought, the more consideration and ntpcd 
would be shown to the colonred people of the whole country. 

About four months before this splendid inatitution was 
to close its doors in the starved and deluded faces of its 
and while I was assured by its President and by its Actnary d id 
sound condition, I was solicited by some of its trustees to atknrtbm 
to use my name in the board as a candidate for its Presidency. Bol 
awoke one morning to find myself seated in a comfortable Brm-clnBi 
with gold spectacles on my nose, and to hear myself oddreesed II 
President of the Freedmen's Bank. I could not help refieciingi 
the contrast between Frederick the slave boy, running abont 
Col. Lloyd's with only a tow linen shirt to coxar him, i 
Frederick — President of a Bank counting its assets by millicmt. 
had heard of golden dreams, but audi dreams had 
with this reality. And yet this seeming reality was sc&rcely 
substantial than a dream. My term of sen,'ice on this golu 
height covered only the brief space of three months, and [bd 
three months were. divided into two parts, during the first ptfti 
which I was quietly employed in an eifort to find out the « 
condition of the Bank and its numerous branches. This mil 
easy task. On paper, and from the representations of ita OMbU 
ment, its assets amounted to three millions of doUara. and l 
liabihtics were about equal to its assets. With such a shoving 
was encouraged in the belief that by curtailing expatsefl, dni 
away with nou-paying branches, which pohcy the trustees hadH 
adopted, we could be carried safely through the financial disml 
then upon the country. So confident was I of this, that in otA 
to meet what was said to be a temporary emergency, I < 
induced to loan the Bank ten thousand dollars of my own 
to be held by it until it could realize on a part of its at 
securities. This money, though it was repaid, was not dont 
promptly as under the supposed circumstances 1 thought it shO 
be, and these circumstances increased my fears leet the dit 
was not so easily bridged as the Actuary of tlie institution ' 
assured me it could be. The more I observed and leamedi 
more my confidence diminislied. I found that those trostcM 


^Bebed to isBoe cords and pufallBh addresBea professing the utmost 
^RtifideQce in the Btuilc, had themselvea not one doUar deposited 
^■ere. Some of them, while strongly assuring me of its soundness 
^M withdrawn their money and opened accounts elsewhere, 
^padually I discovered that the Bank bad sustained heavy losses 
^H the South through dishonest agents, that there was a discre' 
Hhncy on the books of forty thousand dollars, for which no account 
Boold be given, that instenid of our assets being equal to our 
HftbibtieB we uould not in all hkelihoods of the case pay seveuty- 
Bwo cents ou the dollar. There was an air of mystery, too, about 
H^ spacious and elegant apartments of the Bank building which 
Breatly troubled me, and which I have only been able to explain 
■Ct myself on the supposition that the cmphi/en, from the Actuary 
Bnd the Inspector down to the messengers, were, perhaps, natorally, 
Hoxlons to hold their places, and conoequently have the buBinesa 
Bfcm tinned, I am not a violent advocate of the doctrine of the total 
Bepravity of human nature, I am inclined, on the whole, to believe 
H| a tolerably good nature, yet instances do occur which oblige me 
H» concede that men can and do act from mere personal and selfish 
^kotives. In this case, at auy rate, it seemed not unreasonable to 
Bondude that the finely dresaed young gentlemen, adorued with 
K ens and bouquets, the most fashionable and genteel of all our 
Koloored youth, stationed behind those marble counters, should 
Besire to retain their places aa long ae there was money in the 
Hbnlta to pay them their salaries. 

■ Standing on the platform of this large and complicated estab- 

Bbhment, with its thirty-foui branches, extending from New Orleans 

Bp Philadelphia, its machinery in full operation, its correspondence 

Hftrried on in cipher, its Actuary dashing in and out of the Bank 

Hrith an air of pressing business, if not of bewilderment, I found 

VSie path of inquiry I was pursuing an exceedingly difficult one. I 

btew there had been very lately several runs ou tlie Bank, and 

that tliere had been a heavy draft made upon its reserve fund, but 

1 did not know, what I should have been told before being allowed 

■iD enter upon tlie duties of my office, that this reserve, which the 

: by its charter was required to keep, had been entirely 

lAQsted, and that hence there was nothing left to meet any 

urgency. Not to make too long a story, I was, iji six 

B after my election as President of this Bank, convmced that 


it was no longer a safe custodian of the hard earnings of my OOU' 
fiding people. This conclusion once reached. I conld not hcsittte 
ae to Qij duty in the premises, and tliis vms, to save as itmb u 
possible of tlie assets held by the Bank for the benefit of tha 
depositors ; and to prevent their being further squaudered in iieep- 
iQg up appearances, and in paying the salaries of luvself andolW 
officers in the bank. Fortunately. Congress, (ram wbich we hill 
our charter, was then in session, and its committees on financi 
were in daily session. I felt itmy duty toniake knowDasspeediljU 
possible to the Hon. John Sherman, chairman of the Senate ram- 
mittee on finance, and to Senator Scott of Fenusyh-ania, tiidd 
the same committee, that 1 regarded the institution as iusolwit 
and irrecoverable, and that I could no longer ask my pei][ile U- 
deposit their money in it. This representation to the finance ooni' 
mitlee subjected me to very bitter opposition on the part of Ihl 
officers of the Bank. Its Actuary, Mr. Stickney, immedittslf 
summoned some of the trustees, a dozen or so of them, togobeto 
the finance committee and make a counter statement to that' 
by me ; and this they did. Some of them who had assisted me V 
giving me facts showing the insolvency of the bank, now 
haste to contradict that conclusion, and to assure the coninutlM 
that it was abuudantlj ablo to weather the financial storm. tf>i 
pay dollar for dollar to its depositors if allowed to go on 

I was not exactly thunderstruck, but I was much amued tf 
this contradiction. I, however, adhered to my statement thai 
bank ought to stop. The Finance Committee substaniiaUy agiwi 
with me, and in a few weeks so legislated as to bring this 
banking busmess to a close by appointing three commiaaionen 
take charge of its affairs. 

This is a fair and unvarnished nan-ation of my connection fi 
the Freedmen's Savings and Tnist Company, otherwise known 
the Freedmen's Savings Bank, a connection which baa 
upon my head an amount of abuse and detractioa greater Ihl 
any encountered in any other part of my life. 

Before leavbg the subject, I ought in justice to myself, to sM 
that when I found that the affairs of the Bank were to be dM 
up, I did not, as I might easily have done, and as othen i 
make myself a preferred creditor and take my money ont 
the Bank, but on the contrary, I determined to take my ebiB 


uter depoaitiOrs, and left my money, to the amount of 
I tlionsand doUare, to be divided with the assets among 
) creditors of the bank. Aud now. after seven years have 
allowed for the value of the secuiitiea to appreciate, aud 
tJie loss of interests on tlie deposits for that length of time, tlie 
depositors may deem themselves fortunate if tboy receive sixty 
I the dollar of what they placed in the care of this fine 
lnvings institution. 

I It is also due to myself to state, especially since 1 have seen 
accused of bringing the Freedmen's Bank into ruin, 
1 squandering in senseless loons on bad security the hard' 
I moneys of my race, that all the loans ever made by the 
were made prior to my connection with it as its President. 
b a dollar, not a dime of its millions were loaned by me, or 
I my approval. The fact is, and all investigation shows it, 
I was married to a corpse. The line building was there, 
tB marble counters and black walnut finishinga, the 
and agile clerks, and the discreet and comely coloured 
r ; but the Life, which was the money, was gone, and 
f found that I had been placed there with the hope that by 
) drugs, some charma, some eonjuratinu, or some mighty 
gic," I would bring it back. 

I I became connected with the Bank 1 had a tolerably 
le for honest deahng : I had expended in the pubhcation 
r my paper in Rochester, thousands of dollars annually, and 
I often to depend upon my credit to bridge over immediate 
mta, but no man, there or elsewhere, can say I ever wronged 
I out of a cent; and I could, to-day, with the coniideuoe of 
converted tax collector, offer ■' to restore fourfold to any 
1 whom I have unjustly taken aught." I say this, not for 
i benefit of those who know me. but for the thousands of 
I race who hear of me mostly through the malicious and 
iviona assaults of unscrupulous aspirants, who vainly fancy 
Ikt they lift themselves into couiiideratiou by wanton attacks 
I the characters of men who receive a larger share of respect 
i esteem than themselves. 


THE most of my story is uow before the reader. Wliilewc 
of good or ill tbe tutiire may have in Btoro for me, Ibl 
past at least is secure. Ab I review the last decade np l(i tht 
present writing, I am impressed with a seuse of compleloica' 
a sort of rounding up of the ai'ch to tbe point where tilt 
stiine may be inserted, tbe scaffolding removed, and tbe 
with all its perfections or feiilts. left to speak for itself, 
decade, from 1871 to 1881, has been crowded, if time is CK 
of being tims described, with incidents and events wbioh 
well enough be accounted remarkable. To me tbey oeit 
appear strange, if not wonderful. My early life not only pi 
tj'i visible promise, but no bint of siicb experience. On 
conti'ary, that hfe seemed to render it, in part at least, im 
sible. In addition to what is narrated in the foregoing clu] 
I have to speak of my mission to Santo Domingo, my &[ 
ment as a member of the council for tbe government of t 
District of Colimibia ; my election as elector at lai^ for t 
t)tate of New York ; my invitation to speak at tbe monniiHiit 
the nnknoH-n loyal dead, at Arlington, on Decoration Day; i 
address on tlie unveiling of tbe Lincoln monument, at Lincoln ?li 
Washington ; my appointment to bring the electoral vote fri 
New York to the National Capital ; my invitation to Sft 
near tbe statue of Abraham Lincoln, Madison Bqnare. St 
York ; my accompanying the body of Vice-President Wilson 
Washington to Boston ; my conversations with Senator Su 
and President Grant ; my welcome to tbe receptions of 
tary Hamilton Fish ; my appointment by Preaideni B. 
Hayes to tbe office of Marshal of tbe District of Columbia; 
visit to Thomas Anld, the man who claimed me oa hts ftlii 
vid from whom I was purchased by my English fri 

r visit to Lloyd's plantation, the home of my childhood, after 

I absence of fifty-six years : my appointment by President 

. Garfield to the office of Recorder of Deeds of the 

btrict of Colnmbia, are some of the matters which belong to 

decade, and may oome into the chapter I am now about 


'hose who knew of my more than friendly relations with 
Hon. Charles Sumner, and of his determined opposition to the 
lexation of Santo Domingo to the United States, were sur- 
led to Snd me eai-nestly taking sides with General Grant 
that question. Some of my white friends, and a few of 
of my own colour— who, unfortunately, allow themselves to 
at public questions more through the medium of feeling 
of reason, and who follow the line of what is grateful to 
friends rather than what is consistent with their own con- 
ns — thought my course was an uugi-atefal return for the 
eminent services of the Massachusetts senator. I am free to 
say that, had I been guided only by tlie promptings of my 
heart. I should, in this controversy, have followed the lead of 
Cbarle^ Sumner. He was not only the most clear-sighted, 
brave, and uncompromising friend of my race who had ever 
stood upon the floor of the Senate, but was to me a loved, 
Inmom'ed. and precious personal friend ; a man possessing the 
exalted and matured intellect of a statesman, with the pure 
and artless heart of a child. Upon any issue, as between hira 
kd others, when the right seemed in anywise doubtful, I 
inld have followed his counsel and advice. But the anoexa- 
iou of Santo Domingo, to my understanding, did not seem 
to be any such question. The reasons in its favour were many 
and obvious ; and those against it, as I thought, were easily 
answered. To Mr. Sumner, annexation was a measure to extin- 
iah a colom'ed nation, and to do so by dishononrable means 
for selfish motives. To me it meant the aUiance of a 
and defenceless people, having few or none of the attrt- 
itea of a nation, torn and rent by internal feuds, unable to 
raaiutain order at home, or command respect abroad, to a govern- 
ment which would give it peace, stability, prosperity, and eivihzation. 
id make it helpful to both countries. To favour annexation at 
time when tiauto Domingo asked for a place in our Union, was 



Bid I 


SeO DirrxRaia jrom ckables hhunbr. 

a very diCTerent tbiitg from wbat it was when Cuba and Ceiitri 
America were sought by filibustering espeditions. When tbe 8la^ 
power bore rnle, and a spirit of injnstice and oppreBsioD animal 
and controlled every part of our Govemmeut, I waa for limiting ora 
dominion to tbe smalleat possible margin : bnt since liberty aiu 
equality have become tlie law of our land. I am for extending oni 
dominion whenever and wlierever such extension can peacesbl] 
and honourably, and with the approval and desire of all the portiei 
concerned, be accomplished. Santo Domingo wanted to CODU 
under onr Government upon the terma thus deacribad ; and fiM 
more reasons than I can stop here to give, I then believed, and dl 
now believe, it would have been wise to have received her into ooi 
sisterhood of States. 

The idea that annexation meant degradation to a ooloored 
was altogether fanciful ; there was no more dishoDUor to Saul 
Domingo in making her a State of the American Union, than i 
making Kausaa. Nebraska, or any other territory such a State. ', 
was giving to a part the strength of the whole, and lifting 
must bo despised for its isolation . into an orgauiitatioD i 
relationship which would compel cousideraltou aud respect. 

Though I differed from Mr. Sumner in respect to this nieasi 
and although I told him I thought he was unjust to Presid 
Grant, it never disturbed our friendship. After his great 
against annexation, which occupied sis: hours in itadehvery, and 
which he arraigned the President in a most bitter and 
manner, being at the White House one day, I was asked bj Pr«a< 
dent Grant what I "now thought of my friend Mr. Sumner"? I 
replied that I beUevcd Mr, Sumner sincerely thought, that in 
opposing annexation, he was defending tlie cause of the colour eA 
race as he always had done, but that I thought he 
I saw my reply was not very satisfactory, aud said " What do yoi 
Mr. President, think of Senator Snmner ?" He answered, wit 
some feeling, " I think he is mad," 

The difference in opinion on this question between these bn 
great men was the cause of bitter personal estrangement, an 
one which I intensely regretted. The truth is. that neither «i 
entirely just to the other, because neither saw the other in his 
character ; and having once fallen aamider, tbe 
came when they could be brought together. 


K Variance between great men tiuds no healiug influence in tlie 
BlAmospherc of Washington. Interested parties are ever ready to 
Hkn the flame of animosity and magnify tho grounds of lioBtility in 
^rarder to gain the favom- of one or the other. This is perhaps true 
^BB some degree iu every community ; but it is especially so of the 
Kiatioiial Capital, and this for the reason that there is ever a large 
BUoea of people here dependent upon the influeuue &ud favour of 
HfOWerAil public men for Iheir daily bread. 

■ My flelection to visit Santo Domingo with the commission sent 
Hither, was another point uidieatiug the difference between the 
»taj> TtMB and the new. It placed me on the deck of an American 
^BUn-of-war, manned by one hundred marines and iivc hundred 
^Bnen-of-wara-men, under the national flag, which I could now 
^BAU mine, in common with other American citizens, and gave 
^BM a place not In the forecastle, among the hands, nor in 
^Ue caboose with the cooks, but in the captain's saloon, and 
^Hk the society of gentlemen, scientists, and statesmen. It would 
Hm a pleasing task to narrate the varied experiences and tlie 
^^Btinguished persons encountered in this Santo Domingo tour, 
^uat the material is too boundless for the limits of these pages. 
US, can only say, it was highly interesting and instructive. 
Priie conversations at the captain's table, at which I had the 
honoor of a seat, were usually led by Messrs. Wade, Howe, 
and White — the three commissioners ; and by Mr. Hui'lbiirtof the 
.V«r York iVoilil ; the last-named gentleman impressed me as one 
remarkable for knowledge and refinement, in which he was uo 
whit behind Messrs. Howe and White. As for the Hon. Eenj. F. 
Wade, he was there, as everywhere, abundant in knowledge and 
exi>erieuce, liilly able to take care of himself in the discussion of 
any subject m which be cliose to take a part. In a circle so 
tirilliant, it is no afl'ectatiou of modesty to say I was for the most 
part a listener and a learner. The commander of oitr good ship 
on this voyage, Capt. Temple, now promoted to the position of 
Commodore, was a very imposing man, and deported himself with 
much dignity towards us all. For his treatment of me I am especially 
gmtefiil. A son of the United States navy as he was — a deport- 
ment of our service considerably distinguished for its aristocratic 
tendencies — I expected to find something a little forbidding in his 
majuer; bnt I am bound to say that in this I was agreeably 


disappointed. Both the commander aud the officers under 1 
bore themselves in a friendly manner towards me daring all i 
voyage, and this is saying a great thing for Ihem, for the 6 
tacle presented by a coloured man seated at the captain's t 
was not only miusual, but had never before occurred in 
history of the United States navy. If during this voyage thei 
was anything tn complain of. it was not in the men in autbori^ 
or in the condtiut of the thirty gentlemen who went out as t 
honoured guests of the expedition, hut in the coloured wait« 
My presence and position seemed to trouble them from its ini 
prehensibility ; and they did not know exactly bow to de| 
tbemselvea towards me. Possibly they may have detected i 
Bometliing of the same sort in respect to tbemaelveH ; a1 
rate we seemed awkwardly related to each other during seTei 
weeks of the voyage. In their eyes I was FVed. Douglass t 
denly, and posaibly undeservedly, lifted above thotn. The f 
that I was coloured and they were coloured had so long madi» 
ua equal, that the contradiction now presented was too mi».«jli 
for them. After all, I have no blame for Sam and Garrett. Tfcz^iy 
wore trained in the school of servility to believe that white t»C3ei> 
alone were entitled to be waited upon by coloured men ; and tbi 
lesson taught by my presence on the " Tennessee " was not iMz»bt 
learned upon the instant, without thought and experience. I ■ 
to the matter simply as an incident qnile commonly met wib 
the lives of coloured men who, by their own exertions or 
wise, have happened to occupy positions of respectability and h 
While the rank aud file of our race quote with much vchemea 
the doctrine of human equality, they are often among the fi 
deny and denounce it ui practice. Of course this is true only 
the more ignorant. Intelligence is a great leveller here as el 
where. It sees plainly the real worth of men and things, n 
is not easily imposed upon by the dressed-up emptiness of hou 

With a coloured man as conductor on a sleeping car, 1 
to have his bed made up at night, and the last to have his b 
blacked in the morning, and the l&at to be served in any v 
tJio coloured passenger. This conduct is the homage which i 
black man pays to the while man's prejudice, whose wishes, ] 

1-trained servant, he is taught to anticipate and obe 


ution, and circumstances are rapidly destroyiog these mere 
lour distiuctiouH, and meu will be valued in this couutry ae well 
B in others, for what tliey are, and for what thoy oaii do. 
iiy appointment at the hands of President Grant to a seat in the 
mcil — by way of eminence sometimes called the Upper Hoiise 
■ the territorial legislature of the District of Columbia^at the 
e it wan made, must be taken as a signal evidence of bis high 
tee of justice, fairness, and impartiality. The coloured people 
fiiie district constituted then, as now, about one-third of the 
lole population. They wore given by Gen. Grant, three members 
I this legislative council — a representation more proportionate 
1 any that has existed since the Govei-nment has passed into 
I hands of commisi oners, for they have all been white men. 
Bt bas sometimes been asked why I am called " Honourable.'" 
^appointment to this council must explain this, as it explains 
t impartiality of Gen. Grant, though I fear it will hardly sustain 
B prodigioiis handle to my name, as well as it does the former 
■ of this proi>ositiou. The members of this district council 
J required to be appointed by tlie President, with the advice 
and consent of the United States Senate. This is tlie (jround, 
and only ground that I know of, npon which anybody has claimed 
this title for me. I do not pretend that the foundation is a very 
f^ood one, but as I have generally allowed jwople to call me what 
they pleased, and as there is nothing necessarily dishonom-ablo 
in this, 1 have never taken the pauis to dispute its api)lication 
and propriety; and yet 1 confess that I am never so spoken of 
without feeling a trifle uncomfortable — about as much so as when 
I am called, as I sometimes am, the Her. Frederick Donglass. My 
stay in this legislative bi.idy was of short duration. My vocation 
abroad left me little time to study the many matters of local 
h^gislation ; hence my resignation, and the apiioiutmcut of my son 
Lewis to till out ray term. 

I have thus fai- told ray stoiy without copious quotations from 
my letters, speeches, or other writings, and shall not depart from 
iliis mie in what remains to be told, except to insert here my 
l<eech, delivered at Arlington, near the monument to the 
Unknown Loyal Dead, " on Decoration Day. 1871. It was de- 
livered under impressive circumstances, in presence of Pi-esideoti 
(irant, his Cabinet, and a great multitude of distinguished peopl 


Mid expi-esBes, &b 1 think, the true view which should be Ulnn j 
the great conflict between slavery and freedum to which it refers. 

" Friendf uiul Fellow CStbensi Tarry here for a moment. My wordu ■) 
be few iLud Hunple. The aqlemo liteii of thiH hoiir and place oall for ■ 
lengthened speech. There i» in the very air of this reatiBf; jiround of the a 
known dead a Hilent, subtle, and tax all-pervadiiif; elnqoence, far mc 
impresnive, and thrillin);, than living lips have ever attcrod. Into t 
meiuarele«e dopttiB of every loyal soul it is now whigpcriii^ lessons of aH tl 
is precious, prieeleiw, holiest, itnil most eodurin^ ill humiln eiiatonee. 

' ' Dark and sed will be tlie hour to thifl nation when it forgets to pay g: 
ful hcunage to its greatest benefactoru. The offering we bring to-day iJi dm 
alike to Ihe patriot BoIdierB dead and their noble comrades who still live ; tor 
whether living or dead, whether in time or eternity, the loyal aoldien who 
imperilled all for country Kud freedom are one and inHeparable. 

" Those unknown henNW whow whitened bones have been piansly gadteivd 
here, and whose green graven we now strew wi^ sweet and beoalifnl flowani, 
iihoioo emblems alike of pure hearts and brave spirits, reached in their glif'--" 
eoreer tliat last highest point uf nobleness beyond whieli himuui power ci 
go. They died for their country. 

'' Xo loftier tribute otui be paid t« the most illustrious of mM the benefae 
of mankind than we pay to these unrecognised noldiorH, when w( 
their gmvts this shining epitaph. 

"When the dark and vengeful spirit of slavery, alway* ambitiouB, | 
ring to role in bell to nerving in heaven, fired the Southern heart I 
stirred all the malign elements of discord ; when our great Republic, the hi 
of freedom and aelf-govenunent thraqghont the world, had reached tlie p 
of supreme peril ; when the Union of these States was lorn and nmt ai 
at tlu' cetitre, and the armies of a gigantiii reliellion came forth «riUi,ti 
bliides und bloody hands to destroy the very foundation of Amerioui m 
the unknown braveii who flung themnelves iuto the yawning chasm, 
eannon roared and bullets whistled, fought roid fell. They died f e 

' ' Wc HK sometimes aiUied, in the name of iiatriotism, to forgot the a 
this fearful struggle, and to remember with equal admiration those who st 
at the nation's life and those who struck to save it,— those who fought I 
ilavery, and those who fought for liberty and jiistiue. 

' ' I am no minister of malice. 1 would not xtrike the- fallen. 1 winitd ei' 
repel the repentant, but may my "right hand forget her running, and Bf 
tongue cleave to the root of my mouth," iS I forget the difference between it"' 
partioH to that terrible, protracted, and bloody conflict. 

"If we ought to forget a war which has filled our land with widon ud 
OTphasB, which has made stumps of men in the very flower of theor youth ; ■»• 
them on the joumuy of life armless, legless, maimed and mu(ilal«d ; n>>°° 
ha» piled up a debt heavier than a mountain of gold — swept uncounted thmiWH* 
it men into bloody graves, and planted ag>ony by a million hearthslonM ; ' "T 


IT is to be forgutten, I ask in tho namo of all things snored what kIkiII 

"The esseuoe and aijpiiticaiiRe of our devntioiiH here to-day are mit to be found 
in the fact that clie men whoHe remains fill those gnven wero btnve in battle. 
If we mtt mniplj to abow cnir atmee of braver}', we should Gnd enough to 
kindle admiration on botli sideii. In the raging storm of fire and blood, in the 
fierce torrent of ahot and shell, of nword and liayonet, whether on fcwt or on 
buise, unflinohing eourage uurkod the rebel nut lew than the loyal aoldier. 

' ' But we are not here to applaud manly ooomge, boto as it has been diaplayed 
in a noble cause. We must never forget that victory to the rebellion meant 
dEiatli to th« Republic. We must never forget that the loyal soldiera who rest 
beneath this sod flung* Ihomselvefl between the nation and the nation's destroyers. 
If to-day we have a country not boiling in an agony of blood like Fronoe ; if 
now we havo a united uountry, no longer cursed by the heU-blaak aystem of 
human bondage ; if the American name is uo lon|^ a by-word and n hisain;; 
to the mocking oartb ; if the star-spangled Iwinnor floats only over free American 
citizens in every qnarter of the bind, iind our country has before it a long and 
gtorioos career of justice, liberty, and civilisation, we are indebted to 
the onselflsh devotion of the noble army who rent in these honoured graves all 
BftmiLd us.'* 

In the mouth of April, 1672, I had the honour to attend and 
preside over a National Convention of colonred citizens, held in 
New Orleans. It was a critical period in the history of the 
Reimbllcun party, as welt as in that of the country. Enituent men 
itho had hitherto been looked upon as tlie pillars of Repubhcanism 
hud become diBsatialiedwith President Grant's administration, and 
ili.termined to defeat his nomination for a second term. The 
i> iiders in this unfortunate revolt were Messrs. Trumbull, Schurz, 
Greeley, and Sumner, Mr. Schurz had already succeeded in 
dc-ittroyiug the Repubhcan party in the State of Missouri, and it 
seemed to be his ambition to be the founder of a new party, and to 
him. more than to any other man, belongs the credit of what wa» 
once known as the Liberal Bepablican party which made Horace 
Greeley its standard bearer in the campaign of that year. 

At the time of the Convention in New Orleans the elements of 
this new combination were just coming together. Tlie division in 
the Bopublicau ranks seemed to be growing deeper and braader 
y day. The coloured people of the country wore much affected 
lie threatened disruption, and their leaders were much divided 
the aide upon which they should give their voice and their 
Th* names of Greeley and Sumner, on account of thoir 
g ftod earnest advocacy of justice and hberty to the blacks, had 


powerful attractioiiB for tlie newly enfraachised class ; and thn 
was in this Convention at New Orleans, naturally enough, f 
disposition to fraternize with the new party and follow tho lead 4| 
their old friends. Againat this policy I exerted whatever ii 
I posseaaed, and, 1 think, succeeded in holding back that I 
vention from what I felt sure then would have been a fai 
pt)lilical hlnnder, and timo has proved the correctness of 
jK>!jitiou. My Bpeech on taking tlie ohair on that occasion i 
telegraphed from New Orleans in full to the New York Htra^ 
and the key-note of it was that there was no path out of I 
Republican party that did not lead directly into the Democratic 
party — away from our friends and directly to our enemies. Happily 
this Convention pretty largely agreed with me, and its membera 
have not since regretted that agreement. 

From this Convention onward, until the nomination and electM 
of Grant and Wilson, I was actively engaged on the stomp, a p 
of the timo in Virginia witli the Hon. Henry ■^ibon, in Nea 
Carolina with John U. Longston and John H. Smyth, and in 
State of Maine with Senator Hamlin. Gen. B. F. Butler, < 
Woodford, and the Hon. James G. Blaine. 

Since 1872 1 have been regularly what my old friend Far^ 
Pi Ushury would call a "field hand" in every important politil 
campaign, and at each National Convention have sided with v 
has been called the stalwart clement of the Republican party. 
was in the Grant Presidential campaign that New York took i 
advanced step in the renunciation of a timid policy. The Ee^ 
puhhcauH of thai State not having the fear of popular prejudice 
before then- eyes placed my name as an Elector at large at the liesd 
of their Presidenlal ticket. Considering the deep-rooted sentimei 
of the masses against negroes, the noise and tumult likely to M 
raised, especially among our adopted citizens of Irish descent, 1 
was a bold and manly proceeding, and one for which the Repnbl 
of the State of New York deserve the gratitude of every ooloi 
citizen of the Republic, for it was a blow at popular prejudice, i 
quarter where it was capable of maldng the strongest resista 
The result proved not only the justice and generosity of t 
inoaanre, but its wisdom. Tlie Republicans carried the State by J 
majority nf fifty thousand over the h^ads of the Liberal. Bepnblica 
and the Democratic parties combined. 





B Equally significant of the turn now taken in the political aenti- 
|£t]t of the country, was the action of the Kepnblican Electoral 
e at its meeting in Albany, when it committed to my custody 
e sealed-np electoral vote of the great State of New York, and 
i to bring that vote to the National Capital. Only 
t years before, any coloured man was forbidden by law to 
L United States mail bag from one post-office to another. 
e was not allowed to touch the sacred leather, though locked in 
e steel ; " but now, not a mail bag, but a document which 
I to decide the Presidential questions with all its momentous 
erCBts, was committed to the hands of one of this despised class : 
I around him. in the execution of his trust, was thrown all the 
i provided by the Constitution and the laws of the land, 
1 I worked hard and long, to secure the nomination and the 
Bction of Gen. Grant in 1872, I neither received nor sought office 
r him. He was my choice upon grounds altogether free from 
or persfoal considerations. I supported him because he 
)ne, and would do, all be could to save, not only the 
y iroia ruin, bnt the emancipated class from oppression and 
"ultimate destruction ; and becauae Mr. Greeley, with the Demo- 
cratic party behind bim, would not have the power, even if he had 
the disposition, to afford ua the needed protection -which our 
eculiar condition required. I could easily have secured the 
wmtmeut as Minister to Hayti, but preferred to urge the claims 
t my friend, Ebenezcr Bassett, a gentleman and a scholar, and a 
kan well fitted by his good sense and amiable qualities to fill the 
^aition with credit to himself and his country. It is with a 
urtain degree of pride that I am able to say that my opinion of 
Ihe wisdom of sending Mr, Bassett to Hayti has been fully justified 
J the creditable manner In which, for eight years, he discharged 
e difficult duties of that position ; for 1 have the assurance of the 
Hon. Hamilton Fish, Secretary of State of the United States, that 
Mr. Bassett was a good Minister. In so many words, the ex- 
Socretary told me, that he " wished that one-half of his MinisterB 
abroad performed their duties as well as Mr. Bassett." To those 
who know the Hon. Hamilton Fish, this compUment will not be 
deemed slight, for few men are less given to exaggeration and are 
riyiulously exact in the observance of law, and in the use 
Lof language, than is that geutlemao. WJiile speaking in this 

868 tjavEajHG or tsb uncoln vokuhknt. 

straiii of complacency in reference to Mr, Bassett, I take plea^ui 
alao in bearing my testimony, based upon knowledge obt^ned t 
the State Department, that Mr- John Mercer Langston, 
present Minister to Hayti, has acquitted himself with equal vis*l 
dom and ability to tliat of Mr. Bassett in the same position. 
Having known both these gentlemen in their youth, when the one 
waB at Yale, and the other at Oberlin College, and witnessed their 
efforts to qualify themselves for positions of nsefulneaa, it lift; 
afforded me no limited satisfaction to see them rise in the world J 
Such men increase the faith of all, in the possibilities of their raoe j 
and make it easier for those who are to come after them. 

The onveiling of the Lincoln Monnment in Lincoln Park, Wasb^ 
ington, April 14th. 1876, and the part taken by me in the oen 
monies of that grand occasion, take rank among the most iutereati] 
inaidents of my Ufe, since it brought me into mental communicxi 
tiou with a greater number of the influential and distinguished mefti 
ofthe country than any I had before known. There jwere present the 
President of the United States and his Cabinet. Judges of the 
Supreme Court, the Senate and House of Representatives, and 
many thousuuidtn of citizens to listen to my address opon thftj 
illustrious man in whose memory the coloured people of the United 
Btates had. as a mark of then- gratitude, erected tliat impFessivn 
monument. Occasions hke this have done wonders in the removal 
of popular prejudice, and in hfting into consideration the oolonred 
race ; and I reckon it one of the high privileges of my Ufa, that 
I was permitted to have a share in this and several other lil« 


; OCCASION OF TRE imyEiuNa dp the PREEDMBN'a mohumbnt, in 


APRIL 14, 1876. 

P FrwTutt an/l ftUaw citixttu : 

~ WARMLY congratulate you upon the highly inteceating object 

" which has caused yoa to assemble in each numbers &nd 

't &e you have to-day. This occasion la in some respects 

irkable. Wise and thoughtfal men of our race, who shall 

e after us, and study the lesson of our history in the United 

9 ; who aball aarvey the long and dreary spaces over which 

kve travelled ; who shall count the links in the great chain of 

iQtB by which we have reached our present position, will make 

6 of this occasion ; they will think of it and speak of it with 

use of manly pride and complacency. 

I congratulate you, also, upon the very favourable circumstances 
1 which we meet to-day. They are high, inspiring, and uncommon. 
y lend grace, glory, and siguificanoe to the object for which we 
B met. Nowhere else in this great country, with its uncounted 
Tis and cities, lulimited wealth, and immeasurable territory 
SKtending from sea to sea, could conditions he found more 
favourable to the success of this occasion than here. 

' We stand to-day at the national centre to perform something 
e a national act — an act which is to go into history ; and we are 
ere where every pulsation of the national heart can be heard, 
;, and reciprocated. A thousand wires, fed with thought and 
ged with lightning, put us in iustaataneous communication 
li the loyal and true mon all over this cotmtry. 
" Few facts could bettor illustrate the vast and wonderful change 
brbich has taken place in our condition as a people, than the fact 


of oar asBembling here for the purpose we have to-daj. Humlest, 
heaatifol, proper, and praiseworthy as this demonstration B, 1 
cannot forget that no such demonstration would have been lolented 
liere twenty years ago. The spirit of slavery and b&rbariam, 
still hngers to blight and destroy in Borne dark and distant purti 
our country, would have made our asBembling here the sign^ II 
excuse for opening upon us all the flood-gates of wrath and violencfc 
That we are here in peace to-day is a comphment and a credit to 
American cirilization, and a prophecy of still greater 
enhghtenment and progress in the future. I refer to the put 
in mahce, for this is no day for malice ; but simply to place m 
distinctly in front the grati^ing and glorious change which hil' 
Qome both to our white fellow -citizens and ourselves, and to ooa- 
gratulate ail npon the contrast between now and then ; the Di 
dispensation of freedom with its thousand blessings to both net 
and the old dispensation of slavery with its ten thousand evils 
both races — white and black. In view, then, of the past, H 
present, and the future, with the long and dark history of o< 
bondage behind us, and with liberty, progress, and enhgbt«tim« 
before iis, 1 again congrattdate you npon this auspicious da? U 

" Prienda and fellow citizens, the story of our presence here 
aoon and easily told. We are here in the District of 
here in the city of Washington, the moat lomlnous point 
American teiTitory ; a city recently transformed and made 
in its body and in its spirit ; we are here in the place where 
ablest and best men of the country are sent to devise the 
enact the laws, and shape the destiny of the Republic; wet 
here, with the stately pillars and majestic dome of the C^t 
of the nation looking down upon us ; we are here, with the hr« 
earth freshly adorned with the foliage and flowers of sffiing I 
our church, and all races, colours, and conditions of men for O 
congregation — in a word, we are here to express, as best we DM 
by appropriate forms and ceremonies, our grateful sense of ll 
vast, high, and pre-eminent services rendered to ourselves, to a 
race, to our coimtry, and to the whole world by Abraham 

" The sentiment that brings us here to-day is one of the neb 
that can sUr and thrill the human heart. It has crowned 
made glorious the high places of all civilized nations witli 


feet and most enduring works of art, designed to illustrate 
e cbarocterB and perpetuate the memories of great public moii. 
3 the sentiment which from year to year adorns with fragrant 
i beautiful flowers the graves of our lojal, brave, and patriotic 
3 wlio fell in defence of the Union and liberty. It is the 
mttment of gratitude and appreciation, which often, in the 
many who hear me, has tilled yonder heights of 
Arlington with the eloquence of cidogy and the sublime enthusiasm 
f poetry and song : a sentiment which can never die while the 
tepublic lives. 
" For the first time in the history of our people, and in the history 
f the whole American people, we join in this high worship, and 
rch conspicQonsly in the tine of this time-honoured custom. 
: things ai'e always interesting, and tliis is one of our first 
It is the first time that, in this form and manner, we 
! Bought to do honour to an American great man, however 
deserving and illustrious, I commend the fact to notice ; let it be 
told in every part of the Repubhc ; let men of all parties and 
opinions hear it ; let those who despise us, not leas than those who 
respect us, know that now and here, in the spirit of liberty, loyalty, 
asd gratitude, let it be known eveiywhere, and by everybody who 
takes an interest in homan progress and in the amelioration of tlie 
condition of mankind, that, in the presence and with the approval 
of the members of the American House of Representatives, 
reflecting the general sentiment of the country ; that in the presence 
of that august body, the American Senate, representing the highest 
intelb'gence and the calmest judgment in the country; In presence 
of the Supreme Court and Chief-Justice of the United States, to 
whose decisions we all patriotically bow ; in the presence and under 
the steady eye of the honoured and trusted President of the United 
States, with the members of his wise and patriotic Cabinet, we, 
tlie coloured people, newly emancipated and rejoicing in oiw blood- 
bought freedom, near the close of the tirst century m the life of 
this BepubUc, have now and here unveiled, set apart, and dedicated 
a monument of enduring granite and bronze, in every line, feature, 
and figure of which the men of this generation may read, and 
Uiose of after-coming generations may read, something of the 

Eted character and great works of Abraham Lincoln, the first 
Ippr President of the United States. 



" Fellow citizens, in what we have aoid and done to-day, and in 
what we may say and do hereafter, we diaolaim eveiything like 
arrogance and assumption. We claim for ourselves no superior 
devotion to the character, history, and memory of the illnstrious 
man whose monnmeut we Lave here dedicated to-day. We folly 
comprehend the relation of Abraham Lincoln both to oorselves 
and to the white people of the United States. Truth is proper 
and beatitifnl at all times and in all places, and it is never more 
proper and beautiful in any case than when speaking of a great 
public man whose example is likely to be commended for hononr 
and imitation long after his departure to the solemn shades, — the 
silent continents of eternity. It must be admitted, truth compels 
me to admit, even here in the presence of the monument we hav« 
erected to his memory, Abraham Lincoln was not, in the Oiliest 
sense of the word, either our man or our model. In his interests, 
in his associations, in his habits of thought, and in his prejudices, 
be was a white man. 

" He was pre-eminently the white man's President, entirely 
voted to the welfore of white men. He was ready and willing 
any time during the first years of his administration to deny, 
postpone, and sacrifice the rights of humanity in the oolonred 
people to promote the welfare of the white people of this oonntiy, 
In all his education and feeling he was an American of 
Americans. He came into the Presidential chair upon one pi 
ciple alone, namely, opposition to the extension of slavery. 
argnments in furtherance of this policy had their motive and 
spring in his patriotic devotion to the interests of his own race. To 
protect, defend, and perpetuate slavery in tlie States where it 
existed, Abraham Lincoln was not less ready than any other Prooj' 
dent to draw the sword of the nation. He was ready to execul 
all the supposed constitutional guarantees of the United Stal 
Constitution in favour of the slave system anywhere inside 
slave States, He was willing to pursue, recapture, and send bacl 
the fiigitive slave to his master, and to suppress a slave rising 
hberty, though his guilty maatei' were already in arms against 
Government. The race to which we belong were not the speci 
objects of his consideration. Knowing this, I concede to you, 
white fellow citizens, a pre-eminence in this worship at onee 
and Bupreme. First, midst, and last, yon and yours were 




iects of his deepest affectioa and his moat eaiiiest solicitude. 

t are the children of Abraham Lincoln, We are at best only 

step-children ; children by adoption, children by force of circiim- 

iDces and necessity. To yon it oapeciaUy belongs to Bound his 

praises, to preserve and perpetuate his memory, to multiply hia 

statues, to bang his pictures high upon your walla, and commend 

example, for to you he was a great and glorious fi-iead and 

inefactor. Instead of supplanting you at this altar, we would 

lort you to build high his monuments ; let them be of the most 

itly material, of the most cunning workraanaliip ; let their forma 

be symmotrical, beautiful, and perfect; let their bases be upon 

solid rocka, and their summits lean against the unchanging, blue, 

'erban^ng sky, and let them endure for ever L But while in the 

idance of your wealth, and in the fulness of your just and 

itriotic devotion, you do all this, we entreat you to despise not 

le humble offering we this day unveil to view ; for while Abraham 

inooln saved for you a country, he delivered us &om a bondage, 

hour of which, according to Jefferson, was worse than ages of 

16 oppreasion your fathers rose in rebellion to oppose. 

" Fellow citizens, ours is no new-born zeal and devotion — merely 

a thing of this moment. The nanie of Abraham Lincoln was near 

and dear to our hearts in the darkest and most perilous hours of 

the Republic. We were no more ashamed of him when shrouded 

in clouds of darkness, of doubt, and defeat, than when we saw him 

crowned with victory, honour, and glory. Our faith in him was 

taxed and sti-ained to the uttermost, but it never failed. 

len he larried long in the mountain ; when he strangely told us 

,t we were the cause of the war ; when he still more strangely 

fcold us to leave the land in which we were born ; when he refused 

to employ our arms in defence of the Union ; when, after accepting 

OUT serviceB as coloured soldiers, he refused to retahate oui' murder 

and torture as coloured prisoners ; when he told us lie would save 

the Union if he could with slavery ; when he revoked the Pnicla- 

mation of Emancipation of General Fremont ; when he refused to 

love the popidar commajider of the army of the Potomac, in 

days of its inaction and defeat, who was more zealous in his 

to protect slavery than to suppress rebeUion ; when we saw 

this, and more, we were at limes grieved, stunned, and greatly 

iwildered ; but our hearts believed while they ached and bled. 


Nor was this, even at that time, a blind and mu-eaBoniiig t 

BtitioD. Despite tbentist and baze tbatsurrotmded him; despite tl 
tnmult, the hnrry, and confasion of tlie hour, we were able to t 
a cumpreheDsivo view of Abraham Lincoln, and to make r 
able allowance for the ciroumstances of his position. We saw hi 
measured him, and estimated him ; not by stray utterances t 
injudicious and tedious delegations, who often tried bis patience 
not by isolated facte turn &om their conuection ; not by any partia 
and imperfect glimpsea, caught at inopportune moments ; but by i 
broad survey, in the light of the stem logic of ^eat events, and h 
view of that " divinity which shapes our ends, rough bew tfaei 
how we will," we came to the couulusion that the hour and t 
man of our redemption bad somehow met in the person of Abra 
Lincoln. It mattered little to us what language he might emplo; 
oil special occasions ; it mattered little to us, when we fully kn« 
him, whether he was swift or slow in his movements; it 
enough for us that Abraham Lincoln was at the head of a { 
niovement, and was in hving and earnest sympathy with 
movement, which, in the nature of things, must go on until alavei; 
should be utterly and for over abohshed in the United States. 

When, therefore, it shall be asked what we have to do wit 
tliC memory of Abraham Lincoln, or what Abraham Liacol 
hwi to do witti us, the answer is ready, full, and complet 
Though he loved Ccesar less than Rome, though the Uoia 
was more to him than om' freedom or our future, under his w 
and beneficent rule, we saw ourselves gradually lifted from t 
depths of slavery to the heights of liberty and mauhood ; undei 
his wise and beneficent rule, and by measures approved 
vigorously pressed by him, we saw that the handwi-itiug of a^ 
iv the form of prejudice and proscription, was rapidly laduif 
a^ay from the face of om' whole country ; under his rule, 
ill due time, about as soon after all as the country could tolenti 
tin: strange spectacle, we saw out' brave sous and brothers Iayiii| 
oil' the rags of bondage, and being clothed all over in the Ui 
uniform of the soldiers of the United States ; under his rule n 
saw two himdred thousand of our dark and dusky people r 
ing to the call of Abraham Liucohi, and with muskets on thao 
shoulders, and eagles on their i>uttons. timing their high fbot^ 
steps to liberty and union under the national fiag ; under li 


we 9ftw the independence of the black republic of Hayti, 
> special object of slaveliotding aversion and horror, fully reoog- 
id, and her miniBter, a coloured gentleman, duly received 
i in the City of Wasiiington ; under hia rule we saw the 
Interaal Blave-trade. which so long disgraced the nation, 
wlished, and slavery abolished in the Di§trict of Columbia ; 
his rule we saw, for the first time, the law enforced 
inat the foreign alave-trade, and the first slave-trader hanged 
' other pirate or murderer ; under his rule, aaaiated by 
3 greatest captain of our age, and his inspiration, we saw the 
wnfedenite States, baaed upon the idea that our race must be 
laves, and slaves for ever, battered to pieces and scattered to 
J four winds ; under his rule, and in the fulness of time, we 
v Abraham Lincoln, after giving the slaveholder three months' 
) in which to save their hatofiil slave system, penning the 
paper, which, though special in its language, was 
general in its principles and effect, making slavery for ever 
impossible in the United States. Though we waited long, we 
^^^saw all this and more. 

^^L " Can any coloured man, or any white man, friendly tio the 

^^B«edom of all men, ever forget the night which followed the 

^^Hvt day of January, 1863, when the world was to see if Abraham 

^^Hiucoln would prove to be as good as his word. I shall never 

^^ftrget that memorable night, when in a distant city I waited and 

^^Ptotched at a pubhc meeting, with three thousand others not 

1«M anxious than myself, for the word of deliverance which we 

liavo lieord read to-day. Nor shall I ever forget the outburst 

of joy and thanksgiving that rent the air when the lightning 

Knght to us the emancipation proclamation. In that happy 
IT we forgot all delay, and forgot all tardiness, forgot that 
President had bribed the rebels to lay down their arms 
a promise to withhold the bolt which would smite the slave- 
tern with destruction ; and we were thenceforward willing to 
iw the President all the latitude of time, phraseology, and 
«vory honourable device that statesmanship might require for 
the aoluevement of a great and beneficent measure of liberty 
ttnd progress. 

"Fellow citizens, there is little necessity on this occasion to 
>eak at length and critically of this great and good man, and of 

876 uhooln's obbat mib8Ion. 

his liigh mission in the world. That ground has been follj oort- 
pied and completely covered both here and elsewhere. ThE wbi 
field of fact and fancy has been gleaned and garnered. An; ni 
oan say things that are true of Abraham Lincoln, but no man ( 
say anything that is new of Abraham Lincoln. His personal tniti 
and public acts are better known to the American people thui U 
tliose of any other man of bis age. He was a mystery to no mi 
who saw him and heard him. Though high in positioD, th 
humblest conld approach bim and feel at home in bis preaeiMi 
Though deep, he was transparent ; though strong, he was genii* 
though decided and pronounced in his convictions, be was tolen 
towards those wlio differed from him, and patient under reproaoha 
Even those who only knew him through his pubhc nttersnu 
obtained a tolerably clear idea of his character and bis p 
The image of the man went out with his words, and thoM ill 
read them, knew him. 

" I have said that President Lincoln was a white man, and shiH 
the prejudices common to hia countrymen towards the oobnti 
race. Looking back to his times and to the condition of hi 
coimtry, we arc compelled to admit tliat this unfriendly feelingd 
liis part may he safety set down as one element of bis n 
anccoaa in organizing the loyal American people for the tremendoo 
conflict before them, and bringing them safely through that o 
Sict. His great mission was to accomplish two things : fint, I 
save his country from dismembermeut and ruin ; and second, I 
free hia country from the great crime of slavery. To do on< i 
the other, or both, he must have the earnest sympathy aod tl 
powerful co-operation of bis loyal fellow-countrymen. WiUlM 
this primary and essential condition to success, his efforts u 
have been vain and utterly fruitless. Had be put the abohtioD ( 
slavery before the salvation of the Union, he would have inevital 
driven from him a powerful class of the American people »i 
reodered resistance to rebellion impossible. Viewed from t 
genuine abohtion ground, Mr. Lincoln seemed tardy, cold, dol 
and indiiferent; but measuring bim by the sentiment o( 1 
country, a sentiment be was boimd as a statesman to consult, b 
was swift, zealous, radical, and determined. 

" Though Mr. Lincoln shared the prejudices of hia white fello* 
countrymen against the negro, it is hardly necoseary to aay tl 


Hb bis heart of faearts he loathed and h&ted slavery.* The man 
FVho could say, ■' Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that 
nbiB mighty scDurf!;e of war shall soon pasa away, yet if God wills 
nt to continue till all the wealth piled by two hundred years of 
HKmdage shall have been wasted, and each drop of blood drawn by 
raie lash shall have been paid for by one drawn by the sword, the 
nndgments of the Lord are true and rigbteoun altogether," gives 
nit needed proof of his feelings on the subject of slavery. He was 
hrilling, while the South was loyal, that it should have its pound of 
Uesh, because he thought it was so nominated iu the bond ; but 
brther than this no eartlily power could make him go. 
I " Fellow citizens, whatever else in the world may be partial, un- 
■BBt, ftnd uncertain, Time, time, is impartial, just, and certain in 
Bb action. In the realm of mind, as well as in the realm of matter, 
Bt is a great worker, and often works wonders. The honest and 
Bnnprehenaive statesman, clearly discerning the needs of his 
■ODotry, and earnestly endeavouring to do bis whole duty, thongh 
■orered and blistered with reproaches, may safely leave bia course 
fc the stiont judgment of time. Few great public men have ever 
Kcn the victims of fiercer denunciation than Abraham Lincoln 
■Rs during his administration. He was often wounded in the 
poose of his friends. Reproaches came thick and fast upon him 
vom within and from without, and from opposite quarters. He was 
■■Bailed by abohtiouists ; he was assailed by slaveholders ; he was 
Msailed by the men who wore for peace at any price ; he was 
beailed by those who were for a more vigorous prosecution of 
ihe war ; he was assailed for not making the war an abohtion 
nr ; and he was most bitterly assailed for making the war an 
Pbolition war. 

I *' But now behold the change : the judgment of the present hour 
H, that taking him for all in all, measuring the tremendous magni- 
■de of the work before him, considering the necessary means to 
bda, and surveying the end from the beginning, infinite wisdom 
Btf seldom sent any man into the world better fitted for his mission 
pWii Abraliam Lincoln. His birth, bis training, and his natm-al 
ptdowments. both mental and physical, were strongly in his 

1|* ■' I am natarally anti-BlBVery. If nUivery in not wroug, nothing is »rou^. 
UKimot Temember whea I did not so think and feel." — Lelter if Mr. lAnceht 
KVr. MoJfet, of Kcntntky, April 4, IS64. 


favour. Born aad reared amoug tlie lowly, a stranger to wcalUi 
and luxury, comiwUed to grapple single-handed with the flintiest 
hardships of life, from tender youth to sturdy maabood, he grev 
strong in tlio maiily and heroic qualities demanded by the greftl 
mission to which he was oalled by the votes of his ootmtrTmen. 
The hard condition of his early life, which would have depressed 
and hroken down weaker men, only gave greater life, vigoor, and . 
buoyancy to the heroic spirit of Abraham Lincoln. He was J 
ready for any kind and quality of work. What other yoon^l 
muu dreaded in the shape of toil, lie took hold of with the atmoe 

' A epade, ■ rake, b hoe, 
A pick-uxe, or a hiU ; 

A houk to reap, a auTtbe to mow, 
A finil. or what jou nilL' 

■' All day long he could spUt heavy rails in the woods, and hal 
the night long ho could study his English Grammar by the i 
certain flare and glare of the light made by a pine-knot. He was a 
home on the land with hie axe, with bis maul, with his gluts, aal~^ 
his wedges ; and be was equally at home on water, with his oara, 
with bis poles, with his planks, and with his boat-hooks. And 
whether in bis flat-boat on the Mississippi river, or at the breaide 
of bis frontier cabin, be was a man of work. A son of toil himacU, 
be was linked in brotherly sympathy with the sons of toil in erery 
loyal part of tlie Repubhc. TJiis very fact gave bim tremendous 
power with the American people, and materially contributed, noi J 
only to selecting him for the Presidency, but in sustaining hisa 
administration of the govemment. M 

•' Upou his iuaugiiration as President of the United States, aitfl 
office, even when assumed under the moat favourable condJtion8,B 
fitted to tax and strain the largest abilities, Abraham Lincola wiga 
met by a tremendous crisis, Ho was called upon not merely^! 
administer the govemment, but to decide, in tlie bee of torrii^H 
odds, the fate of the Republic. ^M 

" A formidable rebellion rose in his patli before him ; tbe UnioiH 
was practically dissolved ; bis country was toiu and rent aaonde^l 
al the centre. Hostile armies were already organix cd against thj 
Bepublio, armed with the mmiitioRB of war which the Repoblifl 
. iiad provided for its own defence. The tremendous q^nestion fi^| 


^^bim to decide waa whether his ooimtry should survive the orisia 
Hid flourish, or be dismembered and perish. His predecessor 
in office had already decided the question in favour uf national 
dismemberment, by denying to it the right of self-defence and 
eelf-preservation^a right which belongs to the meanest insect. 

■• Happily for the oountry. happily for you and for me, the judg- 
ment of James Buchanan, the patrician, was not the judgment of 
Abraham Lincoln, the plebeian. He brought his strong common 
aeuse, sharpened in the school of adversity, to bear upon the 
question. He did not hesitate, he did not doubt, he did uot 
hltor; but at once resolved at whatever peril, at whatever cost, 
tin' Union of the States should be preserved. A patriot himself, 
his faith waa strong and unwavering in the patriotism of his 
oiuutrymen. Timid men said before Mr. Lincoln's inauguration, 
thai we had seen the last President of the United States, A voice 
iii influential quarters said, "Let the Union slide." Some said 
that a Union maintained by the sword was worthless. Others said 
a rebelUon of 8.000.00U cannot bo suppressed ; but hi the midst 
of all this tumult and timidity, and against all this, Abraham 
Lincoln was clear in his duty, and had an oath in heaven. He 
o&huly and bravely heard the voice of doubt and fear all around 
kim; but he had au oath in heaven, and there was not power 
Snongb on earth to make this honest boatman, backwoodsman, and 
brood-handed splitter of rails to evade or violate that sacred oath. 
He bad not been schooled in the ethics of slavery ; his plain life 
bad fovoured his love of ti-utb. He had not been taught that 
truason and perjury were the proof of honour and honesty. Hia 
moral training was against his saying one thing when he meant 
another. The trust which Abraham Lincoln had in himself aud 
in the people was surprising and grand, but it was also euhghtenod 
snd well-founded. He knew the American people better thau 
they knew themselves, and bis truth was based upon this knowledge. 
" Fellow citizens, the fourteenth day of April, 1865, of which this 
is the eleventh anniversary, Lb now and will ever remain a memor- 
able day in the annals of this Bcpublic. It was on the evening of 
Ibis day, while a tierce aud sanguinary rebellion was in the last 
stages of its desolating power ; while its armies were broken and 
scattered before the invincible armies of Grant and Sherman ; 
while a great nation, torn aud rent by war, was already begiuuin|{ 


to laiso to the skieB lend anthems of joy at tlie dsvn of peue, it 
was startled, amazed, and overwhelmed by the crowning crime d 
slavery — the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. It waa > iin 
erime, a pure act of malice. No parpose of the rebellion wm U 
be served by it. It was the simple gratification of a hell-bl 
spirit of revenge. But it has done good after all. It has SOti 
the country with a deeper abhorrence of slavery and a deeper knt 
fur the great hberator. 

" Had Abraham Lincoln died &om any of the nomeroiu Ob Iff 
which fleah is heir ; had he reached tiiat good old age of « 
his vigorous constitution and his tcmperat« habits gave promiM^ 
had he been permitted to see the end of bis great work ; hod tiM 
solemn curtain of death come down but gradually — wc ahonld t>H 
have been smitten with a heavy grief, and treasured hia nun 
lovingly. But dying as he did die, by the red hand of violenn 
killed, assassinated, taken off without warning, not becaiue fl 
pei'sonai hate — for no man who knew Abraham Lincoln could hall 
him — but because of his fidelity to union and hberty, he is doubt] 
dear to us, and his memory will be precious for ever. 

" Fellow citizens, I end as I began, with congratulations. V 
have done a good work for our race to-day- In doing honour to ll 
memory of our friend and liberator, wo have been doing higbtd 
honours to ouraelveB and those who come after us ; we have b 
fostenitig ourselves to a name and fame imperishable and in 
mortal ; we have also been defending ourselves from a blighllng 
scandEd. When now it shall be said that the coloured rau '^ 
soulless, that he has no appreciation of benefits or benetwlon. 
when tlie foul reproach of ingratitude is hurled at us, and it ii 
attempted to scourge us beyond the range of human brotherhoo 
we may calmly point to the mouiuuent we have this day erected H 
the memory of Abraham Lincoln." 



The progress of a nation is sometimes indicated by small 
When Henry Wiltton, an honoured Senator and Vioe-PreaidenI 
the United States, died in the capital of the nation, it was ft i<t 
nilicant and telhug indication of national advance, tliat tbn< 
coloured citizens, Mr. Robert Purvis, Mr. James Wormlej. i 
myself, were selected with the Heuate committee, to Mcomputy 
honoured remains from Washington to the grand old 

pjU^-bkaber at wh-bon's funeral. S81 

¥realth he loved so well, and whom in turn she had so greatly loved 
uid honoured. It waa meet and right that we should be represented 
in the long proceaBion that met those remaina in every State 
between here and Masaachusetta, for Henry WOaon was among the 
(bremost friends of the coloured race in this country, and this was 
the first time iu its history that it coloured man was made a pall- 
bearer at the funeral, as I was in this instance, of a Vice-President 
of the United States. 

An appointment to any important and lucrative office under tlie 
United States Government, usually briuga its recipient a large 
measure of praise and congratulation on the one hand, and much 
abuse and disparagemeut on the other ; and he may think himself 
singiilarly fortunate if tlie censure does not exceed the praise. I 
need not dwell upon the causes of this extravagance, but 1 may say 
there is no office of any value in the country whicli is not desired 
sought by many persons equally meritorious and equally 

serving. But as only one person can be appointed to any one 
I, only one can be pleased, while many are offended, unhappily, 

lentment follows disappointment, and this resentment often finds 

iression is disparagement and abuse of the successful man. As 
\ most else I have said, I borrow this reflection from my own 

' appointment as United States Marshal of the District of 

ilumbia, was in keeping with the rest of my life, as a freeman. 

I was an innovation upon long established usage, and opposed to 

e general current of sentiment in the community. It came upon 

e people of the District as a gross surprise, and almost a punisli- 

ait ; and provoked something like a scream — I will not say a yfH 

t popular displeasure. As soon as I was named by President 

i for the place, efibrts were made by members of the bar to 

. my confirmation before the Senate. All aorta of reasons 

st my appointment, but the true one, were given, and that 

I withheld more from a sense of shame, than from a sense of 

The apprehension doubtless was, that if appointed Marshal 

ihoald surround myself with coloured depnties, coloured baiMs, 

lonred messengers, and pack the jury box with coloured jurors : 

I word. Africanize the courts. But the most dreadful thing 

tatened, was a coloured man at the Kxtcutive Mantion in white 

ee, swallow- tailed coat, patent leather boots, and alabaster 






crnvtit, performing tlie cere mony — a. very empty one — of introdncisg 
Uie aristocratic citizens of the republic to the President of the 
United StateB. This was Bomething entirely too mnch to be borne : 
&nd men asked themselTeB in view of it, to what is the world com- 
ing, and where will these things stop"? Dreadful! Dreadfol ! 

It is creditable to the manliness of the American Senate, that it 
was moved by none of these things, and that it lost do time in the 
matter of my confirmation. I learn, and believe my information 
correct, that foremost among those who supported my confirmation 
against the ojections made to it, was the Hon. Roscoe Conkling of Kew 
York. His speech in esecntive session is said by the senators wtiO 
heard it, to have been one of the most masterly and eloquent erer 
delivered on the floor of tlie Senate; and this too I readily 
believe, for Mr. Conkling possesses the ardour and fire of Henry 
Clay, the subtlety of Calhoun, and the massive grandeur of Danid 

The efibrt to prevent my confirmation having failed, nothing 
could be done but to wait for some overt act to justify my 
removal; and for this my unfrienda had not long to wait. In ^ 

the course of one or two months I was Invited by a number of "^ 
citizens of Baltimore to deliver a lecture in that city, in Douglas ^b 
Hall — a building named in honour of myself, and devoted to ^c~i 
educational purposes. With this invitation I comphed, giving the ^se 
Bame lecture which I had two years before delivered in tlio city of^fctf 
Washingtcn, and which was at the time published in fall in the ^^d 
newspapers, and vei^ highly commended by them. The subject o^K^| 
the lecture was, " Onr National Capital," and in it I satd many^^JB 
complimentary things of the city, which were as true as they wer^aiHa 

complimentary. I spoke of what it had been in the past, what i* ( 

was at that time, and what I thought it destined to become in tb^B^ 
future ; giving it all credit for its good points, and calling attenticia 
to some of its ridiculous features. For this I got myself prett 
roughly handled. The ucwspapers worked themselves up to 
frenzy of passion, and committees were appointed to procure name 
to a petition to President Hayes demanding my removal. Th« tid« 
of popular feeling was so violent, that I deemed it neoessaty tu 
depart from my usual custom when assailed, so far as to write tlie 
following explanatory letter, from which the reader will be able to 
meaeure the extent and quality of my offence : — 


" To the Edit«r »f the WuHhingtun Evening £(nr .* 

" Sir: — Yon were inistaken in reprcnenting me &'• being- off on a Ipclming 
tooT, and, hj implication, neglec^ting my duties ua United States Mnnhal of 
th« District of Colnmbia. Xy alMenoe from Wndhlj^gtun during two days waa 
dae to an inritatiini by the mBnagern to bo preient on the occoaion of the 
inaui^antion of the IntemationaJ Eihibition in Phihtdelphia. 

" In oamplying with this invitation, I found iay*eli in itompany with other 
membera of the Goveniinent who went thither in obfdimw to tho dall of 

pntriotinn and civilization. No one 
by m; temporary absence, aa I had 
dutioa of the ofGoe devolve were h< 
and fftithfiil. Mj Deputy Mamhal 
poaition, and the vitiiens of Wsabington may 
man will be retained in any position under me. 

of the Marehal'e ofGoa Buffered 

it that tlioM npan whom the 

it, capable, induutrioua, painvtaldng, 

a man every way qualified for bin 

atiatirpd that no unfaithful 

I can have nothing 

to aay as to my own litnoiis for the poaition I hold. You have aright to say what 
jroii please on that point ; yet I think it would be only fair and ganerou* to 
wait for some dereliction of duty on my part betiire I shall bo udjudgfld aa 
iiuMimpetent to fiU the place. 

" You wiU allow me lo auy, also, Chut tbo attacks upon me un aiCcount of the 
to have been made by me in Baltimore, strike me as both 
B and HiUy, Waahingfon ia a great city, not a village, nor a hamlet, 
■ the capital of a great nation, and the manners and hubita of its varioua 
v proper subjccta for picsmtation and criticiam, and I very much mis- 
e if Ihii gnat oity can be thrown into a tempest of pawdon by anyhumorooa 
s I may take the liberty to utter. The city in Coo great to be 
id I think it will laugh at the ridiculous attempt lo rouse it 
I * point of furions hostility to me for anything said in my Baltdmorg 

" Had the teporten of that lecture been aa careful lo note what I Hoid in 

e of Washington as what 1 said, if yon please, in disparagement of it, it 

d bate been iropoasibleto awaken any feeling against meinthiammraunity 

jrwhM I sud. It is the eaideBt thing in the world, an oil editors know, 

It the meaning and give a one-sided impresiuun uf a whole speech, by 

ply giving isolated paasoges from the speech itself, without any quali^ing 

GOnneationa. It would hardly be imagined from anything that baa appeared 

bnw that 1 had said one word in tliat lecture in honour of Waahington, and yet 

Iho lecture itself, as a whole, waa decidedly in the interest of the national 

pitaL I am not suoh a fool as to decry a oity in which I have invested my 

tnejr and made my permanent residence. 

" After speaking of the power of the sentiment of patriotism I held this 
' In the spirit of this nohle sentiment I would have the American 
V the national capitaL It is our ostioiud nenln!. It belongs to us ; 
3 whether it is mean or majestic, whether arrayed in glory or covered with 
we cannot but share its oharaotor and ila destiny. In the remotest 
of the Republic, in the most distant parta of the globe, amid the 
nrs of Europe or the wilda of Africa, we are still held and fiimly bound 
this common oenCre. Under the shadow of Banker's Hill nutnament, in the 

peer]e88 eloquenue of his diotioti, I onoe luttrd the ffreat Danul WetnM pn 
welcome to all Ameruian ratitiau, tamaiBg tlicm that whcrover elw Oitj nwhi 
be vtraJagerH, they vere ftU at home ther?. The hudb boundleM intaae U 
given to sU American citizcnB bj Wa«hiiigtan. EUewhere we Diij beloti; to 
individual States, but here we belong to the whole United States. Elmrlvn 
we may belonff to a section, but here wc belong tu a whole oonntry, ami tbr 
whole country belongs to UB. It i« untional territory, and the one plan ■b'tr 
no Ameri>:an ia an intruder or a carpet -bagi^r. The new oomer la not la* it 
home than the old resident. Under ibi lofty domtw and atatel j [nIUib, uaoSa 
the broad blue i>ky, all races and colours of men atand upon a imtiaf d 
eommon equalit y . 

'' 'The wealth and magnificenoe which eliewhere might 
oitizeu has an opposite effect here. They are felt to be a 
serve to ennoble him in bin own eyes. He in an owner of the 
which he behnlda about him, ~aa mnch so an any of the forty 
great nation. Once in bin life every Ajnerioan who can, should rint Wi 
ton : not as the Mahometan goea to Meuoa ; not an the Catholic to 
aa the Hebrew to Jerusalem, nor as the Chiiuuniui to the Flowery kingif'H^ 1 
in the spirit of enlightened patriotism, knowing the value of free iutitlltl 
and how to perpetuate and maintain them. 

' ' ' Washington nhould be contemplated not merely an an amemblain ot ' 
bnildingB ; not merely as the chosen resort of the wealth and fashion of I 
oonatry : not merely as the honoured pluoe where the statemiciu of th> uU 
aasomble to shape the polioy and frame the laws ; not merely as lb) polat 
which we are moat visibly touched by the outaidc world, and wfiue the M 
lomatic skil] and talent of the old continent meet and match llwiiii«h 
against those of the new, but as the national flag itoeU — a ^oriona q«d 
of civil and religiow liberty, leading the world in the race of kmUI wdn 
drilizatioB, and renown.' 

' ' My lecture in Baltimore required more than an hour and a halt for 
delivery, and every intelligent reader will see the difficulty of doing jiuRii* 
Bucli a speech when it ia abbreviated and oompmasod into a half r ir thiMHiuM 
of a columu. Such abbreviation or condensation has been ^osor(<^d bi itt lU 
inntanco. A tew stray sentences, uuUed out from their conncotianB, vooU 1 
deprived of much of their banhness if presented in the form and ootunotMB 
which they ware uttered ; but I am taking up too much space, and will dl 
with the last paragraph of the loatore aa delivered in Baltimore. "Kodty 
the brood world has a higher or more beneficent misrion. Among aU the gn 
capitals of the world it ia pre-eminently the capital of fre« inotitnlioau. I 
fall would be a blow to freedom and progress thronghoiit the world- Is* 
stand then where it does now stand — where the father of his country [Jintpli 
and where it has stixid for more than half a century ; no longer s m Jwi^ 
between two slave States ; no longer a contradiction ta 'human taug t m : I 
longer the hot-bedot sla\-eryund the slavetrade: no longer the home of 1 
duellist, the gambler, the assassin ; no longer the frantic partisan of ona netko ' 
the country against the other ; no longer anchored to a dark and semi-bartan 
past, but a redeemed city, beautifnl to the eye and attrtH^ivf ta the IwaBi 


d of pHTpetuiU nuiou, an angel of peace on curth and good will to men, u 
1 trraund upuu whifli AmeriuiuiB of oU raoea uid ooloun, all wctioDH, 
h and South, may miwi and Hiake hands, not over a dusm of blood, bnt 
B bve, unitpd, and prugrpssiverepuWic." 

I I havo already alluded to the fact that much of the opposition to 
hjr appoiatm^nt to the o£Bce of United States Marshal of the 
PUtriot of Columbia was due to the possibility of my being called 
to att«tid President Hayes at the Executive Mansion upon state 
ixicasions, and having the honour to introduce the guests on such 
_oooaaion8. I now wisli to refer to reproaclies liberally showered 
e for holding the office of Marshal while denied this dis- 
^isbed honour, and to show that tlie complaint against me at 
B point is not a weU-founded complaint. 
[ 1st. Because the ofBce of United States Marshal Is distinct, and 
»ate, and complete in itself, and must be accepted or refused 
Q its own merits. If, when offered to any person, its duties are 
ti ae he can properly fulhl, he may very propeHy accept it ; or. 
I otberwiae, he may as properly refuse it. 

E Snd. Because the duties of the office are clearly and strictly 

ined in the law by which it was created ; and becauae nowhere 

; these duties is there any mention or intimation that the 

rahal may or shall attend upon the President of the United 

iates at tlie Executive Mansion on state occasions. 

I Srd. Because the uhoice as to who shall have the honour and 

pivilege of such attendance upon the President, belongs exclusively 

1 reasonably to the President himself, and that therefore no one, 

wever distinguished, or in whatever office, has any just cause 

rcomplain of the exercise by the President of this right of choice, 

f because he is not himi^clf chosen. 

In view oftheoe propositions, which 1 hold to be indisputable, 

I should have presented to the country a most foolish and ridiculous 

figure had I, as absurdly counselled by some of my coloured fiiends, 

i-osigned the office of Marshal of the District of CoUunbia, because 

President Eutherfoitl II, Hayea, for reasons that must have been 

HAtisfactory to his judgment, preferred some [lerson other than 

myself to attend upon him at the Executive Mansion and perform 

the ceremony of introduction on state occasions. But it was said 

that this statement did not cover tlie whole giouud ; that it was 

castonmiy for the United Btatea Marshal of the District of Columbia 


to perform this social office ; BJid that the iisuge had come to liai 
almost the force of law. I met this at the time, and I meet 
HOW, by denying the binding force of this custom. No foniu 
President haa any right or power to make his example 
rule for hia successor. The cuatom of inviting the Marshal to i 
this duty was made by a President, and could bo aa properly ' 
made by a President. Besides, the usage is altogether a modoi 
one, and had its origin in peculiar circumstances, and was justifia 
by thoae circumstancea. It was iulroducod iu time of war i 
President Lincoln, when he made hia old law partnerand intimat 
acquaintance Marahal of the District, and was continued by Gea 
Grant when he appointed a relative of his. Gen. Sharp, to tlie s) 
office. But again it waa said that Preaident Hayes only departa 
fi'om this custom because the Marshal in my case was a colonrg 
man. The answer I made to this, and now make to it, is that i 
is a gratuitous asaiunption. and entirely begs the question, 
or may not be true tJiat my complesion waa the cauae of t 
departure, but no man has any right to assume tliat position i 
advance of a plain declaration to that effect by President Haye 
himself. Never have I heard &om him any such declaration ( 
intimation. In so far as my interconrae with him is concerned. 
can say that I at no tune discovered in him a feehng of aversion t 
me on account of my complexion, or on any other account, 
unless I am greatly deceived. I waa ever a welcome visitor at t 
Executive Mansion on state occasiona and ail others, while RatbeV 
ford B. Hayes was President of the United States. I have farth« 
to say that I have many times during his administration had I 
honour to introduce distinguished strangers to him, both of nativi 
and foreign birth, and never had reason to feel myself slighted I 
himself or his amiable wife ; and I think he would be a very t 
reasonable man who could desire for himself, or for any other, i 
larger measure of respect and consideration than this at the hand 
of a man and woman occupying tlie exalted positions of Mr. t 
Mrs. Hayea. 

I should not do entire justice to the Honourable ex-President ] 
I did not bear additional testimony to his noble and generous spiii 
When all Washington was in an uproar, and a wild clamour ra 
the air for my removal &om the office of Marshal on aocount of d 
lecture delivered by me in Baltimore; when petitions ware 1 


in nponlum demandmg luy dcgrtidatioQ, lie uobly rebuked the mad 
apirit of persecution by openly declaj-iug bis purpose to retain me 
in my place. 

Que other word. Daring Uie tumult raised agaiuat me in con- 

[uence of this lecture OS the " National Capital," Mr. Columbus 

ixander, one of the old aud wealthy citizens of Washington, who 
'"ffaa on my bond for twenty thousand dollars, was repeatedly be- 
sought to withdraw Lis name, aud thus leave me disqualiiied ; but 
like the President, both he and my other bondsman, Mr. George 
Hill, junr., were steadfast and immovable. I was uot siu'priaed that 
Mr. Hill stood bravely by rae, for he was a RepubUcan ; but I was 
surprised and gratified that Mr. Alexander, a Democrat, and, I 
ouce a slaveholder, had uot only tlie courage, faut the 
lanimity to give tne fail' play in this fight. What I have said 

tliese geuUemen, can be extended to very few others iu this 
;muiiity, during that period of excitement, among either the 

lite or coloured citizens, for, with the exception of Dr. Charles B. 
I coloured man in the city uttered one pubhc word in 
esteuuatiou of me or of my Baltimore speech. 

This violent hostiUty kiudled against me was siuguhtrly evanes- 
It came like a whirlwind, and like a whirlwind departed. I 

lU saw nothing of it, either in the courts among the lawyers, or 
in the streets among the people ; for it was discovered that there 
was really in my speech at Baltimore nothing which made me 
" worthy of stripes or of bonds." 

I can say from my experience in the office of United States Marslial 
(if the District of Columbia, it was in every way agi'eeablo. When it 
was an open question whether I shoidd take the ofiice or not, it 
was apprehended and predicted if I should accept it in face of the 
opposition of the lawyers and judges of the courts, I should be sub- 
jected to numberless suits for damages, and so vexed and worried 
that the office would be rendered valueless to me ; that it would 
not only eat up my salary, but possibly endanger what little 1 
niighl have laid up for a rainy day. I have now to report that this 
apprehension was in no sense realized. What might have happened 
had the members of the District bar been half as malicious and 
spiteful aa they had been industriously represented as being, or if 1 
had not secured as my assistant a man so capable. Industrious, 
vigdant, and cai-eful as Mr. L. P. Williams, of course I cannot 


kiiow. Bui I am bound to pr&iac the bridge thtit carries iiie ttStij 
over it. I think it will ever stand as a witness to m^ fitness (or 
tlie position of Marshal, that I Jjad the wisdom to selwit for mj 
asaistEint a gentlemen bo well instructed and competent, 
take pleasure in bearing testimony to the generosity of Mr. PhilUl«i 
the Assistant- Marshal, who preceded Mr. Williams in that office, o 
giving tlie new assistant valuable information as to the varinill 
duties ho would be called upon to perform. I have further to »J 
of my experience in the Marshal's office, that while I have 
to know that the eminent Chief Justice of the District of Colnml* 
and some of hia associates were not well pleased with my appoint 
mont, I was always treated by them, as well as by the chief cleHt 
ofUie courts, the Hon. J. R. Meigs, and the subordinates ofthelatt 
—with a single exception — with the respect and consideration dt 
to my ofEce. Among the eminent lawyers of the District I 
L had many friends, and there were those of them to wboui I 
always go with confidence in an emergency for sound adrice » 
<lirection, and this fact, after all the hostihty felt in oonseilliai 
iif my appointment, and revived by my speech at Baltimore, 
another proof of tlie vincibihty of all feeling arising oat of pa( 

In all my forty years of thought and labour to promftta thi 
IVoedom and welfare of my race, I never found myself more widelj 
and painfully at variance with leading coloui'ed men of the connll] 
than when I opposed the effort to set in motion a wholesale exodn 
of coloured people of the South to the Northern States ; and yet 
never took a position in which I felt myself better fortified )i] 
reason and necessity. It was said of mo, that I had deaert«d 
the old masterclass, and that Iwasa traitor to my race ; tkallbi 
run away from slavery myself, and yet I was opposing others in doil 
the same. When my opponents condescended to argue, they to 
the ground that the coloured people of the South needed to 
brought into contact w-ith tlie fi'eedom and civilization of the Nortf 
that no emancipated and persecuted people ever bad or ever cm 
rise in the presence of the people by whom thoy bad been ensU« 
and that the true remedy for the ills which the froedmon m 
suffering, was to initiate the Israelitish departure from ' 
modem l^gypt to a land abomidiug, if not in " milk and haai 
certainly in pork and hominy. 


Influenced, no doubt, by the dazzling prospects held out to them 
hy the advocates of the Exodus movement, thousands of poor, 
hungry, naked, and destitute coloured people were induced to quit 
the South amid the frosts and anows of a dreadful winter in Beareli 
of a better country. I regret to say there was something sinister 
in tilts so-called exodus, for it transpu'cd that some of the agents 
most active in promoting it had an understanding with certain rail- 
I'oad companies, by which they were to receive one dollar per iiead 
upon all such passengers. Thousands of those poor people, 
travelhng only so fai- as they had money to boar their expenses, 
were dropped on the levees of St. Louis, in the exti'emcst destitu- 
tion ; and their tales of woe were such as to move a heart much 
less sensitive to human sufFeriug thau mine. But while I felt for 
these poor deluded people, and did what I could to put a stop to 
theii- ill-advised and ill-arranged stampede, I also did what I could 
to assist such of them as were within my reach, who were on their 
way to this land of promise. Hundreds of these people came to 
Washington, and at one time there were from two to three hnndi-ed 
lodged here, unable to get further for the 'W'ant of money. I lost 
time in appealing to my li'iends for the ineauS of assisting them. 
lapicuous among tliese friends was Mrs. Elizabeth Thompson of 
few York eity^ — the lady who, several years ago, made the nation 
ft present of Carpenter's great historical picture of tlie " Signing of 
the Emancipation Proclamation," and who has expended large 
sums of her money in investigating the causes of yellow-fever, and 
ill endeavours to discover means for preventing its ravages in New 
Orleans and elsewhere. I found Mrs. Thompson consistently alive 
to the claims of htmianity m this, as in other instances, for she 
sent me, without delay, a draft for two hundred and fifty dollars, 
and in doing so expressed the wish that I would promptly inform 
her of any other opportunity of doing good. How little Justice was 
me me by those who accused me of indifference to the welfare of 
i colom'ed people of the South on account of my opposition to 
e so-called exodus will be seen by the following extracts from u 
m that subject laid before the Social Scieuce Congress at 
;a, when that question was before the country : 


^^0 ti 

" Importunt 

iH Duuiual labour i» orerywhere, it ia oowlicre more iinpiHlant 
IndiapotiBable to the axiateuoe of EOdetj than in the man.' 
of the United Stuten. Uaobtnory mity ooutinue to do, us it has done, 


way oPi'08K& -J 


much of the work of the North, but the work of tlio South requtres 
xinev, and musolo of Che strongeat and most endariiifr kind for itti perfonnajiw. 
Labour in that section niu£t know no pause. Her mil is pregnant and prolific 
with life aod energy. All tie toroee of nature within her bordera are wonder- 
fuUj TigorouB, p«^st^nt, and active. Aided b; on almoat perpetual suninKr , 
ulnmdantlj aupplied with heat and moiature, her soil leadily and ispidlji' J 
euvem itaolf with noxious weedH. denw forextn, and iropeDetrable junglea. Onljr ■ 
u few jtrara of non-tillagv would be needed to give the eunuy and fruitful m 
Smith to the bats and owls of a deaolate wildemesa. From thin condjtiim 
shoaking for a Southern man to contemplate, it is now seen that nothing \h» ■ 
powerful than the naked iron ann of the negro, ean save hrr. Fur him, ] 
lu a Southern labourer, there is no competitor or Bubatitute. The thought ij J 
tltUug luH place bj any other variety of the human family, will be foniull 
delumve and utterly impracticable. Neither Chinaman, Ocrman, Norwe^au, I 
nor Swede, oan drive him from the sugar and cotton fields of Luuiaiana a 
Miadaaippi. They would certainly perish in the black bottoma uf theKe HtatM^ 
if they could bp induced, which they uannot, to try the experiment. 

" Nature itself, in those States, come* to the reHcno of the negro, fighta bivS 
liattles, and enables him to exact conditions from those who would unfairij^S 
tieat and oppress him. Besides being dependent upon the ro 
Sintiest kind of labour, the climate of the South makes euch labour nninvilii 
iind harshly repulsive to the white man. He dreads il, nhriuks froni it, ■ 
ivfuses it. He shuns the burning sun of the Helds and neeks the shade a 
I'srandos. On the contrary, the negro walks, labours, and sleeps in the 
light unharmed. The standing apology for slavery wo* based upon a k 
ledge of this fact. It was said thnt tho world must have cotton and s 
and that only the negro could supply this want : and that he could be indno 
to do it only under the " bcn^rent whip " of some bluudthirsty Lrgrr*. 
Inst part of this argument has been happily disproved by the large an>] 
these productions since Emancipation ; but the tirst part uf it stands f 
unassailcd and unassailable. 

"Even if climate and other natutnl cuuses did not protect the D«gro from al 
i-ompetition of the lubour-market of the South, inevitable social cause* * 
lirabably effect the same result. The slave system of that section 1 
behind it, aa in the nature of the case it must, mannere, customi', and oonditic 
to which free white labouring men will be in no haste lo submit then>«elv-es a 
their families. They do nut emigrate from the free North, where labour il 
respected, to s lately enslaved South, where labour has been whipped, c 
and degraded for centuries. Naturally enough such emigration follows I] 
linen of latitude in which they who compose it were bom. Not frum South U 
North, but from East to West "the Star of Empire takes its way.' 

" Hence it is seen that the dependence of the plaateiH, land-owners. »nd<il 
ir class of the South upon the ucgro, however galling and bii milini ing | 
Southern pride and power, is neariy complete and perfect. There is oitly o 
mode of escape for them, and thnt mode they will certainly not adopt, 
to take off their own coats, cease to whittle sticbs and talk poUtina 
roads, and go themselves to work in their broad and sunny fields of o 

>EECH. 881 

■ nnd augur. An iavitatioD to do tliis is about as b&nh und dieUst«fiil to all 
tlieir inclinatiomi an would W an invitatiou to atop doim iiit« their f^ravpH. 
With the negro, all thin i» different. Neither noturol, artificial, nor Icuditiomil 
DHUBCfl stand in the way of tho frcedman to labour iii ths South. Neither tbo 
hivit nor the (evcr-demon vrhich lurks in h?r tangled and oozy Biwampti affright 
him. and he stands to-day the admitted author of whatever proBpority, beauty, 
nud civilization are now poiwet>«ed by tlu' South, and the admitted arbiter of 
her destiuy. 

" This, then, in the high vantage ground of the negro ; he has labour ; tho 
Monti) wants it, and muNt have it or pcriiih. Since he in free ho can now give 
it orwithhold it, niie it where ho is, or take it ebewhere a» he plcaseB. Hi» 
labonT made him a slave, and hix labour oan, if ho will, make him free, com- 
fortable, and independent. It is more to hitn than fire, swords. haUot-bozes, 
or bayonets. It touches the heart of the South tbrough its pocket. This 
power served him well years ago, when in tho bitterest eitreroity of deati- 
tutioo. But for it, he would have perished when he dropped out of slavery. 
It Mved him then, and it will save him agun. Emancipation came to him, 
onrrotuided by extremely unfriendly circumstances. It was not the choice 
or ooiment of the people among whom he lived, but against their will, and 
a dMth struggle en their part to prevent it. His chains were broken in the 
tempeHt and whirlwind of civil war. Without food, without ithelter, without 
Inad, without money, and without friends, he with his children, his Hick, his 
aged and helpless ones, were turned loose and naked to the open sky. Tlie 
nononiicement of his fn.>cdom was inatantly followed by an order from his 
master to quit hia old quarters, and to seek bread thereafter from the hands nf 
lIlMC who hod given him his freedom. A desperate extremity wan thus foicrd 
upon him at tho outset of his freedom, and the world watched with buniaiie 
Koxiaty, to see what would become of him. Hia pciil was imminent. 
and death stsred him in the fare and marked him for their 

"It will not soon be forgotten that nt the otose of n five hours' sp«eoh by 
the late Senator Sumner, in which he advocated with unequalled Icaminij 
and eloquence tho entmnchisement of the freodmen, the best argument with 
whicH he was met in the Senate, was that legislution at that point would be 
utterly superfluous ; that the negro was rapidly dying out, and must inevitably 
and apoedily disappear and become extinct. 

■■ Inhuman and ehockiug as was this oonsigumoiit of millions of human 
lieingM to extiuctioii, the extremity of tho negro, at that date, did not oon- 
imdict, but favoured tho prophecy. The policy of the old rooster eiaw dictated 
by posdon, pride, and revenge, was then to make the freedom of the negro, a 
greater calamity to him, if possible, than hud been his slavery. But happily, 
both for the old maatcr dans, and for tho rwiently emandpatcd, there came 
then, sfl there will come now, tho sober second thought. The old mnslor claM 
then found it had made a grout mistake. It had driven away the moans of ita 
own aupport. It had destroyed the bonds, and left the mouths. It hod starved 
the negro, and starved itilelf . Not even to gratify Ita own anger and resent- 
ment could it afford to allow its fieldii to go unculUvated, and its tablea 


luwapptied with food. Henco tlte freedmaii, lew from huiniiiiil7 ttuui aapidiififl 
loM from choice than aeixtatj, was apeediiy callwl hack to labour and life. I 
" But now, after fourtecD jean of aemcc, uid fourtwn yearn of sepanitiail 
from the vinble prtweiice of slavery, during which he ha« Hhovn both dw^fl 
position and ability to impply the labonr murknt of thi' South, and that hM 
oould do so far better an a freedman than he evur did an a Hlave ; that monfl 
eotton and sugar would be raised by the «iune hands, under the inapiratioil d^B 
liberty and hope, than can be nuHcd under the influence of bondage and th(fl 
whip, ho is again, aloii ! in the deepest trouble : HgaJn without a home, oulfl 
under the open dcy, with hin wife and little unrK. He lines the Hnnny bouloH 
of the UinsisBipi, fluttering in rags and wretohcdnest. mournfully imploringffl 
hard-hearted slcamboat captains to take bini on hoard : while the frienda ofl 
the emigration movement are diligently aoludting fnnds all over the North Hfl 
help him away from his iild home to the new Canunii of Kansas." ■ 

I am sorry to be obliged to omit tlic- Htatement which herM 
follows, o< the reasons ^vcn for the ExoduR luovement, and inn 
explanation of them, but irom wotit of space I can present onlj sudn 
portions of the paper as express most vividly and in fewest wonU J 
my position in regard to ttie question, I go on to say : fl 

" Bad as in the condition of the negro to-day at lliu South, there wu a timaB 
wheb it waa flagrantly and inoomparnbly worae. A few yean ago iM had 
nothing— he luul not even himself. Me belonged to wnnebody elae, who oould 
dispose of his pcnion and his labour as he pleased. Now he hai himad^ his 
labour, and hix right to dispose of one and the other as shall best n ' 
happinesa. He has mure. He ban a standing in the supreme law of the I 
— in the OonstJtntioji of the United States — not to be changed or aSected b 
any ounjuoution of ciroiimstancee likely to ocouz in the inimediat4i e 
future. The FuuHmnth Amendment makes him a dtleeu and the Fifteenlfa 
makes him a voter. With power behind him, at work for him, and wfaich ci 
not be taken from him, the ni^gro of the South may wisely bide his timr 
situation of the moment is oic<eptional and transient. The permanent powi 
of the Govermneut are all on his side. What though for the moment the hand 
of violeueo strike down the negro's rights iu the South, those rights wilt 
revive, survive, and flourish again. They are not the only people who hsvc 
been, in a moment of popular passion, maltreated and driven from tbe p 
The Irish and Dut«h have frequently been so treated. Boston, Baltimote, : 
Kow York have been the scenes of lawluas viulenue ; hnt those acenea have u 

disappeared Without abating one jot of our horror and ii 

at the outrages committed in some parts of the Southeru Stat<» a 
negro, wo oaunot but ivgord the present agitation of an African eiodos fi 
the South as ill-timed and iu some respects hurtful . We stand to-day t 
beginning of a grand and bcnefieent reaction. There is a growing rocugi 
of the duty and obligation of the American people to guard, protect 
defend the personal and polidcal rights of oil the pvople of all the Stata 



uphold the priTXi^pl*)!! upon whic^ relwUioc vurt BuppTVMHed, nlnvery uboli^hed, 
ftnd the Mnuitry saved from dimiembemieDt and nitn. 

"We see and feel to-day, «k we liave not seen luid felt Wore, that the time 
for conoiliatioii and tnutiuff tu the honour of the late rebels and Hlaveholders 
hu pawied. The Presidc'iit of the United State*, hinuielf, while still liberal. 
just, and trenoroan toward the South, has jet. nuunded aholt in that direction 
•nd has bravely, lirmly, and ubly asitortud the mnntitutional authority to main- 
tain the public peace in every State in the Union, and upon every day in the 
JBBT, and haa maintained thin ftmund a^caiiut all the powen of Houw and 

" We Btand at the gateway of a marked and dedded chanffo in the BtatcK- 
manahip of oar lulerii. Every day bringa frenh and iucrpaHiog evidenoe that 
we are, and of rij^ht ought la be, a nation ; that Confediiiiiite notions of th>' 
Dittare and powers of our Government ought to have perixhed in the rebellion 
whioh they cupported ; thiit they are anachronirimB and Huperatltionn and nu 
longer fit to be above ground 

" At a time like this, so f uU of hope and uoiirage, it is unfortuniite that a cry 
of deepair should bo raised in behalf of the ooloured people of the South ; 
untortnnate that men are going over the csuntry begging in the name of 
the poor eoloured man of the South, and Ii^lling the people that the Govern- 
ment has no power to enforce the Conatitiitiou and lawa in that section, and 
that there in no hopo for the poor negro but to plant him in the new aoil of 
W»"—" or Nebraska. 

" Thei« men do the coloured people of the South a real damage, They give 
their enemien an advantage in the argument for their manhood and freedom. 
Tbey nanume tb«c inability to take care of thnoHelvcs. The eountry will be 
told of the hnndreds who gu to Kanaaa, but not of the thousands who stay in 
Hinaaaippi and Loiuaiana. 

" It will be told of the deHtitute who require mat^al aid, but not ol tbi:< 
mnltitnde who are bravely suataluing thumsulves where tbey are. 

" In Georgia the negroes are paying taios upim nil miUiona of dollars ; in 
LoDieiana upon forty or fifty niilUona : and upon imsiui^rlsined aumt elsewhere 
in the Southern States. 

" Why should a people who have made such progre™ in the course of a few 
yean be ^humiliated and scandalized by exodu« agento, begging muney tu 
remove them from their homes; enpctially at u lime when every indication 
favours tlio position that the wrongs and hardships whioh they suffer ore soon 
to be redressed i" 

" BcuduH the objoctiou thus stated, it is munifcst that the public and noisy 
advocacy of a general Htampode of the uoioured people frem the South to the 
Kortb is neeessorily on abandonment of the great und paraiuount prindplo of 
proteetjon to person and property in every State in the Union. It is nn evasion 
«f a solemn obligation and duty. The buainosa of this nation is tu preteat its 
ditiEena H'here t*if(( iw'ir, not to transport thmn where tbey will not need protection. 
"The best that can be said of this exodos in this respect is, that it is on attempt 
to olimb up some other nay ; it is an expedient, a half-way measure, and 
to weaken in the public mind a sense of abaolute right, power, and duty 



of the Govemment, msBmoeh u iteoncedes, by iiopIioiitJDD at loutt. thut 
soil of the Soutli the low of the land cuinot command obodienoc, thv tnllot-box 
(taimot be kept pure, peaucable eleotions cuinot be held, the CMistJtiltiail 
cannot be enforced, and tbe Utos and iibettiefi of loyal and peaceable dtiaens 
cannot be protertod. It is a Burreuder, a pranatuie diahearteningf anneDder, 
nines it would xecure froedom and free institationfl by miprBtion nther 
than by protection ; by flijfht rather than by right : by going into a BtrMig« 
land rather than by Htaying- in oDe'ii own. It leavex the whole quHrtioQ of 
equal righta on the tioU of the South open and still to be settled, with the monl 
inHnence of exodus ag^nnt lu ; rinoe it ie a confoatiion of the niter iroprAotiM- 
bility of eqnal rights and eqnal pcotection in any Stat« where those rights may 
he atruok down by violenre. 

*' It does not appoar that the friends of freedom should spund either 
talent or furtherance of tbia eiodua, aa a desirable meacure, either for the 
or the South. If the people of thi« wiuntry cannot be protected in every 
of the Union, the GoTcmment of the United States ia shorn of its n^t 
dignity and power, the late rebellion has triumphed, the sovereignty of the; 
is an empty name, and thu power and authoritj in individual Slates greater 
the power and authority of the United States 

"The coloured pinple of the South, juitt beginning to auoumulate a UttW 
property, and to lay the foundation at family, iJiould not be in hasto to aeSi that 
little and be oft to the banks of the Itlisstauppi. The habit of rOMning from 
place to place in purauit of better canditions of existence ia never a good. one. 
A manahanld neverleavehiahomefor anew one till he baa eamoatly endetf v i jut ed 
lo moke his immediate surroundings acrord with his wisbto'. The timo and 
energy expended in wandering from place to place, if employed in ""'^"g him 
a comfortable home where he is, will, in nine cases out of ten, prove the 
investment. No peoplo overdid much for theranelves or for the world wil 
the sense and inspiration of native land, of a fixed home, of familiar neighl 
hood and common asgociationa. The fact of being to the manner bom baa 
elevating power upon the mind and heart of a man. It is a more cheerful 
to he ablvto say I was bom here and know all the people, than to say I am 
stranger here and know none of the people, 

" It cannot be doubted that in so for ns this eiodns lends to promote 
ness in the coloured people of the South, to unsettle their feeling of 
to sacriiice positive advantages where .they aro, for fancied ones in 
ehiewhere, it is an evil. Some have sold their little homes, thaii 
mules, and pigs at a sacrifice, to follow the exodns. Let it bu nnderalood 
you are going, and you advertise the fact that yonr mule has lost half its value , 
for your staying with him makes half hia value. Let the goIoui^ people of 
Georgia offer their six millions' worth of property for sale, with the 
leave Georgia, and they will not realize half ita value. Land is not worth 
where there are no people to occupy it. and a mule is not worth much 
there is no one to drive bim. 

" It maybe safely asserted that whether advocated and commended 
n the ground that it will increase the politinal power of the B«pnbli< 
and thus help U) make a solid North against a solid Soutli, or upon the 

Mple of 
rpowto I 



that it will mcreiue the power and influence of the coloured people as a politiciii 
element, and enable tliem the better to protect their rigbts, and insure tkdr 
moral and eooiaL elevation, the exodna will prove a disappointment, a nuatalter 
and a failure ; beoause, ae to Btreogthening' the Republican party, the omigmnta 
«iU go only to those States where the Republican party is strong and solid 
enough already with their votee ; and in renpect to the other part of the argu- 
ment, it will fail because it takes colonrcd voters from a Beotion of the oountry 
where thej are suffioieBtly numerous !« elect some of thoir number to plaeea of 
honoor and profit, and places them in a country where their proportion to other 
nl M w a will be eo email aa not to be rocognixed aH a political element or entitled 
to be represented by one of themaelTeB. And further, because go where thoy 
win, they must for a time inevitably Giiny with them poverty, ignorance, and 
other repulaire incidents, inherited from their former condition as alavea — a 
oronmstaiioe which is about aa likely to make votes for Democrats as for 
Repnblioana, and to raise up bitter prejudice against them aa to raise np fritmds 

for than 

" Plainly enough, the exodus is less harmful as a measure than are the argu- 
memtfl by which it ih supported. The one is the result of a feeling of outrage 
and despair ; but the other comea of cool, selfish calcututton. One is the result 
id bDOeet despair, and appeals powerfully to the sympathies of men ; the other 
■• an appeal to our selfLshncss. which shrinkn from doing right because the wiiy 
it difBoult. 

" Not only is the South the best torBlity for the negro, on the ground of his 
political powora aud poesibilities, but it is best for him as a field of labour. He 
U there, as he is nowhere else, an absolute neceHsity. He has a monopoly of 
ihe labour market. Hin labour is the only labour which can successfully oSvr 
itoeU for sale in that market. Thin fact, with a little wisdom and lirmuesis 
will enable him to sell his labour there on terms more favourable to himself 
than he can elsewhere. As there are no competitom or substitutes he can 
demand living prices with the certainty that the demand will be complied with. 
KioduB would deprive him of this advantage. . . . 

"The negro, as already intimated, is pre-eminently a Southern man. He is 
Ml bath in eonstitution and habits, in body as well as mind. He will not 
iiuly take with him to the North. Southom modes of labour, but Southern 
modes of life. The careless and improvident habits of the South cannot be 
-et aside in a generation. If they a^e adhered to in the North, in the fierce 
ttinds and snows of Kansas and Nebraska, the emigratiou must be large lo 
kaep up their numbers 

" As an assertion of power by a people hitherto held in bitter contempt, aa 
na emphatic and stinging protest against high-handed. gti>ady. and shameless 
injustic« to the weak and defenoeless, as a means of opening the blind eyes of 
•>Ii|ire»ors to their folly and peril, the exodus has done valnable service, 
Whether it hoe acoomplished all of which it is capable in this direction, for 
the present, is a question which may well be considarBd. With a raoderatc 
degree of intelligent leadership among the labouring class of the South, 
jiroperly handling the justice of their cause, and wisely uaing the exodus 
trxAtaple, they can easily exact better teims tor their labour than over befoM. 


Exodus is medidne, not food; it is for disease, not health; it is not to be 
taken from choice, but neoessiiy. In anything like a nonnal condition of 
things, the South is the best plaoe for the negro. Nowhere else is there for 
him a promise of a happier future. Let him stay there if he can, and sa^e 
both the South and himself to civilization. While, however, it may be the 
highest wisdom in the circumstances for the freedmen to stay where they 
are, no encouragement should be given to any measures of coercion to keep 
them there. The American people are bound, if they are, or can be bound 
to] anything, to keep the north gate of the South open to black and white 
and to all the people. ** The time to assert a right," Webster says, is when it 
is called in question. If it is attempted by force or fraud to oompel the 
coloured people to stay there, they should by all means go— go qmbkly, and 
die if need be in the attempt." 


IbrtuiTi to the "old master" — A last intorvicw^ — Cupt. Auld'ii aJmiiisioD "hnd 
1 been in your place, 1 should have done ub you did" — Speeoh at Eastoo — 
The old gaol there — ^ Invited to a sail in the revenue cutter Guthrie — Hod. J. 
L. ThomaH — Vitdt to tho old plantation— Home of Col, Lloyd — Kind recep- 
tion aoil attenUons — Familiar ncenea— Old memoricB — Burial -jirround — 
Hospitality ^GrTftciouB reoeptiou from Mm. Burhanan — A little girl's floral 
gift — A promiBp of a "good time coming" — Speech at Harper's Ferry, 
Doeoration day, ISHI — Storer College — Hon. A. J. Hunter. 

THE leading incidents to whicb it isi my purpose to caJl atten- 
tion and malie prominont in tlie present chapter, will, I 
tliink. address the imagination of the reader witli peculiar and 
j)oetic force, and might well enough be di-amatized for the stage 
They certainly afford another striking illustration of the trite saying, 
that " truth in stranger than fiction." 

The lirBt of these events occun'ed four years ago. wheu, after a 
period of more tlian forty years, I visited and had an interview 
with Captain Thomas Auld, at St. Micliaels, Talbot County, Mary- 
land. It will be remembered by those who have followedthe thread 
of my story, that St. Michaels was atone time the place of my homo, 
and the scene of some of my sa^ldest experiences of slave life ; 
and that I left there, or, rather, was compelled to leave there, 
liecause it was believed that I had wTitten paases for several slaves 
to enable them to escape from slavery, and tlial prominent slave- 
holders in that neighbourhood had, for this alleged offence, threat- 
ened to fihoot me on sight, and to prevent the execution of tills 
threat, my master bad sent me to Baltimore. 

My return, therefore, to this place, in peace, among the same 
people, was strange enough of itself, but that I should, when there, 
be formally invited by Capt. Thomas Auld, then over eighty years 
old, to come to the side of his dying bed. evidently with a view to 
R friendly talk over our past relations, was a fact still more strange. 

and one wliich, until its occuneuce, I could never have ts^^F 
poHBible. To mc, Capt. Auld hod sustained tlie relation of master 
— a relation wbicb I had held iu extreniest abhorrence, and whiuh 
for forty years, 1 )iad denounced iij all bitterness of spirit and. 
fierceness of speech. He had struck down my personality, hi 
subjected me to hia will, made property of my body and soul, re- 
duced me to a chattel, hired me out to a noted slave-breaker to 
worked like a beast and flogged into submission ; he bad taken 
btu'd earnings, sent me to prison, offered me for sale, broken up tu] 
Simday- school, forbidden me to teach my fellow slaves to read 
pain of nine and thij'ty lushes on my bare back ; he had sold ni] 
body to bis brotlier Hugh, had pocketed the price of my flesh 
blood witliout any apparent distmbauce of his conscience. I, 
my part, lia:d travelled tlirough the length and breath of 
fonntry and of England, holding up this conduct of his, in comm<i 
with that of other slaveholders, to the reprobation of all men wl 
would listen to my words. I bad made liis name and his de< 
familiar to the world by my writings in four different lan^ogea, 
yet here we were after four decades once more face to face— he on hil 
bed, aged and tremiUous, drawing neai' tlie sunset of life, and I, hia 
former slave. United States Marsbalof tlie District of Columbia, hold- 
ing his band and in friendly conversation with him, iu a sort of final 
settlement of past differences, prcpai'atory to his stepping into his 
grave, where all distinctions are at an end, and where the great 
and small, the slave and bis master, are reduced to the same level. 
Had I been asked in the days of slavery to visit this man, I should 
have regarded the invitation as one to put fetters on my ankles anil 
haudcufTs on my wrists. It would have been an invitation to the 
auction-bluck and the slave whip. I hod no buBiuess with this mi 
tmder the old regime but to keep out of bis way. But now 
slavery was destroyed, and theslavcandtbemaster stood upon eqi 
ground, I was not only wilhng to meet him, but was very glad 
do so. The conditions wei-e favourable for remerabranoe of all hti 
good deeds, and generous extenuation of all his evil ones. He was 
to me no longer a slaveholder either in &ct or in spirit, and 1 
garded him as I did myself, a victim of the circumstances of birl 
education, law, and custom. 

Our courses bad been determined for us, not by us, We 
both been flung, by powers that did not ask otir consent, np 

I the I 

idin 1 


uiigbty current of Ufe, which we could neither resist nor control. 
By this current he was a master, and I a slavo ; but now our livco 
wpre vergiug towards a point where differences disappear, where 
even the constancy of hate breaks down, where the clouda of 
pride, passion, and selfishness vanish before the brightness of 
iiifiiiite light. At such a time, and in sucli a place, when a man 
is about closing his eyes on this world and ready to step into the 
ctei-nal unknown, no word of reproach or bitterness shonld reach 
htm or fall fiom his lips ; and on tliis occasion there was to this 
I'ule no transgression on either side. 

As this visit to Capt. Auld had been made the subject of mirth 
by heartless trifiers, and regretted as a weakening of my life-long 
testimony against slavery, by serious -minded men, and as the 
report of it, published in tlie papers immediately after it occm'red, 
was in some respects defective and coloured, it may be proper to 
state exactly what was said and done at this interview. 

It should in the lirst place be understood that I did not go to St. 
Michaels upon Capt. Auld's invitation, but upon that of my coloured 
friend, Charles Caldwell ; but when once there, Capt. Auld sent 
Mr. Green, a man in constant attendance upon liim during his 
sickness, to tell me he would be very glad to see me, and wished 
me to accompany Green to his house, with which request I complied. 
On reaching the bouse I was met by Mr. \V'ni. H. Bruff, a son-in- 
law of Capt. Anld, and Mrs. Louisa Bruff, his daughter, and was 
vouducted by them immediately to tlie bed-room of Capt. Auld. 
We addressed each other simultaneously, he calling me '■ Marshal 
Douglass," and I, as 1 bad always called him, " Captain Auld." 
Hearing myself called by liim " Marshal Douglass," I instantly 
broke up the formal nature of the meeting by saying, '■ not Martlml 
but Frederick to you as formerly." We shook hands cordially, and 
iu the act of of doing so, he, having been long stricken with patsy, 
tilted tears as men thus atSicted will do when excited by any deep 
(.•motion. The sight of him, the changes which time had wrouglit 
in him, hie tremulous hands constantly iu motion, and all 
llie circumstances of his condition affected me deeply, and for a 
time choked my voice and made me speechless. We both, 
however, got the better of our feelings, and conversed freely about 

ThoDgh broken by age and palsy, the mhid of Capt. Auld was 

400 THK MLAVE ASH Hin masteb vbienuk. H 

remarkftbly cleai' aud strong. After he had become composed ^M 
asked him what he tboaght of my conduct in nmaing avay (ui^| 
going to the Nortli. He hesitated a moment as if to proper^H 
formulate Ills reply, and said : " Frederick. I always kuew yon wet^| 
too smart lo be a slaTe.and hod I been in your place I should h&I^H 
done aa you did." I said, " Oapt. Auld, I am glad to hear you si^| 
this. I did not nin away from you, but from diifenj ; it was iis^| 
that I loved CnBar less, but Rome more." I told him I had mad^f 
a mistake in my narrative, a copy of which I had sent him.i^| 
attributing to him ungrateful and cruel treatment of my graiu^| 
mother ; that I had done go on tlie supposition that ui the diviaio^H 
(if the property of my old master, Mr. Aaron Anthony, n^l 
gi-andmothei' had fallen to him, aud that he hud left her i^| 
her old age. when she could be no longer of sei'vice to hi^^| 
to pick up her living in solitude with none to heip her, or ^H 
other words had turned her out to die like an old horse. " Ah I fl| 
he said. " that was a mistake, I never owned 'your grandmoth<9^H 
she in the division of the slaves was awarded ia my broUie|^| 
in-law, Andrew Anthony; but." he added qaiukly, "I broof^H 
her down here and took care of her as long as she lived." T|^| 
fact is, that after writing my narrative describing the conditi(l^| 
of my grandmother. Captain Auld's attention being thus calt4^| 
to it, he rescued her from her destitution. I told him that tbia 
mistake of mine was corrected as soon as I discovered it, and 
that I had at no time any wish to do him injustice ; that I 
regarded both of us as victims of a system. " Oh, 1 never liked 
slavery," he said, " and I meant to emancipate all of my slavea 
when they reached the age of twenty-Sve years." I told him I 
had always been cm-ioua to know how old 1 was, that it Im^h 
been a serious trouble to me not to know when was my birt^f 
day. He said he could not tell me that, but he thought 1 ^<^H 
bom in February, IBIH. This date made ^mo one year yonug^f 
than 1 had supposed myself from what was told^me by MistrM^I 
Lucretia, Captain Auld's former wife, when I left Lloyd's fi^| 
Baltimore in the Spring of lt<2S ; she having then said that^H 
was eight, going on nine. I know that it was in] the year 18^H 
that I went to Baltimore, because it was in that year tl^H 
Mr. James Beacham built a large frigate at the foot of Allicea^H 
Street, fur one of the South American Governments. Judgil^l 


1 this, and from certain events which transpired at Colonel 
Lloyd's, such as a boy, without any knowledge of books, under 
eight years old. would hardly take oogiiizance of, I am led to 
believe that Mra. Lncretia was nearer right as to my age than 
her husband. 

Before I left liis bedside. Captain Auld spoke with a cheerfal 
oonSdeuce of the great change that awaited him, and felt himself 
about to depart in peace. Seeing his extreme weakness I did 
not protract my visit. The whole mterview did not last more 
than twenty minutes, and we parted to meet no more. His 
death was soon after announced in the papers, and the fact 
that he had ouue owned me as a slave was cited as rendering 
that event noteworthy. 

It may not, perhaps, be quite artistic to speak in this connection 
of another incident of something of tlie same nature as that whioh 
I have just narrated, and yet it quite naturally finds place hero ; 
and that is, my visit to the town of Easton, county seat of Talbot 
County, two years later, to deliver an addi'eas in the Court 
House, for the benefit of some association in that place. This 
visit was made interesting- to me, by the fact that forty-five 
years before, I had, in company with Henry and Jolm Harris, 
been dragged to Easton behind liorsos, with my hands tied, put 
in gaol, and offered for sale, for the offence of intending to run 
away from slavery. 

It may easily be seen that this visit, after this lapse of time, 
brought with it feelings and reflections such as only imusnal cir- 
CDiustanccs can awaken. There stood the old gaol, with its white- 
washed walls and iron gratings, as when in my youth I heard its 
heavy locka and bolts clank behind me. 

Strange too, Mr. Joseph Graham, who was then Sheriff of the 
County, and who locked me in this gloomy place, was still living. 
though verging towards eighty, and was one of the gentlemen 
who now gave me a warm and friendly welcome, and was 
Among my hearers when I delivered my address at the Court 
Bouse. There too in the same old place stood Solomon Law's 
k Tavern, where once the slave traders were wont to congregate, 
[iifttid where I now took up my abode and was treated with a 
^litahty and consideration undreamed of as possible by me in 
bs olden time. 


When one has advanced far in the jounifiy of life, when ho" 
has Bcen and tmveUed over much of this great world, and has 
bad many and strange experiences of shadow and sunshine. 
when long distances of time and space have come between him 
and his point of departure, it is natural that his thonghtB should 
rotnm to the place of his beginning, and that he shooM be 
seized with a strong desire to revisit the scenes of his e&rl 
recollection, and live over in memory the incidents of 
childhood. At least, such for several years had been 
thoaghts and feelings in respect to Colonel Lloyd's plantAt 
on Wye River, Talbot County, Maryland ; for I had never 
there since I left it, when eight years old, in 1825. 

While slavery continued, of conrse this very natnral desire oonlj 
not be safely gratified ; for my presence among slaves was daogeroos 
to the pnblic peace, and could no more be tolerated than could a 
wolf among sheep, or fire in a magazine. But now that the rf si 
of the war had changed all this. I had for several years del 
mined to return to my old home upon the first opporhmil 
Speaking of this desire of mine last winter, to the Hon. John 
Thomas, the efiicicnt collector at the port of Baltimore, and a 
leading Republican of the State of Maryland, he nrged me Ti-ry 
much to go, and added that lie often took a trip to tlie eastern 
shore in bis revenue cutter '■ Guthrie " — otherwise known 
time of war as the " Ewing "^and would be much pleased to 
me accompany him on one of these trips. I expressed somfl' 
as to how such a visit would be received by the present 
Edward Lloyd, now proprietor of the old place, and ^^tndsoo 
Governor Ed. Lloyd whom I remembered. Mr. Thomas 
assured me that from his own knowledge I need have no trc 
on that score. Mr. Lloyd was a Uberal minded gentleman, 
he had no doubt would take a visit from me very kindly. I 
very glad to accept the offer. The opportunity for the trip, 
^ver, did not occur till the 12th of Jime, ajid on that day, in 
pany with Messrs. Thomas, Thompson, and Chamberlain, on 
the cutter, we started for the contemplated visit. In four 'hi 
altar leaving Baltimore, we were anchored in the river off 
Lloyd estate, and from the deck of our vessel I saw onoo more 
stately chimneys of the grand old mansion which I had ioBt 
from the deck of the " Balhe Lloyd " when a boy. I left there 

la a 



iTO, and returned as a Ereeman. I left there anknown to the out- 
side world, and returned well knowu ; I left there oil a freight 
boat and returned on a revenue cutter ; I left on a vessel belong- 
ing to Col, Edward Lloyd, and returned on one belonging to the 
Uiiited Btatea. 

As aooa as we had come to anchor, Mr. Thomaa despatched a 
note to Col. Edward Lloyd, announcing my presence on board his 
Cutter, and inviting liim to meet me, informing liim It was my 
desire, if agreeable to him, to revisit my old home. In response 
to this note, Mr. Howard Lloyd, a son of Col. Lloyd, a young 
gentleman of very pleasant addreas, came on board the cutter, and 
was introduced to the several gentlemen and myself. 

He told us that his father was gone to Easton on business, 
expressed hiB regret at his absence, hoped he would return before 
we should leave, and in the meantime received ua cordially and 
invited ns ashore, escorted us over the grounds, and gave us as 
hearty a welcome as we could have wished. I hope I shall be 
pardoned lor spealiing of this incident wttli much complacenoy. 
It waa one which could happen to but few men, and only once in 
the life time of any. The span of human Ufe is too abort for the 
repetition of events which occur at tlie distance of fifty years. 
That I was deeply moved, and greatly affected by it, can be eaaily 
imagined. Here I was, being welcomed and escorted by the great 
grandson of Colonel Edward Lloyd^a gentlemen I had known well 
fifty- six years before, and whose form and features were as vividly 
depicted on my memory as if I had seen him but yesterday. He 
was & gentleman of the olden time, elegant in his apparel, dignified 
in hia deportment, a man of few words and of weighty presence ; 
aiid I can easily conceive that no Governor of the State of Mary- 
laud ever commanded a larger measure of reapeet than did this 
great-grandfather of the young gentleman now before me. In 
company with Mr. Howard was his little brother Decosa, a bright 
boy of eight or nine years, disclosing big aristocratic descent m 
the lineaments of hie face, and in all his modest and graceful 
movements. As I looked at him I could not help the reflections 
natnratly arising from having seen so many generations of the 
same family on the same eatate. I had seen the elder Lloyd, and 
was now walking around with the youngest member of that name. 
In respect to the place itself, I was most agreeably surprised to find 


tliat time bad doalt so gently with it, and tliat in all its t 
ments it was so little changed from what it was when I left it. and 
from wliat I have eleewliore described it. Very little was missing 
except the squads of little blacli cbildreu wliicb were once seen 
all directions, and tlic great number of staves on its fields. 
Lloyd's estate comprised twenty-seven thousand acres, and 
home-farm seven thousand. In my boyhood sisty men were ei 
ployed in cultivating the home-farm alone. Now, by the aid 
machinery, the work is accomplished by ton men. I found 
buildings, which gave it tlie appearance of a village, nearly 
standing, and I was astonished to find that I had carried their 
appearance and location so accnrately in my mind during so many 
yeai's, There was the long quarter, the quarter on the liill, 
dwelling-house of my old master, Aaron Anthony; the overseer^ 
house, once occupied by Wilham Sevier. Austin Gore, 
Hopkins, and other overseers. In connection with my old mastorSi'' 
house was the kitchen where Aunt Eaty presided, and where my 
head had received many a thump from her unfriendly hand. I 
looked into this kitchen with peculiar interest, and remembered 
that it was there I last saw my mother. I went round to the 
window at which Miss Lucretia used to sit with her sewing, and at 
which I used to aiug when hungi'y, a signal which she well uuder- 
Btood, and to which she readily responded with bread. The little 
closet in which 1 slept in a bag had been taken into the room ; the 
dirt door, too, had disappeared under plank. But upon the whole, 
the house la very much as it was tn the olden time. Not far froa 
it was the stable formerly in charge of old Barney. The &tor«- 
liouse at the end of it, of which my master carried the keys, had 
been removed. The large carriage house, too, which in my boy's 
days contained two or tliree fine coaches, several phaetons, gigs, 
and a large sleigh — -for the latter there was seldom any use — wu 
gone. This carriage house was of much ^interest to me, becat 
Col. Lloyd sometimes allowed his servants the use of it for fest 
occasions, and in it there was at such times music and di 
With these two exceptions, the houses of the estate rem&iui 
There was the shoemaker's shop, where Undo Abo made 
mended shoes ; and there the blacksmith's shop, where Ui 
Tony hammered iron, and the weekly closing of which first tsi 
me to distinguish Sundays from other days. The old bam, too. 











* there — time-wom, to be sure, but atill in good condition — a 
pltwe of wondorfnl interest to me in my childhood, for there I 
often repaired to liBton to the chatter and watch the flight of 
swallows among its lofty beams, and under ita ample roof. Time 
had wrought some changea in the treea and foHage. The Lombardy 
poplars, in the branches of which the red-winged blftckbirda iiaed 
to congregate and eing, and whose music awakened in my young 
hcEtrt sensations and aspirations deep and undefinable, were gone ; 
but the oaka and elms where young Daniel — the uncle of the 
present Edward Lloyd — used to divide with ma his caliea and 
biacnita, were there as umbrageous and beautiful aa ever. 1 ex- 
pressed a wish to Mr. Howard to be shown into the family burial 
ground, and thither we made our way. It is a remarkable spot 
— the resting place for all the deceased Lloyda for two hundred 
years, for the family have been in possession of the estate since 
^^be settlement of the Maryland colony. 

^L The tombs there reminded one of what may be seen in the 

HEroonds of moss-covered chorches in England. The very names 

^mk those who sleep within the oldest of them are crtmibled away 

and become undecipherable. Everything about it is impressive, 

and suggestive of the transient character of human life and glory. 

No one could stand under its weeping willows, amidst its creeping 

Kand myrtle, and look through its sombre shadows, without a 
ling of unusual solemnity. The first interment I ever wit- 
ised was in this place. It waa the great -great- gran dm other, 
brought from Annapohs in a mahogany coffin, and quietly, without 
ceremony, deposited in ttiis ground. 

While here, Mr. Howard gathered for me a bouquet of flowers 
and evergreena from the different graves around us, and which I 
oarefally brought to my home for preservation. 

Notable among the tombs were those of Adroii'al Buchanan, who 
commanded tlie " Merrimac " in the action at Hampton Beads with 
the •' Monitor," March 8, 1862, and that of General Winter of the 
Confederate army, both sons-in-law of the elder Lloyd. There was 
also pointed out tome the grave of a Massachusetts man, a Mr. 
Page, a teacher in the family, whom I had often seen and wondered 
what he oonld be thinking about as he silently paced up and down the 
garden walks, always alone, for he associated neither with Captain 
Anthony, Mr, McDermot, nor the overaeera. He seemed to be 


one by himself. I boliovc he belonged to same plaoe ne&r Ore 
field, Massachnaetts, and members of his family will perb&ps 1 
for the first time, from these hnes, the place of hia burial ; for 
have had intimation that they knew little about biiu after be OQfl 
left home. 

We then visited the garden, still kept in fine condition, but i 
as iu the days of the elder Lloyd, for then it was tended constantl 
by Mr. McDermot, a scientific gardener, and four experience 
bauda, and farmed, perhaps, the most beautiful featnre of the plaotf 
From this we were invited to what was called by the slaves th 
Great House — the mansion of tiie Lloyd's, and were helped t 
chairs upon its stately veranda, where we uotdd have a full view C 
its garden, with its broad walks, hedged with bos and adorned wit 
fi'uit trees and flowers of almost every variety. A more tranqoi 
and tranquilizing scene I have seldom met in this or any othfl 

We were soon invited from this deUghtful outlook into the 1 
dining room, with its old-faahioned furniture, its mahogany sids 
board, its cut-glaaa-chandehers, decanters, tumblers, and k 
glasses, and cordially invited to refresh oni^elves with wiue of it 
exiaellent quaUty. 

To say that our reception was every way gi-atifying is but a feebl 
e:(pi'essian of the feeling of each and all of us. 

Leaving the Great House, my presence became known to th 
coloured people, some of whom were children of those I bad know 
when a boy. They all seemed delighted to see me, and wez 
pleased when I called over the names of many of the old servoQtl 
and pointed out the cabin where Dr. Copi)er, an old slave, 
teach us with a hickory stick in hand, to say the " Lords Prayer,^ 
After spending a httle time with these, we bade good-bye to i 
Howard Lloyd, with many thanks for bis kind attentions, a 
steamed away to St. Michael's, a place of which I have atreadj 

The next part of this memorable trip took us to the home of Bi 
Buchanan, the widow of Admiral Buchanan, one of the two ou^ 
Uviug daughters of old Governor Lloyd, and here my recepUon wi 
as kmdiy as that received at the Great House, where I had otl/6 
seen her when a slender young lady of eighteen. She iB no 
about seventy-four years old, but marvellously well preserved. &I 


invited me to a seat by her aide, Introduced me to her gi-and- 
ehildreu , convereed with me e.s freely and with ae little embarrasa- 
ment as if I had been an old acquaintance aud occupied an equal 
station with the moat aristocratic of the Caucasian race. I saw iu 
her mnch of the quiet dignity as well as the featm'es of her father. 
I spent an hour or so in conversation with Mrs. Buchanan, and 
when I left, a beautiful little grand-daughter of hers, with a 
pleasant smile on her face, handed me a bouquet of many-coloured 
flowers. I never accepted such a gift with a sweeter sentiment of 
gratitude than from the band of this lovely child. It told me 
many things, and among them that a new dispeusation of justice, 
kindness, and human brotherhood was dawning not only ui the 
North, but in the South ; that the war, and the slavery that caused 
the war, were things of the past, and that the rising generation are 
taming their eyes from the sunset of decayed institntionB to the 
grand possibihtles of a glorious future. 

The next, and last noteworthy incident in my experience, and 
one which further and strikingly illustrates the idea with which 
this chapter sets out, ie my visit to Harper's Ferry, on the 30th 
of May, this yoar, and my address on John Brown, delivered in 
that place before Storer College, an Institution established 
Ibr the education of the children of those whom John Brown 
eudeavoored to hberate. It is only a httle more than twenty 
years ago when the subject of my discourse — as will be aeeu 
elsewhere in this volume — made a raid upon Harper's Ferrj- ; 
when itB people, and we may say the whole nation, were hlled 
with aatonishmont, horror, and indignation at the mention of his 
D&me ; when the Government of the United States co-operated 
with the State of Virginia in efforts to arrest and bring to capital 
punishment all persona in any way connected with John Brovra 
and bis enterprise ; when United States Marshals visited Roch- 
ester and elsewhere in search of me, with a view to my appre- 
hension and execution, for my supposed complicity with Brown ; 
when many prominent citizens of the North were compelled to 
leave the country to avoid arrest, and men were mobbed, even in 
Boston, for daring to speak a word in vindication or extenuation 
of what was considered Brown's stupendous crime ; and yet here 
I was, after two decades, upon the very sod he had stained with 
i>lood, among the very people he had startled and outraged, and 


who, a few years ago, would have hanged me npon the firflt tree, inl 
open daylight, allowed to deliver an address, not merely defending 
John Drown, but extolling him as a hero and martyr to the cause 
of Uberty, and doing it with scarcely a mnrmnr of disapprobation. 
I confess that as I looked ont upon the scene before me and the 
towering heighta around me, and remembered the bloody drama 
there enacted ; saw the log house in the distance where John 
Brown collected his men. saw the little engine house where the 
brave old Puritan fortified himself against a dozen companies of 
Virginia MUitia. and the place where he was finally captured by 
United States troops under CoL Robert E. Lee, I was a little 
ehocked at my own boldness in attempting to dehver an address in 
STtch presence, and of the character advertised in advance of my 
coming. But there was no cause of apprehension. The people 
of Harper's Ferry have made wondrous progress in their ideas of 
freedom of thought and speech. The aboUtion of slavery bas not 
merely emancipated tlie negro, but Uberated the whites ; taken tha J 
lock ttom their tongues, and the fetters &om their press. On t 
platform from which I spoke, sat the Hon. Andrew J- Hnnter, t 
prosecuting attorney for the State of Virginia, who conducted t 
cause of the State against John Brown, that consigned him i 
the gallows. This man, now well-Htrickcu in years, greeted i 
cordially, and in conversation with me after the address, bore ' 
testimony to the manliness and coiu'age of John Brown, and 
though he still disapproved of the raid made by him upon Harper's 
Ferry, he commended me for my address, and gave me a pressing 
invitation to visit Charlestown, where he lives, and offered to give 
me some facts which might prove interesting to me, as to the say- 
ings and conduct of Captain Brown while in prison and on trial, 
up to the time of his execution. I regret that my engagements 
and duties were such that I could not then and there accept his 
invitation, for I could not doubt the sincerity with which it was 
(^ven, or (ail to see the value of compliance. Mr. Hunter not 
only congratulated me upon my speech, but at parting, gave me a 
friendly grip, and added that if Robert E. Lee were alive and — 
present, he knew he would give me his hand also. M 

This man's presence added much to the interest of the oocasimfl 
by his frequent interruptions, approving and condemning my senlifl 
mente as they were uttered. I only regret that he did not ondei^ 


take a formal reply to my speech, but this, though mvited, he 
declined to do. It would have given me an opportmiity of fortify- 
ing certain positions in my address which were perhaps insuffi- 
ciently defended. Upon the whole, taking the visit to Capt. Auld, 
to Easton with its old gaol, to the home of my old master at Col. 
Lloyd's, and this Visit to Harper's Ferry, with all their associa- 
tions, they fulfil the expectation created at the beginning of this 


Hoa. Oerrit Smith and Uc. E. C. Di.'!ov&ti— Espariaiasa ut hotola 
Btoamboats and oUber inadM of trarol— Hon. Edward tCuithall — Onsa 
Greenwood— Hon. Hoaes Noma — Robert J. IngviBoll — BeSaotioiia and ooa 
□lusionB — Compensations . 

IN eecaping from tlie South, the reader will have observed that 
did not escape &om Us wide-spread Inflaoocc in the Nortl 
That influence met me almost everywhere outside of pronounce 
aati-alavery circles, and sometimes even within them. It wasi 
the air, aud men breathed it and were permeated by it, often wh( 
they were quite unconscience of its presence. 

I might recount many occasions when I have encountered 
feeling, some painful and melancholy, some ridiculous and ami 
It has bean a part of my mission to expose the abaordity of thi 
spirit of caste and in some measure help to emancipate men tnx 
its control. 

Invited to accompany tlie Hon. Gerrit Smith to dine with Mr. E. < 
Delevan, at Albany many yeai^s ago, I expressed to Mr. Smith, a 
awkwardness aud embarrassment in the society I was likely to ma 
there. " AJj I " said that good man, " you must go, Douglass, it 
your mission to break down the walls of separation between U 
two races." I went with Mr. Smith, and was soon made at em 
by Mr. Delovan and the ladies and gentlemen there. They vei 
among the mostreiiuedandbrilhantpeoplcl had ever met. I fe 
somewhat surprised that I could be so much at ease in su( 
company, but I found it then, as I have since, that the lugb 
the gradation in intelligence and refinement, the farther removi 
ai-e all artificial distinctions, and restraints of mere casta i 

In one of my anti-slavery campaigns in New York, five ai 
thirty years ago, I had an appointment at Victor, a town in Ont 


I County. I was compelled to stop at tbe hotel. It waa the 
I onatom at that time, to seat the guests at a long table ninning the 
[ length of the diniog room. When I entered I was showu a little 
table In a comer. I kuew what it meant, but took my dimier all 
the same. When I went to the desk to pay my bill, I said, ■' Now, 
landlord, be good enough to tell me just why you gave me my 
dinner at the little table in the comer by myself ? " He was equal 
to the occasion, and quickly replied : " Because you see, I wished 
to give yow something better than the others." The cool reply 
staggered me, and I gathered up my change, muttering only that 
I did not want to be treated better thau other people, and bade him 
good morning. 

On an anti-slavery torn- through the West, in company with H. 

Ford Donglaa. a young coloured man of fine intellect and much 

I promise, and my old friend John Jones, both now deceased, we 

stopped at a hotel in Janesville, and were seated by ourselves to 

\ take our meals, where all the bar-room loafers of the town could 

y stare at us. Thus seated I toofe occasion to say, loud enough for 

I the crowd to hear me, that I had just beeu out to the stable and 

\ had made a great discovery. Asked by Mr. Jones what my 

[ discovery was, I said that I saw there, black horses and while 

rborses eating together from tlie same trough in peace, from which 

I inferred that the horses of Janesvillo wei'O more civlUzed thau ita 

[ people. The crowd saw the hit, and broke out into a good-natured 

langh. We were afterwards entertained at the same table with 

other guests. 

Many years ago, on my way from Cleveland to BoSklo, on one 
of the Lake steamers, the gong sonnded for sapper. There 
ne a rough element on board, snch as at that time might be found 
Anywhere between Buffalo and Chicago. It was not to be 
trified with especially when hungry. At the fii-st sound of 
the gong there was a fui'ioua rush for the table. From prudenc«, 
more than from lack of appetite, I waited for the second table, 
as did several others. At this second table I took a seat far apart 
from the few gentlemen scattered along its side, but directly 
opposite a well dressed, finely -featured man, of the fairest com- 
plexion, high forehead, golden hair and hght beard. His whole 
appearance told me he was lu/mcLuJy. I had been seated but a 
minute or two, when the stewai'dcame to me, and roughly ordered 


me awaj. I paid no attention to him, bat proceeded to take ray 
Biipper, determined not to leave, unless compelled to do bo by 
BHiierior force, and being young and strong I was not entirely 
unwilling to risk tlio consequences of such a contest. 
n:oments passed, when on each side of my chair, there appeared a 
Htalwart of my own race. I glanced at the gentleman opposite. 
His brow was knit, his colour changed &om white to scarlet, auS 
his eyes were full of fire, I saw tTie lightning flash, bnt I could 
not tell where it would strike. Before my sable brethren ooulj 
execute their captain's orders, and juat as they were about to h 
violent hands upon me, a voice from that man of golden hair anc 
fiery eyea resounded like a clap of summer thunder. " Let tlu 
gentleman alone ! I am not ashamed to take my tea with Mr. 
Pouglass." His was a voice to he obeyed, and my right to my ft 
and my anpper was no more disputed. 

I bowed my acknowledgments to the gentleman, and tbankec 
him for bis chivalrous interference ; and aa modestly as I could, 
asked him his name. "I am Edward Warahall, of Kentucky, 
now of Cahfomia," he said. " Sir, I am very glad to know you, 
I have just been reading your speech in Congress," I said, Snppei 
over, we passed several hours in conversation with each othei 
during which he told me of his politieaJ career in California, of h 
election to Congress, and that he was a Democrat, but had no pr& 
judice against colour. He was then just coming &om Kentucky 
where he had beon in part to aee his black mammy, for, sud ho. 
" I was nursed at the breasta of a coloured mother." 

I asked him if he know my old friend John A. Collins in < 
fomia. "Oh, yes," he replied, "he is a smart fellow; he 
against me for Congress, I charged him with being an Abolitionist; 
bnt he denied it, so I sent off and got the evidence of his hanni 
been general agent of the Massachuaetts Auti-Htavery Society, I 
that settled him. " 

Ihiriug the passage, Mr. Marshall invited me into the bsr-ra 
to take a drink. I excused myself from drinking, but west Aam 
with him. There were a nimiber of thirsty-looking individiu 
standing around, to whom Mr. Marshall said, " Come. boys, ti 
a drink." When the drinking was o