Documenting the American South Logo
Collections >> North American Slave Narratives >> Document Menu >> Annotations
Solomon Bayley
A Narrative of Some Remarkable Incidents in the Life of Solomon Bayley
London: Harvey and Darton, 1825.


The following annotations to A Narrative of Some Remarkable Incidents in the Life of Solomon Bayley were compiled in the fall of 2014 by Amara Jordan and Jalyn Gatling, first-year students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as a class project in Professor William L. Andrews's First-Year Seminar on Slavery and Freedom in African American Literature and Film. We welcome any corrections, additions, or suggested revisions of these annotations. Send feedback to

Page iii

Wilmington A city in northern Delaware.

Page v

Camden A city in southern New Jersey.

Page 1

doth do.

leach teach (printer’s error).

State of Delaware a colony and later one of the original United States. Delaware is the only state that depended on Africans (rather than Native Americans) for enslavement from the start of Delaware’s existence.

Page 2

State of Virginia a colony and later one of the original United States.

Richmond the capital of Virginia.

waggon wagon.

Father of all mercy the Christian God.

Page 3

"They that trust in the Lord, shall never be confounded" Psalm 22:5.

Page 4

dysentery a disease, sometimes fatal, that causes loss of blood, severe diarrhea, and increase mucus intake that leads to infection.

Page 5

Maker of heaven and earth God.

persimmon an orange fruit found in an eastern American tree.

Though he is high . . . goodness and his power Psalm 138:6.

the river the James River running east-west through Richmond.

Petersburgh A town in Virginia south of Richmond.

providence plan of God.

Page 6

"Let all the world . . . power can shew." From a hymn in J. and C. Wesley's Collection of Psalms and Hys. 1789.

"Miracle of grace . . . able to abase" Daniel 4:37.

Chesapeake Bay a body of water off the coast of Maryland and Virginia.

Page 7

loom the shaft of the rowing stick.

Page 8

Dover the capital of Delaware.

Almighty God.

Camden a town in Delaware south of Dover.

Portly somewhat overweight.

Page 9

Petersburgh a town in Delaware southwest of Camden.

sally a sudden charge out of a besieged place.

Page 10

Creator of all things God.

Page 11

Surveyor's rod a device used for measurement of lengths.

Page 12

H’ant hasn’t.

“Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord" Exodus 14:13.

Israel when at the Red Sea fleeing Hebrew slaves rescued by God by the parting of the Red Sea. See Exodus 13:17-14:29.

Page 14

"The ox knoweth . . . doth not consider" Isaiah 1:3.

“Now unto the king immortal . . . ever. Amen.” Timothy 1:17.

Word or phrase Definition of word or phrase.

Page 15

his majesty God.

Page 17

7th Mo. 24, 1799 July 24th, 1799.

shew shew.

Page 18

forty pounds bond and security forty pounds in British currency as payment for freedom.

sold me my time for eighty dollars Bayley’s master let him hire himself out to work for wages, provided he paid the master 80 dollars.

Page 19

whetted to make something sharper or stronger (Source:

the burning lake hell.

Page 20

Jonah Old Testament prophet whose life is recounted in the Book of Jonah.

black crew condemned sinners “black” because of their damnation.

methodist an evangelical sect of Protestant Christianity.

Page 21

Built on the sand allusion to a parable of Jesus in Matthew 7:24-27.

my maker God.

Page 22

"they that resist . . . damnation" Romans 13.2.

"believe on the . . . be saved" Acts 16:31.

Page 23

"Let the wicked . . . all that is passed." Isaiah 55.7.

“Ask . . . shall find” Matthew 7:7.

Jot or tittle a small amount.

Page 24

Servant Israel Isaiah 44:1.

Page 25

"Oh! that all may taste and see… "Would all mankind embrace!" From a hymn by Charles Wesley published in Wesley’s Hymns and Sacred Poems (1849).

Ye Plural of “you.”

back countries a western rural area far away from Bayley.

Page 26

One class-paper Bayley and his wife’s master were members of the same Methodist church.

“He that loveth . . . not worthy of me” Matthew 10:37.

that power which cut Rahab and wounded the Dragon Isaiah 51:9.

Meeting day A Sunday.

Page 27

thirty one pounds Virginia money At this time currency issued by various states was still in circulation.

pence Plural of penny.

Page 28

“. . . he took pet . . .” Became peevish or sulky..

Page 29

manumitted To be released from slavery.

the war in America The war of 1812, when a British army invaded the U.S..

Page 30

crier A town crier, who announces rulings of a court of law..

shilling A form of currency.

West Indies Islands in the Caribbean heavily involved in slavery, particularly for the production of sugar..

Page 31

“this is their hour and the power darkness” Luke 22:53.

Ring Area where people stood to auction slaves.

Page 35

“in his name . . . for ever be exalted.” Psalm 89:16.

“Then should their sun in smiles decline,/ And bring a peaceful night;” Interpolation of a hymn written by Welsh composer Aaron Williams.

Page 37

Sion’s hill Zion’s Hill, the easternmost hill upon which Jerusalem was built.

Connexion alternate spelling of connection.

the society of friends Also known as Quakers, a Protestant Christian sect that advocated the abolition of slavery.

Page 38

Guinea a country on the west coast of Africa.

Page 39

Long Island an island in the Bahamas.

Page 40

Hagar servant of Biblical patriarch Abraham and his wife Sarah, who bore a child, Ishmael, for them. After Sarah gave birth to Isaac, she banished Hagar and Ishmael.

Page 41

Paul Cuffee An African American Quaker sea captain and abolitionist.

canse Cause (printer’s error).

Page 43

prodigal son central figure in a parable of Jesus in Luke 15:11-32.

Page 47

“God works in a mysterious way” / “His wonders to perform” allusion to a hymn by British poet William Cowper in 1773.