Documenting the American South Logo
Collections >> North American Slave Narratives >> Document Menu >> Summary

The Light and Truth of Slavery. Aaron's History
Worcester, MA: The Author, 1845.


The Light and Truth of Slavery (1845) is more a commentary on slavery, politics, and religion than a traditional slave narrative because so little is revealed about the author's past. Aaron, a former slave, notes that he escaped from the South and became a "poor way-faring Bondman," lecturing in churches and public buildings throughout the North during the first half of the 19th century. Aaron advocates the political platform of the Liberty Party because of that party's attempt to pass legislation abolishing slavery as unconstitutional. He also briefly suggests that abolishing slavery would not have the feared financial repercussions on the South but would, instead, financially benefit the South and the nation.

Aaron dedicates the bulk of his work to a discussion of religion, particularly his personal religious beliefs, views on contemporary ministers and other practitioners, and the biblical interpretation of slavery. Aaron pointed a finger at northern abolitionists, ministers, and other professing Christians, calling them "wolves clothed in sheep's clothing" because they publicly supported freedom for slaves but often refused to help him when he asked for food or shelter while traveling. He also blames southern ministers for hypocrisy, because while they were preaching holiness, they were taking advantage of female slaves. Aaron uses Bible verses to prove slavery's sinfulness and to contradict the popular sentiment that slavery is an institution sanctioned by God. Throughout the narrative, Aaron includes many accounts of abuse endured by slaves, which he uses to correct assumptions that slaves are happy and well treated.

Monique Prince

Document menu