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(title page) The Anderson Surpriser. Written after He Was Seventy-Five Years of Age. The Author Was Born in Liberty County, Ga., on the 22d Day of February, in the Year of Our Lord, 1819, and United with the Methodist Episcopal Church in the Year 1839. This Book Contains an Account of His Florida and Northern Trip, Written by Himself, Giving Much Valuable Information of the People Among Whom He Had Been Several Months
(cover) The Anderson Surpriser. Written after He Was Seventy-Five Years of Age. An Account of His Florida and Northern Trip.
viii, 17-112 p., ill.
Printed for the Author
Call number 326.92 A549A ( Perkins Library, Duke University)
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Library of Congress Subject Headings, 21st edition, 1998
LC Subject Headings:
REV. ROBERT ANDERSON and FAMILY.
[Title Page Image]
The Rev. Robert Anderson, a colored man, over seventy-five years of age, is in the city, engaged in selling a book written by himself. The author styles this volume REV. ROBERT ANDERSON'S SURPRISER. The first volume reached the fifth edition, and was printed in the establishment of J. W. Burke & Co., Macon, Ga. The present is a continuation of the first, but is complete in itself.
The Rev. Robert Anderson is among the oldest colored men now living in Georgia. He became a citizen in 1838; and is well known all over the State and in other sections of the South. In his younger days, and while living here in Macon, he was employed by four different Banks, namely: The Columbus, State, Ocmulgee and the Hawkinsville, and always justified the confidence which the officers of these institutions placed in him. They occasionally tested his honesty, but always found him true to his trust. If you buy his book, you will read what he has to say about these and many other matters connected with himself.
He has only recently returned from an extended Northern trip, and tells in an interesting manner what was said of him, especially in Boston. In that city he was charged with being hired by the Southern whites of Georgia to note the course of Ida B. Wells, whose lectures in Europe, some little while since, created a great prejudice against the Southern people. The truth is, he went to Boston for the sole purpose of selling his book, upon his own responsibility. He had no other aim in view, and carried with him high recommendations from some of the most eminent citizens of Georgia.
We respectfully ask the friends of this worthy colored man to aid him, in his old age, by purchasing his book. It is his only support. Being too far advanced in years to be efficient in his life-work, the ministry, his only means of living is by the sale of this little book.
We commend him to you and to the public at large, as worthy of aid from the white people among whom he lives--having always proved himself trustworthy and reliable. If the press of the State will give this preface a place in their columns it will be highly appreciated by his friends.
In the following pages are recorded the names of over seven hundred persons who have purchased the book. Many of these are men of eminence in all the professions and trades, and in numerous instances have expressed to the author their high admiration at his energy in giving to the world such an interesting work to the literature of the day.
This is the year of our Lord 1893, and the 22d day of February, and I claim it as my birthday. I have seated myself this morning, at five o'clock, to write the fifth part of my history. I am this day 74 years of age, and am in the city of St. Augustine, Florida.
I left home on January 8th for my Conference, that convened in Brunswick, Georgia, the 12th of the month, taking the train at Tennille for Savannah. I arrived safe and went to the parsonage, where I found my good brother, Rev. Buffington, on hand and in good spirits. He received me with a great deal of welcome, as he always had done. I spent a day and two nights with him. I canvassed the city with my books, and sold five of them, by the help of my good Master. Going to the court-house I sold one to the Judge, the first man. He had a great many questions to ask me before he bought one, but it appeared that he was well pleased with me and my manner of talking, as I was born in the low country. His name will appear on the list, with the balance of the Savannahians. I left him and went to others, selling five dollars worth before taking my dinner. Though I had sold a great many the year before, they were as glad as ever to see me. I think I have a great many warm-hearted friends in that place.
The next day I went to Brunswick. I intended to stop at the house of a lady, as directed by my card, but she met me at the door and said she could not entertain me, as she was not well, and that she had sent the pastor word that she was not able to take a minister, but he did not get the message. So I had to go and inform him about it. I was carried to another place, where I was well cared for.
Conference convened on the 12th, at 9 o'clock, A. M. The roll was called, and I answered to my name, as usual. Conference proceeded to business, but as I was one of the superannuated preachers, I had nothing to do or say, although I was asked by the Presiding Elder to lead in prayer and to pronounce the benediction once, which was all I was requested to do at the Conference. I did think they would ask me to preach, or send me to some other church to do so, but they did not. I have met with eleven Conferences, but never was asked to preach a sermon before the body, nor was sent to any church to preach one. I will leave it to those who buy my book and read it, if that is right, for I do not think it is just to slight a man of my age in
that way. I leave it in the hands of a righteous God, who will judge the actions of all men and give them their dues.
My Conference was a grand one; everything was pleasant, the Bishop was the same. I asked of him his age and I found out that I was one year older than he. I sold him one of my books, and also one to R. Hartseale and another to a grand old veteran of the cross. Their names will appear on the list a Brunswick. The appointments were read out. They gave me $20 as my portion, the least of all the superannuated, but I leave that also in the hands of God. He knows what is right and will make it up by giving me kind-hearted friends. I stayed a week more in that place and sold my books. Thanks be unto the good Master, I did well. Some good friends published me in the paper, stating that I was in the city again selling my books, and that I had a great many warm-hearted friends in that place; and they proved themselves to be so by the way they bought them, particularly my white friends. I must say that they treated me with due respect. I went to the Baptist Sabbath School, and they asked of me to speak a word or two to the children; I accepted the invitation and spoke to them. They bought one of my books and had it put in their library so that they might remember me. I preached at the Methodist Episcopal Church also, and asked the members to buy a book for their pastor; they did so and he received it and was glad of it. I obtained about $30 by gift and by selling my books while I was in Brunswick; I am truly thankful to them for it; their names will appear in the list of the buyers of that place. I left for Fernandina, Florida, by way of the St. John's River; I arrived safely; taking a hack and going to the parsonage, I found the pastor was not at home, but his good lady insisted on my coming in and making myself welcome, if her husband was not there, because I know you, my brother; it will be all right with him when he comes home. So I related a circumstance that had taken place with me in Savannah: I wrote to the pastor of the A. M. E. Church stating to him that I would be at his house at a certain day, and so I went there, but his lady told me that she could not think of taking me into the house, as her husband was not there. She turned me off that night and I had to do the best I could. I told my good sister that I thought she might treat me the same, as her husband was gone to the Conference, but she said that she was not one of that kind of sisters, that she had more religion than to treat a minister in that way. She had me feel happy and make myself welcome, and I did so until her husband returned. When he reached home he found me there, and he appeared as glad to see me as if I was his own brother, and we clasped hands in brotherly love and respect.
Then we began to speak of the Conference that both of us were just from, and our conversation was delightful. He invited me to preach for him on Sunday morning and also in the afternoon. I did so, and got his church to buy one of my books for him.
I was invited to preach at the A. M. E. Church at night. I accepted the invitation and preached. I also asked the congregation to buy a book for their pastor, and they did so, and he was as glad of it as you ever saw an individual, and gave me great credit for the action. I spent a week in the place, and I sold several books to white friends; very few of the colored bought of me. I sold to several ministers, and also to one of the priest's, his name will appear in the list of names. I went across to the old town, as it is called, a mile by a narrow bridge. I did not sell a book, but several of the white friends gave me money. I met up with a gentleman who bought one of my books the year before, and he was glad to see me again, and told me that he had read my book through, and had sent it to the North, so that some of his friends could read it. He did not buy another, but gave me some money, and bade me good luck.
While I was over there I picked up a distinguished breastpin with three letters on it. I did not feel disposed to come away without the owner's knowledge of it so I stuck up a notice at the postoffice, and it was not long before the owner sent for me, and I went to see him; he was a young man staying in a store, and he desired the pin, and I delivered it to him, and he gave me the pitiful sum of twenty-five cents, I took it and thanked him for it. I spent several days in that place.
There was a lady that bought one of my books and sold me some oranges at one cent a piece, that I might be able to send my family a box of them. I did so. Then she give me back part of the money to help me pay the freight. That was a great deal of kindness in her. Her name is on the list as a friend. The pastor and myself came to the depot, and got the agent to let me have a minister's half fare ticket, and he being much of a gentleman did so, and the pastor and myself took the train for Jacksonville, Fla., which place we reached in safety. I took the street car for the parsonage where I found the pastor and his lady all ready to receive me, and I was made welcome, with a hearty shaking of hands. I was invited to preach for him on Sabbath; I did so, and after the sermon we administered the Lord's supper, and we had a serious time of it, the good Lord appeared to have been in our midst. I found a member that I took in the church at Hawkinsville, Ga., in the year of our Lord, 1868, and he and his dear wife would have me to go home with them and take tea. After tea they would have me go with them to their church, which was the A. M. E. Church that I had been the cause of them becoming members of, and I was truly glad that I went, because I met with Bishop Turner, who I had not seen for a long time, and I was truly glad to see him, and he was glad to see me, and so Bishop Grant had him to preach, and I was glad of it, because I wanted to hear him, and when he got ready for prayer, he asked me to pray for them, which I did. After he got through with his sermon, he spoke highly in favor of me before the church, and said that he knew me, and that I had been a member of that branch of the church, but I was barred
out by other men, but he could say one thing in regard to me that was, I was a perfect gentleman and a Christian. Bishop Grant was there and he opened the doors of the church and took in twenty-eight members that night--I mean Bishop Grant.
I went to see Bishop T. M. D. Ward, as he was living in the city of Jacksonville at that time. The Bishop and myself had a lengthy discussion about my leaving them, but we did not disagree at all. I told him how I had been treated by W. J. Gaines and Bishop W. F. Deason, and he did not censure me for my action in the matter. He invited me to take dinner with him. He also extended an invitation to the brother with whom I was stopping. We accepted the invitation, and enjoyed the occasion very much. Several other ministers were present, and after dinner Bishop Ward spoke to us all. Then each minister had an opportunity to briefly reply. I did not have a chance to say all that I desired to; but, thank God! I said something.
Bishop Grant purchased one of my books, and shortly afterwards we bade our host "good-bye" and made our departure, taking the train for the city. After visiting the new Academy or Seminary we returned home. Bishop Ward lives one mile from the city, in a home which the church purchased for him.
While in the city, I called upon Bishop D. A. Payne, but he was too busy to come down stairs to see me, and asked to be excused. I sent him word that I came a great distance to see him (from Georgia), and that if he would not permit me to see him then I would call no more. I knew that he was aged as well as myself, and, saying "good-bye," I departed.
I spent one week and four days in Jacksonville, and did very well, considering the dull times. I think I can report favorably regarding my success.
At the expiration of eleven days I left the home of this good minister and his lady, who had been truly kind to me during my stay. Upon leaving I asked for my board bill, but they refused to make any charges for their hospitality. Inasmuch as they refused to make any charges I presented them with two dollars merely as a token of remembrance.
The Bishop and myself boarded a street car, and he accompanied me to the depot and placed me safely on the right train for this place. I arrived here safely, and, employing a hack, was conveyed to the parsonage, where I found the pastor. He informed me that his house was not sufficiently large to entertain me, but kindly sent me to a boarding house, of which a Mr. Pappy was proprietor. Arriving at this boarding house, I was told by the proprietor that all the rooms were filled, but that as one of the boarders were absent I could get accommodations for one night. I spent the night there, and was not sorry when my time came to leave, as his children were seemingly fond of performing on the violin, which disturbed me very much. So I had to lookout for myself.
The second day of my stay here I went to a restaurant and informed the landlady that I was in search of a boarding place.
She then called upon a lady living next door, who invited me in to perfect arrangements. When introduced to her I asked:
"Madame, can I secure board with you?"
"I can furnish you with a room," said the lady, "and you can secure your meals at the next door."
"Well, madame, what will be your charges for a week?" I asked.
"Two dollars," she replied.
"Madame," said I, "your charges are too high. I am not able to pay that amount, but I am willing to pay you one dollar and a half a week."
"Well, I don't wish to take it, but if you are willing to let me put another man with you, whenever I become pushed to do so, but not to crowd any one on you unless I am obliged to, we are agreed."
So I stopped with her two weeks, and found it a very pleasant place.
I visited the city to see if I could sell any books, calling first on the postmaster, who denied me. I then got a man to take me to the Mayor, who bought a book and gave me leave to sell as many as I could. He signed his name in full to my paper, and it can be seen on my list.
The next day the pastor called and took me to walk to the old fort, so I saw Fort Marion, which was built by the British army about one hundred years ago, and was turned over to the United States of America in 1819, the year I was born. Now I can say that I have seen things in this old city that I never would have gazed upon if it had not been for my book. I thank the good Lord for it!
I have a great many things to say about this place. After I got out of my bed at five o'clock this morning, and sang the first tune that presented itself to my mind, I knelt down and prayed to Almighty God, thanking him for sparing me to see my birthday again. I sang this hymn in the spirit of the Lord and in common meter:
Oh! for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer's praise;
The glories of my brightest days,
The comfort of my night.
Thou art my everlasting joy,
Thy goodness I adore;
Send down thy blessed Spirit
That I may love thee more.
In darkest shade, if thou appear,
My dawning has begun;
Thou art the spring of all my joy,
The life of my delight,
The glory of my brightest day,
The comfort of my night.
In darkest shade, if thou appear,
My dawning has begun;
The opening heavens around me shine
With beams of sacred joy,
If Jesus speaks to me.
My soul would leave this heavenly clay
At that transporting word,
Run up with joy the shining way
To see and praise my Lord.
On Sunday my good Brother Patterson asked me to preach for him, and I did so. Then he got the opera house for me for the next Sabbath, when I preached to a large congregation. The charge for the room was ten dollars, and he got only thirteen dollars from that large congregation, so there was but three dollars for his labor and mine. But thanks be unto the good Lord! I had a chance to speak to them about the second coming of our Lord and Master, and it appeared as if what I said was like good seed sown in good ground.
I saw in this city something I shall never forget. I went to the graveyard where are the bones of those who fought the Indians and were killed by them, in this State, in 1835, but they died in behalf of liberty, and those who survive are happy. If you don't believe me, come and see for yourself. You will behold here the finest hotel in the world, erected by Mr. Flagler. I never did expect to see such buildings in this world as there are in this place. The streets are paved as slick as glass and as hard as a rock and the hotel lighted up as bright as day. If you want to see a heaven on earth, come to St. Augustine. I never saw such splendor in my life. Some people would not want any other heaven than these fine structures. You might think I am "stretching my blanket," but all I have to say is, come and see for yourself.
I haven't got words to describe the city, that runs parallel with the river, and the light-house just across it; I went over the river in a boat to see the light-house, and when I was going up to it there were two men and a woman standing on a ladder, the woman being in front, and the question was asked, what is that coming yonder? and one of them replied that it looked like the devil just before day. I heard them but went on as if I had not, and when I was about to retire I told them what they had said about me looking like the devil, and they had a hearty laugh over it; they did not think that I had heard them, but I did.
I took the train and went to the ocean, and walked on its sandy shores and picked up a great many beautiful shells. I looked at the rolling waves, and thought of the power of God and all those things that were in His power and hands. I shall give way for a space here in this paper that I wanted inserted in regard to St. Augustine, Florida.
I preached last night a birthday sermon at the Methodist Episcopal Church. They gave me a birthday present; first one, then another came to the table and put down 25 cents to the
amount of $2.00 or more. The pastor is a Christian gentleman; he did all in his power to make me happy and welcome as long as I stayed in that place. His name, Rev. Patterson, shall have a place in my book just as long as I live, for his kindness to me, and his lady also. The white friends in St. Augustine were very kind to me; although they were strangers to me I made a great many friends in that place. I left there this morning, taking the train for this place; I arrived safe and I am upstairs penning these lines this afternoon.
I spent two weeks in St. Augustine; I did as well there as I ever did in any place of the same size. May the Lord bless it and keep it from all harm. I went up on the Fort so that I might look as far over the waters as I could. I bid the Fort good-bye with its heavy, thick walls, made out of stones. The men who built it knew what they were doing, for it will stand any cannon ball; if you don't believe me you can go and see it.
This is the year of our Lord, 1894, and the 22d day of February, the day I claim as my birthday. I have seated myself this morning at 4 o'clock to write another book, naming it "The Anderson Surprise," and I hope that it will meet the approbation of all who may buy it and read it.
The question may be asked, "at what am I surprised?" I am surprised because so many of the human family have been born since I have, and so many of whom have passed away and gone to that world above from whence no traveler returns, while I am still on the stage of action at the age of seventy-five years. Thanks be unto my God! I can truthfully say that--
"Through many dangers, toil and pains
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far,
And Grace will lead me Home.
The Lord has brought me safe thus far,
And Grace will lead me Home.
The Lord has promised good to me:
His Word my hope secure;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endure.
Then when this mortal life shall fade
I shall pass within the vale
A life of joy and peace.
This world shall soon dissolve like smoke;
The sun refuse to shine,
But God who calls me here below
Shall be forever mine."
I can truthfully say--
That Grace has brought me safe thus far,
And Grace will lead me Home.
Now permit me to say to all, that if they wish the good Lord to be their friend they must try and keep His Commandments all the days of their lives, and then the Lord will see that you shall be happy in that world above, where--
"The wicked cease to trouble and the weary are at rest."
Now, I am in Valdosta, Ga., penning this on my birthday. I left home and, boarding the train at Tennille for Guyton, Ga., made the trip safely, and was escorted to the home of the pastor of the A. M. E. Church, where I found myself a welcome guest.
On Sunday we went out ten miles in the country to the pastor's church and spent the day, returning in the afternoon to his church in the city.
On Monday I canvassed the city to see if I could sell any of my books. I met with a few friends who visited me afterwards
for the purpose of buying. Thanks be unto the good Lord. I find friends wherever I travel. It is surprising to me, but yet it is true.
I left Guyton for Pooler, Ga., and arrived in safety. I found my way to the pastor's home. While we were total strangers, he treated me as a brother and a friend, and received me with a welcome. I spent the night with him, and the following day he accompanied me to the village and introduced me to his white friends, many of whom purchased my book, they having never before seen a book written by a colored man. They bought my book through curiosity, but it made no difference with me, my object being to sell them.
My book, in fact, has made me happy, because I feel that if the white people will read it they will discover that a colored man can write a book, too, just as well as anybody else.
I left that place for Savannah, Ga. I arrived safe, and was conveyed to the parsonage of the M. E. Church; the minister was not in at the time of my reaching the house, but in a short time he came in. "Howdy, Brother Anderson. I am truly glad to see you." "Well, I am glad, my dear brother, to see you, also." "Thank you, my brother," said he. "Well, make yourself at home." "I will try and do that, my brother." "Let us walk in and take a little supper. We are going to have services to-night." "Is that so? I am glad of it. Let us go into the church." "All right." So in we went, and in due time he had me offer prayer, which I did in the name of the good Lord.
"Well," said he, after services were over, "I haven't sufficient room for you in my house, my brother, because I have not been here long enough to provide for company, so I must get a friend to take you along with him." Accordingly I went home with a kind hearted brother, and was treated the best in the world.
Next day I found my way up town, to try and sell some books, as I had done in that city before, and thanks be to my God! I succeeded. Many of the white friends bought of me. The Mayor, who had before bought a copy, purchased another. I told him I was pleased to hear that under his administration all the bar-rooms and barber shops were closed on Sunday. He said it was so, and that the colored people had more money to spend for provisions on Monday. I told him I was informed that they went to church on Sunday more than they did before. Then I said, "Well, the Lord will bless you and the city. I am going to write it in my book; have you any objection?" "Oh, no! Do all the good you can. I rejoice at the chance to buy one of your books. Here is $1.50 for it." "Thank you, sir. Good-bye, and may God bless you for it."
The next night there was love-feast at the church, and the pastor wanted me to speak just after the passing of the bread. I did so, but thought I had stepped into an ants' nest, from the way some one spoke when I got through. But I was informed it was worth a thousand dollars to the church.
After spending a week in Savannah, I left for McIntosh, Liberty county, arriving safely. Hired a buggy to take me to Hinesville, Ga., where I had not been since 1837--56 years ago. As it was Sheriff's sale day, many people were in town. I improved the opportunity to tell them I was there in 1837 to witness the hanging of three colored men for killing their old master. They listened to me because it was true. The Ordinary bought one of my books, after hearing what I had to say about Hinesville, Ga.
I left that place in the afternoon and went back to McIntosh. Entering a store, I sold a book to a merchant. I spent the night with a very nice family, and next day hired a buggy to take me about five miles to a school house, where some Northern friends were teaching. They asked me to say a few words to the pupils, and I did so, telling them I was born in that county. The head teacher bought one of my books. I was then taken to a church, and the driver, who was not a stranger to the pastor, had me introduced to him. Upon his asking me if I would stop over and preach for him, I told him I had that driver employed to take me around, and that if I let him go I would have nobody to carry me back. The pastor replied, "I have a buggy myself, and I can take you." So I agreed to that, paid the driver and let him return, and it was a good thing, because it saved a little money.
The pastor, after his school was out, took me to Riceborough, Ga., about five miles away, and I was truly glad of that, for I wanted to visit old Riceboro once more in life, not having been there since eight or ten years before the war, when I had brought my grandmother, put her in the stage, carried her to Savannah, put her aboard a Central Railroad car and landed her in Macon, Ga., in the days of slavery. So I had ached to see the old place once more. The good brother, although we were perfect strangers, kindly brought me back, and, after a nice supper, took me to his church and had me preach for him. After the sermon, I had his members treat him to a book of mine, which they did with a great deal of pleasure. Then he put his name on my book--Rev. Sims, pastor in charge--and then he had one of the members of his flock take me home with him, so I might have a nice place to stop at, and I did have, sure enough, for I slept on a fine feather bed, just the kind I love. No doubt my readers would have been suited, too.
Next morning my good brother came after me and took me to the depot, where I bade him good-bye, with God's blessing. Boarding the train, I went to Walthourville. Going to a house and finding that the pastor was not at home, I hired the lady's buggy to take me to the Sand Hill, where I could look at the house and place where I was born and raised, and when I got there experienced such feelings as God above only knows. I could hardly believe my own eyes while looking around upon the large trees that were small when I left there. I never was more surprised in my life. It brought solemn feelings upon me, making
me think that the time was drawing nigh when I should be called to stand before my God. The hills seemed to be getting higher and higher, and the trees looked as though they had been standing a century. "My God, have mercy upon me!" was my prayer. "Have mercy!" When shall I ever have a chance to look at these trees any more in this world? I am now 75 years of age, and the good Lord has spared me to again see the spot of ground where I used to play when but ten years old. I am surprised! I am! My God knows it to be the truth.
I returned to the post-office and sold a book to a lady, who signed her name, "Mrs. Waltower, for a book, $1.50." Then I returned the buggy to the lady who owned it, and, as the pastor had come back, called upon him. As we were total strangers, we introduced ourselves, and as he intended having love feast that night he asked me to come out, and I did so, but they did not have the anticipated love-feast. Instead, they asked me to preach, and I consented, as I always accept of an invitation of that kind, because it affords me a great deal of pleasure to speak for my Lord and Master, particularly among strangers. Then, in the county where I was born and raised, it was very pleasant to tell them of my birthplace. They appeared glad to hear me talk about it. I spent the night with that lady, and the next morning went on the train to Jesup, where I soon got a lodging place.
Visiting the city next day I found the Mayor to be the same gentleman that filled the office when I was there several years before, and it appeared to give him much satisfaction to say to me, "Go ahead, old gentleman, and sell all the books you can. I gave you leave before, and I do the same now. I am not prepared to buy one, but I give you a chance to sell all you can." I said, "I find you just as kind-hearted towards me as you have been in days gone by." He answered, "I am, and you know I helped you before when you were in this city."
I started out with my books, and found friends, as I always do. I met a lady whose husband had purchased one of the books at Dublin, and she appeared truly glad to see me, from the way she spoke to me in the presence of her mother. She said she would buy a book if she had the money, but had not a dollar with her; that if her husband came Saturday night she would get one. He did come, but had not the time to go and see his dear wife. On Monday, when I went back, she felt very sad about it, but, thanks to the good Lord! her brother bought one of them, and I know she is happy in reading it.
I spent the Sabbath in that place, preaching twice for the M. E. Church. They gave me ten cents, bless the Lord!
I went from that place to Blackshear, Ga. Arrived safely and found my way to the pastor's house. After a while he informed me he would have to send me to a boarding house, so I picked myself up and went there. Tried to sell my books in the village. The Mayor bought one, and gave me permission to sell as many as I could. Canvassed the place, but did not do
much business. However, the warm-hearted friends gave me some money, so I was enabled to pay my good sister for my bed and breakfast, seventy-five cents.
Left that place and next stopped at Waycross, Ga. Called on Rev. S. Nelson, the man who stood by me, when I went through that place years ago, and was unjustly arrested by the police for doing so. But the good brother took me to the Mayor that night, and that official told him to see that policeman and tell him to give me back my checks, which he had taken as security until next morning, and he was obliged to deliver them up that night. I found this dear brother, Rev. Nelson, just as pleasant as before. He took me in again, and I spent five days with him. He is the head teacher in the Waycross school. When I was about to leave his house, I asked for my bill, and it was reported as nothing, but as I did not feel disposed to leave without paying something, I presented him one of my books. He went with me to see the Mayor, but he was not at home, so I called next day, but he was still absent. His lady told me to see the Mayor pro tem., Mr. A. J. Miller, who was, she said, a Christian gentleman. I found him to be all that the lady had declared him to be. He did not buy one of my books, but told me to go on selling them, which I did. In a short time one of the Marshals met me and asked if I was selling a book. I told him I was trying to do that very thing. "Have you got any authority to do so?" he inquired. "I have, my dear sir," said I. "Mr. A. J. Miller gave me permission, and told me that if anybody interfered with me to send them to him." "All right." he replied, and I went on my way rejoicing. Pretty soon a policeman came along. "Well, are you selling a book?" "Yes, sir, I am trying to, and I want you to buy one." "Are you authorized to do so?" "Yes, sir, the Mayor pro tem. gave me leave." "Well, that is all right. I am the man who arrested you some time ago." "Is that so?" "It is," said he. "But the Mayor let me loose that night, and when I saw him next morning, and showed him my authority, he said there was no charge for selling such books, because I was doing great good to my race. I wanted to see you the next day, but you were not about the depot.'
The day I was going to leave Waycross, I met the same Marshal, and said, "My dear sir, I will do what the devil has never done to you--that is, to tell you good-bye, for his Satanic majesty has never said that to you." He laughed at that, and then I told him good-bye, sure enough.
Then I took the train for this place, where I am writing these lines, the 22d of February. I am much surprised at being here, but the good Lord knows all things. Thursday night I preached at the Baptist Church. The people seemed to be well pleased with my sermon. After the services, I came down to the front part of the pulpit and told the congregation that I had promised their pastor that I would induce his members to buy one of my books and present it to him, and they did so after
he had gone around among them and taken up a collection, amounting to 50 cents, which he gave me. I told the members I wanted to stop with some one near the church, after services were over, because my boarding house was a long way off. I was taken home by a very nice lady and her husband, and spent the night in a splendid bed. It made me feel happy after laboring so hard with them.
I preached on the millenium glory of Christ, and they appeared to be perfectly carried away with what I had to say about it, for they had never before heard of it, and it made me feel happy. Yea! it did my soul good.
I went to the city next morning to see some of my friends who had invited me to visit them before leaving. They gave me of their mite, in money. While canvassing, I came across an aged veteran who had lost his right arm in battle, I suppose, and when I told him I used to hire his brother's servant in the days of slavery, he said he would buy one of my books for old acquaintance sake, which he did. He also signed my paper, and you will see his name on the Valdosta list.
So I bade Valdosta good-bye, and am here in Thomasville, a city I have visited several times before, and I hope I may do as well as I have done in the past. Taking a hack at the depot, I went to a boarding house, where I was made welcome. The next day I went to see the Mayor, who said that if my book was a religious one no license would be required. "Sell all you can," said he. "Thank you, sir, I responded, and I started out with them. I met many kind-hearted friends and sold several books in this city. An old gentleman and lady bought one, read it through and were so well pleased with it they sent it back to me, so I might sell it once more and get another $1.50. I must confess it made me happy to think that I, an old man, could write a book that would please any individual so much that he would return it to me and let me sell the same copy again, so I could get more money out of it. It is grand! Thanks be unto the good Lord for it! I spent several days here, preaching in the M. E. Church Sunday night.
Bidding the people good-bye, I boarded the train for Albany, then for Macon, en-route for home, and here 1 am today penning this, surprised that it is so. I stayed at home a week. The Sabbath I spent at the A. M. E. Church, preaching for the pastor, Rev. Johnson, and helping him administer the Lord's Supper.
I left home March 19th for Savannah; went to a boarding house, being received with delight. I had stopped some time with these friends before. The lady and her husband were truly rejoiced to see me once more. They were Mr. and Mrs. Larry. I spent the night with them, and in the morning took a hack to the S., F. & W. Railroad depot, bound for Jacksonville, Fla. The railroad company granted me half rates, and I must say it assisted me much, and 1 am truly grateful to them for it, as my funds were very short just then. The conductor was a very
nice gentleman indeed. He bought one of my books and paid me $1.50.
I arrived safely in Jacksonville. The hack soon took me to the house of the pastor, whom I found at home. He received me with delight. It looked like he, his lady and two children would kiss me, not having seen me for a year. "Come in, my brother--make yourself at home." I did so. I slept in the same room, in the second story. I spent a week with this good brother; preached for him once, and spoke to his Sunday School. Before I left his house he took a collection for me, which footed up $3.20. I told the congregation in the morning that I had visited them and preached for them three times, but had never received even twenty-five cents. So the pastor told them to buy my books. He said if they did not by ten o'clock that night he would be compelled to lift a collection for Brother Anderson, for he never comes begging, as do some other ministers, but only tries to sell his books. "If you all don't buy of him, I will give him a collection." And he kept his word. I believe it made him rejoice to do so, because I had preached at the A. M. E. Cherch, and Pastor Lee had given me $3.40, while three of his members had bought one of my books and presented it to him. J. B. L. Williams bought one from me, and just as I left his house, gave me the money, $1.50. I returned him one dollar, which I intended to give him for his kindness to me, but he very respectfully refused any compensation, so his lady consented to receive it.
I delivered discourses in two of the Baptist Churches, and induced their members to present the pastors, Revs. Ross and Waldon, a copy each, of my book. The dear brother with whom I stopped went with me to see the Mayor of the city, who cheerfully gave me liberty to sell all the books I could.
"I would buy one myself if I had the money, but go ahead and I will see that nobody disturbs you."
I returned him my sincere thanks, then told him what had occurred between myself and the Mayor of Birmingham, Ala., whom I went to see about selling my book in that city. Before mentioning that, however, I handed him my appeal, so he could see what I was doing. He bought and paid for one of my books, then I asked if there wonld be any charge for selling them in the city. He replied, "Oh, yes! $6.00." So I offered him his dollar, but he refused to take it.
"I suppose your book is worth a dollar," said he.
"Oh, yes!" I replied, "but I don't feel disposed to pay $6.00 for a license, when I don't know whether I shall be able to sell one or not.
Then I offered him his money again. He would not take it, but said,
"I will give you a license myself." So he did.
I told the Mayor of Jacksonville this tale, and he enjoyed a hearty laugh over it. Then I shook hands with him, bade him God-speed, and he said, "I hope you will do well in the city."
I did not sell as great as a number to the citizens as I did before, as times appeared to be very dull. But thanks to my good friends of that city who purchased my book. I visited the hotels, with one exception, where I was given permission to sell my book in the front part of the house. I came in contact with many strangers who readily bought of me, giving me twenty-five cents, fifty cents, and some a dollar, for all of which I feel very grateful. In that manner I got along very well in the city, although the financial depression was keenly felt, but I trusted in the good Lord, who carried me through.
After spending a week or more in Jacksonville, Florida, I boarded the train for this place, where I find myself to-night writing this book. Arriving here safely, I employed a hack and was carried to the home of good Brother Patterson, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was not at home at the time, but his good lady informed me that he had arranged for me to be entertained at Mr. Pappy's hotel. I sent my baggage to the hotel and at this writing I find myself comfortably situated in one of the rooms. I have been in the city three days, and the good Lord has been with me ever since my arrival here. I will now say "good night" until I can say more.
But before I get too far away from Jacksonville let me relate a little incident that occurred in church after services: There came a man to me, a perfect stranger, and after tendering his hand, said:
"You resemble my father."
"Is that so?" I asked.
"Yes," said the man. "And it would give me pleasure to present to you with a coat, if acceptable," he added.
"Certainly I will accept it," was my reply.
"Then I will bring it to you," said he.
"Many thanks!" was my reply.
The man complied with his promise, and brought me a very nice dress coat, of which I am not ashamed. It was a perfect fit, and looked as though it had been cut for me. Thanks to the good Lord for all these good these things, for I give unto Him praises for all such gifts.
"I love the Lord because he first loved me."
I am at work in this place, and will let you know all about my labors before I leave here.
I was invited to preach at the African Methodist Episcopal Church last night, and I accepted and preached to a small congregation. The pastor stated that he was compelled to meet the Presiding Elder at the hall on account of business of importance, and that I could preach to his people if I felt so disposed.
The pastor left the church, and I suppose met the Presiding Elder at the lodge.
I arose and stated to his members that I disliked to fill the pulpit in the absence of the pastor, but if it was their desire for me to preach to them to kindly take the front seats, which would signify that they wanted to hear me.
They expressed their desire by moving forward, and I was compelled to preach to them, although it was a hard task. I had a great deal of trouble in keeping some of them awake. It appeared to me that they had become exhausted from a hard day's labor, and were tired and sleepy.
After I had finished my sermon, I stated to the congregation that I promised their pastor to give them an opportunity to buy one of my books for him. Not having the money with which to buy, I dismissed the congregation and went to my lodging house. After my usual prayer, I retired, and slept soundly throughout the night.
This morning I arose from my bed, and after dressing myself I bowed before my God, again asking his protection of me for this day, and that I might not be insulted by no one, but meet with their approbation. So now let me relate the day's work.
I went to the college, colored, first, and met the principal of the school, and he treated me with a great deal of respect, and had me to address his school. I did so, with a great deal of pleasure. I told the children a great many things that they never heard, but it was all true. After getting through with them the teacher responded to my remarks, and said that he was truly glad that I came, and also, carrying in with me a history of my life, he failed not to buy one of them, and signed his name to my list of names--"S. A. Jordan, principal of the school. I buy this book to encourage the reverend brother, $1.50."
I bade the teacher goodbye and came to the postoffice, then I went across to the priest to see if he was at home, and in ringing the bell, there came a little girl to the door. I asked of her if the priest was in, she stated that he was not in at present, but while I was talking with her there came another priest to the door to look out. I said to him "Good morning, sir;" he handed me his hand, but tried to push me back with his hand in mine. I said to him, "Why are you trying to push me back in that sly way?" Then I handed him my book that he might see what I was doing, then he hand me 25 cents then; he began to smile or laugh, because I told him I understood all such as that. So I bid him good-bye and went to the stand where a great many persons generally come every day to look out on the river, and to get a cup of that good water to drink, so I had a chance to speak to a great many about myself and the book, also one or two gave me their money to the amount of 75 cents. Then I went upstairs into a lawyer's office and he gave me 50 cents, and another gentleman did the same. I went to that fine building of Mr. Flagler's to see if I could not see him. I found his lady sitting on the front part of the house, and I spoke to her and told her that I was selling a book that I had written myself after being a slave, and had bought myself. She was much surprised at that, and called her husband's attention to that and asked him to give her some money and he did so, and she gave me $2.00 and signed her name to my list--Mrs. H. M. Flagler. Then I told her that I
wanted to see her husband, she told me to step around the front part of the house and I did so, and had a chance to speak to him, and after looking through the blinds I saw him, "Well," said he unto me, "Am I good looking?" I said that he looked all right, as I wanted to have it said that I saw the man who built this fine hotel.
I then left and came to the hotel. I found several gentlemen sitting out in the front part of the building, and I had a chance to speak to them and sold a book to one of them. I spent the day in peace and happiness, and returned to my room to rest my weary body, with $7.00 for my day's labor. Thanks be unto my Lord for it, because I believe that the good Lord touches the hearts of some of my friends so that they have sympathy for an old man like myself. I pray for it and I get it, and I give the Lord credit for it. Good night; and may the Lord bless all who may buy and read this book of mine.
I went up to the old Fort to look at it once more in life; the old Fort is named Fort Marion. My old mistress had a daughter by the name of Marion. I did not know why she was called by that name, but I suppose she named her after the Fort, as it was turned over to the United States by the British in 1819, the same year that I was born; it is now seventy-five years since then. My old mistress' daughter, Marion, and myself could not get along together very well. She appeared to dislike me, and I could not understand it. One day she was setting out some flowers under the water shelf; they were beneath the place where they would wash their faces and hands. There was some water in the basin, and I threw it out upon the ground; I did not discover that she was under the shelf and she got a little wet. She told her mother that I did it on purpose; I did not, but her mother told her to go and get a switch to whip me with, and she ran and got one, but it turned out to be a poison switch and she happened to get the worst of it, for every year in the spring she would break out in great sores. I was truly sorry for her, but this was when I was a lad about the house. After she became a woman she got married to my brother, by father's side, and she became friendly towards me. She is now in the cold hands of death and I am still alive, by the grace of my God. I speak of this because I was up on the top of Fort Marion yesterday, March 23d, 1894.
This is Monday, April 2d. Yesterday I labored hard in the St. John's M. E. Church. I preached in the morning upon the subject of Esther. My text was--"If I perish, I perish." The good Lord appeared to have been in our midst.
The pastor bought one of my books and the children of the Sunday School did the same. I have spent two weeks in the city of St. Augustine, and have done well. The good people have been kind and the Lord has been my friend. The hotel men gave me permission to sell at their place, and that gave me a chance to see many strangers and enabled me to sell my books. Quite a number of persons gave me money simply to help an old man along, for which I render thanks to the Lord.
This is a fine place for sulphur water, and for sea breeze in winter and summer. If you want to be healthy in the winter, come to St. Augustine, Fla. I have made more here in the two weeks of my stay than in any other place except Augusta, Ga. I made more in that city than in any other place in Georgia. I am at a loss for words with which to express myself in regard to the kindness I have received since I have been in the city. Friends after friends have given me money without buying a book. Dollar after dollar has been handed me by strangers who never saw me before--simply giving to assist me along, as they saw I was far advanced in life. These good friends will be rewarded. I shall leave this place sorrowfully.
April 3d, 1894. I went to the parsonage yesterday and met with a gentleman that had purchased a book of me last winter. He said,
"Were you not here a year or so ago?"
"Yes, sir; I was here about that time," I answered.
"I bought a book of you."
"Is that so?"
"Yes, I did, and gave it to a friend of mine," said he.
"How did you like it?" I inquired.
"Very well indeed. What are you doing now?"
"I am selling another book with a hard back, which is more durable, I replied.
"What are you selling that at?"
"One dollar and fifty cents," said I.
"Well, I will take one of them, also," said the stranger, in a very kind way.
"I am glad to meet with you," said I.
"Thank you, sir. I am in hopes you will do well," said he.
I am here for the last time. I have done very well all during my stay in the city. This morning I must bid the place goodbye. Last night I took supper at the parsonage, and had a very pleasant time.
I took the Savannah, Florida and Western Railroad for this place; I arrived safe and found myself a lodging place over a boarding house. Thanks be unto the good Lord, I found one by the help of the good pastor of the A. M. E. Church, and after resting a little, myself and the pastor of the M. E. Church, a young man, went across the river to see the Mayor of the village. The river is named Halifax; it has a long bridge across it to a hotel, built by Mr. Flagler, as I am told. I walked across it and found my way to the Mayor's house; it is just on the edge of a large orange grove, the largest that I have ever seen. I saw a fig tree that attracted my attention.
I said to the Mayor that I always made it my first business whenever I went to a city or a town, to go and see the head authority, and that I came to see him as I was told that he was in authority.
"I am the Mayor," said he, "and what can I do for you?"
"Well, sir, read this, if you please;" and I handed him my
book. He read it and gave me 50 cents, and bid me good luck in selling my books.
"Thank you, sir," said I.
I then went to the splendid hotel to see the proprietor, and he told me his name was Anderson as well as mine. I was glad of that, because the name of Anderson has always been a good name to me. He came in and I introduced myself to him and then showed him my book. He read it and said to me:
"You can show it to my guests around the hotel; come out here in front where you can have a good chance to see them; here is a table and take this rocking chair; spread your books on this table, and if you wish any supper I will give you as good a one as I have in the hotel; make yourself satisfied."
"Thank you, sir; I am glad to meet you."
I sat down, but I thought it best for me to take my book around and show it to the boarders, and I did so; and by that means I sold one or two of them that afternoon, but as the hotel man was polite to me and asked me to stay to supper, I thought in my mind that I would leave and come back the next day, and I did so. The next day I went back and had a chance to look around his fine orange grove, for he has the largest of all kinds that I have ever looked upon. I went where the men were boxing them up. I said to one of them:
"I am glad to have a chance to look at this grove; it is splendid. Are they sweet?" I asked.
"Oh, yes," he said; "would you like to try one?"
"Yes," I replied.
"Well, here is a half dozen," said he.
"Thank you, sir," I replied.
I began eating and found them to be very fine.
I went further down the beach to take a look at the Atlantic ocean once more during my life. While there I went to the hotel and inquired for the proprietor. He was pointed out to me, and I handed him one of my books in order that he might see what I was doing. I then asked permission to canvass among the guests, which request was readily granted.
After realizing all that I could from the sale of my book, I left the beach, stopping along the road to look at the trees of the forests. As I passed along it appeared to me that a storm or a tornado had once visited this forest, as all the trees were inclined in one direction, and I thought of the power of the wind.
I came back to that excellent hotel, situated between the Atlantic ocean and the Halifax river. Right here I wish to say that if you desire a winter breath you can get it by visiting Ormond, Fla., for I have found it to be a most pleasant winter and summer resort. Mr. Anderson is the proprietor of the hotel at this place, and he makes everybody feel at home. You can go out into his orange grove and satisfy your appetite for oranges, as they are plentiful and of the sweet variety.
I visited the hotel several times, and Mr. Anderson spared no efforts in making me feel comfortable and at home.
In selling my books, I succeeded remarkably well at this place. It is a new village, but I believe it will soon become a large city. A large number of the houses are located out in the woods at present. I must confess that I did better here than I done in much larger cities. The citizens, generally, are kind and hospitable, and some of them treated me as if I were an angel.
I preached in three of the churches, and endeavored to leave a good impression upon the minds of my hearers, that they might take warning and become good Christians, and that God might bless them. I must leave them to-day, with the promise that if the good Lord would enable me I would return to see them all again. So "good-bye" to Ormond, Fla., this the 7th day of April, 1894.
I left that place for Daytona, Fla., and safely arriving there I was directed to a boarding house, where I was made a welcome guest. After a little rest a good brother by the name of Walker took me around to see the Mayor of the city. We found him at his office, and introducing myself I informed him of my errand, and stated to him that my home was in Georgia.
"Well," said the Mayor, "I once lived in Georgia myself."
I then handed him one of my books to convince him of my business, when he said:
"I was in Georgia during the war, and was shot twice. I am a wounded man," said the Mayor.
"Is it possible?"
"I am not prepared to buy one of your books, but will give you liberty to sell them in this city, besides speaking a good word for you at the hotel and telling them I sent you there. I reckon you can sell some books up there."
"Thank you, sir."
So I left him and went to the post office to inquire for a letter, but, to my sorrow, found none. On returning to the boarding house I met the brother, a very intelligent and kind person, and he bought one of my books, after only a few words, as I was a colored man.
"What is the price?"
"A dollar and a half."
"Well, I will take one of them and sign my name to your hand-book. Here it is--J. C. M. Combs. I am truly rejoiced at the opportunity of buying a book from you, my dear sir, for I take great pleasure in reading works written by members of our own race. I wish you to enjoy yourself while here. In the morning we will go to the church, where I will introduce you to the pastor."
He did so, and the pastor got me to lecture to his Sunday School. Then he took me home to dinner. At his request I preached for him that night. Then he made an appointment for me to preach to-night.
I worked around town to-day, so I might make a true report, and if you wish to live in a city that is well shaded by palmetto
trees, and where the houses are far apart, this ought to suit you. It is on the Halifax river, contains many new, fine houses, and there are plenty of lots for sale. Come and see for yourself. The soil is rich. I have been much worried all day about my books, which were sent to the wrong place. I tried to find them by telegraphing, which cost me $2.00. Bless the good Lord! I found out where they were, and will get them, but have lost two days, doing nothing. Everybody must pray for me, that I may do well. I have to pray very hard that the good Lord will so enable me to live in this world that I may not bring reproach on His cause. He has promised to help those who put their trust in Him.
So, after all, I got my books. I sold several of them to-day. The white friends seem to like them very much and to enjoy buying them because of their being the writing of a colored person, and an old one, besides. Thank God! they are not ashamed to buy of me or to give me their money.
Yesterday I crossed the Halifax river, and circulated among the citizens over there, many of whom treated me very kindly, giving me money and oranges. I enjoyed myself very nicely, mingling with white and colored alike, which was an evidence of my appreciation of their treatment, while they appeared to be very kind and clever.
I came back across the river, and as I had to preach at the African Methodist Episcopal Church at night, I retired to my room in search of a little rest, that I might be prepared to perform my duty in this capacity. At night I preached to a small congregation, and at times was compelled to reprimand them in order to touch them in the right spirit. Getting their attention, I endeavored to preach to them of the glory of Christ, as I deemed it my duty to do so, this being my first opportunity of appearing in their pulpit.
After preaching was over I induced the members to buy one of my books and donate the same to their pastor. In return for my kindness the pastor suggested that a collection be taken up in my behalf, the suggestion resulting in a contribution of one dollar. Several members purchased books from me, and were loud in their expressions of good luck to me. After shaking hands with all I bade them "good-bye," and asked that the blessings of God be with them forever.
I went around the city to-day, and also crossed the river again. I crossed on a Northern bridge. This trip was made for the purpose of selling more books. Returning, I became engaged in a conversation with a gentleman, and while crossing the river I remarked to him:
"I would be glad, sir, if you would look at my book, and carefully note its contents."
"I do not care so much about the book, but here is a dollar for it," said the gentleman, as he carelessly turned the leaves.
"Thank you, sir," I replied.
"Quite welcome," said he.
From this we dropped into conversing upon the current events of the day. When we reached the office he kindly paid my fare for me, an evidence of a generous heart and a feeling of friendship towards me. May God bless that man for his deeds of goodness, and while I may never see him again on earth it is my earnest desire that we meet in Heaven and spend eternity together, mingling with the bright-winged hosts in the presence of the Great Ruler.
There are a great many things I can say in regard to this place. In traveling around the city to-day I stopped at a house where I saw the largest cabbage I have ever seen during my life. I suppose five of them weigh about one hundred pounds, if not more. There were roasting ears of corn, too, ready for table use, and this on April 12th. These things are found in the city of Daytona, Fla., perhaps the most pleasant resort in the land of flowers; the atmosphere is pure, the water sulphuric, and the citizens claim that it is healthy.
I have been treated well ever since my arrival here, and if I never see this place again I will never forget the hospitality of its good people. Yet it is my desire to return some time in the future.
I have been traveling around the place this morning, and had met up with as much kind treatment as I did the first day I came into the place. I went to see the pastor of the M. E. Church, and while he did not buy one of my books, he wrote me a recommendation to some of his friends in the North, so whenever I go there that they might know who I am, and assist me in selling my books.
I went across the river again to see an aged minister, and see if I could sell him one of my books. He read my appeals and then went in the house and brought me his father's biography, or a book of his, and after giving me fifty cents offered to exchange with me for one of mine, and I did so. After some few words we shook hands, and bade each other good-bye.
I came back across the river again, and I met up with a young man who said to me, "Have you got one of your books with you?"
"Yes," said I.
"Let me have one of them."
I did so, and after looking at it for some time he bought it.
Then I went into a real estate man's office, and after he had searched my book through he gave me fifty cents, with the understanding that when my book came out, and bore the name of Anderson's imprint, he would take one of the books. So I agreed to that.
Then I left his office and went upstair in a dentist's office, and had a good time with him. He said that he was truly glad that I came into his office. He said that he did not have any money for me, but after I came down stairs he hoisted the window and threw me down twenty-five cents. So I bade him good-bye. I went to the postoffice. I returned back to my boarding
place in order that I might get my dinner for the last time. I asked my good brother my bill, "$2.00," said he. I paid it with delight. In staying in that place I found it to be a dry place or city. The jail house is built over the water, but there was no one in the jail while I was in the place. No grog shops were to be found about it.
I left the city and took the train for this place. I arrived safely, and found myself a boarding house. Then, after a little rest, I started for the hotel. I inquired for the keeper of it, and behold, it was a lady. She carried me to a gentleman that appeared to be unwell. He looked at my paper then gave me twenty-five cents. The lady asked me would I not come and preach for them. I told her that I would do so; therefore I went, and I had a white congregation to preach to, and they gave me, after preaching was over, $2.00. So I can say that I preached in this place at the hotel, the 14th day of April, 1894, in Port Orange, Fla.
On Sunday morning at 9 o'clock. I went to the A. M. E. Church with a little boy to visit the Sabbath school. There was a fine attendance; I had a chance to speak to them, and I did so. After we got through we dismissed them with the blessing of God. I then came back to the house that I was boarding at; after dinner I went to the same church again and preached for them in the afternoon. There were but a few present, but I did the best I could with them; some of them looked as if they wanted to go to sleep, and I had to try and keep them from doing so; for that reason it made me feel displeased. After preaching they had their class meeting; I then dismissed them and went back to my boarding place and laid down and took my usual rest. After a while a man came after me to go the Primitive Baptist Church; he informed me that the pastor wanted me to come and preach for them. I went and did so, by the help of my good Lord, and after the sermon was over I asked the members to present their minister with one of my books, and they did so. I then dismissed them and returned to my lodging place. The distance I had to walk was about two miles, but thanks be unto God, in the afternoon, when I returned from the church I found my good brother, J. C. McCombs, waiting for me with $3.00 that two individuals had given him to buy books of me, and he walked four miles to bring me the money, which shows plainly that he has a very high regard for me. He lives in Daytona, Fla., where I had just come from. He has a fine library and a set of nice books, but that did not prevent him from buying one of my books. I will leave this place this afternoon.
I took the train for this place; I arrived safe and found my way to a lodging place. I was conducted by a Baptist preacher to the home of the Methodist Episcopal preacher, but as he did not have any room in his house, he took me to another preacher's house, where I was made welcome; and after a little rest I started for the city, in order that I might see the Mayor, but
before I reached the Mayor I met a gentleman who was sitting on his gate; I introduced myself to him and gave him my blank book to read; he read it and bought one of my books. I went into several houses as I passed along down to the Mayor's store; I found him and introduced myself to him. He read my appeal, and then asked me what I wanted him to do for me. I told him that I wanted him to buy one of my books. He said that he was not prepared to buy at that time, but I could go ahead and sell them. I started, and I am yet at it in this place, New Smyrna, Florida.
I find the city to be well watered with sulphur water. The whole place is shaded by big palmetto and oak trees, and is on the shore of the river. Looking over the river to the beach, you would think, from the appearance of the sand-banks, that you saw another city. It is beautiful in the distance. The Atlantic Ocean, just beyond the river, is very noisy all the time. In the lower portion of town are extensive oyster banks, showing that the river or the ocean were once there.
Visiting the houses, I tried to sell my books. Bless the Lord! I met with success in some of them. Going to the pastor's house, but not knowing it to be the parsonage, I knocked, but they were at prayer. While it did my soul good to think there were others in the city, besides myself, who loved to pray, yet I felt mortified at having knocked. At the close of the devotions, they invited me in. After a few words, I showed the minister my book. He looked at it and said,
"I have very little money, but I can give you a dress coat, if you will accept it."
I took it, and he had me try it on, to see if it fitted me. It did fit me nicely. He offered me an overcoat, too, but I declined it. Before I left, I inquired his name. He replied that it was Fuller, and that he was pastor of the Congregational Church. I bade him good morning, and left. Being requested to bring books to two persons, I did so; both of them bought of me. Going to the house of the minister of the white Methodist Church, he requested me to call on him; I did so, and found him to be a Christian gentleman. I spent some time with him, conversing on different subjects, then I bade him good-bye. Having been invited to preach at the M. E. Church, I went there, but so few persons turned out, I did not hold forth. So we dismissed and returned home. After prayer, we said good-night, then I retired to bed. This morning finds me up and penning these words.
Jumping on the train, Orange City was my next point. I soon found a boarding house, kept by Mr. Jones. After resting some time, I went to see the Mayor, whom I found in his fine residence. I soon saw he was a gentleman, for he bought one of my books, besides giving me permission to sell. As the result of my efforts, a number were disposed of. At night I went to the A. M. E. Church, and preached, by the request of the minister. After the sermon, I requested the members to present their pastor one of my books. They collected ninety cents toward it, but
failed to get up the whole sum, so the minister gave me the money, and put out an appointment for me the next night.
I have been traveling around the city the entire day, and find that it was properly named when called Orange City. This city has the largest groves surrounding it of any of the many places I have already visited in this State. The city is "dry," and when I say dry, it means that there is no whiskey sold here. I am informed that no one has spent a night in jail here within the past six years, and this speaks well for the people of this section of Florida.
The people have been generous and kind towards me since my first appearance at this place. I preached at the African Methodist Episcopal Church last night. At the conclusion of my sermon the congregation contributed one dollar for my benefit, for which I feel very grateful.
The pastor showed me every courtesy and made me feel at home, and when I asked for my bill he said:
"One dollar and a half."
"All right; here it is," said I. "Well, my brother, I leave you to-day. You have treated me very kindly, and I hope to meet you again some day."
Having spent several days in Orange City I bade all "good-bye." I realized about fourteen dollars from the sale of my books here in two days, and I now invoke the blessings of God upon all of the people of this place, especially to Brother S. D. Jones and his good wife.
I boarded the train and departed from Orange City. I arrived safely at Sanford, Fla., on April 21st, 1894. I hired a hack and went in search of a boarding house. I visited the home of a lady with whom I had previously boarded, but she having removed I was forced to seek other quarters. I was not long in finding a place, and am now writing these lines in a cosy little dressing room which has been assigned to me. I thank God for the comforts I am now enjoying. This is the 22d day of the month, and it finds me well and hearty. I hope the good Lord will continue to bless me in the way he has done ever since I left my home in Georgia.
This is the 23d day of April. I preached at the Methodist Episcopal Church yesterday; also at the African Methodist Episcopal Church last night. At the conclusion of my sermon last night, a contribution of two dollars was tendered me. I also addressed the Sabbath school in the morning, and the little children seemed delighted with what I had to say.
I visited the Mayor of the city and found him to be a most affable gentleman. He said:
"Are your books of a religious nature? If so, there is no license to be paid on their sale."
"They are," I replied.
"Well, then, the law is fixed that you will have to pay no license, and you are at liberty to sell all you can," said the Mayor, and the same time wishing me success.
"Thank you, sir. Good morning!" said I, as I passed out of his office into the street.
Having gained the information which I desired regarding the license, I felt at liberty to sell all the books possible. I started out to see as many of my friends as I could, but I found that Mr. Hard Times had called just previous to my visit. I gathered a little from first one and then the other until I had finished the day's work. By the help of the Lord, I accomplished something. The citizens spoke kindly to me during the day, and I am always glad to come in contact with such noble people--people who, when they have nothing to give, are ever ready to speak a word of kindness. It adds much to the cheerfulness of this world, and does incalculable good.
I traveled a part of the city over again to-day. I went down to the boat landing, and met an old lady who bought one of my books with a great deal of pleasure. I met several friends on the platform and they spoke to me very kindly. This has been a very pleasant day, although there has not been any rain for several weeks in this place, but there is plenty of water in the city from the artesian wells. I traveled the city again to-day to see if I could not sell some more of my books. I went across the river to look at the boat coming from Jacksonville; I went aboard of her to see the Captain, and had a chance to speak to him in regard to my book. I told him that last winter I went aboard of the boat and the Captain gave me $1.00.
"I am the man," he said.
"Is that so? Thank you, sir, for it."
"Well," he said, "you must excuse me this time; my pay-day is too far off."
"I will, my dear sir; but can I look around for a lady that I know?"
"Oh, yes, you can do that, and remain on board and go to the next landing."
I did not lose anything by going down to the boat; several friends gave me some money. I came back across the river and went from one house to another to see if I could not sell some books or get a little more money. I did get a little from first one and then another. I found the ladies in this place to be as kind as any I ever met in any place. They are very small but they are sweet-looking and kind in speaking; then they will give 25 cents to an old man like myself. I sold a book after dark to an old lady; after conversing a while with her she agreed to buy it, and paid $1.50.
I preached at the A. M. E. Church to-night; the members gave their pastor a book of mine at $1.50. I then dismissed them, shook hands with them, and bid them God speed. I then returned to the house where I am boarding. The brother that I am stopping with bought one of my books also.
I am now at Orlando, Fla. I arrived safe and took a hack in search of a boarding place. I found one after a while, and am now at the house penning these lines. I went to see the Mayor
the first thing; I found him to be a very pleasant gentleman. He did not buy one of my books, but gave me permission to sell as many as I could. I sold one to a lady who keeps a hotel; she bought it with a great deal of pleasure. I went to another fine-looking orange grove; as I went up to the house a lady met me at the door and gave me a chair to sit in. Then she took my book into the house, and in a short time returned with $1.00 in her hand and gave it to me. "Thank you ma'm," I said. "Goodbye."
Going to the court house, I went into some of the offices. A gentleman presented me fifty cents, for which I thanked him. So you see, I got a start here. I met numerous kind friends while traveling around to-day. A minister was the first one; he presented me twenty-five cents, to show his good wishes. A lady made me rejoice by giving me fifty cents and a tumbler of buttermilk. I knew then I had a friend, although far from my home. A gentleman told me he was glad of the opportunity of helping me, then proved it by giving me fifty cents. I must say the ladies of this town are very kind indeed, besides being so pleasant. I hope to have much more to say about them. On this my last day here, I did as well as on any previous one. I met some of the best people in town, and was welcomed to a nice dinner by Mrs. Alexander, a colored lady, who kept a boarding house. The Lord bless them for their kindness to me, and keep them from all harm.
I worked hard in the M. E. Church yesterday, at eleven o'clock, A. M.; visited the A. M. E. Church in the afternoon; by request, led in prayer, the good Lord helping me. At night I went back, and being desired to lead in the singing of the first hymn, I did so, then being given the privilege of speaking, I told the congregation I had visited the city twice, but never was asked by any minister (with one exception) to preach there. Therefore I desired them to know that I was called of the good Lord to that work when about thirty years old, away back in slavery times. "And now I am 75 years of age; the Lord has been kind to me; he is with me still; and whether you desire me to preach or not, it is all well with me. So let us sing,
"Father, I stretch my hands to thee,
No other help I know;
If thou withdraw thyself from me,
Ah! whither shall I go?"
After the singing of the hymn, I sat down. Then the pastor got up and told them that Brother Anderson bore down very heavily, but that it was all true. He also said much more on the subject than I would put in this book.
I left Orlando May 1st, 1894, going on the train to Sanford, en-route for this city, Gainesville, Fla. On getting here I hunted up this house. After supper I went to the church, where class-meeting was to be held. Going in, I seated myself on the front bench, so they might see me. After a while, when there was an
opportunity, I got up and told them I desired to say a few words.
"Is this a Methodist Church?"
"Yes," some one replied.
"Well, I wish to say something, in the name of my Lord and Master. I was born in the year of our Lord 1819, on the 22d of February. Then I was born again, in 1839, and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, because there was no other Methodist Church then, fifty-five years ago. Churches were not as numerous then as they are now."
This being the 1st day of May, 1894, I am here to let you all know that I am not a baby in my Master's cause. I was here a year ago in this church, but I was not noticed as a brother, but as a stranger. I had my head held down as a little puppy, but thanks be unto God you have a Christian minister this year that has always treated me as a brother I want you all to know that I will remain in the city for several days selling my books, for that is my business in this place, so let us shake hands before we part, and they all came forward and shook hands with me, and all appeared to be happy. I bade them good night and left for the house where I was stopping, and met my good brother at the door, and he said to me,
I said the same to him.
"I was not at home when you came this afternoon?"
"No," said I, "you were not."
"Well, I am not prepared to take you. I have no one to fix up the room for you. My wife is gone away, and therefore I am not prepared to take you as I did before."
"Well, all right" said I to him, "I can go to the A. M. E. Church and have the minister to get me a place to stop at. But I thought you being a member of the same church I am, I felt it my duty to come to your house, but if I am not acceptable I can retire."
"Well," said he to me, "you appeared to have been dissatisfied with me when you left here before, because I did not buy one of your books."
"Well," as to that, I was, because I thought you could do that much to assist me in paying my board, and you would not, but made me pay you; and that is why I felt a little offended at you, but if you don't want me to stay at your house for that, then I can go."
"Well, I suppose you are going to sell me out?"
"Well, I shall be sure to do that very thing, because your mother said to me when I came in to-day, 'Why, I am surprised at your coming back here again.' "
"Why," said I, to her.
"Well, I thought that you went away dissatisfied."
"Is that so?" 'Well I am here.' 'Let me go. I will be treated well." '
"If you can put up with my fare you can stop."
"But I don't like to stop in anybody's house that don't want me. I am very independent in that direction. I am able to pay my board everywhere I go."
"You may stay to night, but tomorrow you must look out for some other place. Yet I don't want you to do that if you cannot make up your own bed."
"Well, so far as that is concerned I can do that."
"Well, let us go up stairs," and up they went, and he made up the bed very nicely, brought water, and everything that was needed, and he sat down and talked with me as a gentleman should do, and he found out that he could not discourage me, and it was best for him to make a friend instead of an enemy of me. I am up stairs now writing these lines.
I have traveled the city all the day long. I went to see the Mayor, but he being absent from the city, I was advised to consult the Mayor pro tem. I found him to be the gentleman who had previously been the Mayor of this city, and, in fact, was presiding in that official capacity during my visit to this place last year; he also purchased one of my books at that time. He, therefore, was not in need of my book, but readily gave me the privilege of canvassing the city and disposing of my literature.
Starting out, I soon found that those who had previously purchased my books were pleased with them; so well pleased, in fact, that they rendered their satisfaction as an excuse for not buying this time. But the truth of my failure to sell is the dull times and the depression in money matters.
My day's work amounted to only fifty cents, but this did not discourage me in the least. I went to a gentleman's door and knocked. He answered my knock, asked me in and invited me to be seated. After doing so, I handed him one of my books for inspection. He glanced over its contents, at the same time stating to me that he had no money. He offered me a cigar, and taking hold of his fingers, between which he held the rolled tobacco, I thanked him kindly, but informed him that I did not smoke. He insisted that I put it in my pocket, but I stated to him plainly that I did not want it all. While his face colored up at my flat refusal to accept a cigar, he seemed delighted with my presence. His wife came in, and she, too, appeared to be pleased with my company and endeavored to make everything pleasant for me. After conversing awhile, I said "good-bye," and left them alone at their home.
I have been going the rounds again to-day. I visited a very fine dwelling and found the owner standing upon the front verandah. I walked up to him and asked for the privilege of talking to him, and then he informed me that he had met me in several cities. The gentleman not wanting to buy my book, he pointed out some one else standing near by to whom he said I could make a sale when he examines the book. I handed the by-stander a book for inspection, and after noting its contents, he tendered me one dollar and a half and inscribed him name upon one of the pages in my blank note book. I congratulated
myself upon this sale, as I had been working hard the entire day and this was the only sale made. Thanking him for his patronage, I started out again and soon found myself at the office of a physician. Entering, I said:
"Good morning, sir," he replied very courteously.
Then I handed him my paper book in order that he might ascertain my business. After carefully reading it, he remarked:
"I have been thinking of drawing up a petition in behalf of myself, and circulating the same among the people. I have recently had the misfortune to lose all of my possessions."
"Well, you are looking very pleasant to be an unfortunate man," said I.
"It is as well to look pleasant as it is to look unpleasant," said the physician.
"Then I told him about my visit to the gentleman's house where I was offered a cigar, and about my refusal to accept it. In turn, he related to me the story of a boy running up to him and asking for a chew of tobacco. He said to the boy:
"Do you think that I would chew a thing that a hog or a dog would refuse to chew."
He said the boy ran off and left him, the boy looking as if he could crawl through a very small hole.
"That was a good reply," said I, "because a boy should be taught in time, by some one, to be polite and gentlemanly, and he should not have his own way about things. I am glad that you spoke to him in that manner, and hope the lesson will serve him well."
So I left his office and went to see another gentleman. On my knocking, he soon responded.
"Good morning," said I. "Will you be kind enough to read this?"
He did so, and when he finished reading it, he said,
"I am a poor man, just burnt out. Across the street I lost about $4,000 worth of property. I have to cook my own food, not being able to hire it done, so you must excuse me, if you please."
"I will, my dear sir. Good-bye, and may the Lord sustain thee and keep thee from being discouraged."
Then I left him and returned to my room. At night I went to the A. M. E. Church to hear a woman preach. I thought she did justice to the subject. She took her text from Malachi, the third chapter: "Then shall ye discern between the righteous and the wicked, and them that serve God and them that serve Him not." She did remarkably well, in my opinion. So the minister announced that she would preach again on Friday night; then we were dismissed. Returning to my lodging house I found my way in and went to bed.
I have once more been trying to sell my books, and have again met with friends. Some of them gave me money, in sums of twenty-five and fifty cents. Only one man bought of me
to-day. He said he was a Marshal of the city (and a colored man, at that), but he bought one of my books. He told me his name was Shoestring. I replied that it made no difference with me what kind of string he was, so he paid me for the book. He laughed heartily, then wished me to walk with him up town. I told him I did not desire to do so, because some one might think he had me arrested. He laughed loudly at that, also. So we met and parted in the same spirit, although I would not walk with him. You know, my friends, I must be very careful with whom I walk in these strange cities. Everybody looks upon me as a new-comer, so I must watch as well as pray.
I went to the A. M. E. Church last night, where I listened to the woman once more. She took her text from the 14th chapter of St. John, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me." I must confess that she tried hard to set forth the truth. After she finished her discourse, the minister took up a collection of three dollars for her, which I considered not enough, for such a crowd. So we were dismissed, and I returned to my residence.
I am up again and moving about the city.
I went to the college and introduced myself to a gentleman; he told me his name was Cater; I told him that I was well acquainted with a gentleman by that name in Macon; he said that he was his uncle. Then, after a few more words, he gave me 25 cents as a token of his friendship for me. In going around I met another man who said that he was the pastor of the Zion Church; and in conversation with him, he told me that he was in the Atlantic ocean at one time; he fell overboard, but climbed up on the side of the boat and was saved from being drowned; it was dark but he saved himself. I told him that was a narrow escape, but he should be thankful to his God that he saved himself. I gave up the day's work and retired to my room, in order that I might rest myself and be ready for the Sabbath day's work, as I was informed that I had to fill the pulpit three times to-morrow, the Lord's day. I am penning this on Saturday afternoon, May 5th, 1894.
This is Monday morning, May 7th. I visited tho Methodist Episcopal Church yesterday, and was invited to speak to the school. I did so in the name of my Lord and Master. The superintendent was very much carried away with my remarks. I also preached at 11 o'clock and at night at 8 o'clock. The congregation appeared to be unruly, and I had to speak to them about it. I had a hard pull of it until I had finished my discourse, and I was truly glad when I had to say amen, because I had to wake some of the amen seats up so often; but, thanks be unto my God, I got through after a while. They never offered me a cent after preaching for them twice the same day. I also preached for the A. M. E. Church in the afternoon; they never offered to give me a cent, neither, but I got its members to treat their pastor to one of my books, and in that way I got a little money to carry me home to my family. I will bid Gainesville,
Fla., good-bye to-day; I was never invited by a brother or sister to call on them, nor asked to eat a meal with any individual while in this place. I asked a brother Saturday afternoon if he would give me a breakfast on Sunday morning; he said that he was too poor and was not able to do so, but he could send me to some one else. I told him if he could not provide for me he could let it alone; I wanted to have a chance to talk with some good brother and then have prayer with him, as I was alone in a painted room. I never had the chance to eat a dinner or breakfast with anybody; I was very hungry all day, but thanks be unto my God I am up writing this Monday morning. This is the report I have for this place. Good-bye, Gainesville, Fla., till I can come again. Just as I was about to leave this place a brother asked me to take dinner with him, as he heard me say that I had not been asked to take a meal with any member of the church; he thought that it did look mean after my preaching for them twice that day; I thought so myself, and so would anybody else think the same.
I took the train that afternoon at six o'clock for Savannah, with the understanding that I would get there in time to take the Central train for Sandersville, Ga., but my train was late in arriving, and therefore I did not get there in time, so I had to lay over until eight o'clock at night. I did not get home until two o'clock the next morning, but thanks be to God I arrived safe, and found my family enjoying good health.
My trip to Florida this time has been a blessing to me. I never enjoyed myself better in a great while, and I am thankful to the good Lord for it. I am at home writing this, the closing up of my Florida trip. This will appear in my Surprise Book that will be called by that name, as I have promised to bring out another book besides the one I am now selling.
I intend by the help of the good Lord to make a trip North, that I might be enabled to sell more of my books, and to say something in regard to what they did for me in the North, as well as in the South. You may pray for my success at the North as you did in the South. I am fully convinced that some of my friends did so, I am told, and I believe it, for I have sold over two thousand copies of my books in the South, and to my credit I can say that I have never harmed any individual who has bought my books in the South, and have always been treated with the utmost respect, and spoken of in the highest of terms by my Southern friends. In reading my book you can see for yourself that I was born and raised in the State of Georgia, and I am proud of it. It is true that some of my best friends have passed away to that world unknown to us, but I shall not let their names die out of my book, for they had been true friends of mine in life, and I cannot forget them now, Oh, no.
I must close this part of my book until I can say something about my Northern trip.
This is the 25th day of May, 1894, and I find myself at this time in Columbia, S. C. I left home on the 22d day of this month for what I call a northern trip.
I left for Augusta, Ga., and arriving there safely I employed a hack and was conveyed to St. Mark's Methodist Episcopal Church. Finding the pastor absent, I was invited to stop with a kind sister, whose name is Mrs. Lee. She being a member of that Church I found myself in good hands, and the kind treatment of this noble lady will ever be retained in my memory. She invited me to attend the class meeting at night, and I accepted the invitation. At the meeting I was requested to make a few remarks. I granted the request, but was forced to speak very plainly to some of them in order to keep them awake. Some of the members appeared to be offended, but I said it was for the best.
After the meeting was dismissed, I returned with the good sister and spent the night at her home. The next morning her daughters went to town and called on Rev. R. T. Kent. We found him in bed, critically ill, and almost ready to bid this world adieu. Before leaving, his wife requested me to offer a prayer in his behalf. The request was granted, feeling as if it would be the last opportunity for him to hear my prayers. I shook hands with him and said "good-bye," perhaps forever. I should have remained longer with this sick man, and offered more words of consolation, but his wife feared that it would disturb his quietude and make him weaker. He was, at one time, a presiding elder in the Savannah Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. But I think his work on earth is finished.
I left this sick man and visited another aged gentleman, Brother MacClen, and found him in a like condition, confined to his bed and almost beyond hope of recovery. While he was extremely weak his voice was clear and distinct, and turning his face to me he said:
"Brother Anderson, I am eighty-four years of age, and my time is near at hand, but it is well with me."
In reply to this, I said: "Brother, if you get to Heaven before I do, I want you to tell the Lord 'howdy' for me."
This made the old man laugh a little, and then I sang this song for him:
"I came to the place where the long Pilgrim laid,
And pensively I stood by his tomb;
When in a low whisper I heard something say:
'How sweetly I sleep here alone.'
The cause of my Master called me from home,
And I bid my companions farewell.
I bless my dear children, farewell home,
For I know in a far distant land they dwell."
I sang it, then told him and his good lady farewell. They always liked me very much. I never expect to shake hands with them again in this world, being now seventy-five years old.
While in Florida this winter I sent home to my wife, for safe-keeping, $125.00, so I might lift a debt I owed, but found when I got home, greatly to my surprise, that she had spent every cent of it in redeeming some land of mine which had been sold without my knowledge. She not only bought it back, but likewise paid for the house and lot she had been trying to settle for during eight years. So she paid the whole debt, getting the deed for it. As this took every bit of the money I had sent home, it obliged me this trip to borrow $25.00, from Mr. C. A. Adams, who lent it to me cheerfully. Everybody will see, by this book of mine, that I have friends in the city of Sandersville, besides in other parts of the State.
I do hope the good Lord will help me to do well this time, it being my first trip to the Northern States and cities..
But before going further, let me return to my departure from Brother MacClen. I did not pray with him, as with Brother R. T. Cent. The hack, having been hired for a certain hour, drove up for me, so I had to bid him good-bye without praying with him. I inquired of the young lady my lodging bill, but she replied, "Nothing; we do not charge ministers." So I presented her twenty-five cents for her mother, who was not in just then, told her good-bye, took the hack and went to the depot, where I found the train to be two hours behind. It was a long time to wait. Wishing a drink of soda, I stepped into one of the stores and said to the young man:
"Will you let as white a man as I drink of your soda, sir?"
"No," he replied.
Then I went across the street into another store, making the same inquiry.
"Oh, yes! we never deny any one."
So he fixed it up for me. Then returning to the store where the man had denied me, I inquired:
"Would you sell a colored man a cigar?"
He told me he would, and started to get it. But I said I did not wish it. This was done to try him, to see if he made a distinction between the white and the colored people. So I found he did. Of course he had a right to do as he pleased with his own goods. On the way to the train, which finally pulled in, I met that noble-hearted brother, Rev. Hartzell, the M. E. Church orator, who introduced me to another excellent pastor. They both presented me twenty-five cents. Brother Hartzell had, at the Conference in Brunswick, bought one of my books.
I took the train for Denmark, being put off at the new depot, which I supposed to be the old one, not knowing there were two. So it was necessary for me to go about one mile for a place to stop. I went to the old station. Upon my inquiry for the minister, they told me he had left there. When I asked if I could not find a friend or brother to stop with, a little girl told
me to go down the road, where I would find a house to suit me. Soon I was there, knocking at the door. A lady responded.
"Good afternoon. Can I stop with you, ma'am?"
"I will call in my husband," she replied; so he came in.
"Howdy! My name is R. Anderson."
"Mine is Washington."
"It is a good one; I never met a person by that name who did not prove to be kind-hearted. Can I spend the night with you, sir?"
"Well, you told me you never met a man of my name who was not kind-hearted, so you may stop here if we can suit you."
"As to that, nothing is wanted but a nice, clean bed to sleep in, with plenty to eat."
"Well," replied his wife, "you are a plain-spoken man."
"Yes, ma'am, that is so."
"That is the kind of man I like," she responded. Make yourself at home."
"What denomination do you belong to?" inquired he.
"To the Methodist Episcopal Church, joining it when about twenty years old, in the year of our Lord 1839."
"Well, well," replied he. "We have one of that sort here. There is prayer meeting here to-night; you can go with me, if you like. So we went, and some of his friends got mad about the way I spoke concerning Congregationalism, and thought some one had written me a letter on the subject. I simply tried to preach the truth without giving offense.
I left the city, taking the train for this place. I reached the depot at eight o'clock, and after getting off the cars I looked around for a hack, first one and then another took hold of my baggage, and I said to them "Hold on, I am a grand man."
"Hold on," said I. "I must be carried to a man by the the name of George Washington."
"Well," said they to me, "There is no such a man in the place, and you had better be in a hurry about it, or you will be left here, for these hackmen has plenty of money and they are not going to wait on you."
"Well," said I to them, "Do you know the pastor of the M. E. Church?"
"Well, take me there." So into one of the hacks I got, and after a short time I was at his door. I went up to the house and asked for the pastor.
"I am the man," said he to me.
"My name is R. Anderson. I wish to stop with you, if I can."
"Well, my brother, I have not got room for you, but I will send you to a friend of mine that will take good care of you."
"Well, good night; we will see each other again."
I am at the house of Mrs. Isabella Simpson, and I am well cared for. I slept up stairs in a fine feather bed, and it was so soft and nice that I never turned over the whole night.
To-day is the first day of the month. I went to see the Mayor of the city and to let him know how I was, and what I was doing in the city, and to see if he would not buy one of my books. He did not purchase, but he gave me the privilege to sell as many as I could. I am trying to do so. I have been into several offices already, but have not sold any yet. I visited the minister of the A. M. E. Church this afternoon, and found him to be a very nice man. After a conversation with him for some time, he agreed to buy one of my books. He asked me to preach for him on Sabbath day, which I accepted, and he made my appointments for ten o'clock A. M., and eight o'clock P. M. I left his house with a good understanding.
I went to another minister's house, but he was not at home and did not see him.
I went to another genleman's house, and he met me at the door and asked me into his fine parlor, and then he began to question me about many things, as I was from Georgia, and I tried to satisfiy him in all of his questions. He appeared to be satisfied with my answers. He said to me as I was about to leave the room:
"I am glad to have met you."
"Well, can I sell you one of my books?"
"I would like to do so, but I am not prepared at present. I will try and see what I can do before you leave the city."
I went to the Baptist Church last night, May 30th, 1894; this is May 31st. I am going to leave the town to-day, and I have not sold a book to a white friend as yet, and it is the first time I have failed to do so in all of my travels. The white people have bought more of my books than the colored people everwhere that I have been, but they say that money is scarce and they haven't got it to spare. I must take that as the excuse. Good-bye, my dear white friends, until I can see you all again!
I listened to the discourse of Rev. R. M. Luke again last night; he told me yesterday that if he got $20.00 last night he would buy one of my books. I went to see if he would get it but it looked very doubtful, and I bid him good-bye and came home. I was well pleased with his remarks in regard to Africans; he said that they were very superstitious, and that all ignorant people were the same everywhere, in this place as well as others. He said they believed in conjuration, and went on to explain it to them. It would take me too long to give a full report of his remarks on the subject.
I had this very thing to contend with in the days of slavery. I preached a sermon to a conjuration in those days in the city of Macon, and two of the best members got up and left the church, of whom every one thought was the best Christians in the church at the time, and they never went back any more, and we found out that they believed in conjuration, and I told that in my remarks. I could say more about it as I am on that subject.
I remember once that I was asked to assist in a funeral occasion of a man that I never saw in my life. It was at Clinton, Ga., in the days of slavery. Brother George Griswell and myself were to officiate, but as he could not read, he let me lead in the sermon. We had a conference with the widow before we went into the church, so that we might understand if her husband was a Christian. He said that she believed that he was safe in heaven. We went into the church and I led forth. First I took for my text, "Come unto me and learn of me." I divided my sermon into four parts. The fiddler, he says come unto me and learn of me. The next was the gambler; he says come unto me and learn of me. The next was the conjurer; he says come unto me and learn of me; and Christ says come unto me and learn of me. By the time I got through with my discourse, they thought that some one had written me a letter about the man dealing in conjuration.
After they got through with the discussion, he granted my request to speak. This enabled me to tell them my objection to sitting down at a man's table unless he asked me to do so, because the church did not belong to me, not being a member, but I felt in my heart that the brother did injustice to his record. On my inquiring his name, he told me it was Branom. But it will be given in full when he buys my book.
While passing a law office across the street, a gentleman sitting in the front part fixed his eyes upon me so closely that it was necessary for me to return and speak to him. He said, "You looked so noble that I was obliged to gaze upon you." After some words, and examining my appeal book, he told me he had no money to buy a book with, but he presented me ten cents, to show his regard for me. After going into several offices, I returned to my boarding house.
To-day was devoted to canvassing, but without success, not a book having been sold or a dollar collected.
To-day, May 27th, I am back again, writing this, after a hard day's work. But, bless the Lord! no one insulted me, the people being very polite. The whites have been the most friendly met by me in any city, although I got very little money out of them.
I visited the M. E. Church yesterday morning. The pastor preached, and had me lead in prayer. After the sermon, he requested me to preach at night; it gave me pleasure to do so. After closing, the congregation bought a book for their minister. A little child took an active part in collecting the money and bringing it to the table. To encourage the little fellow, I took him on my knee and kissed him. He brought sixty cents. I told the friends that was the way to bring up a child; when it became a man it would not depart from it. Its name was William A. DeLorme. The pastor told his members he desired the book, but was not able to buy it, and was truly rejoiced to get it He gave me his card, "J. H. Johnson, pastor of the M. Church, Columbia, S. C."
I visited the A. M. E. Church after supper. Owing to the rain, the people did not turn out, hence there was no meeting, which he regretted very much, desiring to hear me. So we returned home, where we enjoyed ourselves conversing together. After bidding each other good-night, I retired, sleeping soundly till morning. Being invited to breakfast, doing justice to it, and asking for my bill, he replied. "Nothing, my brother." On my offering his wife twenty-five cents, she declined the money, so bidding them good bye, the next thing in order was to go to the depot and take the train for Branchville, S. C.
After getting there, I went to a restaurant, where they made me welcome. I spent one night and one day here. While canvassing, a lady bought one of my books, and put her name on my list--Mrs. Byrd.
After my sermon in the A. M. E. Church, the minister collected fifty cents, which he put in his pocket. As we left the church, I said:
"I did not receive that fifty cents."
"I have it. Have you twenty-five cents with you!"
"Yes," was my reply.
"Let me have it, then you will receive the fifty cents. My custom is to divide the collection taken up by me for traveling ministers."
"Well," my brother," was my rejoinder, "why did you not say that to your people. You told them you collected that money for me; my sincere thanks were returned to them for it; if you intend to divide it, just keep it all, for I do not want it that way."
So he went with me to the door of my boarding house, bade me good-night, and told me he would see me in the morning. But he did not come.
At my next point, Sumterville, I stopped with my hostess of two years past, Mrs. H. Lawrence. After some rest, my first visit was to the Mayor's office. He was not in, so they directed me to the Mayor pro tem. He was in his office, and seemed happy to see me. He told he was one of the committee on license, and would permit me to sell my books; he would not only see that nobody disturbed me, but would buy a book. But so far my efforts have not resulted in any sales. The citizens appear rejoiced to see me.
I traveled all day in this lovely city of Sumterville, S. C., but without success. While returning to my room, a kindhearted man in a restaurant contributed his mite, fifty cents, which was the result of my day's work. The friends here show me much kindness, though a stranger to them.
I visited the pastor of the A. M. E. Church, but did not sell him a book, as I hoped to do. Neither did he invite me to visit his church, which I thought he would do. So I bade him good-bye, then returned to a store, where they invited me in. To-day a gentleman said to me:
"What are you selling?"
"A book written by myself."
"Well," he replied, "you have brought the wrong thing to this town to sell; they believe in base ball and bicycles, but have no use for a book with religion in it. I don't believe you will sell any here, but hope you may."
There was a funeral service in the church. A grand society turned out in splendid apparel. They looked very fine, and if the poor man in the coffin could appear that way, in the city of his God, he would be all right. A long procession went to see his burial and to bid him a last farewell. The minister invited me to return next morning, so he might buy one of my books. After he bought it, he signed his name--Rev. E. H. Coit, B. D., pastor of the A. M. E. Church, Columbia, S. C. I have been about town to-day, doing better than on any previous one. I sold a book to a gentleman at the bank, who signed his name, T. H. Hyatt, for a book, $1.50.
Going around once more, I tried to sell another book, but failed; however, I received a little more money and many kind words from those whom I met.
At the Baptist church last night it was my pleasure to listen to a discourse from a missionary, Rev. R. M. Luke, who was introduced to the audience by the pastor. He got up and told them he was a man, and a big one, too, and would prove it by the time he got through with them. He surely did so. How he scolded them about sleeping! He told them that if they did not keep awake, he would pour hot lead down their backs. He beat me a little, it seemed to me, for once in Florida I called for a pistol with which to shoot a man I could not keep awake. I hope no one took me to be in earnest; my meaning was a gospel pistol, loaded with gospel truth. He told them that in Africa the women would kiss their little babies, then throw them to the crocodiles, and some, too, would devour their own children. They eat rice and rattlesnakes, also. A solemn impression was made upon the people. Then he asked for a nice collection.
"To-morrow night," said he, "I will preach once more and tell you all about Africa. Come out and hear me. Let this house be crowded."
The minister from Columbia told the audience he wanted to take up a collection to the amount of $20.00, so they commenced, but as it was very late, I left the church and returned to my room.
I went around this forenoon to see my friends once more In a store a man said:
"You are a fine-looking man."
"Is that so?"
"Thank you, sir."
"Well, I mean it."
"I believe you would not say so if you did not," was my reply. "Will you read this?" and I handed him my book.
He looked at it and said: "I have not the money to spare to buy your book."
"Well, sir," said I, "I wish to tell you my opinion of the white citizens of this place, as you seem to be a gentleman, if you won't get mad at me for saying it."
"Well, let me hear it."
"My opinion, sir, is that you don't buy my book because I am a colored man, and you disdain the idea of buying a book written by one. You have plenty of money."
"Well," said he, "you want me to tell you the truth?"
"I have the money, but will send you to a man of your own color, who will be sure to buy one."
So I went to that man, told him his friend sent me, and he bought a book. Returning to the white man, I told him of it, and he sent me to another man, who also purchased a copy. So by that means I have sold two copies to-day, to colored men in this city, and hope to sell more before I leave the place.
Up to this point, while all the people with whom I have come in contact have treated me well, my business has not been as good as in other portions of the South--say in Georgia or Florida. The country is as lovely, the people as friendly, but they are not inclined to be as liberal as those with whom I have had dealings. Perhaps, however, I will meet with better success in North Carolina, and therefore do not feel discouraged.
After a brief sojourn in the lovely town of Sumterville, the iron horse landed me in Wilmington. Here is something concerning the town:
WILMINGTON, N. C., June 4th, 1894.
Getting here this morning, I went to the parsonage of the M. E. Church, and found the minister very pleasant. He bought one of my books, then invited me to preach for him at three o'clock, Sunday evening. After I promised to do so, he went around the city with me a while to introduce me to his friends. I met with some success to-day among the white friends; it is my hope that my visit here will turn out well, being invited to deliver sermons at so many different churches. I asked the good Lord to help me.
This is Monday, June 4th. I went to the A. M. E. Church yesterday, the Lord's day, the first Sunday in the month. The prayer meeting was held in the basement. Entering, I sat down as a stranger, but soon one of the brethren inquired if I was not a minister. Upon my replying yes, he invited me to come inside the altar and sit down. After doing so, a second brother asked my name. When told it was R. Anderson, he whispered to another man, who gave him a card for me, that I might sign my name. After I did so, he said:
"A strange brother is here this morning. He wishes to tell you something, and we give the opportunity."
Then I said, "Good morning! How have you been since we last met?" That indicated that it was not my first visit. I was there in 1867, when Conference convened, presided over by Bishop Weyman. This I told them; also that he ordained me an elder, in the church which stood upon this spot. "And now you have built another one finer than the first. The old men who returned from Babylon wept because the Temple was smaller than the first one, while the young people rejoiced, thinking it grand; but to the old men, who had seen the first Temple, it was said that this last building should be greater than the first, because the Lord Jesus would be brought into it."
As I told them this, they commenced to look at me with an eye of faith. I told them their minister had invited me to fill the pulpit for him at ten o'clock, and that then they would find out who I was and all about me. After dismission, one brother said, "You have rushed in upon us this time." "Well," was my reply, "You must be on the watch, for the Saviour says, 'Be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh."
We were dismissed and I came back to my boarding place. After breakfast I went back to the church again and preached for them, and the pastor limited me to thirty minutes in which to finish my sermon, and I tried to do so. I told them that I would try and preach for them again that night. In the afternoon, I attended the M. E. Church, and promised the pastor that I would preach for him, and I did so. After I had finished preaching my sermon I came down in front of the pulpit and asked the members to purchase one of my books and present it to their pastor. They did so, and it was presented to him by a man who understood what he was doing.
Immediately after the presentation, the good pastor asked of his congregation to make up a collection for me, and they did so to the amount of twenty-nine cents. After church I returned to my boarding place to rest up, and otherwise refresh myself for the night appointment. After the proper time had arrived I went to the A. M. E. Church to preach for them, and I told them before I began my sermon that I was a man of meaning, and not a mean man. I am going to explain to them what I meant in speaking that way. I told them that I meant never to take a chew of tobacco nor smoke an old pipe, and I did so. I also told them that I will never buy a dram of liquor nor drink one. I told them that I had never allowed a minister to preach for me without taking up a collection for him. I told them that I intend to pay all my debts that I owe in this world. I mean to get to heaven by the grace of God. I mean never to swear an oath. I told them this before I took my text, after which I called their attention to the twenty-first chapter of Revelations, and preached from it. After the sermon the pastor raised by collection the amount of $5.00 for me. I was truly thankful for it, because I am not selling many of my books in this place, but I am in hopes that I will before I leave. I said to the congregation
before I dismissed services, that I would try by the help of God to come back and see them once more. I am at my lodging place again writing. I have been around the city to-day, but have met with no success, and have not collected a cent. I have tried it again to-day, and thanks be to God I have done a little better.
I met the pastor of the Presbyterian Church, who gave me fifty cents and wished me much success in selling my books, but up to this time not one white person has bought a copy; they gave me $1.75 to-day, however, so I must make myself satisfied with that. These are hard times, they tell me, and it must be so, although this is a large city and used to be very prosperous; it may be so once more, if they will put their trust in God, who is our all-in-all, and whom we cannot get along without in this world of sin and sorrow. All my trust shall be placed in Him while life lasts, and all should feel that way. To-day I have been highly complimented by several persons, on my Sunday sermon, but that does not pay my board bill. Money is necessary, and I take pleasure in paying it, so give it to me for my books. I worked hard yesterday, in the hot sunshine; becoming very tired, I returned home and lay down, to rest up for the night meeting, not having sold a book. I was there on time, at the Presbyterian Church. I tried to satisfy them in my discourse, which was about the Prodigal Son and his actions upon receiving his share of the property and leaving his father's house. You can read it for yourself.
I was around the city this morning, but have not sold a book to a white person here yet. They spoke very kindly to me, and presented me money, for which they have my thanks. I leave to-day, perhaps never to return. May the Almighty bless them for their kindness! So, good-bye, Wilmington!
There was an excursion crowd on the train, but they behaved very well, considering their number. I could not discover any drunkenness or other wickedness.
I pen these lines, June 8th, 1894, in Newbern, N. C., at the house of Miss Hannah Banks, to which a gentleman directed me. I will go about to-day, then be able to report my success.
The first person to whom I showed my book was colored, his name being Isaac H. Smith, one of the leading men of the city, who bought a copy, then took me to the office of the Mayor of the city to introduce me to him. He left a letter for that purpose; he could not stop there till the officer returned. When his honor did return, I found he was not enjoying the good health I hoped he had. For this reason, he spoke but little. He gave me permission to sell my books. I disposed of three copies before night; two ministers secured them. White friends presented me seventy-five cents. Many kind words were spoken to me. Replying, I made the people laugh, to their satisfaction. So we spent the time in peace and pleasure.
On Sunday a sermon was preached by me, at eleven o'clock, in the A. M. E. Church, but they did not give me a collection. At the A. M. E. Zion Church, at three o'clock in the evening,
they induced me to address the Sunday School, after which they bought one of my books. Of course it rejoiced me exceedingly, for I desired them to know what I had been doing all my life to help build up the Sunday School cause. At my night sermon they presented me fifty cents, then promised more when convenient.
I worked around the city to-day. White friends helped me with presents of money. May the kind Father bless them for it. During the next day, a benevolent hotel keeper bought one of my books. A number of friends helped me with money.
Thanks to the Lord! I was able, this 13th of June, 1894, to send Mr. Adams the $25.00 he so kindly loaned me upon my departure from home.
I preached at the A. M. E. Church to-night. The minister had bought one of my books before, on credit, so took up a collection for me and paid for it. Was that right? Perhaps so. At any rate, I secured my pay by preaching a sermon. Good-bye to Newbern. N. C. My visit did not amount to much in a financial way, but bless the Lord! I enjoyed myself while there.
The fourteenth day of the month I reached Goldsboro, N. C. The minister of the A. M. E. Church conducted me to his house, then after dinner took me to see the Mayor of the city, whom we found in his office. After the introduction, I told him it was my custom, when I went to a strange city, to visit the Mayor first, in order to get his permission to sell the books I carried. He said he could not afford to get one himself, but would give me a little money, which he did. One of his arms was off, lost in battle, probably.
My good brother then took me around and introduced me to several of his friends. I visited the city again to-day, and met with a Baptist preacher, and he bought one of my books, and then invited me to preach for him on Sunday at 3 P. M. I accepted the invitation. After leaving him, my brother and myself, with whom I am stopping, went to the Court house, and he introduced me to the Sheriff and the Clerk of the Court, and each of them purchased a book from me.
I have canvassed the city very closely to-day, in order that I might give a favorable report of the place. I find that they are perfectly willing to buy if they had the money to spare, but times are so hard and money so scarce they say I must excuse them. I have to take the will for the deed, I am thankful for what I have received to-day from my kind hearted friends, for the Lord has blessed me to-day, and I am glad of it.
This is the 18th day of June, and yesterday was the Lord's day. I visited the Sabbath-school of the A. M. E. Church, and the pastor asked me to say a few words to the children, and I did so. After I got through with them I went to the Presbyterian church, as I was invited to preach for them. I did so by the help of the good Lord. After preaching was over I got the members to buy one of my books and donate it to their pastor, and they did so; and it appeared as if he was glad of it.
I then retired to my stopping place, and after dinner I went to the Baptist church where I was invited to preach. I got there in time but, did not preach, it being Children's Day. I sat down and listened attentively to the children, and it was grand and everything was nice. The pastor did not introduce me to any one, and I sat there fairly burning to say something. I tried to hold in all I could, but could not, and I said that I would like to say something, but I did not like to sit down to a man's table and eat, unless he asked me, and the pastor did not do that, and so I spoke anyway.
Then I bade them good-bye, and came to the city with a strange man, who invited me to a society of young men. After prayer, one young man announced the subject of the evening discourse; then my new friend discussed the matter, after which he introduced me to the crowd. After a few words from me, we were dismissed, when I retired to my room.
After supper, the minister and myself went to the A. M. E. Church, where, as previously announced, I preached for him, Rev. E. C. Barhan. After the sermon was over, my persuasive eloquence soon induced the congregation to buy one of my books as a present for the pastor. Oh! how it did rejoice him, for he was as happy as any minister you ever met. We returned home together, his house being my place to stop. During my four days with him, we were as intimate as two brothers, and it was very pleasant. We must part now. I am about to quit Goldsboro, N. C. Farewell!
The locomotive soon carried me to this city, Norfolk, Va., where, bless the Lord! I find myself safe and sound. Here I am, the 18th day of June, 1894, in a boarding house, in hopes the Lord will help me to do well in this town. This forenoon the pastor of the First Baptist Church (who bought a book, and whose invitation to preach Sunday night I accepted), went with me to see the Mayor, but he was out, so we visited the Ordinary. After conversing with me, he showed his regard by presenting me fifty cents. We went to see the postmaster, but he neither donated any cash or bought a book. He said he had been in the office but a short time, had very little money, and I must excuse him. So we strolled about some time, then returned home. I predicted we would have rain (not much, but a sprinkle), so we did.
I went up town again to-day, to sell books, but failed to dispose of one. A gentleman in the bank told me to bring him a copy at one o'clock; I did so, but he failed to buy. Going up stairs into a gentleman's office, he conversed with me some time, then offered me one dollar for a book. I told him my price was a dollar and fifty cents, but rather than deprive him of the pleasure of reading it, I would present him fifty cents, which he could put with the dollar, and so buy a copy. He took one on those terms, then signed his name to my blank book. I did this because I have discovered that it is a hard thing to sell books here, after trying two days. The people--both white and colored--
have presented me money in small amounts, ranging from ten cents to fifty cents, but they say the times are close and money is scarce, so I must not think hard of them for not helping me more, but say nothing about it.
While moving about the city yesterday, I rmet a gentleman who told me he had not time to read a book, or he would buy one; however, he presented me a dollar, which showed his regard for me as an aged man. A number of the ladies gave me their mites, in sums of twenty-five cents and upwards, so I got along finely. Yesterday no one spoke unkindly to me, bless the Lord! but so far I have sold only one book to a white friend. I do not know the reason, but hope they will buy more of me before I leave.
I have again traveled around the city. I found the citizens very friendly. Some of them gave me money so cordially that it made me feel that they regarded me as a friend, although I was a perfect stranger to them. They seemed to take delight in listening to what I had to say. When I left, they would invite me to come again, saying:
"I am glad to have met you."
"Is that so?"
"Oh, yes. You look like Washington. Come again; I may buy one of your books."
"Thank you, sir."
I met up with a minister, Mr. Young, who bought one of my books, then requested me to preach for him, which I consented to do. I must say I spent the day in peace.
I received a card from my wife which made me feel very good.
This is Saturday night, and eleven o'clock, too, but here I sit, penning these lines. I took a nap, then got up and commenced writing. To-morrow, the Lord's day, I will deliver discourses at two churches, so I must ask the good Lord to help me. Good-night, kind readers.
This is Monday, the 25th of the month. Yesterday being Sunday, I visited the Baptist Church early in the morning, to see if there would be prayer meeting, and bless the Lord! I found the members at their devotions. After I had seated myself, one of them requested me to come a little nearer, which I did.
It was not long before one of them asked me if I was not a preacher. I told him that I was, and had been for many years. After awhile another one came to me and asked me to say a few words. I told him that I would do so. I got up and told them I was from Georgia, and that I was accustomed to be at prayer-meetings ever since I was a little boy. My grandfather's house was the place for meeting, therefore I was raised in the house of prayer, and it did my soul good to be there. I told them that I had been trying to hear some bell ring ever since the break of day, but I had not heard one, so I came to this church to see if there was any prayer meeting, and so bless the Lord I found one.
and I said many other things; what I said to them made them feel happy. I told them that their pastor had asked me to preach for him at night, and I am going to do so, and it made them feel glad to hear that and so we were dismissed.
At 11 o'clock I went to the Christian Church and preached for them as I had agreed to do. I went back at 3 o'clock and did the same. At night I went to the Baptist church and preached for them; so I closed the day in hard labor.
I am up this Monday morning writing before I go out among the busy throng. I traveled the city over yesterday trying to sell a book to my white friends, but I failed to do so. They were kind in speaking to me, and contributed their money very freely to me, but did not buy my book; some promised they would do so before I leave the place. I am in hopes they will comply with their promises, because so many have promised the same thing and failed to do so; but thanks be unto my Lord I am getting along very well.
I am going to try it again to day, the 26th of June. I visited the pastor of the Methodist Church, South, he invited me in his drawing-room with a great deal of courtesy, and offered me a seat, and after a pleasant conversation I handed him my book; he took it, perused it awhile, then bought it, and signed his name to my blank book, after which I bade him God-speed, and left him.
I next went down town, and was asked by a young man to call on his father and he would buy one; so he did, and signed his name, he being a lawyer. I went into several other law offices, and some of them gave me a little money, and so I got along very well to-day; bless the Lord for it.
This is the 28th day of the month of June, and I leave this place for Baltimore, Md. I have gotten along about as well as I could have expected at this place. I was to have preached at the Baptist Church last night, but it rained and prevented the people from turning out to hear me. So I was not afforded an opportunity to preach. I now bid farewell to the city of Norfolk, and may God bless her good people for the courtesy shown me, and for their contributions and for the purchasing of a few of my books.
I boarded the steamboat "Alabama," which landed me at Baltimore in safety. I soon found my way to the home of the pastor, whose name is Rev. E. W. S. Peek. He was in bad health, and could not entertain me, but sent me to another house where I could be cared for. At present I am at this house penning these lines. During my trip on the steamer I was treated very kindly indeed. By selling my books, and with the money given to me, I succeeded in realizing four dollars, or more. The passengers appeared to have a tender feeling for me. Perhaps this feeling was due to my age.
This is the 29th day of June, 1894, and I am now in the city of Baltimore. I went up this morning to see the Mayor, but he was too busy to see me, but invited me to call again.
This is Monday, the 2d day of July, 1894. I visited the African Methodist Episcopal Church yesterday morning to see if I could find any one there. To my surprise I found the members in the class room having a good time. I sat and listened to them and felt the Spirit of the Lord in my heart, but held it within until a brother said to me:
"I would like to hear from you, my stranger brother."
I arose and said to them that I had been waiting and listening for the sound of a bell by which I could be guided to a house of worship. Finally, I saw a man and asked him where I could find a church, and he directed me here. I am glad that I found this place, because I am accustomed to going where the people of God meet in prayer and offer Him their praises. I love to meet with such people, though I am called a stranger. But I am not a stranger to my God, for I love him. I have been identified with the church for fifty-five years, and I am not tired of trying to serve my Master at this age. I said to them that I thought they were on the right track, and that for them to go forward and never turn back. At the conclusion of my remarks, I went back to my boarding house. Eating breakfast I repaired to the Methodist Episcopal Church, where I had promised the pastor to deliver a sermon for him. As I always try to keep my obligations the promise was fulfilled.
After the sermon was over, I told the members that I had sold their pastor one of my books with the understanding that I would get his members to pay for it, and they did so. They put enough money on the table to pay for two books, so I donated one to the Sabbath school, and then were all dismissed.
After service was over, I went with him to his house and took dinner, and after dinner we took a stroll out about four miles in the suburbs of the city to a camp-meeting, and when the time arrived to preach they asked me to preach; after that we came back to the city again. After tea we went to church again, and I had to preach there at night, so you can see very plainly that I had to hold forth three times yesterday, and there is good reason for believing that these efforts were not altogether in vain.
On July 1st, 1894, in the city of Baltimore, Md., just on the side of the Mason and Dixon's line, I tried hard yesterday to sell a book of mine, but I failed in doing so. I tried both white and colored, but they said the times was too hard and money too scarce to purchase, and on these grounds I must excuse them; so I must trust in the good Lord, and don't forget to pray.
I will try it again to-day, the third of the month of July. I would have been glad to have made a good report for this large city, if I could have sold any books here, but up to date I have completely failed; I shall try it again to-day.
I have been nearly all over the city again, and have learned a lesson in which Jesus said to the disciples: "Children have you caught anything?"
They said--"We have not."
Then he told them to cast their net on the right side. They obeyed him, and were unable to drag the net ashore on account of the abundance of fish.
In the morning, before going out, I asked the Lord to assist me in casting my net on the right side, and my prayer was answered in the large sale of my book.
To-day is the glorious fourth of July, the anniversary of American freedom. I am here in the city of Baltimore, Md., trying hard to sell books. The people are not doing a great deal of business to-day, because it is a holiday with them. They are trying to honor and respect the day by not opening their places of business. Everything seems to be happy and gay in the city. I have not tried to do anything in the way of selling books today, but visited several stores and had a very pleasant conversation with some of them in regard to my belief and theirs. However, we did not fall out about each other's religious belief, so I had a jolly good time with them about my belief.
We parted in peace, and are friends once more.
Yesterday I went around again, from one room to another. In one a colored man was holding forth. We entered into a discussion, as he seemed to be an intelligent man, but I soon found he was not, except in his own opinion.
"I don't believe God could be a just God," said he.
"Why not," was my inquiry.
"Because He let the negro be kept in bondage by the white people," he replied.
"Well," said I, "the Israelites were in bondage, and they were the people of God. And why was it so? Because they disobeyed the law of God, and therefore were led away into captivity. They were to blame for it."
"Well," he replied, "I have become an infidel on that ground."
"Do you not believe in a God?" I asked.
"Yes, but I have no use for religion, and your book is a religious work."
"It is," I answered, "and if you have no use for God, I will bid you farewell."
"Won't you come again?" he inquired.
"No; I am not coming any more to see you, so good-bye." I thought it was useless to talk any more. We ought not to cast our pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet and turn again and rend us, (to use the words of holy writ.) I considered it best to leave him, and did so.
While coming home it was my good fortune to meet a kind-hearted minister (of the M. E. Church) for whom I had preached Sunday. He took me to the office of the Mayor, and introduced me to him. That pleasant gentleman invested in one of my books, besides wishing me success in my work. I bade him farewell and invoked the blessing of God upon him.
There was much kindness shown me here. The agent sold me a ticket to Philadelphia for $1.40, (half fare), to help me
along as an aged man of God. I am thankful for such good treatment, and hope the Lord will ever bless those kind friends.
I went to see Bishop Weyman this evening, and found him and his wife in excellent health. I tried to induce him to buy one of my books, but he told me he was not prepared to do so just then. After some conversation with him and his family, I bade them farewell and returned to my boarding house.
This is the 8th day of the month of July, and on the 7th day I labored hard at the African Methodist Episcopal Church at 11 o'clock for the pastor in charge. After the trustees had finished taking up their regular collection, the pastor solicited a contribution for me, which amounted to two dollars and forty cents. For this act of kindness I presented him with a copy of my book, afterwards joining him in dinner at his home.
Bidding the pastor's family "good bye" I took the car and went to another African Methodist Episcopal Church and was given an opportunity to address the Sabbath school children. At 8 o'clock I preached for the pastor in charge of this church, Rev. Mr. Jackson. The stewards having finished their usual collection, the pastor made a short talk for me and called upon the membert to purchase two of my books, which amounted to three dollars.
These were the closing events of my visit to this place, occurring on the 8th day of July. I now say "good-bye" to Baltimore, Md., and should I never return to this city again, "may God bless it" is my sincere prayer. The citizens of this place were unusually kind to me, and they shall ever be held in high esteem.
PHILADELPHIA, PA.,July 9th, 1894.
I left this morning for this place and arrived in safety. I secured a hack and was driven to a boarding house kept by a lady whose name is Mrs. C. E. Gilbert. She kindly asked me to come in.
I did so, and then I told her my name and business and asked permission to stop with her.
"Your request is granted," she said.
"What are your charges for a week's board," was my next question.
"Five dollars," she replied.
"Well, as I am a stranger here I guess I will try it a week," said I.
I had my baggage brought in, and am now up stairs writing for this book. I am once more on this side of the Mason and Dixon line. This is the 9th day of July, 1894, and I can say that after living in this world seventy-five years and five months I have crossed this famous line for the first time. I went up to the post office just to see the city, but while there I entered several rooms and tried to sell a book. I failed, however, in my effort. From the post office I went to the African Methodist Episcopal Book Company's place of business, and was there introduced
to the Rev. Mr. Johnson, the manager of the concern. He had a notice of my visit published in his paper, The Christian Recorder.
So I am on this side of the line after many years. I will draw a line in order that I may distinguish the difference between the North and the South, in the way it was given to me, for the purpose of seeing the difference in the sale of my book. So here is the line:..................................................
I called on the pastor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and found him to be a Christian gentleman. He invited me to preach for him Sunday evening, which I consented to do, and purchased one of my books. He presented me a picture of himself and his church, then sent me to another of his divines, but he was not at home. While returning, I met a policeman, to whom I said:
"I have seen something new to-day. I am from the State of Georgia. This is a great city--a wonderful city--and something new can be seen every minute."
"Well," said he, "you are in heaven, for this is the best place in the whole universe. I have been around the world, and I can say that with authority."
"I have been praying that I might get to heaven, and am in it at last, so I will not have to pray any more in that direction," said I.
Then I showed him my book and he signed his name, with the understanding that he would take one of them. We had a hearty laugh over what I said about coming across Mason and Dixon's line. We then said farewell and parted. I would be happy to meet him again.
I next went to the A. M. E. Book Concern, where Rev. Mr. Johnson, the manager, introduced me to several individuals. After some discourse with them, I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of the author of the book entitled "The Underground Railroad." He wanted to trade a copy of his book for one of mine, but I told him I sold mine in order to get cash to pay traveling expenses. Then I added that I had read his book in part, and reminded him of something he had said in it about a man I knew well in the days of slavery, and who lives in Macon. Another minister, who was present during our discourse, signed for a copy of my book, agreeing to take one on Sunday morning, after my preaching for him. Then we said farewell. This is an excellent commencement of my labors on this side of Mason and Dixon's line, this the 10th day of the month of July, 1894.
I went up-stairs to visit the lawyers, and, finding one of them in his office, asked if I could come in. He said yes, so I entered, and said:
"My name is R. Anderson, from the State of Georgia."
"Well, what can I do for you?"
"I would be glad to have you read this," said I.
"Well, I would not object, but I am very busy this afternoon, and you must excuse me. But here is ten cents for you," said he.
"Thank you, sir," I replied.
With this I said "good-bye," and departed. I went into several other offices, but found them deserted.
While returning home I met a man who gazed at me very hard, and who was met with a similar stare from me. As we drew nearer each other we stopped and introduced ourselves. After a short conversation, we recognized each other as having met at the first Conference ever held at Savannah, Ga., which convened at that place in 1866.
We also remembered having met at Wilmington in 1869. He was the pastor at that place at the time mentioned, but we had never seen each other since until yesterday, the tenth day of this month, 1894. We were truly glad to see each other, and had many things to relate. He was superannuated like myself, and we found volumes of interesting events to talk about. We said "good-bye" and separated, hoping to meet each other in that world above to part no more.
All the cash money I received yesterday in Philadelphia, Pa., amounted to only ten cents, but I sold several books with the understanding that they be paid for after Sunday, trusting in the honor of the good ministers who bought them.
I visited the African Methodist Episcopal District meeting this morning, where I was introduced by Rev. William D. Cook, who bought one of my books. He also asked me to preach for him Sunday night, but finding out that I did not belong to the A. M. E. creed he handed me a note, in which he stated that he had spoken to another brother to fill his pulpit previously to asking me. He, therefore, did not want me think hard of him for cancelling my appointment.
It appeared to me that he cancelled my appointment because he desired to get rid of me. He evidently thought I belonged to his creed, but finding out that I did not he no doubt felt justifiable in appointing another minister to fill his pulpit.
After I briefly addressed the meeting he requested the elder to ask me to which church I belonged. I stated to them very plainly that I was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. One brother said to me:
"To the M. E. Church, South?"
"No," said I, "to the M. E. Church."
"Well," said he, "you can sell your books to your white friends, and to you colored friends also." And he said it in a sorry way of speaking.
Shortly afterwards I bade them "Good-bye."
I am not at all disappointed, because I knew very well that they had no use for the Methodist Episcopal Church, for they themselves came out of it, and I had as much right to withdraw from them as they had to withdraw from us. My excuse is laid
down in the addition to my book, and you can read it for yourselves.
I am still writing, and as my good white negro brother said to me this morning in the Conference, "You can sell you book to your white friends." I did that this afternoon.
I went up to the city and found my way into a large book concern, and I approached a gentleman, and he did not say to me, "You can sell your book to the negroes," but like a Christian gentleman bought one, and was pleased with it, and said that he would read it; and he signed his name to my book, and paid me $1.50.
I went into the Methodist Book Concern, and had a few minutes conversation with a gentleman, and he invited me back to see him again on Monday. I am going back to see him, and try to sell him one of my books.
The day's work is closed, and I am up stairs, three-stories high, and am going to bed, but I cannot sleep for the noises that are kept up in the alley, just under my window. There is a large lamp in the alley, and a great many persons live there, both white and colored, and they are just as wicked as can be. Both parties are mixtures of white women and colored men, and colored women and white men, and such cursing, swearing and damning, I never heard in all my life before; and for the vilest vulgarity one can hear it in this alley. My Lord, says I to myself, if it is any worse in Africa, I say God save me from such a place; and this is in the city of Philadelphia, Penn., where I am at the present time writing these lines, at twelve o'clock. Of all the places that I have visited, this is the worst for cursing and swearing I ever witnessed. I said, Lord, deliver me from such people, I cannot rest for them. White women and colored men dancing together, of which I have never seen the like before, and it is too bad to think of. I have never seen the like until now, after being seventy-five years and five months old, so you must pardon me for writing this because I could not avoid it; it hurt my heart to think of it after so much preaching. I said Lord, save me from all such people. I have not been accustomed to such sights.
I was persuaded that when I came North I would have the glories of the superior manners and the very quintessence of refinement shown to me; but instead of that, give me dear old Georgia people and "plantation manners" every time in preference. That is what I say.
I have worked the city again to-day, trying to sell books, but without success, although I did gather a little money (seventy-five cents) from friends. I might say, "Lord, have mercy on poor me, in the great city of Philadelphia, a long way from home, paying five dollars per week for board, and realizing only seventy-five cents for a hard day's labor."
Well, I am in the North, at last. I have been asked so many times to come up here, and told that I would sell a great many books. I am trying it for the first time. When I get through
with the Northern States I shall be able to make a full report, so I must not get discouraged, but will try again every day.
I have tried again, and bless the Lord! I succeeded nicely. I went into some of the finest buildings I have seen in this part of the world. I said to a gentleman:
"I am from Georgia; if some of my friends were brought in here blindfolded, and then restored to light, they would declare they were in heaven, so beautiful is the inside of this building." If you think I am stretching my blanket, come and see for yourself. I have gazed upon these things, and am trying to describe them to the best of my ability.
went into several of the rooms, and the clerks seemed glad to see me. I was sent, first to one and then to another, to see if I could sell a book or collect some money. One would donate a certain sum, then direct me to another, and all the time they laughed heartily at my proceedings as I passed around. But it made no difference to me, so I got their money; and that I did, bless the Lord!
I returned in the afternoon, by request, to see the boss of the concern. A young man, one of his clerks, introduced me to him. He handed me a dollar, saying, "Good-bye! I am very busy--you must excuse me," and into his office he went, shuting the door after him, as much as to say he had done his duty by me; and he had.
I entered the postoffice, took the elevator and went up to the third story and visited the clerks in their offices. The United States Court is held up-stairs. I worked around in the various rooms.
I succeeded in getting but very little money, as the clerks had not as yet been paid off, so I was told, but that if they had they would have purchased some of my books. From the manner in which they spoke I was forced to believe the truthfulness of their statement. I wished them Godspeed, and then made my departure.
I did exceedingly well to-day, and everybody appeared to be pleased with me. So "good night!"
It is now 1 o'clock, and I am up again this morning. I went to the city again to-day, and entering the offices I met with the same young men and they all seemed as glad to see me to-day as they did yesterday. One of them beckoned to me to come in. I accepted the invitation, and some of them gave me money. All of them appeared be very proud of the manner in which I conducted myself, and some of them said they really liked me. They also assured me that I would always manage to get along in life.
My collections have been only one dollar and thirty-five cents to-day, and this closes up my week's work in this place. I can say no one has offered to insult me while here, and I thank God for his blessings. I must now say my prayers and retire for the night, but I fear I cannot sleep on account of the cursing and swearing of both men and women now going on in this alley, near my room. Lord have mercy on their souls! It seems to me
that the live upon sin, and sin alone. It is well that the question has been asked: "What will become of the negro race?" I might now ask that question myself, after what I have seen and heard to-night, from the night of the 14th of July until one o'clock Sunday morning, the 15th of July, and the Lord's day. All during the night there was cursing, swearing and all kinds of vulgarity being indulged in, and the participants appeared to have no regard for God nor man.
I am now seventy five years and five months of age, and I have never heard such a night of cursing and vulgarity in all my life, and white women were also indulging in this wickedness. My God! What will become of the negroes of Philadelphia, Pa. I have seen more wicked men to-night than I have ever seen in South, and may God have mercy upon my race of people. I fear that hell will be the home of thousands of them, after having an opportunity to become enlightened. It seems to me that they are destroying the benefits which they could have derived from their education, judging from their conduct to-night. I have seen and heard, with my own eyes and ears, every word that is written here.
It is now approaching the hour of two o'clock and the cursing and swearing is still going on. Listen, if you please: "God d--n such a one." Lord, save me from such. I thought I would see better things by coming North, but it appears to be worse instead of better.
I must now lie down and try to take some rest. Thanks be unto the Lord! things have changed since I returned from preaching. I heard a man singing in the alley this afternoon, and he also preached there. After listening to him some time, I went out to see him, that I might get a chance to say something myself. Having been given the opportunity, I told them I had prayed to the good Lord to have mercy upon those people who curse and swear so much on the Sabbath day.
"Bless the Lord! to-night they are singing. Thanks be unto my God! I am glad of that. It appeared that the Lord heard me this morning, for I prayed with my whole heart that there might be a change, and there is."
I went to the A. M. E. Church to-night, and had a chance to hold forth about myself and my books. Thank the Lord! the people appeared very glad to hear me, coming forward to shake hands with me, presenting me some money in token of their love. One man bought a book. Well, good-night, this the 15th day of July.
I started out for another day's work in the city. I first went to see Bishop Foss, whom I found at home. He received me with pleasure and bought one of my books with delight. After sweet communion together, I bade him farewell.
Mrs. C. E. Gilbert, No. 625 Pine street, my landlady, notwithstanding that she charged me $5.00 a week for board, was so anxious to help me that she bought one of my books. I must bid adieu to Philadelphia, this the 15th day of July, 1894. From
here I go to New York. I would stay longer, but the citizens tell me the times are so hard and money is so scarce. Good-bye to the city of brotherly love.
I left Philadelphia yesterday morning, July 17th, taking the train for New York City, where I pen these lines. My journey over the dangerous road was not attended by any accident, but everything was very pleasant. I looked out on the fields and tried to see a stump or a pine tree.
I came over the drawgate road without accident, and was met on the boat by a white man as I was crossing the river. I thought he was very polite, and on going ashore he said to me,
"Do you wish to get a hack to go to the city?"
"Yes, sir," I replied.
"Well, get into this," said he.
I seated myself, and we started toward the city.
"Where do you desire to go?" asked the hackman.
"Well, sir, I wish to be carried to 115 West Twenty-ninth Street," said I.
"That is a long way from here, and my charge will be two dollars," said he.
"That is too much," said I, but I paid it, and while going along I picked up a book that was on the seat and read the rules by which hack drivers are governed, and I found out that he had charged me fifty cents too much, so I was bit on my first trip to New York.
On arriving at my boarding house I was met by a young lady at the door.
"Walk in," said she, "come in this room."
After a little while, I was invited into another room. I went with her; but the second room was not as well furnished as the first one, nor as comfortable, and the thought that came into my mind was, that, being a negro, the girl thought the room was too fine for me and better than I had been accustomed to.
Finally, she returned to where I was in waiting and said very olitely--
"Come with me and I will show you your room."
"Very good," said I.
She then conducted me up stairs and showed me a dark little room without a window or any appearance of comfort. Seeing this, I said to the girl, "I do not like this room; I want one with light in it, because I dislike being in the dark. I have to do a good deal of writing, and cannot see to write in this dark room at all."
Seeing me so positive I was given a somewhat better room, and after this matter had been arranged satisfactorily, the price of board came up.
"What is your price for board?" I asked of the landlady.
"Well," said she. "I do not board everybody, but you can have the room for $3 00 a week, and eat somewhere else."
I thereupon established myself in the room, where I write this portion of my history.
After a short rest I went in search of the parsonage of the Methodist E. Church, and found the pastor at home. After a brief conversation with him, he signed his name to my appeal book for one of my books. I did not give it to him as I did a brother in the city where I just came from, and let him have the chance to read it through, and then return it, saying that he was not able to purchase it. The brother I have reference to resides in Philadelphia. This action of mine learned me a lesson to never be too friendly to a man simply because he is a preacher. Some of them have deceived me, and I am determined not to be caught napping again, and so I did not give my brother the chance to treat me in a like manner--no pay, no book.
He requested me to go on an excursion with him and his Sunday School. Although I never take much delight in going with such a crowd, (for it was the largest I ever saw in my life), but we had a good time. For once in my life I rode over the great river at New York. I spent the day very pleasantly.
To-day I went to the postoffice; also to the office of the Treasurer of the United States.
I met a colored man who had married a lady from Georgia. He bought one of my books, signed his name to my list, and then told me that his wife had written a book. I promised to buy one of them, so he took me to see her. She brought out one of her books, and wrote in it her compliments to Rev. R Anderson. I must confess I appreciated it very highly. The day has been spent in peace and pleasure.
I hope to meet with success in this city, which is the largest I ever visited in all my life.
This morning I went to the postoffice and sent $40.00 to J. W. Burke & Co., Macon, Ga., to pay for the books he had sent me. While standing by a window, waiting for an opportunity to sell a book, a gentleman came up. I spoke to him and he responded, after which I handed him one of my books. He examined it, then said, "I will give you a dollar, as a friend," which made me feel very glad, for up to this time I had not done anything in the way of selling. I returned to my boarding place with very little profit for my day's labor in the splendid city of New York.
I went to church to-night, and the minister requested me to lead in prayer. After I did so, he told his members that I came from Georgia and that he wanted me to say a few words to them. Being thus introduced, I told them that I was from Georgia, (as the good brother had said), and that no doubt they would like to know what brought me here. I then explained that I had written a book, giving a history of myself from the time I was a little boy three years old, up to the present date, and that I was selling those books for support in my old age, being seventy-five years and five months old. Then I said:
"I have been identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church upwards of fifty-five years, (beginning in slavery times), ever since the year of our Lord 1839, when I was twenty years old.
In those days the members would not allow an organ to be brought inside the churches, and if a minister wore a mustache they thought he was proud and did not like to hear him preach. But things have changed since then."
I told them that in those days they could sing songs made up by themselves, and that I could sing some of them now.
"Well," said they unto me, "Sing one of them for us?"
"I did so." The song is this:
"I just want to know if my sins are forgiven.
I don't want to stay here any longer;
Light the candle, my sister, light the candle,
I am going home to glory."
I repeated it over and over again, and it seemed to do them a great deal of good. I told them a great many things of interest during my discourse, and they came forward and shook hands with me, and bade me God-speed and an abundance of good luck in selling my books, and said, if they had the money with them, they would purchase my books this night, but they did not bring any money with them to church, but would see me again; so good night, my brother; and they went home happy. Some of them left a little money in my hands in order to show their appreciation of me, and it made me feel very happy.
I visited the Methodist Episcopal Church Book Concern today. I have heard of it for many years, but have never had an opportunity of seeing it before. I went into it, and went up stairs and spoke to several of its managers in order that I might sell them my book; I went there for that special purpose, but I was very much disappointed. I have done but very little to-day, but I must trust in the good Lord.
This is Monday morning, the 23rd of July, I am up at four o'clock writing the services of yesterday. I visited St. Mark's Methodist Episcopal Church yesterday, at eleven o'clock. The pastor did the preaching himself, and asked me to lead in prayer, and I did so; and that was all he requested of me. He gave me twenty-five cents to pay my street car fare, so I returned to my room. I thought he was going to ask me to his house, I being a strange minister, but he did not, so I bade him good day.
After resting awhile. I started in search of another church. I was told by a lady to get on the cars and go as far as Tenth street, then get off and walk a block or more and I would find it. She gave me a small piece of writing to hand to the superintendent of the Sabbath school, and I did so; and he sent it to the pastor.
Then he said to me, "I will turn you over to him."
"Very good, sir," said I, and then the Sabbath School was dismissed, as was about being done when I entered the church.
We afterwards got into an argument concerning the church, and he said his was an orphan church. I informed him that I had labored in his church in many cities and towns, and that I was fully posted in its doctrines, winding up by asking him as to
the further services of the day, whereupon he stated that there would be none until the hour of eight o'clock at night.
I waited some time to see if he would invite me to go home with him, or come back at night and be with him at the church, but he did not, and I returned to my room; before getting there, however, I went into a restaurant to speak with the lady that had sent me to the church, to let her know that I found it.
"How did they treat you?" she asked.
I told her about it in a truthful way, and let her form her own opinion. Then she said:
"The preachers of this place size up an individual as soon as they see him."
"Yes, you are right; they size him up and down also, at least that is the opinion I have formed from my intercourse with them. You may depend all these things will be printed in my book."
The kind lady told me so many things about the colored people that it made me feel sad. She said that when a colored person was taken sick or died, and had no money, they were sent to the hospital at once; that not one of them would bring you a meal of victuals or hand you a cup of water; and she said much more, which I do not care to print.
"My Lord!" I exclaimed, have they no charity for their fellow-men?"
"Oh, yes, my brother, they have charity enough, but they have so many burdens resting upon them that they have no time to be fooling with outsiders. It is true that some of our colored ministers get a hundred dollars a month, and to tell you the truth, one Baptist preacher receives one hundred and fifty dollars a month, but they will not ask you to their houses to break bread with them, unless you had written to them, and received a special invitation to stop with them. But they will send you to a boarding house, paying your own board, and if you are without money you will have to look out for for yourself."
"Well," said I to the lady, "truly is it said that 'man's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn.' Truly what you have told me is to be deplored. I have heard enough about this place to make me feel bad for my race. But I have heard enough about the people here, so good day."
Returning to my room I determined not to go out to the church but remain inside and rest, and to sleep a little.
Some time afterwards I awoke from a sound sleep and found that the rain had ceased, and, changing my mind, concluded to visit St. Mark's Church again. At this church, I discovered that the pastor did everything himself, he prayed twice himself and preached; so I had a fair chance to catch on to all he had to say. He said that he went to a fortune teller on Saturday to have his fortune told, and he told what the fortune teller said about him. He said that another minister went with him, and had his fortune told also; but of all the lies that he had ever heard told, it was told to both of them, so he had learned a lesson about such characters as these in order that he may have a chance to tell his
members who go to such places, and pay out their money, that it was all nonsense.
I thought to myself that when a minister has lost the spirit of God out of his heart so much as to go to a fortune-teller to tell him about himself and condition, I think that he is in just the condition that Saul was when he had to go to the Witch of Endor to call up Samuel from the dead, and Saul did that; and the witch called him up, and Samuel told Saul that the Lord had taken His spirit from him. I thought the same about my good brother, for it troubled me all night. My spirit was so troubled that I had to get up this morning at four o'clock to write this article, so that I might not forget it. I must close for the present.
As I was going up into the city this morning, I met up with two ladies that looked at me so hard that I was oblige to stop and speak to them. I told them that I was from Georgia, and they said that they were from Virginia. I handed one of them my book, and they looked at it and said, if I would go home with them they would buy one of my books. I said to them that I would walk with them a mile. It was not long before we reached their boarding house, however, and one of them said to the lady, that she met up with me, and as soon as she saw me passed a good opinion of me. She purchased my book ($1.50), and signed her name to my list. The lady that kept the boarding house did not buy one of my books, but gave me fifty cents.
I pulled the door-bell at another house, and a waiter responded. He was a young man, and bought of me one of my books.
This afternoon I called at the Methodist Book Store, and sold my book to one of its proprietors, and he signed his name to my list. I also met a kind-hearted brother that I saw at the Georgia Conference some time ago, and he gave me $1.00.
So the good Lord has blessed me to-day. I received a card and a letter from my wife, also. These things are calculated to make a man happy.
I went up to the city again to-day. Going into the Treasurer's office, I met a gentleman who sent me to see a colored man he thought would be glad to form my acquaintance. He was truly rejoiced to meet me, and bought one of my books, signing his name to my list.
I spent the day resting my body, as I was somewhat jaded by the arduous labors I had undergone.
This is the 28th day of July. I have been trying again to dispose of some of my books. I sold a copy to a gentleman who has been a friend to me ever since I made his acquaintance. He kept his promise, which was more than some others did; they promised, but failed to keep their word. He paid me for his book, then took me on the cars, to the A. M. E. Church, and introduced me to the sexton, with the understanding that he would make me acquainted with the pastor on Sunday morning. I truly realized that I was with a friend, for he paid my way on
the cars, thus showing that he entertained a high regard for me, notwithstanding the fact that I was a stranger.
I had sold out all my books, and had to send for more, but they came in good time for the benevolent gentleman to get a copy.
Some money was given me by friends to-day. They have been very kind to me this week, so I have been blest, after all.
I am closing up the week's work. Thanks be unto the Lord! I am not melted, although the weather is very hot.
Elisha Young is the name of the kind gentleman I have been writing about. I found out by conversing with him that he had been dismissed from his church for standing up for justice and equity. He is a man who loves the truth. These are the circumstances of the case:
The minister who had turned him off became a bishop, and the first work he had to perform (after his appointment to the bishopric) was in the city of Griffin, Ga., where I was the pastor in charge. The subject that he and Brother Young had disagreed about, was the very one that he and I locked horns upon. That was, the privilege of taxing the people to suit himself, so as to get a hundred dollars a month for himself. If any man interfered, he had to suffer. That was my misfortune, and my good brother had the same thing to contend with. I am alive and so is this brother, but the bishop has gone to his reward above, where we will all meet one of these days, then we will get our rights from the Judge of all the earth. You may say that I ought to let that subject alone. Well, if you will take out of the Bible what the Jews did to Christ, I will omit this from my book. If the good deeds of a man should be made known, why not his misconduct? I will stop now, hoping that Brother Young and myself will be able to meet at the right hand of our Judge on the last day.
This is the 29th day of the month, and it is the Lord's day I spent it in pleasure and delight. I visited the A. M. E. Church at ten o'clock; the pastor being a kind-hearted man and a gentleman, he asked me to preach for him, and before he introduced me to his congregation, spoke very highly of me as an old man, said he unto his congregation; and said that he was raised to respect old age. He had me to preach for him, and I did so with a great deal of pleasure. His congregation seemed to be highly delighted with what I had to say. After the sermon was over the stewards took up a collection, and after they had finished, the pastor, himself, called for another collection, and he got that one also. He then informed his good members that he wanted them to pay for one of the books that I intended giving him, and they did that also; and gave me $2.00. After which we dismissed the congregation.
I came home, but went back again at three o'clock to attend the Sabbath-school. I was asked to speak to the children, and I did so. After I was through, the pastor said to the children that they might treat their superintendent to one of my books,
and they did so; they bought one and presented it to their superintendent. I realized by my visits to the African Methodist Episcopal Church to-day the sum of $5.00. This made me feel greatly encouraged, and as if I was among good Christian people.
At night I went back to the church to hear a discussion by a lady who has spent several month in Europe in regard to the manner that the white people of the South are lynching the colored man. I listened very attentively to her remarks. She said that she had been driven from her home on account of her public sentiments. I thought to myself that my days are few on this earth, and that it was best for me to keep still, for "a still tongue makes a wise head," but I could not keep from thinking. I am a Southern born and raised man myself, and I know a great deal, but I did not leave my home to come here and sell out my friends of the South, but came here to sell my books, and am trying to do that, and not to stir up strife against one another. If the lady thinks she can live and prosper at that, all right with me, let her go ahead; but I do not feel disposed to take any hand in it. I have been asked on several occasions about the lynchings in Georgia since I left home, and I made mention of one or two cases that happened in the city where I have lived for many years, and I said if the men were guilty of the crime with which they were charged, their sad doom alone was caused by themselves. I said that if any man would take the advantage of my daughter in any such way, all that I would want was a keen knife, and he well tied, and when I got through with him he would not have any more such feelings again. I would not lynch him, but I would leave him barren for life, and that would settle the case forever.
I have been asked if colored men lynched white men about their daughters. I replied no, for the reason that a great many girls are too glad to have a white man ask them a question in that direction, particularly if he has plenty of money, for he can dress finely and sit down and do nothing, hence, there is no need of lynching in such cases. But I do glory in the spunk of the virtuous white girls, who would not stoop so low as to be caught with a colored man. If the negroes have not sense enough, when they happen to meet white ladies, to let them pass with their virtue, they ought to be dealt with.
My advice is to keep to our own side; then there will be no lynchings. Let this have a resting place in your hearts, as the sentiments of R. Anderson, aged seventy-five years and five months. Amen!
I visited a man who told me to return on Monday and he would buy a book or give me something. I did as requested and he met me at the door.
"Good morning," said he.
"Good morning, sir. I have come, at your request, for I am a man who always tries to keep his promise, and I hope you are the same, therefore I am at your door."
"Well," he replied, "my wife was at church yesterday and helped to pay for a book for the minister, and I gave her the money, so I haven't got any cash this morning."
"What your wife did is one thing, and what you do is another, so perform your duty. There is nothing between you and your God--because your head is bald on top," and I put my hand there, doing this to get him in a good humor. Then I told him I would like to see his wife, and he took me down stairs, where I enjoyed a long conversation with her. She promised to buy one of my books, and wrote her name on my list.
Then I went to another house, where they had the day before asked me to call again and see the proprietor of the office. Going up on the elevator, I found him in. He met me with much pleasure, then said:
"How much do you make on your books?"
"It is hard for me to tell, my traveling expenses are so much."
"Well," said he, "I will donate seventy-five cents. Will you accept it as a present?"
"Yes, sir, and thank you besides. Good-bye."
I started around to the different stores and rooms, and heard so many say the same thing (that was, "I haven't got any money this morning") that it made me tired, and I returned to my room and rested my body.
In the afternoon I went to the park, where a great many people were sitting around. I spoke to one or two, and was asked to enter a building, the inside of which was the finest I ever saw in all my life. I haven't language to describe it, but felt that if heaven looked brighter than that, I would like to see and enjoy it throughout eternity.
I went to the A. M. E. Church at night and listened to a discourse by a noble man, and must say he is one whom God put into the world for some good purpose He is the right man in the right place. His name is Dr. W. B. Derrick, and he invited me to the Bible Room to-day to get a copy of my book. I shall say more about him as we become better known to each other. He kept his promise, taking a book and paying me for it. He was not very well, suffering from hard labors and exposure the night before; but he proved himself to be an intelligent man, and I devoutly pray that God will continually enable him to do good in the vineyard of the Lord all the days of his pilgrimage here below, and that after death he may find a home at the right hand of the Father, where he can forever rest his weary soul, and no trouble shall mar his joy.
This afternoon, while walking along the street I noticed a genteel looking man standing in front of a store-door and eyeing me very closely. I halted and spoke to him, whereupon he invited me to walk inside of the store. Going in, and after a few words, handed him a book. After looking at it he gave me a dollar, without buying the book. I thanked him for his kindness and went on my way. The whole day was a pleasant one to
me, and hence it is that on this the last day of July, 1894, I can tell the reader good night in an amiable frame of mind, and at peace with everybody.
To-morrow--August 1st--I am going over to Jersey City to see the good people over there, hoping that they will treat me with respect, I being a stranger. On my return this afternoon I shall carefully write down, by the help of the Lord, how I was received and what luck I had.
Well, I have been to Jersey City, made the trip in safety, and am back again in my room. The journey did not profit me anything. I was a stranger in a strange land, not acquainted with a human being in all the crowds around me. I prayed to meet up with some familiar, sympathetic face, to whom I might offer my book, or find a purchaser, but I did not see a single person that seemed to feel the slightest interest in me or my business. Therefore, it was considered best for me to return, which I did. Though my trip was without profit and one day lost, I still feel that the arms of the Lord are about me and that his protecting care is ever over me. Bless the Lord forever.
This is August 2d, and I have been in the city of New York two weeks, looking at things in general. I will give you an idea of things as they are.
I have seen men, women and horses, and every other thing that has passed me, but of all things which have attracted my attention as yet, is the large men and women of the city of New York. If there was a prize offered for large and portly men and women New York would be sure to get it, for I have seen the largest kind of both sexes in this place.
This is the city in which immense draft horses are used. They are the largest species I have ever seen, and particularly those horses that pull these lager beer wagons. These horses resemble the beer barrels--that is they are large across the belly. I don't know whether they are fed on beer or not, but if they are they keep very fat.
Now, if anyone desires to see tall houses, just come to this city, and you can satisfy your eyes in that direction. I have seen some of them ranging from six to seven, and eight to nine stories high; and I might say ten stories. And if you wish to live in a city that keeps up noises all the time you can find it by going to New York. During my stay in the city I saw many strange as well as familiar sights. The hand of a burly policeman clutching the collar of an unfortunate violator of the law, white or black, is something that has not, so far, come under my observation, and I have been in the city fifteen days.
Before I get along too far let me relate a circumstance that took place in Philadelphia during my visit there:
Going along on one occasion, I approached the door of a fine residence and rang the bell. A gentleman soon appeared and opened the door, and said,
"Why, good morning, sir."
"Good morning to you, sir," said I.
"Walk in. I am truly glad to see you, not having seen you in a good while. Come right in here into this room," said he.
Acting on this invitation I entered the room indicated; but when he turned round and discovered that it was a colored man that he was talking to instead of a white one, he said,
"I am mistaken; I was expecting some one else. Please excuse me."
"You are excused, sir," said I; "but while I am here, let me sell you a book written by myself."
"My dear sir," said he, "my funds are too low at present to think of buying books, besides my business engagements are such at present as to allow me very little time for reading. You understand."
"I understand, and, of course, excuse you," said I.
"I hope," said he, "that you will have better luck with the next person you meet."
With thanks, I left the house. But it was amusing to notice the change in his manner when he found it was a strange negro to whom he was talking instead of the white man he expected. Well, it is all right with me.
The negro is one who should always know his place,
And that is on the line of the African race;
Then perhaps in time he will clearly come to see
The very spot where the negro should strive to be.
Trying to sell my books to-day I have met many very kind friends who made me feel quite happy, but others were rough, sometimes snappish, and occasionally rude. But in traveling up and down I prepare myself for these emergencies.
I did not sell a book to-day, but I collected money to the amount of two dollars, one man presenting me fifty cents. The day was spent in work--hard work--but my success was poor. I am not disheartened, however. In going along this morning I met a brother whom I had seen before, and he said,
"Why, good morning, Brother Anderson."
"Good morning, brother."
"Where are you now?"
"At the North."
"Well, how are you getting along selling books?"
"Why, I thought you would sell a great many to the rich people here."
"I thought so myself, from what I had heard about them before coming here, but I discover that they do not always tell me the truth. They have told me since my arrival that all the rich people are out of the city. That may be true, but I went to a rich man's door the other morning, and said:
"Good morning, sir. My name is R. Anderson, from Georgia."
"What do I care who you are or what part of the world you came from?" said he.
I walked away, but kept his words in my heart as the utterances of a rich man. But he is only one person, you may say. Very true, but if a colored man from the North, while traveling in the South, had been treated that way, he would have blamed the whole South for it. But let it be understood, it is not my desire to brand the whole North because of what one man said to me. I will give credit to whom credit is due. I am not here to run down one section of the country to the people of another. That is not my business. If I can do no good, at least let me do no harm, for I claim to be a preacemaker--not a disturber, nor a wrangler. "Good will to all, with malice toward none," is my motto.
I have been asked very often about the crimes perpetrated in the South, which is punished by lynching, and I replied that in some cases the criminals brought it on themselves by taking advantage of innocent girls. Of course I don't believe in such wickedness.
"Well, how do you get along, anyway?"
"Some days I do very well; at others times, not so well. One person will give me fifty cents, another twenty-five cents, and some even a dollar."
"Well, you did the same down South."
"Oh, yes. But it is well for me to come North and let the people see a man who bought his own and his wife's freedom, and also delivered his mother and grandmother from bondage."
"And you did that?"
"I did, and want my Northern friends to see me and talk with me, as well as buy my books, if they wish. I am not at all ashamed to let them see me, having never bought a dram nor drank one, nor sworn an oath, in my life; neither have I chewed tobacco. Other things, too, I might say. I am anxious for the Northern friends to meet me. My visit here is to do good, not harm.
I can say that a barber has at last bought one of my books. His name is Williams, of this city. His father lives in Washington, Wilkes county, Ga. He got the book for old acquaintance sake, as I had known his father a long time. He signed his name to my list, and you will see it if you happen to buy one of my books.
To-day is Monday, the 6th of the month. Yesterday I visited St. Mark's M. E. Church again, to see the pastor and give him an opportunity to treat me as one minister should treat another of the same denomination, but he acted as he did before on two occasions, when I was present, preaching and closing the services himself, although I sat in the pulpit with him. He never even said a word to his members about my being a stranger, selling a book for my support, nor did he ask them to help me by buying of me. I visited him four times, and heard him preach three times, but never was invited to preach for him. He signed his name for a book, but had not offered to pay for it. Yesterday morning, after he closed his sermon, he asked me
to dismiss the congregation. I arose and bade them farewell, saying:
"I don't like to be muzzled, and I have been in that fix ever since coming to this church. Good-bye, my friends. The next time I hope to be able to talk to you."
Then I pronounced the benediction. Said the pastor:
"For an old man, you are more like a fool than anybody I ever saw."
"Paul says, 'If you take me for a fool, I will act like one,' " was my reply, so I stepped down to the front part of the pulpit, and several warm-hearted friends came up and shook hands with me. Among them was a lady from Macon, who knew me many years ago, and was truly glad to meet me once more. I left the church with the determination never to give that brother another opportunity to treat me as he had done. My first day in the city I visited him, but shall now let him alone.
After resting a while in my room, my next visit was to the Baptist Church. Sunday School was in session. Upon entering the building, a young man asked me to take a seat, and soon brought the superintendent and introduced me to him. An opportunity was given me to speak to the school, and my words seemed to sink into their very souls, which made me quite happy. I left the church, with the understanding that it would not be my last visit.
Visiting the city to-day, one of my points was the Methodist Book Concern. Addressing a gentleman, I said:
"I wish to see all of the building."
"Take the elevator, and go to the top story," was his reply.
I did not go as far up as that, but stopped on the third floor, meeting a very nice looking young white man.
"Good morning," was my salutation.
"Good morning," he replied.
Upon handing him my appeal book, he read it, then said:
"I have no money, or I would give you some."
There was another man in the next room Thinking me to have gone, the man who had told me he had no money, said to the other:
"Let's drive that old man out of here."
"Yes, let's do it," he responded.
Having heard them, I stepped back and said to them:
"You need not put yourselves to the trouble of driving me out of here, for I can go out myself. I asked the privilege of coming up. I am a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and have been for over fifty-five years, and have helped support this Concern a long time."
Upon my going down and speaking about it to one of the business men, he said:
"He is only an employe, and had no right to speak to you in that way."
This incident is written, simply to show what some men would do if they had the power. This occurred in New York.
Another gentleman, in an office, had a long conversation with me, gave me fifty cents, and wished me good luck in selling my books. Of course my thanks were returned. This morning a gentleman took one of my books, having promised before that he would do so. He gave it to a young man to read. Leaving him, my next call was upon a colored man, who had made the same promise, and who kept it, too. Of course this rejoiced my heart, for there have been so many disappointments in my experience with people who agreed to take a book. But, thank the Lord! there was no trouble this time.
Entering a store where a gentleman sat alone, telling him good morning, and handing him my book, which he examined, brought me fifty cents, which he presented me with great pleasure. After thanking him, another store was the next place to try and do business. Upon my request to see the proprietor, they said:
"He is in the rear of the store." Approaching him, I said:
"Good morning. Are you the head man of the store?"
"I am not the head of anything," said he.
"Well, they told me you were the man."
"They were mistaken," he responded.
We started a conversation, and kept it up almost an hour, on various subjects. Finally the advantage was mine, on one particular argument, and he said, "You are, in my opinion, a Christian man, and gave me twenty-five cents.
"My name should have been Jones," was my remark.
"My name is Jones," said he. "Good-bye, but call again. You will be welcome at any time."
"I will, sir, if nothing happens. Farewell."
The day was spent in peace and pleasure, thank the Lord! Good night. Bed time is here, and my body will get needed rest.
Three weeks have passed since my arrival in this city, and, after looking at everything, my conclusion is that if the people of this place are saved at the day of judgment (after what my own eyes have seen), there will be a chance for the antediluvians and for the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. These eyes have seen the grog shops and places of debauchery carried on in this city on the Lord's day. There is plenty of dancing and cursing, too. My tongue cannot tell how many bar rooms are open on that holy day. A colored man said to me yesterday:
"My expectation is, after death, to sit on the front seat in heaven."
Now, this man keeps open a restaurant on Sunday, has a billiard table in his house, and a room where men can come and play cards if they feel so disposed; while he plays the bass violin. If he is entitled to a seat in heaven, as he claims, there is no use for me to be trying all my days to get there; it would be a waste of my time, if men could do just as they pleased, and still secure the front seat in the glory land. He believes a lie, that he might be d--. (You know what that
"d--" stands for.) Surprising it is that men living in a Bible country should suffer themselves to be so deluded by the devil. Such a doctrine will never be believed by me. Thank God! the responsibility of it does not lie with me. My best has been done in trying to save people.
Over thirty-eight years ago I announced that the millennium would come in 143 years, and have lived long enough to bring the time down to 106 years. The twentieth century it will take place.
I am penning these lines on the 8th day of August, 1894, at the age of seventy-five years and eight months, exactly.
Yesterday, while in an office, a man came in. Said I:
"Let me see the proprietor, if he is in."
"Walk in this room," he replied.
Upon my doing so, he said: "There is the man you wish to see."
Several men were seated at a table. All got up but one, who said:
"Well, what can I do for you?"
"I am from the State of Georgia, with a book for sale, and would be glad if you would buy a copy."
"But I am a Jew."
"Well, can't a Jew be as good as a Gentile?"
"Yes, I suppose he can; but I have not got the time. I can, however, tell you where you can go and sell your book; you are wasting your time in talking with me, so good-bye."
I came out of the room and met with a young lad who stays in the office. He said it was useless to go to the place named by the man; it would be hard to find, and a class of people lived there who did not deal extensively in books.
Returning to my room, I again take up my pen to write up my narrative. Before coming up here many glittering stories of Northern philanthropy and benevolence were told me; but when I come to see for myself, and find out the true state of affairs my eyes are opened to one incontrovertible truth--the people of the South, the white and the black, when they get to the North must keep a sharp look out or they will come out at the wrong end of the horn. The Southerner, with his open and frank business manners, is not a match for the nutmeg manufacturer. There are many great and good men living at the North, but we do not see them in the market places or advertising themselves on the corners of the streets. Every day I have evidence of the greed of the people in general and the lack of charity, especially with the members of the churches, so that a Southern man, if his face be black, finds the cold eye of suspicion turned upon him. I see this often. But the Lord is caring for me, bless his name.
Yesterday I was invited to attend a convention, but when I got to the place I found that it was some sort of secret organization that had met, and I had to halt at the door, and a message was sent in to the Grand Master to come to the door. He did so, and this friend of mine introduced us. Then I said to the
Grand Master, who was a colored man, "I did not know that your meeting was of such a nature that the doors were required to be closed, nor do I want you to violate your rules and regulations on my account. I thought that as I was in the city selling my book that I would call and see the convention, but as it is in secret session, of course you cannot invite me in. Good bye."
The door was closed, and the convention resumed work.
I conversed with quite a number of persons who were standing in front of the hall, informing them that I lived in Sandersville, Washington county, Georgia. Several of them expressed their purpose to buy my book in the almost immediate future. I said to one of them, "That is the last of you, because very many others have said the same thing; over a hundred have promised to take my book and not done so. Now, then, will you be sure of it?"
"Were I to buy one of them now," said one of the men, "I would not have enough money to pay for a ticket back home, though I want it."
"Well," said I, "you had better hold on to your money, for while I am very anxious to sell these books, at the same time I do not want you to be stranded here so that you would have any difficulty in getting back home. Good day."
Coming down stairs, I met the pastor. He invited me to preach for him on Sunday night, and I accepted the very cordial invitation, and by the help of the Master I did my whole duty.
Some very pleasant-spoken men met me to-day during my travels, and applauded me for writing my book, but said times had never been as hard in the city as at present.
"My Lord have mercy on the City of New York!" was my reply. "I expected to have a fine time here, selling my books."
"You would have had if you had come two years ago, but there has been a great change in things. Besides that, R. Anderson, all the rich people have gone to the country or to Europe. You have struck the city at the worst possible time, so you must not think hard of us for not buying of you. We have the will, but not the means. Good morning, but call and see us again."
Yesterday morning found me at the C. R. Baptist Church, it being Sunday, with the understanding that I was to preach. One of the deacons had requested me to do so, but after my arrival they said nothing about it. They had made arrangements with another preacher (of their own faith), from a distant city, and he did the preaching. After the sermon, he gave me an opportunity to say a few words. After my discourse (during which I told them of never having bought or swallowed a dram), I came down from the pulpit. One sister came to me and said:
"You told us you never drank. I take my dram, and wish for one now. I would certainly drink it."
She was one of the members of that church. I then said to myself:
"If you love whiskey, you would do anything else that is mean."
After returning to my room, the next thing was to visit the Sunday School at the same church, in the afternoon, as they had agreed to take six of my books, but as the superintendent did not come, they bought only one copy (for $1.50), to put in their library and read after my departure.
At the Zion Baptist Church, at night, at the close of my sermon, the congregation gave me a dollar and treated their pastor to a book. I invoked the blessing of God upon them, and bade them adieu.
At three different churches yesterday, where they had told me to bring them each a book, they failed to buy. So you see, people can fail to keep their word, in New York as well as anywhere else.
Yesterday, while canvassing a lady, she said:
"I am as good a Christian as anybody."
"Self praise is half scandal, sister," said I. Now, what is religion?"
"It is civilization."
"It is not," was my reply. "Civilization may grow where religion is planted, but it is not religion itself. It is the ground in which it would grow if it was no more than the grass of the earth from which it sprung. One is necessary for the other. Religion is of a spiritual nature, and therefore divine, and will not grow without being cultivated."
This lady runs a restaurant on Sunday for the man to whom I have already alluded as having said he had no doubt he would sit on the front seat in heaven. This same man told me that were his daughter to go up to the mourner's bench while he was present in the church, he would carry her out and kick her all the way home. Now for such a man to be talking about what special seats he proposes to occupy after he dies, is foolishness indeed. Such a man is blind and cannot see much beyond his nose, if he can see at all.
I leave this great city to-day, and am now closing up all my correspondence here. I have been in the city four weeks, paid every demand made against me, by the help of the good Lord in whom I trust, and therefore am free. My landlady charged me three dollars a week for a room, but she bought a book in order to help me out, for which I thanked her.
At noon of this day I shall take a boat for the beautiful city of New Haven, Conn., saying good-bye to New York and vicinity until my return. I did not clear much, because times were dull, money scarce and the people indifferent, but, thanks to the Lord, I had enough to get away on.
On the 16th of the month, at three o'clock in the afternoon, I left the city of New York for New Haven, and on reaching the city was fortunate in finding a boarding house in a delightful locality, at No. 430. On visiting the city yesterday I made it my first duty to pay my respects to the Mayor, and to see if I could
sell him a book; he did not purchase a book, neither did he give me any money. I told the Mayor that it was a rule with me that when I went into a strange place to call upon the authorities as early after my arrival as possible, order to find out the rules in relation to the sale of books. He said there were such rules, but that they did not cover such books as mine. "You are at liberty to sell as many as you can, provided you do not violate any of the ordinances of the city. I am perfectly willing for you to do this, but I will not buy one of them."
"But cannot you give me something to help me along?"
"No; I will not give one cent," said the Mayor.
"Good morning," said I, and left the office, asking him if I could go into other rooms in the building.
"Oh, yes; go into all of them," said he, "and see what yon can do."
After going into several of them and offering my book for sale to a goodly number of persons, I came down stairs bearing in the palm of my good left hand the sum of ten cents--representing, as it no doubt did, the full measure of love by the donors for the Southern "brother in black." Canvassing another large building, I emerged from its stately walls with eight cents. I said to myself, "Lord have mercy upon me. Here I am, a long way from home, and this looks discouraging." But, thought I, matters may change for the better; and with this in my mind I went to the post-office. Asking for the post-master and being told that he was not in, I expressed a desire to see his assistant.
I approached him with all the politeness I knew how to see if he would not buy one of my books or give me something; and when he looked in my book and saw that no one had signed it, he said that he did not wish to be the first one to sign it, but for me to call again and he would give me something. I left him and went up stairs into the United States Court room.
I found a gentleman sitting in there; I stepped up towards him and handed him my subscription book; he read it, and than asked me for one of my books. I handed him one of them, and he gave me $2.00, and signed his name. He then took me into a colored man's shop to see if he would not buy one, but he did not; so I spent the balance of the day in trying to see if I could not sell any more of them.
I traveled around yesterday again, and found that a great many of the citizens had gone from the city. I then called upon the priest, and found him at home. I was asked by his maid to walk in and take a seat in a very nicely furnished room. I did so, as he was at his dinner. After he had finished dinner, he came into the room where I was seated, and spoke to me very politely, and I did the same. I then handed him one of my books, and he looked at it and in it, and then said he to me, "Are these your children?"
"Oh yes," I answered.
"When were they born?"
"After I was seventy-five years of age."
"Well, well!" said he unto me, "You are a great man. I thought when you first came in that you were Fred Douglass, by you wearing you hair long like him."
We entered into quite a lengthy conversation, and I thought best not to mention my book on this occasion, but after talking with each other for some time he gave me $2.00, and sent it to a friend, and invited me to call again.
I must say that I have never met a more pleasant priest than he. We made one another laugh, and had a good time in general. He thought that I was particularly funny, and I thought the same about him, after which we parted in peace, and many good wishes of luck to each other.
You must remember that I am in the State of Connecticut, and in the city of New Haven. They should have properly named this city the New Heaven of this earth, and they would not have missed it, because it is a pleasant place to look at; with its tall elm trees all over the city, makes it very shady and pleasant indeed.
There is a college in this place by the name of Yale, which deserves special notice. This college covers an immense lot of ground, and the building is built out of a beautiful brown stone of rare excellence. At this college both white and colored students attend, and receive the same education. This is the greatest place for that that I have ever seen.
Had I come here in the spring, while the schools were in session, I could have done better than at the present time, but I am glad to see the city; it makes me happy to think that the good Lord has spared me to see so many wonderful things since leaving my dear old Georgia home; indeed I am happy in seeing all these and many other wonderful things.
Traveling around all day yesterday, it was my good fortune to meet up with a number of kind friends who bought of me and gave me money, and did it all in a way that made me feel very good--greatly encouraged.
I attended prayer meeting at a Baptist Church last night. The pastor asked me to lead in prayer, and I did so. The pastor seems to be a good Christian man, a devout minister of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is Monday, the 20th day of the month. Yesterday I went to the African Methodist Episcopal Church, at the hour of eleven o'clock, and preached for the pastor, as he had invited me to do. There were not a great many out, but after the sermon I mentioned my book, and asked those present to purchase one for their pastor, who was willing to take it in that way. A few came forward, but did not contribute enough to purchase the book. The congregation was dismissed and I returned to my boarding house.
I rested quietly until three o'clock and then went to another church with a good brother who had asked me fill his place. I preached there also. Then, after completing my sermon, I put one of my books on the table and asked the congregation to give
a dollar towards paying for it, as a white gentleman had presented fifty cents to the good brother who had brought me to preach in his place. I supposed, considering that a white friend had paid fifty cents towards buying a book for the brother who was to preach for them, that they would be willing to pay the remainder, but the deacon said he was not authorized to take up any money during the pastor's absence, so he prevented them from paying for a copy for their minister. He was away on a vacation, leaving the church in charge of this deacon, and he had employed the brother referred to, to preach for him, and the good brother got me to fill his place. As he agreed for me to get the dollar that way, I supposed it would be all right for me to do so, but soon found out my mistake. As to my preaching, it was all right; but when it came to the money, it was all wrong. The deacon said to me:
"You must not think hard of me, my brother," thinking I did not have sense enough to see that, if he had power to invite a minister to preach for him, he also possessed power to give him something to subsist upon. But he "muzzled the ox that treadeth out the corn," which is contrary to the commandment. But I leave the matter in the hands of the good Lord, and write it in this book so you can read it.
While coming out of the church, a sister met me at the door and gave me ten cents. Said I:
"Ah! you present me ten cents."
"Oh, yes," was her reply.
I returned to my room, and after supper, in company with my landlord, (a good brother), went to the Baptist meeting house to preach for them. After my sermon, a collection was taken up and a dollar paid me for the book their pastor had promised to settle for. After dismissing them, I returned to my resting place.
This morning finds me penning these lines, after delivering three discourses yesterday. Bless the Lord for it!
Yesterday I tried the stores, and was as kindly treated as I have been at any place since leaving Georgia. Besides kind words, I received money, amounting to a dollar. They have not bought as many books as I anticipated, but their donations are of great assistance to me, and I am much indebted to them for their benevolent actions since I have been among them. White people here treat members of our race with much consideration. I have not heard an unkind word spoken to the colored folks, and hope I will not, under any circumstances. I always like to say a good word for every place I visit.
I went to the Saving Rock to-day, to try and sell some books, and succeeded very well. I called upon three ladies, and sold each one a book. One of them said:
"I live in Cincinnati, and will take it home with me. Give me a nice copy."
They seemed very glad to meet me.
I walked up and down Long Island Sound, indeed a beautiful place to look upon. This is a delightful summer resort, and crowds of people come here to have picnics, to enjoy dancing and to amuse themselves in various ways. I spent a part of the day here, and made enough to send me back to the city well satisfied. The good people were very kind to me.
I came to this city a week ago to-day, doing as well in one week as I did in New York in twice the time. They told me I would do better here than I did in that great city, and so it has turned out. True, it was very dull in New York, but so it is here; nevertheless, they give me money or buy my books. God bless them!
I went to the A. M. E. Church last night. The pastor of the Congregational Church introduced the subject for the occasion. He stated that to day, in convention assembled, they had organized themselves into a body of men known as a league, and as he had a copy of their resolutions with him, he read it to the audience, then talked a long time on the subject. After closing his remarks, he introduced another speaker, who had a great deal to say about voting in the South, charging that the colored people allowed themselves to be bought.
I listened to it all, holding my peace to the last, but when it was evident I would not be asked to say anything, (although I sat just in front of the speakers), I craved the privilege of speaking a few words. This being granted, I arose and addressed them as follows:
"I am from the South--from Georgia, the grand old Empire State--and have lived there all my life. Whenever called upon to vote, I cast my ballot just as I pleased, and no man tried to buy my vote. I voted for the candidate I thought would do the country the most good, let him be Governor, President, Ordinary, Sheriff, Mayor, or any other officer. I always feel free to vote for the man of my choice. I have invariably done that in the city where I live, and I want every man to suit himself in that direction. Our people stand in need of more money and education, and (above all), more of the religion of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then, in my opinion, we would get along a great deal better in this world. We are too hard to please. If we get one man, we want another; and if get him, still we are not satisfied; all of us never will be until the judgment day, and even then some of us will not get any satisfaction. All I have to say is, the Lord have mercy upon us and forgive our iniquities."
I went to the Baptist Church last night to listen to an address by a minister from New York. He put in an appearance, and was introduced by the pastor. His name was Rev.. Jordan. I must say he gave satisfaction to his hearers. The basis of his remarks was the subject of a bad bargain, and he presented it in such a clear light that the audience could understand what it meant to make a bargain of that kind. In proving his point, the speaker referred to Jacob's brothers, who sold him to the
Ishmaelites, then dipped his coat in blood, carried it to his father and made him believe a wild beast had killed him. The reverend gentleman certainly did justice to himself and the subject. He told us a story about a man who went to Washington, and, in his remarks, said that in Georgia some of the ministers allowed themselves to be hired at the bar-rooms, so as to get their members to follow them there, but he did not believe it. He said that the man who told that story, was bribed with a large sum of money.
At the close of his speech, I begged the privilege of making a few remarks, and my request was granted. I said:
"I am from the grand and glorious State of Georgia, (one of the most magnificent domains on the face of the earth). I am seventy-five years old, have always lived in that State, and I never heard of such a thing being done there. You may say what you please about old Georgia, but I did not come here to run down her or any other State. My business is to do all the good I can, by trying to perpetuate peace and good will to all men, wherever I go, and not to sow discord. I never bought or drank a dram in all my life."
These and many other wise things I said about myself and the great State of Georgia. I defended Southern interests to the best of my ability.
Two men signed for copies of my book, then we were invited to walk into the next room, where the ladies had prepared some ice cream. Entering therefore, in my most majestic style, I asked for a plate, then sat down at the table; when, behold! the white ladies and gentlemen were sitting at the same table. We were made to feel welcome, and everything passed off very nicely. The discourse was indeed grand, and I was glad to be there.
Yesterday was a pleasant day. Going to the passenger depot, permission was given me to go among the people who were waiting, and try to sell my books. A gentleman bought one of them with a great deal of pleasure, saying:
"I have always been the colored people's friend, and am glad of an opportunity to buy one of your books. It will afford me great pleasure to read it."
Several others gave me money. I had a right nice time with this gentleman.
On my way to the depot, I stopped at a hotel, where a gentleman sat in the front part. After making an examination of my book (which I had submitted to his scrutiny), he sent me into the kitchen to see his cook, saying:
"She will buy one of them."
She did so, and signed her name, the whole transaction appearing to afford her immeasurable satisfaction.
Let me say, right here, that the people of this city (both white and colored) are the most pleasant I have met up with in the Eastern States. They seem to cherish me as tenderly as if they had known me all their lives.
The weather has been very pleasant all the time since my entrance into the State. Very little rain has fallen, so far. I am having a fair chance to sell my books, thanks be unto the Lord! I impute all my success to him.
I am far away from home, in a strange land, but they are very kind to me.
Rev. Powell made an arrangement for me to preach in the city of Ansonia, Conn., and I filled the appointment with great pleasure, because the people treated me as a minister of the gospel should be treated. They could not have been kinder if I had been their father.
The church was very nice inside, the walls being beautifully decorated. A great crowd of people turned out to hear me, and they were not ashamed to come forward after the sermon and shake my hand, bidding me God-speed and inviting me to come again. The Mayor of the city bought one of my books with great pleasure.
Best of all--when about to leave the family, said I:
"What is my board bill?"
"Nothing," said the brother and his lady, "only remember us in your prayers."
"May the Lord bless you. If my life is spared, I will try to come and see you all again."
I traversed the city, trying to sell my books, and disposed of every copy I carried with me. The citizens are the most quiet I have met up with since I crossed Mason and Dixon's line. In leaving for another town, I can say, from the bottom of my heart, God ever bless this place, and keep it from all harm! While in this city (New Haven, Conn.), I was greatly blessed. Good-bye to it and to Ansonia.
I had an opportunity to go into the primary department of Yale College yesterday and examine it. It was certainly grand. They told me that Mr. Vanderbilt donated it for the benefit of education.
Yale College is a grand one, large enough to hold thousands of students, and is located in one of the nicest cities in the country, New Haven, Conn. I must bid it adieu, this 19th day of August, 1894. I have been treated with great respect here, by both white and colored people.
I left New Haven yesterday, arriving at this place safe and sound.
I found my way to the A. M. E. Church, in search of the pastor, who was eating dinner, and asked me to be seated and join him at the banquet. I did so, being as hungry as a bear, and I was truly glad of an opportunity to gratify my appetite, the food being very delicious.
After a little conversation, my good brother said he would have to look up a stopping place for me, so we started out, and after trying several houses, finally found a place, kept by a lady, who agreed to let me have a room for $2.00 a week. I board myself.
So, here I am, in the city of Newport, R. I., penning these lines.
Calling to see the Mayor of the city to-day, I found him in his office. He met me as a gentleman should. I told him I was from the State of Georgia. He readily bought one of my books, and gave me leave to sell as many copies as I could in the place.
After canvassing all day, I find the same complaint I have met with in other cities.
This is a grand and famous summer resort, and is crowded with strangers during the season. There is a church here one hundred years old, and a strange monument (standing in the park) that no one can tell anything about. Nobody knows when or by whom it was built. It is a strange sight, and visitors stand around and gaze upon it with surprise. I could make nothing out of it.
Newport is on an island about seven miles wide. I went to the beach to day to look at the Atlantic Ocean once more. It is a grand place to rest. Thousands of people bathe in its cooling waters. I did not lose anything by going. I met kind friends who bought my books.
This is one of the grandest cities for pleasure I was ever in. I am told there are a great many millionaires here. I tried to find some of them at home this afternoon, to show them my book, but they were out riding. I have done very well, though, thank the Lord! I haven't language to describe the fine buildings I saw, and the flower yards, which are lovely. I saw the magnificent residence Mr. Vanderbilt has been erecting for over a year. It is certainly fine. I hoped to see the owner, who was in the building, but failed to do so. Then I went to his residence, to see his lady, but had no better luck.
Next, I saw the prettiest flower garden I ever looked upon. The proprietor bought one of my books, to my great satisfaction, for I wanted him to see what a colored man from Georgia could do.
I worked hard to-day to see all I could in the city, so as to make a fair report about it. This is truly a fine place, and well worth seeing, being a very fashionable summer resort, but it requires plenty of money to support you, if you want to enjoy yourself. The water is good and the city is healthful.
I called on the priest, but he begged to be excused, being very busy at the time.
Everything looks green and lovely, and the air is sweet and pleasant. This is one of the richest places in this part of the world. God has blessed it for some purpose.
Yesterday I visited the African Methodist Episcopal Church (the Lord's day and the 2d day of September) and preached at the invitation of the pastor. My text was taken on a portion of Scripture which gave me liberty to speak of man's deplorable condition while in a sinful state. The devil had often stripped him of his righteousness and hurled him into the ditch of iniquity
and then left him in his misery. Then, some priest would, after looking at him, go by on the other side. Perhaps some good Samaritan would be traveling that way, and, on seeing the man lying there in his misery, would offer him aid, carrying him to some place where his wounds could be attended to.
Then, I told the people, of Christ's saying to the thief on the cross. This thief was in a terrible condition; none but vengeful eyes looked at him, nor any but cruel hands touched him. But the Saviour spoke kindly to him, promising that they should dwell together in paradise. Thus, if we look at the priest, we see the spirit of the enemy of the human race; if, on the other hand, we look at the Samaritan, we see illustrated the great love of the Saviour for fallen man. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness sake.
Such are the main points in my sermon. I impressed upon my hearers the idea that if we put our trust in the Lord and believe on Him we shall be saved.
I spent the entire day with the most excellent pastor, visiting the Sunday school in the evening, and speaking to the members. I ate supper at the parsonage and attended the same church at night, hearing the pastor preach a fine discourse, in which he did full justice to his subject. After the sermon, the members partook of the Lord's supper, and I assisted in the service, as I always do when opportunity offers. It affords me great pleasure to do this, for I feel that I am discharging a duty to the good Lord, as all ministers should.
Yesterday being set apart as a holiday for laboring men, they turned out with drums and other musical instruments and had a great mass meeting. For that reason I did not sell a book, although I canvassed the place pretty closely.
I have learned a great deal more about the citizens, and one thing especially, which is, that some of them have very little use for a book if it is a religious one. I know this from the questions some of them asked me.
I went to the A. M. E. Church last night to listen to a lady who was to exhibit herself there. I thought that I might learn something from her, as the pastor spoke so favorably of her, as did a young lady also, before the whole congregation, saying that if the lady failed to come, she would be willing to give her bodily to them, although she weighed only 115 pounds. Of course everybody awaited her appearance with great interest.
I was sitting in the room when the young lady came in; the pastor introduced her to me, then she went into another room. I stepped into that room and said to her:
"Are you the lady that said last night that you only weighed one hundred and fifteen pounds?"
"Yes, sir, I am the one."
"Well," said I, "here is a book that I have written. I would be glad to sell you one, if I can do so."
"I am too poor at present to buy one."
"Is that so," said I?
"Yes, it is so."
I went back into the room I was sitting in. After awhile she came into the room. I said to her, I suppose you belong to the church?
"Well, suppose I do, but I have not joined any of them at the present time, because I have to travel so much. But I am a Christian, I believe in a pure ministry of the Gospel, and try to live in that way."
She said that she was going to appear upon the stage that night, and what I do will be for the benefit of our race, so I thought that I would go and see it out. I went into the church and sat myself in front of the stand, so that I might see and hear everything that took place.
After awhile she opened the door just behind the stage and stepped forward and stood awhile. Then she began to throw out her eloquence in as fine words as you ever heard before, just as if it was the very thing itself in its appearance, but far from being what it really is, no more so than artificial roses are real roses, because there was no fragrance about it, was beautiful to look at, but no scent or odor about it.
After that two young men appeared on the stage, one with his fiddle and the other to the piano, and these two presented to the congregation pretty fair tunes and then disappeared. After awhile the lady that everybody was looking for appeared on the stage. She was fine to look at and sang with a voice of a trumpet. The people shouted with loud voices, then she disappeared. I waited until she came in again, then after she got through and disappeared I left the church my stomach filled with such as that as I was coming out the whole congregation clapped their hands until I got out of the church.
Now this was on Monday night, September 3d, and just before we had the Lord's supper, just at the same spot now for the fiddle and everything of the kind to take place at the same altar, I could not stand it any longer, so I left, but I must leave it in the hands of God. I could say a great deal more if I thought it would do any good, but as I am in the Eastern States, I must say some things that are going on here as well as in other States. I shall leave this city to-day, as I have spent one week in it. I am prepared to say something in its favor. This city is the great place for pleasure in the summer time. You can ride in the finest vehicles in the place, and you can have one or two drivers if you want them, white or colored, short tails or long tails, just as you please, and if you wish to bathe in the ocean you can do that also, as the Atlantic ocean is just at hand with everything to make you happy. Come and see for yourself. I have seen it myself.
I am thankful to the good Lord the laboring class of people bought my books and gave me their money. A few of those that was pointed out to me and said to be rich, bought of me. Now I must bid this place good-bye to-day. I am in hopes that the good Lord will enable me to come again to this place. It is a
healthy city, so says some of them to me. It is surrounded by water on all sides; the land is rich, you can see that by the looks of the trees that grow on it, and everything else. I was informed that they had a hail storm that did a great deal of damage in the month of July.
I left Newport yesterday, taking the boat for Providence, R. I., and crossing the Providence river. Everything was lovely. Arriving safely, I called a hack and ordered the driver to take me to the residence of the pastor. The good brother was away from home, therefore his lady did not receive me, but sent me to another lady, who, we found, was also absent, so the driver took me back to the parsonage, where the good wife started out in search of a stopping place for me. When she found one, she sent a boy to tell the driver to carry me there. When he did so, I told him to hold on until I saw the kind of a room they were going to put me in. Then going into the house and introducing myself, I asked the lady to show me the apartment she designed for my accommodation. She pointed to a room, up in the back part of the house, and a small one at that. I said:
"I do not want that kind of a room."
So bidding her adieu and returning to the hack, I directed the driver to take me to the depot, where we arrived just in time to get me aboard the train. I did not even have time to buy a ticket, but paid my way on the train.
I reached this city, Boston, Mass., all right. Clambering on board a hack, the driver speedily conveyed my manly form to the boarding house where, in an up-stairs room, I am penning these lines. Thank the Lord for his mercies! I stopped only a short time in Providence, R. I., being unable to find hotel accommodations suitable for a gentleman from the great State of Georgia. I am perfectly satisfied with my stopping place here. I will try the city to-day, and ought to sell many copies of my book in a metropolis so famous for high culture and unparalleled educational facilities.
I have tried the city, first calling to see a party my wife traded with. Upon finding them and showing a picture of her and the children, they were delighted, and purchased one of my books, signing their names to my paper.
Then I went to the State Capitol, to visit the Governor. He was not in at the time, but his assistant was, and that gentleman treated me with as much consideration as if I had been the Governor himself. Two other men were present. After being seated in a nice chair, I introduced myself, saying:
"I am from Georgia, and belong to the stiff nose party."
He did not appear to understand me, so I explained as follows:
"Don't you know that the Anglo-Saxon has a bone in his nose, while the Anglo-African has not?"
"I was not aware of it," he replied.
"It is a fact." said one of his companions, "the stranger is right on that point.
"Well, I have learned something from your coming to see me," he said.
I handed him my appeal book, which he read with great pleasure, then he purchased a book and signed his name to my list. One of the others did likewise. Then we enjoyed delightful social intercourse until they had to go into another room and attend to business.
I waited to see the Governor, who returned after a while, but so many wanted to meet him, that I concluded to retire for the time and call again.
Crossing the street, I entered a park, the most extensive I ever saw, fully a mile in circumference, with a large pond in the centre. There was also a beautiful flower garden, well worth seeing.
This city of Boston is a large place. It is not level, and some of the streets are not straight. After I travel over it, I shall try to give a correct account of it, the Lord helping me.
Yesterday I called again to see the Governor, but he had left the city for a few days. I entered several rooms, but failed to sell a book. Reaching my hand to a gentleman, I said:
"I wish to shake hands with you, sir, and fellowship you as a friend of mine."
He stretched out his hand, with fifty cents it, and I told him that was a fine way to fellowship a man. Then we laughed heartily over it. Another person gave me twenty-five cents. So you see I am doing as well here as in other places.
Meeting a colored man in the park, I said:
"I am from Georgia."
"How are the colored people getting along in that State?" he asked in a very abrupt manner.
"Very well," I replied.
"Well," said he, "I am told that when a white man meets a colored man on the sidewalk, he pushes him off."
"That is not the truth," said I.
He said that some of the preachers tried to hold up for the Southern whites, but if he went South he would take his gun to protect himself.
I told him to come and try it, then he would find out for himself. He might think that would work, but he would soon find himself in his bed, and not alive, either. If he believed he could fight his way through, he would discover he was badly mistaken. Said I: "My plan is to be kind to all classes of men, for in so doing we are carrying out the command of our Lord and Saviour."
"Yes," said he, "the churches are pretending to be doing so much good, but they are not doing anything."
"Do you belong to the church?" I asked.
"No, I don't," he replied.
"Then you don't know anything about it. Good-bye. You haven't got any sense when you talk on that subject." So I let him alone."
This morning I went to the Court-house; it is the largest building of the kind I have seen in these United States, and is the finest inside. I was perfectly carried away with it. The first gentleman I showed my book to, purchased a copy, and told me to walk around the building and look at it. I availed myself of his kind permission.
The next gentleman I approached made me a present of a dollar. When I told him my age, he said he was three years older than I was. He also wished me good luck in the sale of my book.
Taking the elevator, I went up-stairs to see the Judge, but he was too busy to allow interruption. I hope I may yet have a chance to meet him and hold up to his delighted gaze a copy of my book.
An addition is being added to the State Capitol, and when completed, it will be one of the largest and finest structures I ever saw.
This city has a very large population. If you feel disposed to dispute my words, come and see for yourselves.
I visited the A. M. E. Zion Church yesterday, as it was the Lord's day, and was requested by the pastor to preach for him. I did so, and, at the close of my discourse, persuaded his members to buy a book for him. They took great pleasure in doing that act of kindness, and paid me $1.50. I accepted an invitation to visit the Sunday School. After Mrs. Harper finished her remarks, a young man from New York delivered an address. Then your humble servant was asked to say a few words. I told them it was time to dismiss, but that if I talked too long, the Superintendent must tap the bell on me. As he did not, I tapped it. I had a great deal to say to those children about myself, and they were perfectly carried away with my remarks. They did not purchase a book, however, as I anticipated. No suggestion of that kind was made, consequently my speech was in vain.
I returned at night and listened to a sermon by a white brother named Shepherd, from Virginia. He delivered an excellent discourse, and the congregation seemed well pleased. After dismission, I went to the Baptist Church, where services were not over. They invited me to the stand in a short time, and the pastor spoke to his people about me and my books, advising them to call and seem me and buy of me. Then he had me pronounce the benediction.
This has been a grand day with me. I went to the ministers' meeting, where I saw a great many preachers, and enjoyed a splendid opportunity to sell my books. They bought with pleasure and I did well.
I went to the Wesleyan Hall, which I had long heard about. I saw it and many other things. I am happy to say this day's work was a blessing to me.
I have been around again, but did not meet with as much success as on yesterday. I tried once more to see the Governor,
but he sent word for me to please excuse him, he was so very busy. Accordingly I left.
I went to the holiness meeting and listened to a very interesting discourse. The speaker undoubtedly understood what he was talking about. He held his audience spell-bound for some time.
I came in contact with a brother who said he was an evangelist. He spoke much of his belief, but I did not agree with everything he said. He declared it was wrong to eat hog's flesh. I reminded him that God said to Peter, "What I have cleansed, let no man call common or unclean."
"I shall eat as much pork as I feel disposed to," said I.
"I don't eat any of it," said he.
"You have a right to do as you please about that," I said, "and so have I. Hog meat is the best for the poor laboring man, in the hot sun; it makes him slick and greasy, so the sun cannot burn him."
So we had a very pleasant conversation, then bade each other adieu.
I am going to try it again to-day. I have been trying it. I went up first on an elevator, and again on another, and found some of the most clever spoken young ladies in these rooms that I ever had the pleasure of meeting--they were very polite in speaking to me. One of them gave me fifty cents, and appeared to be exceedingly happy because she did so. I thanked her ever so much for her contribution, and incouraged her to do likewise to some one else. I did not sell a book, but I collected a little money.
Myself, Supple and a white brother, who occupies the same room, went to the Baptist church, just across the street, to a prayer-meeting that was in session. I sat under the lamp in front of the pulpit. I did this to let the man see us, and to see if he would recognize us as strangers, and treat us as strangers as a man of God should do in the house of God; but we soon found out that he either intended to ignore us or he did not understand what his duty was; so we sat there and had nothing to say. I thought that he should have acted a little different, but it was in a Baptist church, and we were Methodist and strangers at that.
He said during his discourse that he desired the strangers to have something to say, but I held my peace. I should have had something to say had he come to us at first and found out who we were, and then introduced us to his congregation, I would have accepted his invitation, and had something to say, but on the other hand he passed us by, and did not seem to notice us no more than if we were not there, and I did not feel disposed to say anything. After he dismissed his congregation he came over to us and shook hands. That is what he should have done at first, and we would have gave his congregation a talk, for I never refuse to say something in the house of God, and for the good of my heavenly Master.
I will try and give you a description to the best of my ability of some of the immense buildings in this place. I saw one building that was twelve stories high. I was told that this building was the highest in the place. The streets in this place are not very straight, some of them twist and winds, and many up and down hills.
I went to see the pastor of the A. M. E. Church to-day, and found him in his office. He is a very pleasant gentleman, and spoke to me as one man of God should address another. He invited me to return, promising to buy one of my books. I went to a number of places; at some, the ladies were at home and met me at the door with a smile; I collected a little cash from some of them.
I sold only one book to-day, to a colored man, whose name is in my paper book. I went to a school house also, the teacher meeting me at the door. He invited me up-stairs, and it was up-stairs, sure enough, four or five stories from the ground. He had me sit down, so he could converse with me, and told me they had 9,050 pupils in that school house, some colored ones among them, then he read to me the laws of the school, which do not allow the teachers to buy books of any kind in the school.
"All right," said I.
Of course I could see very plainly that if he had wanted to buy a book for himself, he had the right to do so. He read the law to me to blind me, but made a big mistake. I have dealt with just such men too long to be fooled. So I bade him good-bye.
I went with Rev. Mr. Shepherd to the Zion A. M. E. Church to listen to his discourse on the negro problem, so-called. He first read an article from a newspaper about a committee that was sent to this country to find out the truth about the statements of Miss Ida B. Wells, who went to Europe and lectured upon the cruel treatment of the colored men in the South, and said that all the Governors were not willing for the committee to come. But the Governor of South Carolina said that Miss Wells had stirred up the people in the United States, on that subject, and that the Europeans had nothing to say about it.
I had my opinions about the matter. I believe that every country should attend to its own business, which would lead to peace throughout the world. Many statements that are made are untrue. I should mind my own affairs and let other folks' alone. Then we will dwell together in harmony, and white-winged peace will spread her snowy pinions over a contented and happy universe.
I am determined by the grace of God to let other people's business alone, and attend to my own; I have had enough of it already; so Miss Ida B. Wells can go ahead, she is young and I am old, but I will watch it as long as I live in this world, then I will decide the question whether God sent her out with such a mission as that or not.
I traveled all day yesterday and did not sell a single book in this beautiful city of Boston, Mass., but I am not discouraged as yet.
I took a stroll through the park yesterday, and to my great delight saw many fine and beautiful flower exhibits; it is very fine indeed. They have the statute of General Washington, the father of our country, mounted on a very large horse, and pointing as if to say, "Prosperity and freedom of this nation shall reign supreme." He looked sitting on that animal as if he meant what he said. The people of this country have not forgotten to honor our great chieftain.
I don't think that I shall ever be honored in that way, after my death. But as I am living I have a book in my hand that will teach my people and elevate them to a higher standard of morality and Christianity if they will only buy it, and be guided by it.
I went into a very fine church, as the door was not shut, that I might look inside of it, and I did so; it was a very fine church inside. After a while the sexton came in, and I asked him what church this was? He said it was called the Christian Church, and that the members of it are very rich; and have three ministers employed, but they are away at present.
I went at night to the Baptist church with its pastor, and he asked me to lead in prayer; I did so. After he had read the evening lesson to his congregation, he turned to me and asked if I wished to talk some, and if I did to do so. I got up and told them who I was, and where I was from, and they appeared to appreciate what I had to say to them, and we had a good time together. He made out his appointment for Sabbath, but he did not asked me to officiate for him, so I will leave it all in the hands of the good Lord.
I left and came to another Baptist Church, as it was on my way home. I stepped into that one also. They were up talking, to some of the members as I went in. After awhile the man that was sitting at the table said to me, I wish to hear from you Brother Anderson. I got up and said that I did not know he knew me, but I tried to gratify his desire, and had a few words to say, so the day's work was closed in that way.
This is the 15th day of September, 1894, and I have been tried by the negro woman that I was boarding with. She felt disposed to say that she did feel disposed to board me for the pitiful sum of $5.00 per week, because I took sides with the whites of the South, said she unto me. I told her that I did not come to the North to abuse and run down the South. That was not my business. I came to sell a book of mine, and not to abuse and run down the white or the colored, and if she did not like that I could leave, and I did so, so I am now in another boarding house, and at this if they want me to run down the South to please them, I will leave them also. I am a man that stands up for the right thing, and that at home or abroad, and what my business is I attend to, and business is to sell my books, and if
they buy of me they could see very plainly what I have to say, and not for me to be gratifying every woman that feels disposed to ask me questions about the South or the whites, and in partictular when they ask it in an insulting way. I do not feel disposed to answer them and she had the audacity to tell me to leave and I did so, but when I got ready to leave the house, she said to me, you must pay me $2.50 before you leave. She thought that I being a poor old man, that I did not have any money, but she was badly disappointed. I said to her all right. I opened my satchel right before them all, which I did not wish to do, and paid her out of a roll of money that 1 had rolled up and put aside, but I unrolled it and paid her. She said she intended to publish me in the papers as a colored preacher who held up for the white people of the South. I told her to do so, and to send them to the South, but added:
"All I have to say is, you better not come South with that spirit in you."
This is all I have to say about it now, but you may hear from me again before I leave this place. I am a man of peace and am opposed to stirring up trouble between the white and colored races. My book teaches that doctrine, also. I do not feel disposed to give her name in my book, as she is a colored woman, and but few of them have as much understanding as they should have.
Yesterday was the Lord's day, (the fifteenth of the month), and as I shall leave this place before another Sunday, I will tell my readers how I spent the day.
I went to the A. M. E. Church in the morning, at eleven o'clock, and sat in front of the pulpit. A brother soon came up and said:
"Are you a minister?"
"Yes, sir," I replied; "I have been trying to preach more than forty-five years."
He then informed the pastor, and I was invited into the pulpit. The pastor asked me to lead in prayer and I did so. At the close of his sermon, some one beckoned to the pastor, and when he went to see what was wanted, an individual told him he had been sent to warn him against me, as the white people of the South had sent me up North to contradict what Miss Ida Wells had said, in her lectures, about the cruel treatment of the colored people. Said I:
"It is not the truth. I have not been sent by anybody. I came here for the purpose of selling my books. The lady I have been boarding with got mad at me because I would not run down the white people of my own State to please her, and ordered me to pay up and leave, which I did. She also threatened to publish me in the papers. I told her to do so, and to be sure and send a copy to Georgia. As she said she would send word to the pastor about me, (at which I told her 'all right') it is my opinion that she is at the head of this matter, but it will all be brought to light to-morrow night."
I went to the Baptist church at night, and the pastor asked me to lead in prayer, and I did so; he himself preached. After the sermon was over, I asked him to let me say a few words; he did so. I told them of the way I had been treated on many occasions, and after I had finished my talk, the pastor asked his congregation to present him with one of my books, and they did so in a short while.
I went to a holiness meeting to-day, and also a jubilee meeting. I did not stay very long in the jubilee meeting. I did not like so much instrumental music as they had; so I left. I was very much pleased with the holiness meeting. They gave me permission to speak, and I did so. I hardly have language to express my appreciation for these meetings and my own feelings. I was happy, thanks be unto my Lord.
I went into a book store, and one or two ministers gave me a little money to help me along in this world.
I have not sold a book this live-long day, but I have had a very pleasant day of it; so the Lord is my friend after all. Many of the white friends bade me good luck, and prayed that I might have an abundance of success. I thanked them for their kind regard towards me.
Yesterday, the eighteenth day of the month, I went to the new Court-house and called on the Sheriff; he gave me a dollar, but did not purchase my book. I also visited several other offices and found several gentlemen very kind in speaking to me. I realized a dollar off of a very nice looking man--he saying I was good looking myself. I passed a very pleasant time in the afternoon with some of them.
I went to the capitol of the State to call on the chief commander in charge. I was invited in to see him, and we had a very pleasant chat together. He took me in a room and showed me the staff of John Brown, which he had when he was captured. He talked of and told me a great many things, but did not give me as much as a penny or bought my book.
Just after I came home I received an invitation from the pastor of the A. M. E. Church to attend the League on Tuesday night; so I went. His object in inviting me was, that the lady or woman that I was boarding with had sent him word that I was a traitor to my race, and that he wanted me to come forward and set myself right before the people. So I went.
There was a man that ran away from his master in the days of slavery about forty years ago, and that man came to this city and stopped at the same house that I had boarded at before the woman had dismissed me because I did not feel disposed to run down the whites of the South to please her, and she pronounced me a traitor to the race, and when this man came to her house to board she told him that there was a man in this city that came from Georgia, and that he was a traitor to his race, and they invited him to come to the league and he agreed. I did not know that such a man as Bill Croff was in the city, but as there was but very little business before the league, a gentleman made
a motion that Mr. Goff, from Georgia, be heard from, and so he went to the front and made his obeisance, and when I saw him I was surprised, for I had not seen him for forty years. I stepped towards him and asked him was he Bill Goff.
He said that he was.
Then I went back to my seat again, and then he began to talk. He said that he was informed that there was a man from Georgia here and they had told him that that man was a traitor to his race.
I spoke out and said that I was the man from Georgia. Then he began to relate to them that he ran away from his master and came to this place and they shouted over that. He affirmed that the statement about Georgia in regard to lynching was true in some parts of Georgia.
After he got through they called on me. I stepped forward and told them that I knew Mr. Croff. When he left Macon his master at that time was my guardian, and as I spoke this woman that had told him and others the lie on me got up to confirm it. I told them thatif such articles as that would reach Georgia that it would assist the white citizens of my city to say that they have lied on Robert Anderson, and therefore would give them a chance to say that Miss Ida B. Wells had lied on them.
I told the woman that she could have me published in the papers as she said she was going to do, and be sure to send one to the State of Geergia, and I myself will help to confirm the lie. Now because I did not run down my home as Brother Shephard did to his, this woman rated me down in her own mind as a trator, and spread it abroad in the city and they clamored for my blood, four women and three men, and nothing that I could say or do would satisfy them.
They appeared as if they wanted blood, but after a good Baptist brother in the congregation had got up he defended me. After that Brother Sheppard, a white minister, was called and testified as to what he knew about the remarks which was passed at the table by the woman and others. He said that every time that brother Anderson answered them, he would say "Buy my book if yeu wish to know what I have to say about the South." That would be his answer every time, so they dispersed, and I am not dead yet; but my Lord, if the colored people in this section of the country had their way about things in general, I think that there would be any amount of blood shed, but bless the Lord, they have not got things as they want it, and they are not likely to have soon.
I am about to embark from this place to-day, and right here let me relate a circumstance which happened to me in this city. I was invited by a pastor of the A. M. E. Church to attend a League meeting that was to come off in his church on a Tuesday night. I appeared. The reason why he wished my presence at that meeting was, because the woman with whom I was boarding with at the time had sent him word that I was a traitor sent out by the white people of Georgia to contradict what Miss
B. Wells had said about the lynching of negroes in the Southern States, which, of course, was all a lie. It so happened that when I was ordered to leave the house, which I did the next day, there came a man from Georgia and put up in the same house that I was stopping at. This man was William Croff, the man who run away from his master in the days of slavery, about forty years age, and came to this place, where he was protected by the colored people of this place. The woman of the house told him that there was a man from Georgia, and that he was a traitor to his people in the State of Georgia. I did not know that this man had been invited to come to the League, but he was there all the same. I did not know that such a man was in existence, and he did not know that I was the man that they were talking about; so we were both there and neither of us were aware of the other's presence.
At the close of the important business, one of the men got up and offered a resolution that they hear from Mr. William Croff, of Georgia. So he came forward, and when he was introduced to the house, I said to him:
"Are you William Croff, who made his escape in the days of slavery, from Macon?"
"I am," he replied.
I then returned to my seat, and he began to speak about being here, referring also to what was going on in Georgia. He said that he had been informed there was a man in the city who was a traitor, and if that man was in the house, he would like to see him. Then I said:
"I am from Georgia."
At that he was astonished, for he had no idea they had been talking about me. After he finished speaking, they called upon me, and I said:
"I knew William Croff before he ran away from his master, in the days of slavery. His master was my guardian. I bought myself and wife for $1,500, but William Croff ran away from his master, bringing his wife with him."
Now, which of us two do you suppose they shouted over the most--myself (for being honest) or William (for running away)? I will answer the question. They shouted over William, and so firmly believed the lie that had been made up against me, that they clamored for my blood. But finally I made them see more plainly into the misunderstanding about myself.
The next morning Mr. Croff and I had a long talk about the matter, and he told me that the congregation saw their mistake about me, but would not confess it. So I will let it appear in this book.
I can truly say that the white people have treated me with due respect, buying my books and giving me their money.
They had a holiness meeting and gave me the privilege of speaking. I did so, and it was the first time I had ever addressed a white congregation.
Good-bye to Boston.
Taking the steamship, at six o'clock, for Savannah, Ga., we started on the briny deep, bound for the sunny South. Three days and nights we were buffeted by the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. I prayed the good Lord for his protection while we were on board the vessel. I said to the captain:
"During fifty years I have never got on board a boat, or the cars, without asking the good Lord to keep me in safety, and in that length of time no accident has happened either to me, the boat or the cars. If there is any damage to myself or the vessel this time, it will be the first in all my travels."
We had a very pleasant voyage, and the vessel got into Savannah ahead of time. We enjoyed the trip very much. Myself and all the crew were sea-sick. As I never was on the ocean before, it was natural for me to get sea-sick. It taught me a useful lesson, which was, that a sinner must get sick of sin before he can get rid of it, and he must pray to the good Lord to assist him.
I had a great deal of bile in my system, but did not know it. When the vessel began to rock me about and stir me up, I commenced throwing up bile, which made me very sick. So I learned that when a sinner gets sick of sin, he will begin to throw it off, then will feel better. The bile being cast out of my system, my health improved at once, and now I am well.
I prayed to the good Lord at the time that I was on that vessel. The Sabbath day came on, and I was up very early that morning to look at the sun as she came up out of the sea, as it did look that way. At 11 o'clock I was asked by white friends to preach for them. I did so by the help of my good Master. I was to have preached for them again at 3 o'clock, but we were drawing near the city, and everybody was so glad to see land again that they did not assemble themselves together any more, so I did not preach in the afternoon.
We landed safely in Savannah and I took a hack for the Central train. I found out that I was ahead of time, so I waited until the time came for it to leave, and boarded it for home once more, so at five o'clock Monday morning I would be seated at home again. My wife was very glad to see me again, after being absent for over four months, but the providence of God has brought us together again.
I have been traveling over the Northern and Eastern States, and have had my bitters and my sweets as I travel, but the good Lord has been my friend.
This book of mine shall be called the "Northern Trip, or the Anderson Surprise," written after I was seventy-five years of age, 1894.
When Mr. Kinlaw--"de Rebren Nepchune Kinlaw"--lays himself out to expound the Scripture he embellishes the text with metaphors, and clothes it in language at once revolutionary and extraordinary. Mr. Kinlaw was born and raised on Combahee, and his rhetorical figures are based largely on the events in daily life in that delighted land. It will not, therefore, be surprising that one should find his historical sketch of the tragedy of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden adorned with similes taken from a rice plantation, and otherwise elaborated with startling low-country effects and conceits. It may also be stated, by way of explanation, that a seacoast field-hand's idea of supreme happiness is the possession of a winter apple tree.
"De Rebren Kinlaw" is an itinerant preacher of no particular denomination, and who, it will be remembered, preached a funeral ante-mortem sermon over Aunt Di's "chile" at the Four-Mile House. The following sermon was delivered at the Summerville depot last Sunday evening to a small but select circle of friends, male and female:
"My bredren and sistah: I bin een dis ert long time befo' de Nunion cum een; long time befo' Gin'l Grant and Shummun run Gin'l Lee and Mr. Elliott off Silliman Ilan. I bin a preech de wud o' de Sperrit wen all ona wuz een slabryment, and I gwine to lucidation to-day how Adam git leff by Nicodemus an how it come to be dat de fuss buckra walk pon tap de ert. De hole ting come to pass sumpn lukka dis:
"De Lawd bin a walk een de gyaden dis bout de middle o' de day. De hawn done blow, an all de han bin a set down rasslin wid cole bittle and trowin an ketchin foolishness one tur anurrer. Same like dat de woice o' de Lawd soun out like one lightnin een de nite. De Lawd, atta he cross oba by de big rice
dam, fun shawt and bin a walk een de pa'at tru de orchard. Soon iz he git by dat winta apple tree he stan up stock still and gaze pon um wid grate expicion. Taint a han on de place wot ain drop de kittle an spoon an ting an gaze good fashion, all in a trimble-like on de Good Master. De bittle pyo stan like he freeze een ebbry boddy mout. Bimeby disis I dun tell ye, all to once de ert rock an de sky split wid de powofulness o' de grateness o' de Lawd. He bex tell de bexness o' he sperrit set all de people a crawlin on day face. Needa buckra, needa so nigger kin biggin fo ondastan de tribbilation and terrification o' dat day, whichn it was twelve o'clock. De hoss an mule leff de plow an scatterate to de pin lan dis like a drove o' patridge wen a pinter rout em, an yo' shoot two barrel one time an ain tech a fedda. De sky cloud up and de big rain stan same lukka ripe pesimmon reddy fo drop. De squerl mek track fo he hole, and atta he git day he tun roun een de hole and trow he eye back dis like he bin a watch one o' dese half houn and half fice a rumblin an a rumagin roun een a hickory ticket. De jaw bud low on de count o' he skay mose to det, an de owl shet he eye tite fo de fuss time sence he dawn. De Ribber Jordan riz up an bile wid a grate fresh, and Bablon shake same like a broom grass field. O, my bredren, twuz terrible, an to dis day Adam face sian white same like Mass Steve Elliott face. Oh, my sistahs, stan up to me like a man while I onrabble de grate ponderation o' de fuss trial whichn it ebba sence mek de en o' a corn row on a summa day dis bout as long for ona as spang fum Yemassee plum to Coosawhetchie. Now, kissis de Bible troot regaadin o' how Adam face tun wite, cawdin to how it specify een John Baptiss. Now, John say, sezee, dissiz I dun tell you fum de fuss gwine off o' de commencement day, sezee, says John, Adam bin a cullud pusson, and he dressup een coon skin and eat wile hunny and locuss. An' howsumebber, de Lawd ain truss Adam an sezee, Boy, dese winta apple ain fo' tech tell next summa', an atta de Lawd dun gie de awda he leff Adam, but he leff Gabriell and Nicodemus, he cuzzin by he murra side, o' de house de gyadin, and watch Adam, kaze he hab a bad carakter fo trick an cunninness. O, my bredren and sistah, listen at me good, an yerry fo' one self, how dat wina apple come to mek de fuss buckra fambly een scripter. Now, John Baptiss sezee, says John, dissaz quickiz de Lawd gone outen de gate, Gabrill and Nicodemus tek a stan fo' watch de tree, O, my bredren and sistah, wen Adam tink say him kill trow drss een Nicodemus eye an Gabriell all two one time, he dis as well try fo' hook a guinea fowl een de broad day light; deeda so fo' borrow a watmillum wot ain blongs turrum. Kaze wy? Kaze, sezzi, needa Gabriell, needa so Nicodemus sleep tell he ketch Adam chunkin de winta apple, down off cat tree wid a litewood knot. Now wat nex, sezzi? Well de next pint is wot I dun preech bout een de fuss goin off. Nicodemus tell de Lawd bout Adam an same I dun tell you, de good Massah come back to de tree, a sho nuff he miss two apple. He look roun pon tap de groun an see Adam track way he bin use
bout unda de tree. Den de sperrit o' de Lawd git bex an he cry out, Adam! But Adam ain say a ting. O, my sistah, Adam bin a leddown wid he face bury een de groun, een one huckleberry patch, an he fade much as to ketch he bret. Den de Lawd git mo powaful een he woice, an' Adam bleege to get up an' he mek ansah good fashion an say, sezzee, 'Yay Lawd.' Den de Lawd say, 'Adam, sumbawdy teef two winta apple.' Den Adam up'n say, sezee, 'Yay, Lawd,' an' he face tun as white as a fine white homespun sheet een a white family house. Den de Lawd sperrit see dat Adam is gwine to hab a contention, an' de Lawd see de ceitfulness een Adam mine, an' he say, sezee, 'Adam, I miss de apple an' I know it is teef een dis gyaden.' Den de sperrit o' de debble jump pon Adam an' he say, 'Lawd, ef de apple is teef as you say it is teef, den I tink say mus' be Eeb teef um.' Den Nicodemus took'n cut een to de composation an' pint to Adam track wid de but o' he musket. Den Nicodemus say, sezee, 'Adam! dat is a No. 9 shoes, an' Eeb ain had no shisha feet.'
"Den Adam know dat he ain hab no witness an no use fo' arrogate Nicodemus, so he run way wid he wife face and hide een de cypress pon tell atta daak; and he clime oba de gyadin fench an dig dut fo' de wite peeple country. Whichn azi sed, sezzi at de fuss commencement, all Adam chilun by he fuss wife is cullud ception to he secon wife, whichn all de ress is buckra. Let we praise de Lawd. Nex preechin will be to Miss Frayja house."
Half of life is gone, and I have let
The years slip from me, and have not fulfilled
The aspiration of my youth to build
Some tower of song with lofty parapet.
Not indolence, nor pleasure, nor the fret
Of restless passions that would not be stilled;
But sorrow and care that almost killed
Kept me from what I may accomplish yet,
Though half way up the hill I see the Past
Lying beneath me with its sounds and sights;
A city in the twilight dim and vast,
With smoking roof, soft bells and gleaming lights.
And hear above me, on the autumnal blast,
The cataract of Death far thundering from the heights.
A little upper chamber,
A taper, by whose light
The wide and waiting casement shows,
A wicket in the Night!
The leaves without are trembling,
Upon the autumn trees;
A solemn, fearful secret
Is whispered in the breeze.
The clock is silent in its place;
The fateful hands are still,
Or seem to creep along, or turn,
Responsive to your will.
A shadow hovers on its face;
Strange shadows course the wall,
Where, as the dim light flares or fades,
They change and rise and fall.
The curtain folds creep to and fro,
Touched by the fitful air;
Pale watchers stand about a bed,
And you are lying there,
Prone, white and still, while over you
The mask-faced doctor leans;
What means it all? Ah, God alone,
He knoweth all it means.
The tide is out; the moon is set;
How dark the dark has grown!
A star or two were there, but now--
And now they two are gone.
You hear a voice of weeping;
Your brow grows strangely chill;
You wonder at the languor
That holds your hands so still.
You try to break the silence,
And move your lips in vain;
No word of yours, in all the world,
Will ever sound again.
You cannot see; you cannot speak;
You cannot move a hand;
There is so much that you would say--
But none may understand.
Ah, some one--something--chokes you;
You vainly gasp for breath;
The darkness lowers, deepens,
God have mercy. It is death.
Across the outer silence
A night bird sudden calls;
Strange echoes wake and answer
In all the empty halls.
Draw the curtains down upon them,
Wistful eyes, that wonder so!
And the wasted fingers--fold them;
They are done with work, you know.
Close the poor, pale lips together,
Parted as in silent prayer;
Prayer, nor breath of praise, forever
More may pass the seal set there.
A dreary, dreadful chamber,
Where, on the ghostly wall,
Strange shadows dance and clamber,
And run and rise and fall.
A glimmer of pale roses;
A scent of jasmine bloom,
Haunting with sickly sweetness
The chilly, deathful room.
A Presence--felt, but seen not;
A bed; a cold white sheet--
With folds and heaps that hide, and hint
At head and hands and feet.
The candle, dimly flaring,
Seems swept by viewless wings;
The gathering, fitting shadows
Go by like formless things.
The leaves without are trembling
Upon the ancient trees;
A solemn, fearful secret
Is whispered in the breeze.
Would God that we could learn it;
Or would that we might hear
One word, from out the darkness,
To end our hope, or fear.
A life has drifted from us;
The Ages know no more;
Or to the dust from whence it came,
Or some eternal shore.
Dead, and the sun still shines;
Just dead, and the soft wind a blowing;
Dead! while the blue lake dimples and smiles
And the rowers sing at their rowing.
The world goes on the same,
Scarce a leaf on the elm tree flutters;
While the bloomy breath of the summer woods
Sifts in through the half open shutters,
And this is to be dead!
For I heard them say that I was dying;
As yet I scarcely know which is I
This self, or the other there lying.
I feel so light and free,
I long through the blue to be flying;
How strange that I should ever have feared
This wonderful change they call dying.
'Tis nothing to be dead
But just to keep on with the living,
Without the heart-breaking care and pain
That the body is always giving.
'Tis wondrous to be dead
And to be overmore past dying;
On wings of eternal youth upborne
The stars in their courses outvying.
They have called death the end
When it is but just the beginning;
How trifling a price this life to pay
For an immortality's winning.
--Louise Phillips in Pioneer Press.