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Memoir of Quamino Buccau, a Pious Methodist:
Electronic Edition.

Allinson, William J., 1810-1874


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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
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Source Description:
(title page) Memoir of Quamino Buccau, a Pious Methodist
ALLINSON, WILLIAM J.
30 p.
PHILADELPHIA:
HENRY LONGSTRETH, 347 MARKET ST. LONDON: -- CHARLES GILPIN.
1851.

Microfilm copy provided by Alexander Library, Rutgers University


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Illustration

[Frontispiece Image]
Quamino.


        

Illustration

[Title Page Image]


MEMOIR
OF
QUAMINO BUCCAU,
A PIOUS METHODIST.

BY

WILLIAM J. ALLINSON.


                         "But the righteous live forevermore--their reward also is with the Lord, and the care of them is with the Most High."--

WISDOM OF SOLOMON.

PHILADELPHIA:
HENRY LONGSTRETH, 347 MARKET ST.
LONDON: --
CHARLES GILPIN.
1851.


Page 3

MEMOIR
OF
QUAMINO BUCCAU.

        THE truth which Peter perceived, and of which, it appears, he needed a miracle to convince him, "that God is no respecter of persons," is abundantly confirmed in the observation of those who mark the bountiful conferring of the Divine gift upon persons in the humblest positions of life; and it is profitable to contemplate how "GOD HATH CHOSEN THE POOR OF THIS WORLD RICH IN FAITH," if haply we may thus be stimulated to place our affections upon things above.

        Many of the visitors of the beautiful city of Burlington, in New Jersey, have paused to admire the venerable figure of an aged coloured man, with a luxuriant growth of snowy hair, blind, and supported by two crutches, standing at the door of a lowly tenement in the main street. Not a few have derived spiritual refreshment during their visits to this meek disciple of Him who was "lowly in heart."


Page 4

        Quamino (the only name which ever properly pertained to him), was born in the vicinity of Brunswick, New Jersey, in the 2d mo., 1762. He has wielded the several names of Buccau, Smock, and Griffith, from his successive owners--the second of these names being the only one by which he has of latter years been known. He was born a slave. In his ninth year, he was hired for a term of years to a person of the name of Schenk, who employed him as a house servant, and who, soon afterwards removing to Poughkeepsie, took the lad with him. The unsettled state of the country contrasted strongly with its present aspect: "there was," (to quote Quamino's words,) "so much wild varmints there." Not a week elapsed without his seeing wild bears swimming across the noble Hudson, at a part where extensive wharves now project into a stream, constantly traversed by steamers,


                         "And gardens and palaces margin the wave,
                         That laved but the desert before."

        Quamino was several times taken to see his old master; and once Buccau (who was always fond of the lad,) came to see him. "I was," said Q., "de only young cub dat he had." He refused repeated offers from Schenk, and others, who wished to purchase the boy. Whilst in this situation, he was compelled to witness every public execution, with the idea that a salutary lesson would thus be impressed,--and, unhappily, the


Page 5

opportunities were by no means rare. One instance, which was to his kindly heart peculiarly distressing, we will briefly relate.

        A young slave, about twenty years of age, ("as nice a coloured man," said Quamino, "as you would wish to look at,") fired his master's barn and outbuildings, and thus destroyed much grain, together with live-stock. He was detected by the smoke issuing from his pocket, (into which he had thrust some combustibles,) imprisoned, tried, and on his confession, condemned to be burned to death. He was fastened to a stake, and when the pile was fired, the dense crowd excluded the air, so that the flames kindled but slowly, and the dreadful screams of the victim were heard at a distance of three miles. His master, who had been fond of him, wept aloud, and called to the Sheriff to put him out of his misery. This officer then drew his sword; but the master, still crying like a child, exclaimed, "Oh, don't run him through!" The Sheriff then caused the crowd to separate, so as to cause a current of air; and when the flame burst out fiercely he called to the sufferer to "swallow the blaze;" which he did, and immediately he sunk dead.

        The unsettled state of the country during the Revolutionary war, prevented communication with his old master; and Quamino had relinquished the hope of again seeing his former friends, when, in his eighteenth year, a stranger arrived on horse-back;


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and, after a conference, Schenk called Quamino into the parlor, and queried whether he would like to see his father and mother, his master and mistress, his young masters and mistresses, &c. On his giving an affirmative reply, he was told:--"Well, your master has sent for you, and this man has come to take you." Overcome with this too sudden announcement, he burst into a violent and uncontrollable fit of crying, and for hours cried aloud as though he had been beaten--unable to answer questions, or to stay his emotions at the kindest efforts to pacify him. "Oh," said his master, "the shock was too much for him." And he continued to sob the remainder of the day, whilst endeavouring to perform his work. As he related it, in his venerable age, to the writer, he was asked whether it was joy that affected him. He replied, "It seems so, sir--I don't know, and I didn't know then--it struck me to the heart."

        On his return to Jersey, his young associates were so grown beyond his knowledge, that he felt like a stranger in his childish haunts.

        When nearing the age of manhood, he was steady in his attendance upon religious meetings, walking several miles through all kinds of weather. His own account of the motive for going was, that he "liked to have the name of being a good boy." One Sabbath evening, returning home from meeting, he had impressions of a striking character; his imagination being evidently much acted upon.


Page 7

As he trod the familiar way, a new road appeared to branch off to the right hand, leading up the mountain. Intent on pursuing it, he hastened to look into it, and saw distinctly "a dry, smooth path," leading upward as far as he could see; but, as he was about to enter it, (to quote the old man's own words,) "I heard a noise like half-a-dozen horses, coming after me, rattling as hard as they could lay their legs on the ground." He turned his head, and the illusion was broken. The old man's tears trickled, as he said, "and there, sir, I lost it! I thought," said he, "that it was a token for something or other." On reaching home, the family were in bed, and he went to the barn, where, after earnest exercise in prayer, he slept upon the straw. Very early in the morning, he went into the field to work, first kneeling by the fence. Being in much distress, the gracious words of the Saviour were distinctly revived to him, "LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED. YE BELIEVE IN GOD, BELIEVE ALSO IN ME." And, yielding his whole heart, and all his powers, to him who was calling for the sacrifice, he was made sensible of the reception of the "unspeakable gift." He went to his work; "and oh," said he, "everything was glorious around me--everything seemed engaged praising God!"

        The change which had come over the youth was conspicuous to all who knew him. He was diligent in attention to all his duties, but he had no inclination


Page 8

to talk with any one. His young master, who, although a professed minister of the gospel, gave no attention to the religious culture of his slaves--his policy being, (to use Quamino's word,) to keep them "igarent," that they might be more serviceable--followed him, and listened as he prayed in the barn, with great fervency,--"as well," said he, "as I could." On his return to the house, he questioned him sharply, saying repeatedly, that to be talking thus when he was alone, he must be talking to the Evil Spirit: "but," said our aged friend, in relating the story, "I knowed better than that. I wasn't after the Evil Spirit. I didn't want to have anything to do wid him."

        From this time, Quamino understood the nature of that peace which is independent of external circumstances, being given "not as the world giveth." On the first day of the week he would get the carriage ready, and when his master had started, he would walk several miles across the fields to meeting, and back; but, as he was certain to be faulted, and sometimes even "cuffed," if not at home in time to take the horses, on the arrival of the family, he always left the congregation before the completion of the service.

        About the age of twenty-six, he married Sarah, a slave on a neighbouring place. She was soon sold to a distance of five miles, and for some years they only met once a week. One Sabbath morning he went to see her, and found that she and her infant


Page 9

had been sold, leaving her little son, a boy nearly four years old. She now had a hard mistress; but, through the efforts of her husband, she was purchased by a neighbour, and, at length, on the removal of this purchaser, Quamino induced his second master, Smock, (to whom he was sold when about thirty years old,) to buy her.

        Whilst he was with his first master, a person offered a large price for Quamino. Buccau asked him if he was willing to be sold, and he replied in the negative. His mistress asked the stranger where he lived. He evaded the question; but, being pressed, said, in Baltimore. Quamino's version of her reply was as follows: "None of my slaves shall go there--that's Ginney."*

        * In his mind, and, probably, in that of his mistress, Virginia seemed to comprise the whole South.


The subject was left overnight for consideration; and Buccau's eldest son, discovering Quamino's unwillingness to be sold, pleaded with his father so effectually, that the offer, though a large one, was declined. On the death of Buccau, it was provided, that Quamino, his brother, and three sisters, should have the privilege of choosing an owner among their late master's children; or, if they preferred it, of seeking another purchaser. Quamino, to the surprise of all, in gratitude for the kindness above stated, chose the eldest son, who thus became his legal owner. After some years, however, the faithful servant received from his master an unreasonable
Page 10

and severe blow, when he was conscious that he had done no wrong--which so wounded his feelings, that he immediately announced his determination to work for him no longer. His master reminded him of the choice he had made; and was much affected, on being now, for the first time, informed of the motive of gratitude which had influenced Quamino's selection among his old master's children. He was allowed to seek a purchaser, and was sold to a neighbour, named Smock, for £106. Subsequently, Dr. Griffith bought Quamino for £100, and Sarah for £50. Some friends advised Quamino to ask his master to leave him his freedom in his will. One day he was diligently engaged in making a drain, and Dr. G. came and praised his work. Quamino was encouraged to open his mind, and modestly said, "Master,--" "Well, what do you want, Quamino?" "If I should outlive master, would master please to give me free?" The old doctor, losing his self-possession in angry excitement, vented much passionate language. The tender-spirited Quamino burst into tears, and, by his meek bearing, abashed, and in a degree pacified one, whose opportunities for acquiring a knowledge of right were so greatly superior. "Oh," said he, "I'm sorry I asked--if I had known Master would get into such a passion, I'd never have said a word--oh dear! oh dear!" Dr. G. walked away, but soon returning, found his servant working faithfully, and weeping the while.


Page 11

He then told him that he had made a promise never to give another negro his freedom--that he had done so to one, and had to take him back. "I see," said he "that YOU would make out if you were free; but I have made a strict promise." And thus he urged an evil promise as his excuse for detaining from his brother man his inalienable rights, and even for going before the bar of the Maker and Father, and Judge of all, without rendering justice. How far could such a plea avail at such a tribunal? The instance now related, is, unhappily, by no means an isolated one, of urging a sinful promise, as a plea for the sinful performance of it. Yet, who would say, that the forty Jews who bound themselves under a just curse, that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul, could, for the oath's sake, be justified either in the intended murder, or in suicide by starvation? "Fulfil the promise," says Jonathan Dymond, "unless fulfilment be wrong." From the same eminent writer, in his chapter upon "promises," in which he enforces the obligations of veracity, we quote a paragraph in point. "Promises are not binding, if performance is unlawful. Sometimes, men promise to commit a wicked act, even to assassinating; but a man is not required to commit murder because he has promised to commit it. Thus, in the Christian scriptures, the son who had said, 'I will not' work in the vineyard, and 'afterwards repented and went,' is spoken of


Page 12

with approbation: his promise was not binding, because fulfilment would have been wrong. CRANMER, whose religious firmness was overcome, in the prospect of the stake, recanted; that is, he promised to abandon the Protestant faith. Neither was his promise binding. To have regarded it would have been a crime. The offence, both of Cranmer, and of the son in the parable, consisted, not in violating their promises, but in making them."

        On the death of Dr. G. it was well for Quamino that his son, the estimable William Griffith, was his executor. The decision of this noble man was soon made, to take the slaves as a part of his own portion. William Griffith residing in Burlington, his brother attended to the sale of their father's effects.

        Quamino was sent to get advertisements printed, and to post and circulate them about the country; and, although he and his wife were included in the list of chattels, and he fully expected to be sold with the rest of the estate, he faithfully executed the commission. He carefully collected all the items of his master's property, in preparation for the sale, "with good will doing service, as to the Lord." The vendue having commenced, he and his wife became objects of much attention to the multitude gathered on the occasion, and Quamino was repeatedly asked whether they were to be sold. After the sale had commenced, he was sent on horseback to the Post-Office, and brought a letter


Page 13

from William Griffith, which directed that everything should be sold to the highest bidder, except the horse and carriage, and that with these Quamino was to bring Sarah to Burlington. "Oh, my dear friend," said he, in narrating it, "you don't know how I felt!" And yet his emotions appear to have been only those of relief from the doubt as to what was to become of him, and of gratification that he was to belong to one, who had manifested kindness and sympathy during the seven years of his residence with the old doctor.

        William Griffith was not only an eminent lawyer, but a philanthropist, and bore a prominent part in originating and conducting the New Jersey Abolition Society. "His record is on high," and his memory deserves to be cherished as among the benefactors of his species. For this excellent man Quamino worked to the best of his ability, and, said he, "I didn't expect to be any way delivered. I didn't know no more about freedom than that stove." One day, as he worked in the garden, he heard his name pronounced, and, seeing his master beside him, he modestly said, "Sir!" We will describe the interview in the good old man's words. "Says he, 'Would you like to be free?' and I said, 'I don't know, Sir.' That was all I said. He then stood and paused a little while in silence, and I went on working the same as before. At last he said, 'I've made up my mind to give you free;' and, says I, 'You give me free, master!' Oh, it


Page 14

all came on me so unexpected! And then he up and told me all how he would do;"--[Here W. G. described the legal form to be observed]--"and then, says he, on such a day, when I call you, you must take your wife by the hand, and come into my office. I never told my woman--no, Sir, I kept it still,--till one day he called me to bring my wife. I went in the kitchen, and said, 'Mother, Mr. Griffith says you must come along with me into the office.' She stroked her apron, and we went, and found the office full of gentlemen, and I made my bow to the gentlemen; and there we stood as if we were just married. Squire Adams asked me how I felt -- and I told him 'I feel very well, I tank you, Sir: I feel very well in my limbs.' " It seems many questions were asked them, and the conclusion was arrived at that they would be able to do well for themselves. They were dismissed, and returned to their work as though nothing had occurred out of the usual line. In the afternoon, William Griffith promised Quamino that he would teach him how to get along. They were then hired to him for ten dollars per month.

        The following Certificate of Manumission is endorsed as "Recorded in Book O, of DEEDS, page 735, in the Clerk's Office, at Burlington,--J. MCILVAINE, Clerk:"

        "BURLINGTON COUNTY COURT.--We do hereby certify, that on this twenty-fifth day of


Page 15

September, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and six, William Griffith, Esquire, of the township and city of Burlington, in the said county of Burlington, brought before us, two of the Overseers of the Poor of said township, and two of the Justices of the Peace of the said county, his slaves, named Quamino and Sarah, man and wife; who, on view and examination, appear to us to be in sound mind, and not under any bodily incapacity of obtaining a support -- and are, also, not under the age of twenty-one years, nor above the age of forty years: In witness whereof we have hereto set our hands, the day and year above written.

THOMSON NEALE,
JOHN HOSKINS, JR.
Overseers of the Poor of the said township of Burlington.

THOMAS ADAMS,
WILLIAM HYER.
Justices of the Peace, in and for said county of Burlington.


        Quamino, although supposed by the above paper to be not more than forty, was in reality over forty-four years of age at the time. William Griffith probably kept this fact purposely out of sight. When Quamino's attention was called to this discrepancy, he laughed heartily, and said, "Well--well--I trust it's all for de best."

        Shortly after his emancipation, he made a visit to his old friends, in the neighbourhood of New Brunswick. They asked him whether he was any


Page 16

happier than before. "I don't know much about freedom," he replied; "but I wouldn't be a slave ag'in, not if you'd give me the best farm in the Jarsies."

        It is not our object to record the details of his meridian life. Living in virtuous poverty, this humble pair were respected by those who knew them. Being attached to the Methodist Episcopal Society, they had regular prayer-meetings and class-meetings in their house; and this biographical sketch, had it been attempted by some of his Methodist friends, might have preserved a record of many instructive conversations, which the present writer was not privileged to hear.

        One market morning, when far advanced in years, Quamino hobbled up to the market-house, and noticing some strawberries, (a luxury of which he had long been debarred,) he went home to call his "woman," that they might together look at them, and inhale their fragrance. The aged pair accordingly went to the market-place, and, at a respectful distance, beheld the delicacy to them unattainable; the old man telling his partner that they might look at them, and that was all they could do--that such things were not "for the like of them," and that they must not covet them. Towards noon, a Friend, who knew nothing of this circumstance, took them a large bowl of strawberries, and poured them into a dish upon their table, without thinking of exciting surprise. The


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old man raised his eyes heavenward, the big tears flowing copiously down his checks; and it was some minutes before he could command his voice for the utterance of thanks, first to Him whose is the Earth and its fullness, and secondly to his friend. The good old man then related the incident of the morning; and, whilst his listener was yet present, a person brought him a pitcher of milk, which rendered the feast complete. This little anecdote may be worthy of the space it occupies, as tending to show to those with whom the good things of this life abound, that there is a better appropriation for their redundant luxuries, than in cloying their own appetite with repletion. Of this fruit, it may be noted, our worthy Quamino always after this partook frequently in its season.

        Stepping one day into a chemist's store, he was attracted by the sight of the show-bottles in the window, and watched with mute astonishment the objects passing in the street--all appearing in an inverted position. The old man, satisfied that this was quite out of the order of nature, went to his home full of thought, and returned the next day, with a countenance not marked with its habitual cheerfulness, but with gravity and embarrassment. With some diffidence he began to address the master of the establishment, saying that "the gentleman had been very kind to him," and he had neither silver nor gold to bestow in return; and he deemed it a duty to testify against his dealing in


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the black art; for, to this he attributed his "putting them men and women in the bottles, and making them walk on their heads." A sufficient explanation was given to set his apprehensions at rest; but this optical illusion continued to be a puzzling mystery to him--and he alluded to it after the lapse of a dozen years, within a few days of his death.

        In the year 1842, his wife died suddenly. When the remains of Sarah were borne from their humble tenement, her bereaved partner, too much of a cripple to follow in the funeral train, stood a moment at the door, supported by his crutches, the tears streaming down his swarthy cheeks. "Farewell," he exclaimed; "I shall see her no more, till we meet within the Pearl gates." Sarah was considered by those who knew her best, to be a woman of piety and worth, and not inferior to her husband--to whom, indeed, she was a helper in spiritual as well as in temporal things.

        He felt this bereavement keenly, and he had reason to consider his situation particularly forlorn. Living alone in his house, too feeble to dress and undress himself, his son, who was out at service, would put him in bed at night, and come in the morning to assist him in dressing. The old man silently concluded, as a matter of course, that the people would "gedder me up and hurry me off to de county house;" but, to his grateful astonishment, he found, a few days after his wife's decease, that an arrangement had been made by several


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families to furnish him with his dinner each family taking a particular day; and this plan was punctually pursued for eight years, until the occasion for it ceased by his removal to the mansion prepared for him, where we cannot doubt that a Father's providence hath supplied every want, and where he shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more. The family of his kind landlord furnished him with his morning and evening meal; and, after some time, his sight entirely failing him, he was provided with a faithful care-taker, and the neatness and cleanliness of his apartments was noticed by all his visitors.

        Joseph John Gurney, (in whose ministry he had been much interested,) visited him; and the two disciples, so differently circumstanced as regards worldly gear, were spiritually comforted and strengthened together: and when Quamino heard of the decease of J. J. G., he was much affected, and spoke in terms of simple sublimity of the glories into which he felt assured that this great and good man had entered.

        One afternoon, his fire having gone out while he was alone in the house, he went, with the aid of his crutches, to the market-place, where he rested against one of the stalls, warming himself in the sun, when the venerable Dr. Rowland Green, of Rhode Island,*

        * A highly valued minister in the Society of Friends, then travelling on a Gospel mission in New Jersey, throughout which he conspicuously manifested the fruit of the Spirit, "love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance;" sealing upon the hearts of those who marked his unblameable walking, the Apostle's declaration, (Gal. v. 23,) "against such fruit] there is no law."


passing by, accosted him; and entering
Page 20

at once into religious converse, a most affecting scene ensued -- the two aged Christians weeping together, and together magnifying the name of Him who had called them out of darkness into his marvellous light. "Oh," said Quamino, clasping his hands, "I came here to warm myself a little, and the Lord has sent me such a visit--I never thought of such a t'ing!" Speaking of it that evening, he said, striking his hand upon his heart, "As soon as I heard the sound of that dear friend's voice, I felt that he was a living soul!"

        Charles Taber, a minister of the Society of Friends, from Canada, visited him one morning, and was fervently engaged in prayer. When he rose from his knees, Quamino exclaimed, "Now I know that my prayers are heard. Dis morning, after blessing and praising de Master, for taking care of me through de night, I asked him to please to send me something to comfort me through the day--and now he's sent you to me, -- oh, my dear friend!" And here he embraced his visitor, with many tears.

        During the prevalence of cholera, in the summer of 1849, he was earnest in his endeavours to impress upon others the lesson which he believed


Page 21

to be designed by that awful dispensation. "The Master is in our midst," said he, "stirring us up to put us in remembrance." About this time he beautifully expressed his desire, "calmly to sink into the Divine will."

        Seventh month, 6th, of this year, he said, "It is a great thing to have religion. It is good in sickness, and it is good in health. It sometimes appears to me, as I sit here and meditate upon it, like a man in debt. If he feels that he has the means to pay his debt, he longs to see de man. If he is unable to pay, he don't want to see him. If my feelings don't deceive me, I want to meet my Redeemer."

        Shortly afterward, speaking of the evidences of evil around us, he said "God is his own Interpreter and Comforter, and he will make all things plain." He referred to his pains, saying, "The Lord is the Physicianer -- he has a balm for every wound. It seems, as I sit here, I have a view over Jordan. We must pass Jordan's swelling flood, and then we'll be in the promised land."

        In reference to his blindness, he said. "The Lord tells us, he is the light and life. He gave me a little knowledge, before he took my sight from me." And he proceeded, with touching meekness and resignation to rehearse some Scripture passages, from which he deduced that, with his natural sight and comprehension, he had never been able to conceive the half of the glory which should be


Page 22

revealed, or to form a conception of the "good things" held in store, even for so poor a creature as he considered himself to be. "How long I have to remain in this state," he exclaimed, "the Lord knows. I resign myself in his hands and to his wisdom." Then raising his hands, and rolling upwards his sightless orbs, he ejaculated, "Please to keep me submitted to thy will! I sometimes," added he, "tell of my privations, but not to complain or to murmur at his blessed will. Oh, the Lord moves with me so beautiful! And then, while I sit here, and can't do anything, how he has moved round in the hearts of the Friends to provide for me. I trust the Lord has enabled me to seek and to find his face and favour." As his visitor, having left the room, paused at the outer door, Quamino, supposing himself quite alone, and unobserved, clasped his hands with rapturous expressions; and the last words overheard at this time were, "What better t'ing can the Lord put into our hearts, than to have love one to another!"

        Being extremely illiterate, his language was often incoherent; and he not unfrequently laboured in vain to find fitting phrases fully to convey the thoughts he was anxious to express. "Oh, my dear," said he, "there's none knows but the Lord, and that's my comfort, that he knows my desire to deal justly with myself. Oh, if I could only find words to express my feelings, that I have when I'm alone -- and yet I don't feel that I'm alone


Page 23

either." Yet his thoughts were often clothed in language so beautiful, that it is to be regretted that so much has faded from memory. The expressions given in this narrative, and marked as quotations, are accurately recorded, without embellishment.

        He listened with much interest to the narrative of Paul Cuffee, whom he remembered with much affection and respect, and spoke of his meeting with the coloured people of Burlington, which resulted in the formation of a highly beneficial society among them. His inquiries were frequent after the health and labours of the venerable Stephen Grellet, from whom he had often received substantial kindness. "Mr. Grellet," said he, "can't lay down, and mould and rust--he must be up and doing--May the Lord brace him up!"

        Ninth month, 6th, he said, "My views are greater than I can express! It seems to me we must be something in the Divine sight. He cares for us and provides for us. But he is all in all, and over all. He leads us by his Spirit. He don't compel us, but he enables us! What are we? We are no more than the insects in the air. Why, what makes you say so, Quamino?" continued he, as holding a colloquy with himself. "Why, take the air from us, and we fall. He upholds us. He gives us length of days, and yet it is but a span at last. But where we go, it's duration. Here we fail, but there we fail not. Oh, my blessed Saviour,


Page 24

teach me, oh teach me the measure of my days, that I may turn my thoughts more to it! Here I sit sighing and groaning by myself. My thoughts lead me, but I can't comprehend my own thoughts. But I trust in the Lord that he'll prepare me, and keep me unto the end. I feel my short comings; my mind is often drawn away from my meditating on my blessed Master, by the noises around me, even when I'm reposing on his breast."

        A few days subsequently, he said to a friend, speaking of his mental conflict, "He enables me to bear it with patience--he seems to move it on me so,--and then he moves it away. Oh, lady, I can't find words to tell it." Proceeding to refer to his feeling of spiritual need, he added, "I can't want, nother--only I want to land on that blessed shore, where sighing and parting are no more."

        A few days after this, he was seized with paralysis, and for days was unable to converse intelligibly; to quote his own expression, "I can't fetch the words as I want them." Yet his heavenly-mindedness was conspicuous through his suffering, and when he revived, his sense of gratitude (though he had felt that it was far better to depart and be with Christ,) was keen, and his conversation was in Heaven.

        Shortly after this, R. Collins, a ministering Friend of Philadelphia, during one of her visits to this lowly disciple, was led into deep Christian sympathy with him under his bodily infirmities; and,


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in the fresh openings of gospel light, portrayed the joys awaiting the redeemed upon the blissful shores of immortality, beyond the river, through which so many were then passing and must soon pass. The sentiment was expressed, that his summons to join the company of the shining ones, would be yet awhile delayed; that, whilst sitting, blind and helpless, he would have to perform a work of praise; and that others might come to him, and hearing from his lips the gracious dealings of the Lord, be encouraged to dedicate their all unto so merciful a Helper. This view will, it is believed, be admitted by many to have been realized. It was particularly the case a few weeks before his death, when a person who was about engaging upon an apprehended religious duty, sat for a few minutes by his side. No reference having been made to the weight of exercise, the mountains of discouragement then pressing upon the mind of his visitor, Quamino, with intuitive sympathy, poured forth the oil and the wine, and repeated, line by line, interspersed with touching and memorable comments, the hymn of Cowper,


                         "God moves in a mysterious way,
                         His wonders to perform,"
pouring out, at parting, rich petitions, and an almost apostolic blessing.

        Eleventh month, 25th, 1849.--Being inquired of concerning his health, he replied that he could not wish to be better--that he was "so composed


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in mind, so calm and peaceable." "Oh the glorious prospects I have in view! I can't see anything of this world, but there seems to be a hovering around me." He quoted the passage (a favourite one with him), "Let not your heart be troubled--you believe in God, believe also in me--" and added, "That seems to remain with me. If the heart is composed to his will, what can trouble us! Blessed Master, please to give me an insight into thy will!" At his request, Doctor Parrish, who was present, read to him the 14th of John, and a Psalm. Quamino sat with a reverent countenance, expressive of holy serenity and awe--occasionally evincing, by brief remarks, his heartfelt appreciation of the comfort conveyed by various remarkable passages. At the close of the reading, he expressed the comfort and strength conveyed to him by the gracious promises contained in Holy Writ, and in "meditating upon the Divine mercies and promises." "How long, oh, my dear Saviour!" he exclaimed; and dwelt with much emotion upon the gentle dealings of the Lord with him in his present infirm state. "He is the Way, and the Truth, and the Life--He is all in all:" and he spoke emphatically of the comfort and strength which it afforded him to hear the Sacred Scriptures--portions of which were frequently read to him by the Physician above referred to, and by other individuals: and, at such times, his instructive comments and pious remarks afforded ample compensation


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to the reader, in the realization of the proverb, "He that watereth, shall be watered also himself."

        During his latter years, he was often visited by pious individuals, who were led to his abode to derive instruction, and to impart encouragement, and sometimes pecuniary aid. Many strangers of this description, on entering his apartment, found him to be "as unknown, yet well known." On one of these occasions, he remarked, in his quaint, peculiar way--"It is a great blessing to be visited wid friends, and not wid foes and enemies. And den we can comfort one another wid a few words, and dese few words dey remain layin' on de breast many days, and dey stay dere, like a refreshment and a nourishing." A few months before his decease, he was visited by the benevolent John Candler, then on his return from his second mission to the West Indies. Quamino spoke to him of his religious experiences, and the comforts and consolations he had found in the Gospel, "ever since," said he, "I received the Gift." His guest being intensely interested, and disposed to test more fully whether he spoke of that which he knew and had handled, took his hand affectionately, and bending over him, inquired, "And what is that GIFT, Quamino?" "Oh, Sir," exclaimed, or rather shouted the aged saint, "it's unspeakable, and FULL OF GLORY! It lightens all the mind within." "Ah," said his visitor, aside, "he understands all about it."


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        The writer of these notes called upon him early in the morning of 11th mo., 19th, 1850. The old man was sitting in his chair, and did not know of his visitor's approach, till his hand was laid upon his forehead, when he burst into tears, and gave his friend an earnest welcome. It was designed to read to him from the sacred volume, but the conversation soon took such a turn as to render this unnecessary. His spirit seemed to attain an unusual elevation, even for him, and already to enter upon the eternal employ of the redeemed. His tongue was eloquent with rejoicing praises of Him who had made him meet for an inheritance with the saints in light. "Glory be to my blessed Master!" he cried again and again, clasping his hands with the unrestrained enthusiasm of an artless and over-joyed child. He spoke much of the wonderful works of the Creator--of the heavenly bodies whose movements baffled his powers of comprehension, as he sat and "mused" upon them; and his countenance brightened with a sort of ecstacy, as he was told that he might very soon know more about these wonders of Creation, than could be conceived of by us.

        On this occasion, as indeed in almost every interview, he devoutly expressed his thankfulness, that, although deprived of sight, his reason and memory were spared to him. And this was remarkably the case to the last moment. His visitor, on taking leave, found it difficult to disengage his


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hands and arms from his affectionate embraces, and he left him in a state of rapture which seemed truly


                         "As if the pure and blessed light,
                         From off the eternal altar flowing,
                         Were bathing, in its upward flight,
                         The spirit to its worship going."

        "My dear friend's been to visit me once more!" he exclaimed repeatedly after this parting. This was his last conversation with any one, with the exception of a few words to his son and his attendant. In the night he called his son to minister to him; and with his mental powers apparently clear to the last, and conscious that his end had arrived, he soon died with congestion of the heart--the physician, who promptly answered to the call, only arriving in time to witness the desertion of the clay tenement, by the purified and enfranchised spirit.

        It has already been stated, that our friend was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. On the establishment in Burlington of a separate congregation of coloured people, he continued his communion with the old Society, worshipping in all meekness and lowliness the common Father of us all, without troubling himself with the reflection, that some of his fellow worms, of a paler hue, regarded him as belonging to an inferior caste. His remains were interred in the Methodist burying ground--the numerous company being addressed


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by Thomas Neale, a venerable preacher of that denomination. Some weeks subsequently, pursuant to public notice, an eloquent discourse, of which Quamino was the subject, was delivered to a large and miscellaneous audience, by David W. Bartine, the talented Pastor of the congregation to which our departed friend belonged. The text taken upon this occasion was from Psalms xxxiv. 6. "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and delivered him out of all his troubles." Poor he undoubtedly was, (though rich in faith,) for his life was spent in poverty; and truly he was one of the "poor in spirit," whose is the kingdom of Heaven! Truly not against the crying of such poor is the ear of the Eternal Father closed. The only one of whom we are told that he was carried by angels into Abraham's bosom, was a very poor man, who had received in this life evil things.

        A stranger and a pilgrim upon Earth, with "none inheritance in it, no not so much as to set his foot on," Quamino's treasure was in Heaven, whither he longed to be gone; and who can doubt his welcome into the joy of his Lord!