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(title page) Narrative and Writings of Andrew Jackson, of Kentucky; Containing an Account of His Birth, and Twenty-Six Years of His Life While a Slave; His Escape; Five Years of Freedom, Together with Anecdotes Relating to Slavery; Journal of One Year's Travels; Sketches, etc. Narrated by Himself; Written by a Friend.
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IN presenting the following brief narrative to the public, I do not expect to startle them with a long history of tortures, starvation, and maiming, as many less fortunate ones of my race might do. It was not my unhappy lot ever to be very severely whipped--nor were that necessary to make me impatient to be free. If there is a peculiarity in my case, it is the fact that, although not a slave even under the laws of slavery, yet I was held and treated as a slave, and to the day of my death, should have remained thus--subject to its changes and hard ships, had not a kind Providence favored my efforts to gain my liberty by flight.
The fact that my mother died a free woman, was of no advantage to me so long as I was claimed as the property of the heirs of her master. They had power and wealth--friends and influence. I had neither, who could be of any service to me. To complain, was only to secure to me ridicule and abuse.--Nor was I alone in my sufferings. There are many slaves at the south, who if they had friends and power to enforce the law, would be set at liberty on the same grounds that I should have been liberated and clothed with the rights of a freeman.
I presume my sense of the wrong done to me in keeping me as a slave, was more keen from my constant reflection that I was legally entitled to freedom, than it otherwise would have been; yet I can see no difference in the injustice of holding me as a slave, and holding those who were not placed in the same circumstances. If the "Declaration of Independence," as it is called, which states that "all men are endowed by their Creator with the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," is correct, there is not a slave in the world, who would not be justified in fighting his way to freedom, more desperately than I have done. And when I have attended the 4th of July celebrations at the north, since coming here,
I have felt a spirit rising up within me that could with difficulty be repressed, when I have thought of the miserable farce that such celebrations present. To hear men quote the language of Patrick Henry, "give me liberty or give me death!" and to hear them talk of the "triumphs of liberty," and of this "free and happy nation," while the clanking of the chains of 3,000,000 of American citizens is ringing in their ears, is enough-to make one who has worn these chains, feel like calling fire from heaven to consume such mockery of the sacred Genius of Liberty. Nor would it be strange, if yet the God of Justice should cease His forbearance to such a nation, and punish her as He did ancient Egypt for oppressing His free children.
It is impossible for me, on paper, to describe the feelings of a slave. The love of liberty is as deep in their breasts as in other men's. They are as sensitive under wrongs and sufferings, notwithstanding their apparent submission. And I doubt not their white masters, under an Algerine oppression, would be as submissive as they are. When men of any color find they must submit to wrong, and that there is no escape, the color of the skin does not create any difference.
I hope those who shall read this narrative, and learn what a fellow being was willing to undergo to obtain liberty, will feel a deeper interest in the liberation of the millions less fortunate still groaning in Slavery, and by the spirit of the Golden Rule, laid down in Divine Truth, be moved to do as they would have others do for them were they in the place of the slaves.
The writer, having been applied to by the subject of the following narrative, to prepare an account of his life for the press; after listening to his story, became satisfied that the facts to be presented, would be interesting to the many friends of Mr. Jackson, who have become acquainted with him, during the several years he has been zealously engaged in the philanthropic works of striving to awaken the people of the north to the enormous wickedness and cruelty of the slave system.
While it is doubtless true, that very many of the representations of Slavery, which are made to the north, by lecturers and writers, are exaggerations, we think the truth on the subject is sufficient to arouse the philanthropy of the country, in a united and vigorous movement for the overthrow of the institution. And narratives like the one presented in the following pages, cannot fail of awakening a deeper sympathy in the breasts of those who, already, in a measure, "remember those in bonds as being bound with them," a result very desirable in some cases, even among the most devoted advocates of Liberty, under the present important political movements of the non-slaveholding States.
It is devoutly desired, that the time may be near, when an American citizen will no sooner acknowledge himself a friend of Slavery than piracy, when the doctrines contained in the Declaration of our Independence, may be practised, and every subject of the American government may enjoy that with which he is "endowed by the Creator,"--the "unalienable
right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,"--and that instead of blushing to acknowledge himself a friend of immediate emancipation, every one will, in the spirit of the eminent Jefferson and John Quincy Adams, with honorable pride record their testimony in favor of it before the nation. This done, and the light and glory of this nation will surpass any nation under heaven.
As Andrew is a young pupil, so far as knowledge of letters is concerned, those who know this fact will, of course understand that, after obtaining the facts, which compose the history, the writer has employed his phraseology to express them.
I, ANDREW JACKSON, was born on the 25th of January, 1814, in the "Bowling Green Circuit," Kentucky. My father was a slave--the "property" of Jason Isbel, a man of intemperate habits. My mother, before my birth, was emancipated by a deed to that effect from her master. His heirs refused to give the woman and her children freedom on the ground of the alleged insanity of her master at the time of his giving her the deed. And not having the means of contesting the matter in Law, (for "on the side of the oppressor there is power,") she was compelled, not only to remain herself a slave, but to see her offspring wearing the galling chains.
I have no recollection of ever seeing my father or mother, but rely upon the statements of my brothers and friends for the facts in regard to my title to freedom. My grand mother was nearly white, and I think I possess "enough of the Anglo Saxon blood to give me a deep and thorough abhorrence of oppression." At any rate, I am so much in love with freedom since coming into possession of it, that for all the wealth of the entire Slaveholding States I would not exchange my present situation, even with the most happily situated slave.--I have never yet known what it was to be "contented and happy" in slavery.
When a child, I fell into the hands of one George Wall, a Methodist preacher, with whom I remained until I was twenty years of age, subject to hardships and sufferings incident to a life of degrading servitude, although not claimed by Wall as a slave, in the strictest sense of the term. I was, however, the companion of slaves and treated like them, and could not escape their fate but by flight.
On the death of Wall, I passed into the hands of James McFadden, a farmer, an administrator of the estate of Wall, and soon after was "hired out" to Stephen Claypoole. This man had a demand against McFadden of $1100, and claimed me as his property, by virtue of that demand. After keeping me four years, at the business of turnpiking, I was swapped off, with a Mr. Kerns, for another slave, "Tom," and set at work digging stumps--or as I term it, "stump-piking." In a few months the parties reversed the bargain, and myself and Tom reverted to our former owners: and in a little time I was sold or made over like a kind of "heir-loom," to John Claypoole, and then to Perry Claypoole. The latter individual was a tobacco grower, and farmer. Unlike a large proportion of Slaveholders, this individual superintended his own plantation, and labored with his own hands. He had a girl named Clarilda, whom he required to work in the field with me, compelling us like cattle to draw the cultivating plow through the furrow. I could have borne it, myself, but it was hard work to pull the plow with a poor female yoke-fellow, for although my master seemed to regard a female slave little better than a beast, nature taught me to consider the impropriety of her treatment, and I could not endure it.
Whatever men may think of us, we are not destitute of the feelings of men.
In July, Claypoole told us, we must cultivate five hogsheads of Tobacco for our summer's work. Added to this, was the order for us to "get married," according to Slavery--or, in other words, to enrich his plantation by a family of young slaves. The alternative of this was, to be sold to a slave trader who was then in the vicinity making up a gang for a more southern market. "This information" I did not like,--more especially, as I had often been promised my freedom in a few years if I would work faithfully; and I resolved, whenever an opportunity should offer, and I could see my way clear to attempt a shorter and more certain route to freedom than to await the fulfilment of a Slaveholder's promise; for in relation to the emancipation of a slave, their promises are always forgotten before they get cold. And, if I could have any confidence in such promises, it would have inspired me with energy to almost any amount of labor, for I never desired any thing more ardently, nor was willing to make so great a sacrifice for any thing else as my liberty." And I here beg leave
to say, that although I have often heard northern people state that the slaves did "not want their freedom," yet I never saw one who would not endure twice what I passed through, and more, if they could but be sure of liberty at the last. It is the theme of almost every meeting among them, and one of the most happy events whenever one escapes. And it is a very rare thing that one slave ever becomes informer against his brother who intends to take the long walk. When one is ready to start, those who remain will often help him in every way in their power.
"After firmly resolving to runaway from my master," the next thing was to learn where to go, and how to get away. I heard a great many things about the Northern States, and some things not at all favorable to my welfare, even if I should succeed in making my escape. I was told that the "free niggers" were often half starved, and not respected any more, if as much, as they were in the Slave States. But I made up my mind that if I could learn the way, I would try it. An opportunity occurred for me to obtain the information I needed from a gentleman who had been north, and described the route through Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, &c. Then the thing was to get started--to get away from the neighborhood without detection. I resolved to make the attempt.
On Saturday night, early in August, I gathered my clothes together, and after selecting the best, which were not very good, I started off in the direction of a piece of woods, and there tore up those I desired least, and threw them down, besmeared with blood which I obtained to give them the appearance of having been torn from me by a wild beast, in order that I might prevent any one from pursuing me until I could escape beyond their reach.
The Clerk's Office being some six miles distant, I thought I would go there on my way, too, and get a certificate of my freedom, under pretence of trying to obtain my liberty by process of law. The Clerk replied to my request only by cursing me, and told me to go back and be
content to live with my master. I did not feel disposed to remain long, so I started off, telling him I would go back--but I meant I would go back to the woods.
The first place I directed my steps to, was Shakertown. The way I managed to get along here without creating suspicion, was to represent that I was a "turnpiker," and going to a job north of that vicinity. Slaves are frequently employed at this business, some distance from home. This pretence worked well for a while, until I had passed beyond the vicinity of it and had lost my way, and was compelled to inquire the road, when I was frequently interrupted with questions. The first I have any recollection of, was from a gentleman on horseback, alone, as follows;
"Where do you belong, nigger?" said he.
"I am a turnpiker, going to Elkton," I replied.
"Whose boy are you," said he.
Assuming all the courage I could, I told him it was not his business; but he then began to suspect, and accused me of being a runaway. I smiled, and took out some old papers and pretended to look for my pass. As he saw me looking for it, he concluded all was right, and rode on, being in haste. It often appears to me that the slaveholders and southerners generally, are much more regardful of their neighbors' property and interests than the people of the north. I cannot account for it on any other supposition than the very peculiar character of the property. If slaves were like money, simply transferable by the will of the owner, I presume it would be quite different. But inasmuch as it often takes legs and runs away, it becomes a matter of mutual interest for each to protect his neighbor's "rights" in order to render his own more secure.
I very soon came across another man who made the enquiry, "Whose boy are you?" Upon refusing to tell him, I was again accused, and having no pass to show him from my master, I soon resolved to pass away from him; and as I saw he was lame and could not follow me, nor get very soon to a house to give the alarm, I started off for the woods, and went on in a direction that soon brought me within sight of the road I wished to take, where I walked until near night, when I again emerged into the road, and kept it until in the morning, and went into the woods, where,
after finding a safe and suitable place, I lay down in a thicket for sleep, weary and hungry--for I dared not to apply any where for food.
After sleeping until afternoon, I awoke and resumed my journey through the woods and fields until towards night, subsisting upon raw potatoes and wheat which I picked and shelled out in my hands. The next day, fearing I should lose my way, I ventured to take the road. I had traveled but a short distance before I came to a house, where I saw two men standing. As I came up they hailed me with the usual salutation, "Where you going, nigger?" "Whose boy are you?" I made them no answer, but walked on at a rapid rate, with my faithful young hickory--my only weapon of defence. Supposing me to be a "runaway," as men generally do in such cases, they armed themselves with guns and dogs, and gave chase, and I followed their example, directing my way several hundred yards ahead of them for the woods. I soon heard the dogs with their frightful baying, and the men hallooing at the top of their voices--"Stop, you d--d nigger, or we will shoot you!" As good fortune ordered it, the woods into which I ran was thick and full of shrubbery, and a large stream passed through it running along the foot of a hill. I recollected having chased foxes in my earlier days, and also of hunting minks, The foxes sometimes run back and forth, and in circles, to confuse the hound. The minks dive into water. I tried the policy of each, running back and forth across the stream, as often as I dared, and then along in the edge of the stream, to embarrass the dogs. In this way I kept the dogs off, and the men not being so well accustomed to running in the woods as I was, and being also hindered by their guns, I gained upon them in the flight, and escaped to the wood, and as I hoped was safe for the present. But I was mistaken. I had been in the wood but a short time before I was surprised by two men who had gone on in pursuit of me. They had no dogs. Being already weary and lame, they had the advantage of me, and might, if they had had guns, disabled and captured me. But I again ran to the woods which were near, and started off in a southerly direction until I came into the thickets, when I turned and ran due west, thinking I should thereby elude them, as they would in all probability continue south. I
judged correctly, and it was well for me that I did, for being so weary and lame I could not have continued so long as they did. I ran on as long as I thought it necessary, and then took a moderate pace, cautiously listening to hear if I was still pursued. A short time before sun-set, to my surprise and regret, I saw, as the sun shone out, that I was tending to the south. Disappointed and confused, I turned my face again to the north, and traveled until I came into the highway.
After again finding the road, I traveled on during the remainder of the night, only stopping to rest myself occasionally, or to allow some traveler to pass, or to pick a few blackberies and gather a little wheat to satisfy my hunger. In the morning I again sought the woods for safety and rest.
If any one wishes to know what were my feelings during this time, let them imagine themselves a slave, with the strong arm of the law extended over their heads--doomed, if retaken, to a severe punishment, and almost unendurable torture. Compelled to toil from day to day, subject to the hardships and cruelties of such toil as slaves only know, with none but fellow sufferers to sympathise with him, and they unable to afford relief--with no prospect of a better state, for life--deprived of the blessings of knowledge and the sweets of intellectual pursuit. Seing all the free white people around him happy in the possession of friends and the blessings of life and himself a crushed, degraded being. Desiring to arise, but unable to do so. Then imagine yourself on the road, flying for liberty among your enemies, alone, unarmed, trembling at every step with the greatest anxiety and with fear. Sleeping during the day alone in the wilderness, exposed to wild beasts and serpents; hungry, lame, and almost spirit broken--starting up from a disturbed sleep, with frightful dreams of arrest and torture. Hunted and chased during the day by men of no heart, and with ferocious dogs, trained to the pursuit--the faint gleams of freedom now shooting up, and then lost in darkness--hope and
despair constantly filling your heart. This was my situation for weeks. But thank God, I can now look back upon that volume of trying scenes and feel--they are past, and rejoice in the sweet behests of my God-given rights.
In the morning of the next day, as I was traveling leisurely along, I saw a boy watching me very closely. As I came up within a few rods of the house, he darted into it.--I suspected his errand, and instead of going on--turned back, carefully crouching in the shade of the fence until I came to a group of bushes: behind these I ran on until I came into an open field, in an opposite direction from that they had supposed me to be going, little dreaming that I had been watched by others, who were in pursuit of me and had taken ambush in several places. But I was not long in this ignorance--for as I was urging my way through the field to a larger piece of woods, and just upon the point of scaling a fence, a man sprang up like a tiger from the side of a log and struck at me. Quick as I could, I turned and ran a few steps and bounded over the fence. Just as my feet struck the ground, a club grazed my shoulder, but did me no harm; a little way ahead, I saw another man and dog, with a boy and horse. The man had a gun. Now, thought I, are my hopes blasted. I had heard about the Israelites when they fled from the slavery of Egypt. I thought I was like them. Before and behind me are death. I almost sank down with despair--but rallied again, determined to sell my life and liberty together, or to gain them. And with that strength, which even surprised me, I ran for the bushes--the dog pursuing me in the lead, followed by the two men and boy--the man being on horseback. As the dog came up, I seized a stone and fortunately hit him in the head, leaving him stiff upon the ground. The man on the horse soon came up and uttering oaths which made my blood chill, almost, commanded me to stop. I did so--but only to draw back my trusty hickory, and by a well directed blow sent him reeling from his unsaddled horse. He soon recovered, however, as the blow only stunned him for a moment, and renewed the pursuit. As he came up the second time, before he reached me he tried to fire upon me, but as fortune ordered it, his gun missed and left him in a rage. He then rode on, with the weapon raised in his hand, commanding me to stop. I had a round stone in my hand, and when he came near enough, I
determined to give him what we used to call a "hard biscuit," and threw the stone, which, from the cry he gave, I knew had hit him somewhere, and caused him to halt until his companion came up with him.
Some may think I did wrong in this, and I am very sure it was very hazardous, for the penalty is very severe upon slaves who strike a white man, but I was after a prize, for which I was willing to risk my life. And I doubt not, any one who reads this, would have done the same. And if it was right for the revolutionary patriots to fight for liberty, it was right for me, and it is right for any other slave to do the same. And were I now a slave, I would risk my life for freedom. "Give me liberty or give me death," would be my deliberate conclusion.
Determined not to be frustrated in their designs, they started in hot pursuit. As the rider came up, I determined to try once more the strength of my arm and my hickory, and dealt him a blow in the breast, and just at that moment heard his companion cry out, "ride over him, Hicks;" but the only answer Hicks gave, as a groan told me I had given him a sure blow--was, "I c-a-n-t."
I had by this time, most providentially for me, gained the edge of a wide piece of thickly growing hazle, called "buck pasture." Knowing I could beat them in running in this, I darted into it, and ran on until a little out of hearing of them and turned a short angle a few rods, and crawled into a thick cluster, intending to let them pass. I soon heard them coming, and cursing the "dog."
"Why didn't you lay him, Hicks," said his companion.
"I couldn't replied Hicks, "he came pretty near making an all day job of it for me.
"You ought to have killed him," replied the other.
"Couldn't do it, I tell you--I never saw such a nigger--the very devil could not take him alone."
Just then a noise was heard a little to the left of me, probably a wild animal of some kind, and I had the inexpressable joy to hear them start off, exclaiming, "Yonder he goes; now we will soon have him--Stop you nigger, or we will take your life!" And if they had done so, the law would have exonerated them in it--for it is lawful to shoot a slave if he refuses to return to his master when commanded to do so by any one, whether his "owner" or not. It is frequently the case, that slaves are shot under those circumstances, and no
notice taken of it. And slave hunters are often directed to bring back the slave, who may have escaped, "dead or alive!"
I waited until all was still, and crept out of my retreat and went back in the direction from which I had been pursued, keeping the woods as far as they went, keeping a westerly course, while they went north, or north east--traveling and resting the remainder of that day and night unmolested. I had learned from the imminent perils I had just escaped, the necessity for being more cautious.
Knowing, as I well did, by the scenes I had just experienced that I was pursued, and that the well trainad dogs would be put in requisition, I resolved to avoid as much as possible, taking the roads. But it was necessary for me to travel a part of the time in them, both on account of the fatigue it gave me to run in the woods and fields, and the difficulty of keeping my course northward, as I knew I must do, to get out of the region of slavery.
I am sometimes asked, how we learn the way to the free States? My answer is, that the slaves know much more about this matter than many persons are aware. They have means of communication with each other, altogether unknown to their masters, or to the people of the free states--even the route of some who have escaped is familiarly known to the more intelligent ones. There is scarcely one, who does not understand the position of the "north star," although that is about the extent of their knowledge of Astronomy. The reasons why more do not follow it, are want of means and the fear of death if apprehended. Slaves are watched and guardded like caged animals.
The day following, when near eleven o'clock, I was moving cautiously along, I saw a man on a small hillock in front of his house, apparently watching my movements. I had learned to look upon every white man as my foe, and dared not pass near to any one. I saw on my left a large meadow near the banks of the Wabash, in which a large number of cattle were grazing; and directed my steps toward them, determined if followed to cross the river and climb the rugged
banks opposite and hide among its projections. I was not mistaken. As soon as the man saw my movements, he knew I was a fugative, and ran to his house, a short distance from where he stood, and taking his dog and gun made chase for me. Like a deer, the hound soon came toward me. At once the thought occurred to me, this dog is not, perhaps well trained, I will try to set him upon the cattle, and clapping my hands, I ran and hallowed, at the top of my voice, s't-a-boy! s't-a-boy! My plan took. The dog darted like lightning through the tall grass in chase of the cattle, who ran with their heads erect, snuffing like wild beasts; the poor disappointed man-hunter calling him off to no effect. I left him to take care of his dog and cattle, while I swam the stream and hid among the ample shelters erected by the hand of nature--where, wearied almost to death, I sat down beside a spring to bathe my bruised and swollen feet and limbs, and to again strength for my perilous journey. I heard the merry birds singing in the branches over my head, and saw the bounding squirrels as they leaped from tree to tree. "Happy creatures," said I, "this is your home. Its ample domain affords, you range for wild sports and songs. But, alas! for me, it only gives a brief shelter and rest from the cruel persecutions of my brother men! Would to God the ties of nature, were among men as they are among thee. Thou art happy in thy innocent sports, and each seems to find pleasure in contributing to the other's enjoyment. With man, all is self--self--self. The price of his pleasure may be the suffering and death of his equal brother, but he heeds not the unholy sacrifice! God of these woods and hills--this river and these streams, I cried, protect me, as thou dost these little one's of thy power and care;" and I fell asleep among my reflections and prayers--dreaming of the distant hills and valleys of freedom before me, where I stood erect and fearing no danger. But I soon awoke from my sweet visions, by the pains in my shoulder, limbs, and the gnawing of hunger. I looked around me, and soon found black berries, sweet and delicious with which I filled my hands and ate, thanking Him, who caused them to grow, where no human being would be likely to come to my annoyance as I plucked them from their yielding stems.
I remained in this place, frequently bathing my limbs, and taking intervals of sleep, until the close of the next day, resolved
to gain the road, and make my way as fast as I could from the country which appeared to be haunted by my pursuers. After traveling all night, without any other annoyance than to be occasionally started by the barking of a watch dog, I found myself drawing slowly toward the place of my destination.
The next day, I was pursued a short distance by two men, but they appeared to have been out on a pleasure excursion, and after running a short distance, and firing at me, gave up the chase, either because they were too weary to pursue it, or being hopeless in regard to success. Their dogs appeared also tired and refused to obey them. Lame and sore as I was, I was gratified when I saw them abandon me.
The next day finding myself so often in peril by my attempts to pass along as I had done, I resolved before I emerged from my brief retreat, that I would try a new expedient. I had frequently seen gentlemen traveling, with a servant either preceeding or following them on foot. So I waited until I saw a carriage pass, and got into the road, and followed it, and whenever I met any one I would appear to be all anxiety and inquire "how far ahead master's carriage was." This plan worked admirably, and I was enabled to travel more than half a day with one assumed "master"--always managing to be absent when he stopped, and not far behind him when he traveled. My first trick, however, did not last me all day, and I was compelled to get a new "master." I thus went on changing, until I reacned the Ohio river, at a place called Barker's old Ferry, where I crossed into Illinois, in the county of Gallatin, and began to feel secure. After wandering about, in the evening, for some time, I found an old horse trough, which was dry--here I laid down and rested. In the early part of the day I awoke, and went to a stream near by and washed my limbs and rubbed them until they were relieved of their pain and stiffness, when I again started, growing more and more impatient, the further I got from the place of my servitude. I almost forgot my pains and deprivations--my perils and narrow escapes, in the joy of my
supposed safety. But how little knew I what a day would bring forth. I had scarcely felt the first delightful sensations of my proximity to the non-slaveholding regions, where I hoped to find friends and home, ere I was startled from my pleasing reveries by the sound of a man's voice, ordering me to "stop!" On looking at my side, I saw a man standing in the door of a small hut. I did not obey the voice, but went on more rapidly, receiving for my temerity a stone, thrown with some force, hitting me in the leg. I then started off on a run, the man after me, crying, "stop him, stop him!" I looked up a short distance ahead, and saw a carriage standing in the road, and concluded the persons who owned it were not in it, no horses being attached to it,--ran on until a few steps from it, in the act of passing, the door flew open, and two men rushed out and discharged a pistol at me but without effect.--I dodged from them and out ran them, until I came to a precipice not far from the road, and threw myself down it far enough to be out of their reach, the last ball the fellow had in his pistol, whizzing past my head as I escaped. At the bottom of the precipice was a large stream, overhung with bushes, and the men supposed I had gone to the bottom and was out of sight as they came up, although I was then snugly 'sconced beneath their feet under a shelf of the bank. They stood a moment as they came up swearing at my miraculous speed, for so "clumsy looking a fellow," and came to the conclusion I had "jumped my last jump," that time and walked off.
After they had been absent, as I thought, long enough, I got out and went on in another course, until I began to fear I was on the wrong track, and called to inquire of a man, whose name I afterwards learned to be Digly, in what place I then was. He told me, and mistrusting me to be a fugative, directed me to the house of a Dr. not far distant, whom he said I would find to be a friend. So I did; but, knowing the law to be severe towards those who harbor run-away slaves, he was quite unwilling for me to remain. More than that, he told me I would be in great danger of apprehension, by remaining with him, as he had much company and all would be curious to know who was in his employ. But, I was so happy to hear one human voice--(the first I had heard in many days) that spoke in words of sympathy, I could not think of leaving him, hoping that in case of any signs of
trouble I could escape. This gentleman gave me food and a comfortable bed.
In the morning I took his team and went to work, ploughing. I had not been at work but a few hours, before I saw several men coming toward me, and soon recognised among them one whom I had seen the day or two previous. He had pursued me on horseback, and the man who directed me to the Doctor had betrayed me. I presume he ment to do so, when he sent me there, and had intended to get the Doctor's feet into the same snare--it being contrary to law to harbor a fugative slave.
Here I found myself involved in new difficulties and dangers, and O, how bitterly did I regret that I had not gone on. But it was too late. I was surrounded, and entirely defenseless. My trusty hickory that had made a pathway for me through braces of bull dogs and men, was at the house, and I was bare-foot and in an open field. The men took me, and after binding my hands and limbs, carried me back to a magistrate, where I was examined, and being unable to prove my freedom, was sent to jail, to be kept for six weeks, and sold according to law to pay my jail fees.
I was put under the care of an officer and one other man, who with a dog, were my guards and escort to prison. The men were very intemperate, and but for the dog whom they set to guard me, I could easily have escaped them. Before going to bed, at a tavern where they stopped for the night, on learning that I was a "pious nigger," as they called me, they made me sing and pray for them.
The next morning we started again. They drank freely, as they had done the day previously, and to amuse themselves or to torture me, made me run, or rack along, with cords around my knees, and my arms fastened behind, laughing and harrassing my feelings as much as possible whenever they met any one.
I found after a while, that the cords were loose and that I could slip them off--so I started on a little faster and faster, gradually gaining upon them until I finally slipped off my cords entirely, and could have escaped, but for the thickness of the swamp and my bare feet. They soon saw that my cords were off, and rode on until they overtook me. We then went on, they making me run faster than before as a punishment for having tried to escape.
I was taken to jail and shut up in a dungeon with several others. One of the number was a man whiter than most farmers, and said he was free. He had a wife and children, poor fellow, and was almost distracted. But we could not help him any more than he could help us.
I can scarcely give the reader a fair impression of the sufferings we endured in that cold, damp, filthy cell. No one was there to care for us. Our food was principally potatoes or coarse bread and water, and not enough of that even to keep us from half starving. Our complaints were answered by abuse, and sometimes by the lash.
During my imprisonment, the skin came off my feet and limbs, and they were very much swollen and painful, but I could get no water to wash them, or to cool their burning fever. And I sometimes thought I had better have stayed in Kentucky, for I knew not what would be my fate, if I lived to see my day of sale. Perhaps I should be sent off again to some distant state, and be subject to more terrible treatment than I had ever yet experienced. But all I could do, was to sit down, and meet my fate--for I learned to my sorrow that "on the side of the oppressor there was power, and there was none to help.',
The day at length came for our sale. I was taken out and placed on the stand.
"How much will you give, gentlemen, for this boy. Acquainted with all kinds of work, and a smart, active fellow!"
"Six dollars," was bid by one.
"Will you live with me, if I will buy you, boy:" said a fat faced landlord.
"I think it rather hard," I replied, "to be torn away from my rights and shut up in jail, and then sold for life to pay the jail fees."
"Seven dollars," said the landlord; adding, "I'll risk him."
So the sale went on, and I was finally struck off to the landlord, with whom I was duly installed into the office of ostler--a service I was quite willing to render, considering the advantages it would give me in acquiring information relating to
the position of the country to which I intended on the first opportunity to go, in search of my brother.
I remained with this man nearly a month, and had got a pretty good suit of clothes and picked up a little change; then made up my mind I had paid my "jail fees," and left him.--I determined not to leave my master until he was fully paid, for he treated me as well as if I had been a white man, and but for the fact of my being a slave, I should have been very happy in his employment.
After leaving Hopper, the landlord, I traveled all night, passing up through Hillsborough, Carlisle, and other towns to Bloomington--traveling nights only, and hiding in the woods during the day, until I had got out of danger. At Bloomington I went to work and remained eleven months in the vicinity of my old Kentucky master's sons and sons-in-law.--Some of them were disposed to inform against me and have me taken back, but the others being opposed to it from feelings of sympathy prevented it, and I was not disturbed.
After remaining at this place eleven months, during which time I clothed myself well, and saved considerable money, I started for Wisconsin. where my brother was living, whom I had not seen for the space of nine years. On my calling at his house, he did not know me, nor could I identify myself by any marks or evidences, about my person. At length I began to recount some of the scenes of our boyhood, when he at once recognised, and joyfully received me. One reason for the want of recognition, was the fact that, although brought up in the same neighborhood, yet we rarely saw each other, except on holidays, or Sundays, when allowed to exchange visits, and being young had not any fixed impressions in regard to each other, save the associations of which I have made mention, relating to days of our boyhood.
With my brother, I remained nearly one year, earning when I worked one dollar per day. It was a new era indeed in my existence, when I could carry home with me at night, and feel it all my own, more money than I had ever handled while a slave, during any single year of my life. I was well clothed--lived well and happy, so far as my own condition was concerned. But I could not sleep, often, when I would turn my thoughts to my countrymen in chains. I would compare my situation with theirs, and often lie and
weep bitter tears of sympathy for those I had left behind me. I would have dared and endured any thing to have saved even one.
I have frequently heard pro-slavery men say that the slaves could "not take care of themselves," if they were set free. That they would "starve to death," or become "poor charges," and the like. But I would like to have those who think so, cite a case, where anything like a fair opportunity has been given, of a self emancipated slave, who has not secured a comfortable subsistence by his own exertions. Indeed I know that many of my white fellow laborers, at the west, whose advantages were far better than my own, never manage their affairs half so well as I did, and on some occasions came to me for help. And these same men too, would sometimes repeat the foolish language of their masters--"the niggers cannot take care of themselves."
There were many persons in the place where I was laboring, who were friendly to the cause of slaves and did much to encourage the fugatives in their attempt to escape. They had become acquainted with my history, and desired me to relate to the public, something I knew from my own experience and observation about slavery. An opportunity was offered for my complying with this request, at a large meeting held in Prairieville. A gentleman offered to pay my expenses if I would attend the meeting and talk. I consented; but when I arose to speak, I was so unlearned and embarrassed that I could with difficulty keep my feet. I had rather have met half a dozen slave catchers in an open field, if my old "hickory" had been in my hand and my limbs sound and free. But I managed to get out what I wanted to say, and it was received with much pleasure--so much so, that a resolution was passed, inviting me to make the tour of the county and give the people a plain statement of such things as I knew. After remaining in that region two months, however, I learned there was to be a large meeting in the city of Buffalo, and resolved to attend it--which I did, and since that time with the exception of a short time I spent in Canada, I have been lecturing and talking to the people, selling books and papers in this state, up to the present time, in the hope of adding my mite to the influences, which I hope will eventually result in turning the heart of every man woman and child against that most wicked and unjust of all institutions
And but for the fact that my countrymen are still in bondage, I should be happy indeed in the blessings of liberty. Among which, none are prised more highly than that of learning to read and write. For when I first came into this state even, I could not write, and reading was quite out of the question. I can now read tolerably well, and write so well as to astonish all who know me, but none more than myself. And it is my intention soon to write a long letter to my old master, showing him the difference between the effect of twenty-six years of slavery and five years of freedom--leaving him to judge which is the best for man. Indeed, I know what the honest conviction of every one now is. They know the slaves would all be much happier and more useful, if blessed with education--but the difficulties in keeping them in subjection would be greatly augmented. This is the reason why they are kept in ignorance. If every slave knew even the little that I do, they could not be kept in chains twelve months.
I close this narrative with the following lines from the eloquent Rev. John Pierpont.
"Call out O God, thy legions--
The hosts of love and light!
Even in the blasted regions
That slavery wraps in night,
Some of thine own annointed
Shall catch the welcome call.
And at the hour appointed,
Do battle for the thrall.
Let press, let pulpit thunder
In all slave-holder's ears,
Till they disgorge the plunder
They've garnered up for years;
Till Mississippi's valley,
Till Carolina's coast,
Round freedom's standard rally
A vast, a ransomed host.
The first anecdote I will mention, is one which occurred while I was the slave of the preacher. We used to call him a "right down blower." He would preach and pray with a great deal of correctness and feeling, and often had the people all in tears; but when at home quarreled with his wife like Lucifer. I once overheard the following dialogue between them.
Wife.--"You have been to the kitchen, to see Hannah."
Preacher.--"You lie; I have not been there at all."
Wife.--"Well I know you have, you brute; I have a great mind to cut my own throat!"
Preacher.--"O dear, I really wish you would."
Wife.--"Yes, I presume you do, so that you could run to the kitchen, as much as you please, to see Hannah. Old man, you need not try to thrust me off, for I have got some friends, as well as you."
Preacher.--"O yes, I know--Ben is a particular friend of your's, I am aware."
Wife.--"If you mention that again, I will surely report you to the preachers."
Preacher.--"Well, well, we had better born stop, I guess, and make up friendships."
Wife.--"No, I won't," and off she goes in a storm.
I used to look in to see how they acted when it came time to pray.
Now, I always used to think, (and more so than ever since I got away from slavery,) that what made them act so toward each other, was the habits they were in, of abusing other people. If they had treated the slaves in a friendly manner, they would not have had such bad hearts toward one another.
I knew an old slave and his wife, who had become so infirm they could not work. Their master wished to get rid of
them, so he put them up to the lowest bidder to be taken care of. The man that got them was a drunkard. He did not care what became of them so that he got his pay. He put them into a small hut, and fed them the refuse of his table where he fed his dogs. One night the old man fell into the fire in a fit and died, his wife being unable to get him out; and the only remarks made about it were--"Well, poor old man, he is out of trouble and suffering."
I once saw, while at work on the turnpike near the springs, a laboring man taken off the road and flogged and paddled until his body was beat to a pumice. He could not work for several days. But as soon as he could move again, he was driven to work, with as little mercy as if he had been a galled horse. And if one of us said a word in his behalf we were knocked down. O, it used to make my heart bleed, and I could scarcely keep my hands off the overseers. I could mention a great many cases, but I forbear.
I have heard a great many people at the north talk against having the colored people associate with whites. And I am willing all should exercise their taste in such matters, but the only objection I often find, is pride and love of oppression.--I have often been to dances got up by the colored folks at the South--the slaves, and when we were all enjoying our amusement, some of the white gentlemen would come in and crowd us off the floor and make the girls dance with them--and if we showed the least resistance of such aggressions upon our rights, we were knocked down, and if we laid a hand upon the gentlemen, the law punished us severely.
Now if there is so much "natural repugnance" to color, why do these young men take so much pleasure in crowding into their society, in such unmanly ways, and trampling on all laws of honor and decency? And why are there so many children at the south almost white? And why do the gentry all prefer colored servants and waiters? I think it is something else, altogether, than prejudice against color. It is hatred of caste. They degrade us, and hate to see us trying to rise to intelligence, honor and happiness.
I have often been traveling, when during the night, while darkness gave us all one color, my fellow passengers, would remain as quiet in the coach with me, as if I were a white millionaire, but as soon as day-light came, they were violently attacked with colorphobia, and talked loudly of throwing me out, although I had paid my fare. I always felt proud, however, of the consciousness that it was not any thing that reason and judgment condemned in me--for when these only acted, I was treated like a human being. But when pride and prejudice speak, it is in language of haughtiness. If men were all blind, the black man would be as good as the white man--for their mind and heart would be put in the scale and not the color of the skin.
Slaveholders often practice deception on each other, and the slaves at the same time. I once knew a case. A man wanted to sell his slave, but the purchaser was afraid the "boy" would not stay with him. His master then agreed to pay the slave twenty dollars if he would tell the man who talked of buying him, that he was willing to go, and would stay with him. The slave agreed to it--but as soon as the bargain was closed, the man refused to pay the twenty dollars, and the "boy" refused to go. A quarrel ensued, and came near resulting in blows. The slave was finally bound and taken off--but ran away in less than a month.
I knew a case of a drunken slaveholder, who, in one of his "sprees," traded off a good horse for a blind one. He came home--and in the morning, when he found out how he had been cheated, he offered his slave "Ned" twenty dollars if he would trade him off to advantage, or sell him for a given sum.
Very few persons will ever purchase of a slave, except when they think they can make a great bargain and escape, it being contrary to law. But on this occasion the slave knew too much for the white jockey. He rode the horse off to a place of public gathering, and managed to exhibit the animal, which was a beautiful one, to the best advantage.--At length, when he appeared to be riding off, a jockey came
up and enquired whose horse he had. Upon being told it was his master's, and that he had permission to sell it, the jockey asked the price.
"One hundred dollars," was the answer.
"Why does your master wish to sell him!"
"Oh, he has some faults."
"Oh, he throws his head down to drink so quick it jerks the bridle from Massa's hands,"--or, perhaps, a number of trifling objections were given. The man thinking the horse worth $150, offered 93. It was taken, and Ned started for home, well knowing that if pursued, he could silence the complaints of the purchaser by reference to the law in regard to "trading with slaves without license."
It is so often the case that slaves do not enjoy the good and wholesome food necessary to make them happy, that they often resort to every possible expedient to obtain it. A few cases I will mention. At one time we had been kept for a long time on corn and potatoes with a little salt, and our "mouths watered," for the "flesh pots`" of our master, as did the Israelites after a long diet on manna. How to get it was the question. We finally hit and agreed upon a plan which succeeded. It was at the time when opossums were plenty and fat. We asked and obtained permission to go out opossum hunting, and killed several. On our return we killed two good fat pigs, skinned them and buried the skins and entrails. Then skinned our opossum's and buried the bodies, while we put the pigs nicely dressed and seasoned into kettles and boiled them. While the odor was rising to sharpen our appetites, master came in, and inquired what we had in our kettle. "A good fat opossum," was the reply, and the skin was presented in proof of our statements. "With this reply master seemed satisfied and walked away, remarking, as he went--"well, you can live like kings if you chose now--opossums are fat and nice and make a good dish for you." But didn't we laugh when he was gone--especially, while eating the pig for opossum!
When a turkey or fowls were wanted--we used to catch them--dress and eat them up in the night talking care to leave the feathers so scattered around as to indicate the havoc of Foxes, and were always ready to follow our master's wishes in hunting for the Foxes after a night of their depredations.
When potatoes were scarce, and we wanted a mess, it was very easy to dig a roast there, and then leave a rail out, or a bar down to give the appearance of their having been taken by the hogs. Frequently the hogs were driven into the field previously to informing our master that they were in the potatoe field.
Various expedients of this kind were resorted to; but not always successful. And some may think it was very wrong. Perhaps it was; but we were often very hungry too, and could see no reason why, since we were compelled to work without wages, we should not eat the fruits thereof. Especially, since pious masters forgot the command, "thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox, that treadeth out the corn." I doubt whether many of our own northern laborers would deem it a very great crime to eat a pig, or even an ox, that might belong to one who was compelling him to labor year after year without pay. At any rate, it could not be expected that poor, uneducated, "ignorant" slaves should know any better than to yield to the "first law of nature," self-protection, and occasionally infringe the more refined rules of civilized and Christianized Society.
Are these slaves, with notions so limited and confused, with whom the strongest argument is the bloody lash, susceptible of morals? There must be some ideas of order to understand goodness, to feel the charm of virtue; there must be a will of one's own, and that will must be exercised to contradiction before it can courageously battle with vice. The slave then, in his destitution of light, and his prostration of will cannot have a character for morality. Good and evil to him, are what he is commanded, and what he is forbidden; his will is only that of other people, and his whole energy
tends to destroy in him his own self, the conservative principle of every being, for the sake of putting in its place the capricious self of somebody else. Ask a slave if he can get you such and such a thing, if he can be free to perform for you such a task, he judges from these questions what you desire, and not having the strength to say no, which would perhaps displease you, he answers affirmatively; and the more you seem to desire what you ask, the more he adds to the promise. I have remarked this, whenever I have addressed them, whether I had really need, or wished only to try them; but no sooner have they left you, than they give themselves no further trouble about their promises; they act as if they had forgotten them, and the next time they see you, it is with the same assurance as before; shame for a lie is unknown to them. A lie is often useful to them, and the truth so often disastrous, and their aptness at a lie is such, that they take in sustaining it, an air of assurance and tranquility which imposes upon strangers; often the terrible preparation for punishment, and the redoubled blows of the whip cannot extort from them the truth. Of course we no more expect to find in them that species of fidelity which respects the property of others: can those who have no property themselves, and know not what it is to have it, find any thing good in a virtue which is never otherwise than harmful to them?
The strongest reason why we should root Slavery out, and burn it up by love; test the matter, and fear not; evil shall not hurt thee; I know the God of peace will stand by His truth and by His men and messengers.
In Macedon, Wayne County, N. Y.
I rejoice to say that I am well received in this part of New-York. I am lecturing every evening, and I have great congregations on the Lord's day, to hear me expose all kinds of infamy. I have given but a brief sketch of my true condition, and our own State, as a family.
You may judge for yourselves; I will speak according to my knowledge and the information which I received while a slave, from my brother and others.
You have learned already that Mr. Isbel was a man of intemperate habits. He was also a very licentious wretch when he was in liquor; but when he was not drunken he was very kind to his wife and family, and also to his slaves. But it was a very hard matter to keep this man sober while the Deacon continued to treat him.
1. I am of the opinion that all ministers and exhorters are in duty bound to solemnly expose all sin, and urge Christians to act under a feeling sense of duty.
2. And if we live as GOD would have us, we will not live after the world and all the pleasures thereof; but as ministers of Christ, we should look after the souls of the human race, rather than the purse.
3. And then we will have to deny ourselves of the honor of men, just as our Savior did; for he has taught us what to do if we will be his disciples: Mat. x 38. And he that taketh not his cross and followeth after me is not worthy of me.
4. Did Christ go into any village and settle himself in a fine mansion, and then ask a large salary for doing what God commands us to do, without money and without price?
5. No my brthren, it is not self-denial by any means, for the minister to live in pomp, while millions of our own citizens remain in moral darkness, destitute of the gospel, because the ministers have not obeyed God.
6. 2 Tim. iv 1, I charge thee before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and kingdom; preach the word, be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and doctrine.
7. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
8. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
9. Can any minister claim the name of Christ's disciple, who hath not the power of discernment to see the responsibility which he must bear?
10. The more I learn of the word of God, the greater is my strength in the firm and glorious principle established in his law.
11. I am alone, and I will stand forever alone, if I cannot find men who will yield to the claims of God. I see that all the principles of the Gospel are designed for the elevation of our race.
12. What I speak I acknowledge, I speak with shame, when I find professed christians that will set a white table, and then set another for a minister that God saw fit to create of a different hue.
13. And seeing these things, I see the necessity of pressing true, pure, unadulterated truth, to overthrow error of every description by the gospel.
14. My dear beloved brethren, let us look around ourselves and see what we are doing. What is the prospect of that minister who shrinks back from duty because the brother deacon rather not hear it?
15. Close, and very important questions, are evidently necessary for us to ask ourselves and our brethren, and by so doing we may understand where we are as ministers, and as professors of Christianity, and as professors of republican principles.
16. And if we will do this, we can always stand firm, unshaken in our faith. Dearly beloved friends and fellow travelers to eternity, I ask you if you have faith to believe the Bible? Yes I do. Do you live in accordance with the commandments of God, the giver of every good and perfect gift? When it is convenient I do, if God's pure and holy law doth not come in contact with my wicked will; and whenever, and wherever I see the law of God standing in direct opposition to me in my wicked political career, then I bid defiance to every law of God, and do just as I see fit. But my friend is your will to govern all the higher powers and all the glorious and sublime principles exhibited in Divine Writ.
17. Fellow travelers to Eternity, we see a great work to do.
18. And we are bound by everything that is pure and just to honestly protest against the slavery of Rum, and every other kind of sin, even American Slavery not excepted.
1. Watch. I say again in the language of God, watch.
2. What I say unto one, I say unto all, watch. This is one among the many commandments, and as a minister of Christ, I view it as a brief and comprehensive one, and worthy of regard.
3. And everything pertaining to the nation's safety, is depending upon us. Brethren and Sisters, let us see to it that we discharge our duty as Christians and as ministers of Christ. I understand the term minister to apply to every Christian person, or to a foreign minister, chosen or appointed by national authority.
4. And indeed, we are all under the same obligation to yield obedience to the Great Supreme Ruler of the Universe.
5. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh. Man should be as active as a gold watch in good trim, ever right; and then it is evident if any person set his by the gold regulater, it will be right. But if it be a brass watch, and always too fast or too slow, and never right, how can any human being tell without the true time, what to depend upon?
7. Oh, why will men be so destitute of all reason? what can be the state of that man's mind, who depends on saving himself from all Christian responsibility and refuses to watch.
8. But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. Yea, the end of our teaching, the end of instructing sinners the way of life eternal.
9. The end of informing the poor and destitute,--those millions that are this very moment living in these United States, in a far worse condition than any other class of persons were ever in. And shall we stand afar off? No. Peace, peace, is the cry of the mass, while we have no peace at all.
10. War is upheld, and many persons are very indignant, and cry out against war.
11. Yes, we find here, even among you, my friends, men who claim to be republicans, yea more, even the name of ministers of our holy religion, upholding war.
12. But since I have been endeavoring to show our ministerial
duty I find myself in deep distress, in my own mind. I find our ministers, with but few exceptions, unwilling to rebuke the sin of slavery. Now if it be all our object to promote the salvation of souls, we must let it be known by our acts. Fellow laborers in Christ, we may keep silent, but if we do eternal ruin must be our fate.--What an awful doom. There are thousands, yea, millions of our race in this nation, that have no Bible. Those poor down trodden people cannot be heard in their own defence. Shall we be dumb, or dearly beloved, shall we speak for these poor people, that the Holy Bible may be put into their hands, and that the grace of God may nourish all our souls?
Therefore I speak fearlessly in behalf of the great principles of eternal justice. My business is to seek wisdom, and to do this I must yield to the commandments of God. I find all persons ready to acknowledge the sinful and destructive influence of the slave system, and with all this light and knowledge, we see them go on from one degree of darkness to another, and talk of light and liberty; while every act we see them perform is directly in opposition to light and liberty. How can any person believe such?
My dearly beloved brethren in Christ, we are called upon by the word of God, to go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature without money and without price. Who can receive this saying? Who will go and preach and put their trust in the Lord? Can we find one Minister in all our country, of any order, who is prepared to come out against every sin in the land? We do find some, but they are few and far between.
I speak with candor and with shame, to say the least, when I see men of learning shun to expose the darkest and most destructive sin that can curse any people, or any nation under the sun. It matters not in my estimation who may be the props or supporters of that system. And yet we do find professed republicans, and so-called Christians, and pretended ministers of Christ, all doing the business of the
enemy; yea, ministers who claim the name of statesmen are true and bold vindicators of infamy, drunkenness, murder, chicken fighting, horse racing, and slaveholding--but for us to drag all this into the Church, it would not do. These things are now tolerated in all slaveholding states, and hundreds of these persons are the sons and daughters of ministers, and some thousands of these persons are the very same characters we have reason to recognize as children of Christ, and can God be just and stand by and see saints selling their brethren and sisters? Can any class of Christians and Christian ministers, slide into the highest classes of honor among men, by thus treating church members and ministers?
Brethren, beloved in Christ, we find it very important for us to reprove these hypocritical professors of religion. I will give you to know that I am one of the strongest opposers of all these heathenish and wicked institutions of slave-holding and rum drinking.
1. Thought first.--You thought that we were poor, degraded beings, because we had not arose to eminence in the sight of ungodly oppressors. This fact is developed to every person that is capable of reason, every act of this Government should suffice us all.
2. I ask in the light of God's shining face, if you are so simple as to suppose that you can take away all our privileges from us of arts and sciences; and then call us fools?
3. You may think us cattle, sheep, or old iron tooth drags.
4. I know that any Government, claiming the name of a republican government, that dares to treat three millions of her citizens as this government treats us, proves itself to be in reality just what it thought us to be.
5. A mean and sneaking, low, contemptible, government. Shame, shame, on the men who call the poor fugitive mean. O ye American citizens, read this, and when you read it, blush for shame.
6. I charge you to think from what one of your cattle it sprung. I ask you to stop, and look at all your noble institutions, and see what wonderful progress you are making. You have got so far toward the sublime principle of liberty.
7. That a man must be wedded to that foul system of slavery, before you can elevate him to any great official office in this union, if you have any desire to be a foreign minister, first become a poor unfortunate slave-holder.
8. And then a liar; tell us you hate the institution, as bad as any one else, but cling to it, and show how bad you hate it by hugging it. Away with such foolishness. I may well call my motto for a witness; hear it ye tyrants, it brings deep distress: "foolish thoughts completely used up."
I must confess with shame, it is bad to see any that are so bitter against that foul institution, that they even vilified us for acting God-like against it, by doing good that liberty might prosper in this nation, and make it respect itself and look higher than to ask any evil.
That noble God-like principle of Liberty we must cherish, if we intend to be democrats in principle, and own ourselves to be friends of man because we know him to be our equal brother in the sight of God, and we know he cannot be any thing less in the sight of an intelligent man; and therefore any individual whose views are so narrow contracted that he cannot distinguish the difference between an ox and a man, is a fool; and as true men, we are bound to withhold our votes from any such men, because they have not got sense enough to define what democracy is. When such persons are desirous to establish their democracy, or more properly speaking, hypocrisy, we always see them look for a man as near like themselves as possible.--This you deny, and prove your folly to every sober, candid person, for I heard a number of very respectable ladies say that if they could vote to establish a system of government, they would try to elect consistent men, such as would carry into effect and honor themselees and also their constituents, by so doing.
But our men have different views. We find the mass allow us to say that slavery is truly the greatest evil that can be inflicted upon mankind, when we see our affectionate
fathers dragged away from all their rights, from wife and children, and carry us off, away from our dear mothers, and finish this awful work by lacerating our sister's backs, to compel them to yield themselves to insults and abuses, such as none but slaves ever witnessed under the sun.
We are compelled to submit to the most flagrant crimes that man can endure, and all this by law. Yet ye say we hate it; it ought to be done away; we have looked at it for years, and our minister has prayed against it; and he is a very good man; we all like him. And our church is all anti-slavery, and we have passed some resolutions condemning the sinfulness of slavery. And one was a little doubtful, lest by any means we should hurt the cause, by taking such high ground. We carry out our principles; we would not let a slaveholder preach in our pulpit.
I would like to ask you, my friend, with kindness, how you prove to the world your enmity towards slavery.--You tell me you pray against it, and talk against it, and tell all your neighbors what a cruel thing it is. But when you vote do you speak? I am of the opinion that you do not let your acts correspond with your words. Your reply is, I vote for men that tell us they are very bitter opponents of the institution. But we fear that the course pursued by Liberty men will have bad effect, and strengthen the chain of the oppressors.
I am a poor, weak-minded, ignorant fugitive, but ever since I can recollect I always had sense enough to know that by taking a good file, and continuing to use it, it would not strengthen the links of any chain, but without fail, will surely cut them in two.
Take off the chains,
Cut them in two,
And ease our pains,
As saints should do.
That God alone may approbate,
This honest, noble cause,
And truly free each southern state,
And rend their oppressive laws,
That virtue there may grow,
And we to honor rise,
And every bond-man know
His Savior in the skies.
O, that God may grant us,
Each our heart's request,
And send our blessed Jesus
To take us home to rest.
I think you see wherein you are used up. You have acknowledged too much when you said slavery was the worst evil to argue with me, that we are bringing a worse evil than it. There is no foundation for such folly; it is scandalous to hear any person claiming the name of a republican, talk so.
I regret that we have any among us that have so little self-respect as you who are found guilty of making an apology for that Heaven daring outrage upon man; and not content to violate every principle of right, but blow it abroad through the land that we are strengthening the chains. I would like to have you show me a man in that town or in the universe that you are able to convince, that filing a chain-link will strengthen it. Sir, it is too absurd to make a fool believe it, and you know it. I am in hopes that you will not be fool ennugh to use such foolish words any more and call it argument. I consider it such plain foolishness that it has not the shape of argument about it.
Then true liberty men are the only class of men that are wearing away our national disgrace of slavero. This is the teachino of reason; because all pro-slavery men are the very men that are guilty of the alleged crime against the abolitionists. When LIBERTY men tell how they deprecate slavery, they are prepared to prove it by corresponding action. But when pro-slavery men tell with what repulsive views they look at the horrid institution of slavery, we find them ever prepared to do any thing to keep our party together. We are true liberty men, but if we vote for a liberty man it will advance the strength of the slave power,--it is a foolish idea. I come to you and tell you the hogs are breaking through the fence and destroying your crop; but you say I know it. What is the reason you
let them destroy your crop? O, I can do nothing. And because you cannot do any thing, you go and get all your neighbors' hogs and turn them in. You would be as consistent to take that course, as to go to the ballot box and try to elect a slaveholder to carry out your liberty principles. I am of the opinion that you have had your principles carried out by men of naughty habits, until we are left to hunt for principles in vain, for it is gone, and forever gone, unless we see to it soon.
O reader, you should not fail to understand me; when I speak upon this topic I speak my views. I must confess to an intelligent world of mankind, when I speak it is with shame. I have above thirty years experience in this boasted land of Bibles and of Liberty, and it is with difficulty that I can read a chapter. I am ashamed to acknowledge myself an American born citizen, from the fact she treats millions of her citizens with such contempt, that she has truly degraded herself as a republic.
I wish to convince every person that reads this production, what slavery is by nature. And I think it will convince you, reader, what such a system is by practice, under existing circumstances.
I cannot hold my peace while I can speak against the ungodly system of injustice that is filling up the cup of misery and grief. I am bound to remember that sad instant, when I took my aged grandmother by her hand and bid her a long farewell forever. I shall never forget how hard she tried to prevail with me to remain in that slave cursed region, although she had been doing all their work, and drove to toil for her father, who styled himself her master. O, who can imagine the condition of a human being placed in such a wretched condition. Held as the property of a father, who is bound by the highest authority to train up his children in the fear of the Lord. But my kind and affectionate grandmother was obliged to suffer all such outrages as this And this was not
all by any means. Her handsome daughters must be insulted and abused, and humbled, and made prostitutes of by the unlimited control of the tyrants. This is what the poor woman had to endure. I thank God that I have not any family there to suffer all such cruel abuse. I ask who can tamely submit to all these wrongs, where every principle of justice must submit to insult and injury? I cannot and will not tamely submit to that Heaven-daring, God-dishonoring, Hell-deserving sin. Do you think me too hasty in denouncing it as unworthy the fellowship of us that know all its bearings. Yea, it is all this, and more, and worse. I can convince you, reader, of this fact, if you are capable of reason. The natural results are sufficient evidence of my statements. I must pass some things that are so humiliating I have to blush.--Shame, shame upon that man who is so contemptibly mean as to rob my dear old grandfather of all his earnings. And then, not content with all that, they must, lion-like, take the last child, and leave the poor old man to suffer. This is the nature of slavery.
I remember that sad countenance when I bid farewell with my poor old grandfather; the big tears come gushing from his eyes and rolled down his cheeks. O, grandson, you cannot better yourself; you will be taken and killed or sold; you are now in good standing in the church, and to runaway and be taken will ruin you; you will be silenced from preaching and turned out of the church. Such was the kind entreaty of that gray headed grandfather, although his locks were silvered over with the bleak winds of many winters.
This is the nature of slavery. It goeth forth at its pleasure, bidding us of its victims trample down every law of God.--Yea, all self respect must be thrown away. We are urged to gratify these wicked, ungodly, oppressive wretches, in all their lusts,--when they would come to our wretched huts, directly from the grog shop of Stephen, half drunk, just steeped in rum, gin or brandy.
To our poor shanties they come because the are handy, Poor slaves are degraded, kept by the dandy.
This is the nature of slavery; then let it be denounced to the world by all clergymen in the United States, and then the work is complete, slavery is at once and forever overthrown, and our country free. And then we who style ourselves
American freemen can rejoice together, with friends that are near, and kindred so dear.
I can call to my recollection the Christmas morning when I witnessed one of the most horrid scenes I ever saw in my life. While I speak it is with difficulty that I can hold my pen; I am not mad, but my sympathy is so strong, I am lost in astonishment to see the indifference manifest on the part of human beings.
The case I here mention was the sale of a friend and his family. George, Sally, and three children. Munroe Tucker, of Edmunston county, purchased two of the children; Mr. Porter of Allen county, purchased the wife and one child; and Frederick Potter, of Warren county bought George. My eyes saw the sight and my ears heard the shrieking of those affectionate children and their tender hearted mother. I am aware that if such scenes should occur in your observation, you would take hold of the work with new zeal.
Let us further consider the matter: if it were your wife and children wearing the tyrant's cords, would you be found voting for the man that could not distinguish your wife from old Pide, the spotted cow, or those children from Buck and Bright, your oxen, and that lovely daughter, ranked with hogs and sold for gold. I ask what kind of an anti-slavery man is he who is guilty of voting for men that cannot or will not show any difference between human beings and beasts. And by men of this kind my father was sold.
I am often made to lament when I think how that poor mother wept when her husband was chained and carried away from her, and away from his two sons; and from his father and mother, and from his wife and sisters, friends and home he was compelled to go. He was a member of the Baptist Church, but this is not any guard against being sold. Our Methodist clergyman could preach and tell how he could feel for poor sinners in their wretched condition. But I am of the opinion that any clergyman who can preach and rob men and women of all their labor, and traffic in the members of the church to keep up the church, I tell you plainly what I think of any member of the church who will consent to the right of any layman or any person to be the owner of any human being, they have not any piety unless it be in the tails of their coats. And when they go
to flog their slaves, they run through the bushes and briars after us, and they lose the tails of their coats and all their goodness.
The old priest, Wall, always had his coat in the old style, and when he was not in a hurry he was apt to strip us and whip us. But he prayed when he was flogging us, saying Lord have mercy upon you, I am afraid you will make me sin so much I will never see heaven.
Joseph Robertson could not subdue Mary, the little slave girl, and this ungodly Methodist priest sold my aunt into the hands of old John Steely, a noted drunkard. I should perhaps make one apology for priest Robertson, for such trifling things as chasing his church members through the thickets, and selling his race for gain. Though I am told in the free north that slaves are kept by these good men to keep the poor unfortunate things out of bad hands. And all these good men always kept their kegs of whisky by them and I think that a part of them will go to the keg ten or twelve times where they do not once take the Holy Bible in their hands.
Are these to be our religious teachers, to direct us through this world of wretchedness, misery and woe? I had much rather go alone than to be conveyed by a poor, drunken, slaveholding clergyman. I am aware he is lost who tells us they are on the right road to heaven, and are determined to get there, and yet continue to steal and hold slaves.
Through Pennsylvania's mountains.
Her hills and valleys low,
We hope to see the fountains.
Of freedom rise and flow.
May peace from sea to shore run.
Until the world shall know;
And Tyrants ever strive to shun.
His virtues where they grow.
Though many threatenings do rage,
By grace we may endure;
My God will give us courage,
And keep our rights secure.
Through many sore temptations,
We may expect to pass,
For many dear relations,
Now in their chains are fast.
To you who spurn the glory,
Of honor peace and love,
Come listen to my story,
And let us meet above.
Where men from every nation,
Shall have their just reward;
And then by free salvation,
We'll sing and praise the Lord.
For the School in Idumea, Otsego county, N. Y.
I will speak in a poetic style,
Hear me for a little while,
If we were in Britian's Isle,
Our philanthropic blood would boil.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Beat this if you can;
I appeal to this school,
Learn to write now by rule.
I see you'll have to scratch,
Or else you will find a match--
Come lay hold of it my friend,
Let me see how fast you mend.
Every one that can,
Ought to show himself a man--
Show your skill with your pen,
Let your parents see it then.
Time is placed within your reach,
Yield to him that is to teach,
Lay hold of it while I beseech,
Cling to it like a leech.
Never show yourself a fool,
Sitting on the idle stool,
Lazy in the time of school,
Playing like the tyrants tool.
Contents.--Matters of great Magnitude. All who wish to secure a copy should avail themselves of this opportunity.
God give me wisdom this once.
I take my pen in hand, my dear friend, to inform you that I am well in body and also in mind, if a pure gospel could be held forth by true ministers of the cross, men who would not shun to declare the whole counsel of God, without regard to the influence of wicked men, or Demons of Darkness. I shall further consider these matters.
I need not make any excuse to you for taking my freedom. I do not think sir you can blame me in the least for such a small offence; you know very well you would run away every chance if you was denied the right to your wife whom you so dearly love. I may be wrong in my liberal views, but I believe that I am right, though your slaves are all well near yellow or white as you may call them. I do not blame the poor little yellow things for being half and three-quarters white, neither do I condemn the helpless girls, for these things. I shall blight not the character of any person for these wretched acts which are practiced in your kitchens, and I am sorry to say that your colored man, Thomas, your exhorter, lived with a young single girl, and each of them members of the church. I know it made a great fuss once in the church, but it was soon hushed, and the wrong continued.
Why is all this tolerated in your churches? Answer me friendly, for I am in a very good spirit; I do feel for your
soul; I hope to see you happy, and I believe you are desirous to gain Heaven. Your kind instruction which you gave me, I have not forgotten, and as one who must account to God, I speak to you in kindness, with brotherly love. I hope you will excuse my plainness and read the following production and give me an answer as soon as you receive this letter. I hasten to a close as soon as I can; you must not be weary in well doing, but be patient. I pray thee for this once, that ye listen to the kind instruction of a friend. I shall write you a long letter. I wish you to read for your own instruction; take heed how you treat this God-like subject, for this letter I hope will be plainly and openly read in your church, for I am of the opinion it will do great good if it can find admittance into your hearts, May God of his infinite mercy give you grace and save you by the application of Jesus' blood.
Above all things friend, lay these glorious God-like principles before all your friends and my enemies, and my dear connexions; tell them I am sick of Canada, and wish to come home, and cannot find any way to get back. I wish you would send me a little money to educate myself with; I am trying to study for the ministry. I hope you will favor my request. I think I can complete my education with three hundred dollars by my own exertions. If your circumstances are such that you cannot favor me with money, I hope you will write to me any how, for I am ready to help you at any time when you are in need. I am not mad with you by any means. I am aware if we have not the spirit of union in love, we cannot see God in peace. Let us consider there things now, before it is eternally too late with us.
You will please to direct your letter to the Publishers of the Star, Syracuse, Onondaga county, New-York. This is the commencement of my long letter which I promised to send you. Knowing you to be a man of a great mind, I believe you will read he following pages like a saint of God.
Mark my motto, sir. I must learn knowledge by observation, as it is my duty to gain instruction from every thing in existence.--Maj. General Andrew Jackson, of Kentucky.
TO STEPHEN CLAYPOOL--Dear Friend: I take this opportunity to inform you that I am well at present, and I hope these lines may find you well and in proper frame of mind for the reception of the truth. I have a great many things I wish to say to you. Permit to me speak my opinion kindly and freely, unbiassed, free from all worldly contamination.
I and the pleasure of attending meeting last night, with great good and much satisfaction to my soul; I had the presence of the Lord with me, I thought a great many things concerning old Kentucky. While my soul was drawn out by the spirit of God, I thought about you, a professed Christian, claiming us, your brethren in every sense, after you have extended the right hand of Christian fellowship to us, yet suffer yourself to go on just like other wicked ungodly men, and continue to procrastinate and retard the progress of our dear Redeemer's kingdom. You may think me plain this time, but I tell you the truth in the fear of God, and you may receive it and secure your soul from hell, where the shrieks of all the old rum drinking slaveholders will render you more wretched, miserable and degraded than ever we poor slaves have been, whom you claim as your property, subject to all kinds of wrong. We must bepenned up like sheep, and sold off like cattle, by our own brethren, which I know must be the kind of brethren that Paul spoke of in 2d Corinthians, chapter xi, verse 26th: "In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in porils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren." This is the kind of goodness and mercy that we see and feel among contemptible slaveholders. These perjured villains are justly represented false brethren: for we are taught in the gospel of God this great truth: "But be not ye called Rabbi, for one is your Master, even Christ--and all ye are brethren."--Matthew xxiii, 8. Every person whom God hath created, that is capable of reason, can see his obligation to God.
For the sake of honor among men, you continue to practice
licentiousness and polygamy. We are made to do all this, and worse; we must go away from all we earn, and leave our homes, and all our friends and dear relatives behind, subject to every abuse, insult and injury that man in his vile lust can possibly inflict upon his brother man. We have to be bought and sold at the will of wicked, idle, ungodly oppressors, just like cattle, contrary to our wills or without any regard to our wishes, to keep you for a young god, to lord it over Christ's heritage, and preserve you from starving to death in your idleness. I know all this is bad, but you continue to practice it upon men.
I cannot help but think of my brethren that you still hold in bondage. Is it right for you to treat us, your brethren, with such contempt? Christ died for us. O how can you be so hard and oppressive to that Saviour who suffered so much for all mankind. And must he continue to bleed and agonize, while you continue to seam his back with the rugged lash.--Behold his blood comes gushing at every blow. I refer to the night I saw you lacerate Bradic, and Manuel, and my brother Elijah, and myself, with the cow-skin.
I will speak to you in poetic style, sir.
You will bleat and ba-a loud as your goats,
Gorge down dear slaves and strain at motes,
Then seize your laborers by their throats,
And keep them, men in ragged coats,
And this is tyrants' union
You raise tobacco, corn, and rye,
And drive, and thieve, and cheat, and lie,
And strive to satisfy your eye,
By making switch and cow-skin fly,
And this is your foul union.
This poetry represents you slaveholders, you who keep us in ignorance, and deny us the right to read the Holy Bible of Divine truth, which Christ hath commanded us to read:--"Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me that ye might have life."--John v, 39, 40.
Ye are the very class that Jesus spoke of in Matthew xxiii, 13--17: "But wo unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Wo unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows's houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Wo unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, ye make him two-fold more the child of hell than yourselves. Wo unto you, ye blind guides, which say, whosoever shall swear by the temple it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor. Ye fools and blind; for whether is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?"
The commandments of God are of little use to us, if we are not allowed to obey them. The law regards us as goods, destitute of any right to read the blessed Bible of divine inspiration, which is able to make us wise unto salvation; and I have wondered in my own mind if it would be with them as it is with those who can read the sacred word of God. I am honestly convinced that the Holy Bible cannot be blamed; it contains the right of each person when it teacheth us to love God supremely, and that "thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." I understand this to be the teaching of God, and as a child of God it is my duty to endorse this doctrine. And I can prove that the stand which I have taken is not a new wild notion; Christians have seen the propriety of serving God.
"Then Peter and the other Apostles answered and said, we ought to obey God rather than man. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree." Acts v, 23.
I find the Bibe is what we need; it is without fault; the fault is in you, because ye refused to yield obedience to the law of God.
I am lost in astonishment when I see the wretched condition of infamy that those persons have fallen into, that are capable of reading the sacred word of God, but the fact that some persons have put their education to a bad use does not stigmatise knowledge. The intelligence of these my countrymen, refutes the idea. I see something beautiful and sublime in knowledge. I find the great principle of God is immutable, and cannot be changed by all the powers of human agency upon earth. They cannot change the duty of man towards
God. The time is truly at hand when all Christ's children must and will stand up for the redemption of mankind, to redeem them from the curse of slavery. I know this was the spirit of Christ: "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without our sins." Then he could not be a slaveholder, for we all understand the pollution of it.
I find in reading about my dear Redeemer, that he was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. Isa. i, 3.
I must try to have the spirit of my Divine Master, that spirit of love, that kind and forgiving spirit, even when he was reviled he reviled not again. This spirit I know is of God, and I am determined to have that spirit; I will live by that spirit, and make it my theme to hold fast my confidence in this spirit, because I am taught it is that spirit alone which led the Apostle to utter these words: "Cast not away, therefore, your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward."--Heb. x, 35.
You should remember that you have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God ye might receive the promise. I will remember you at the throne of grace. "For the fruit of the spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth." I love the fruit of this spirit, it makes me feel that kind forgiving disposition, which Christ ever manifested among persons of every description.
I will forgive you for all the wrongs you have inflicted upon me, and I hope God will forgive you and help you to repent of all your deeds. I suppose you will think it very strange to see a thing take the stand I have in favor of the uncompromising principle of right. I ask you to give your attention to this subject; I do it for your soul's sake; I feel for you, and I will pray for you, that God may open your blind eyes, and cause you to see your awful condition of living in sin and dying in folly. O my dear friend, I hope you will bear with me, while I ask you a few important questions.
1. What would you do if the slaves should seize one of your
dear little children and sell it into the hands of an ungodly rum-drinker to toil upon his soil, and receive for wages hickory oil for long and dreary years?
2. I ask you if such treatment is christian treatment? you answer no.
3. I ask you if such treatment is kind? you answer no.
4. I ask you if God has given you any right to sell persons as you have been guilty of doing.
5. I ask if you are authorized to sell children by the will of God? your candid answer is no.
6. What can that sister think of such piety as that which sold her dear little infant? I refer to the poor little child which you sold to pay Joseph Gilmore one hundred dollars. But you say we hold men for their own good and not for gain.--Why then do you sell persons? O I do it when I cannot pay any thing else.
7. I ask if that case is the only one that you have been guilty of breaking up families? No. I remember a number of cases of your agency in selling those who have fallen into your hands.
We must remember that great good has been accomplished by the virtue of truth, and I shall deal plainly with you and expose your vice in this letter. You could always instruct and teach me my duty, and you know it is your duty to let the oppressed go free, because God commands it.--Isa. lviii, 1-6: "Cry aloud, spare not; lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Is not this the fast that I have chosen, to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bringest the poor that are cast out to thy house, when thou seest the naked that thou cover him, and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
Do you let your life and acts correspond with the gospel? No! Now I ask you to repent and secure the salvation of your soul. I see your awful danger; I feel for you in your lost condition; I pray Almighty God to awaken up sensibility in you, and cause you to see and help you to feel your danger.--Be candid with yourself; although you can trifle with man, God is not to be trifled with by ungodly oppressors; no, I see the testimony of this fact in every thing that exists in nature.
God has revealed this truth to us in His holy word, and ye know it. I earnestly plead for the rights of all my race, and more abundantly the lovely sister that ye have insulted with your cruel abuse. Wo unto you, you blood-thirsty tyrant, for ye continue to starve the hungry, and ye refuse to clothe the naked, neither do you let the oppressed go free. Wo unto you, ungodly slave seller, ye have put the yoke upon the image of your God, ye have not brought the poor that are cast out to thy house. The slave is poor, he is cast out of society, out of school, deprived of Liberty and of the Bible. He is compelled to work like an ox. He has no more right to ask wages than your goat. Evidently he is poor, wretchedly degraded by you, notwithstanding God has taught you what is your duty towards your fellow men. As a christian you should let the world know that you have been with Jesus, and show to the wicked and the rebellious around you, that your piety is so pure that you will obey God. If the commandments of God should be obeyed, strictly adhered to, and carried into effect, the people in this nation would be a happy people, a loving people, a temperate and free class of citizens.
But I regret to see our present state of degradation, when I think of my country as it is in the 19th century, under the control of blood-thirsty tyrants, supporting laws that are condemned by the God of the universe. As a nation we may expect a curse; I look for the visitation of God upon us. These are stubborn facts; we have to meet them; they are staring us in the face. "Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so; and what will ye do in the end thereof?" Jeremiah v,.29-31.
My next copy shall be some fuller of matter, friend. God continues to admonish us by his servants to be brave; you cannot get rid of responsibility. God holds you and all other ungodly oppressors accountable for all these flagrant acts.--Jeremiah xxii, 13; xxiii, 1: again xxi, 12; xxiii, 3. Now we see the threatenings of God. This is the Lord speaking to us by the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah it appears was an eminent man of God; his views were remarkable and sublime with respect to the duty we should perform. "Wo unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers
by wrong; that useth his neighbor's service without wages, and giveth not for his work. Wo be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture, saith the Lord. O house of David, thus saith the Lord, execute judgment in the morning, and deliver him that is spoiled out of the hands of the oppressor, lest my fury go out like fire, and burn that none can quench it because of the evil of your doings. Thus saith the Lord, execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor; and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place."
What could be more sublimely set forth than these God-like rules of right. Do you pay those hands that perform your labor, and toil in the heat and cold, day and night, week after week: without any pay,
Months and years boys toil,
For hickory oil;
I saw you make the cow-skin crack
Upon the poor slave's back,
whom ye have crushed, and robbed of all their rights; you do not give any pay at all. I tell you kindly that you are condemned before God and an intelligent community. Friend, you should stop and look, see what an ungodly influence you show to your family and all those around you. When I think of your guilty acts of barbarity, which you practice among your slaves, I blush, it is so revolting to nature. I refer to the night I saw you drag the poor old colored minister out of bed, away from his wife, denying him the right to speak in self-defence. O how bad it appeared in my sight, though I be one of those poor illiterate class of persons. How must these things appear in the sight of God, whose eye is watching all things. Although you do these things in the night, when virtuous persons are asleep, God hears the cry of his ministers. He is not asleep while you are flogging ministers of Christ. I wish you to think of the bloody back of that veteran of the cross, when he was
Bending his way, leaving his dear wife,
Whom he had chosen for his companion in life,
Subject to the tyrant's control in their strife,
Who shall have Mary the minister's wife.
What makes those things look so dark, and damning, is the alarming fact that these things are not tolerated alone by the inebriate, and non-professors, but you who profess to love God and your brethren, practise these things upon the same persons that ye meet with to worship monthly in Rock Spring, or Liberty meeting house.
What injustice can be inflicted upon any of God's intelligent race that will compare with the system of slavery which must have hold of the wealth of three millions of her citizens, and lay her iron grasp upon all we earn, and then tell us we are not men.
She sets her iron hoof upon the old man's neck,
And takes the wife and sons on deck;
O how can a human heart be made so hard,
To see his brother of all his rights debarred.
I wish you to remember that I am in my right mind. While I speak these words solemnity prevails in my mind. What are your feelings in your moments of sad reflection! Have you ever stopped to consider? No. I thought a candid thinking man could not treat persons with such contempt, were they to stop and look at themselves but for a moment, and consider that this is not man's abiding home, it would doubtless be different. But with you ungodly oppressor all is self, self, self; big I and little you; if you can have the comfort of living with your wife and children, you disregard the rights of those your brethren, being admitted into the pales of your church. I have not time to give you a full statement of the wrongs that transpired in the range of my observation, when I had to go like a livery stable horse, to any one who saw fit to pay the largest sum. Money I want, yes I am pushed for cash; I shall have to sell a human being. Go Jack, to Hickman, then to Isbel; now to Bounds; back to Wall; then to Prunty; off to Robertson: now to Price; go to Noles; then to
Bratton; quick to Adams; away to Dackett; then to Ivins; round to Claypool; now to Ford; then to Ray; up to Withrow; go Jack, go Andrew, go it Niger, I paid for you; down to Dun, run Jack, run; off to Kern's; oppression, oh how it burns; over to White; now to Haly.
I have toiled for others more wretched than they,
And some of them brothers, that drove me away.
I pray that God may look upon us with a propitious eye, and forgive us our sins. My heart exults, my soul is full of glory; I am now with the people of God; they do not know any difference in human beings; it is evident that where the spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty, but where the spirit of the devil is there is slavery. Like a large portion of ungodly oppressors, you profess to love God, and hold his image in abject bondage. Woe be unto you, ye wicked ungodly tyrants, how long will you practice these wrongs; turn ye, turn to God and live. I rejoice that I ever learned that Jesus Christ hath died for us the apostate race of Adam.
These things write I unto you lest by any means death should lay his icy arms around you, in your state of wretchedness. I hope that God through the instrumentality of this truth, may open your blind eyes, and melt your hard impenitent heart; I tell you my dear friend you are in the dark; yes ye are blind and cannot see afar off.
Hear ye the word of the Lord. Rev. xxxi 18: Because thou sayest I am rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and annoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see. What beautiful instruction we have, but Oh, how little it is regarded by those hard drinking oppressors; they are not honest neither are they sober, therefore you have not any moral principle. This counsel is so kind that every person should take it, and be true to God, and receive this gold and be rich.
But amidst all the instruction of God which is so lovely, yet ye choose blackness and darkness, cleaving to the
things of this world which swiftly pass away, and will soon be no more, and will leave you poor, notwithstanding the great riches held forth to you, by the servant of God, in truth. I bless God for all these things; I find that God will instruct his saints; yea, and by his almighty power he will nourish his children.
My heart exults, my soul is full of glory, I feel the power of these great truths. I have more of the power of God upon me now than I had the night when you came into the kitchen, where we poor slaves were, singing, and remarked, well you are all very happy, I can hear you singing but I never can hear you praying. I replied, we pray every night. You requested me to pray, remarking I wish to hear you. I fell prostrate before God, and invoked his blessing upon you. I prayed for you then by your request. I pray for you now because I love your soul, and desire your happiness. I am obliged to be plain with you; I hope you will read the following facts with candor, and consider this great subject, and decide for God.
What will a God of justice do with professors that are guilty of living by man-stealing, as you know all tyrants do? Do you think God will approbate those professors who are all the while robbing the poor and destitute, making them more wretched, rather than following the example of Christ, who went about doing good? Do you suppose the eye of God is not watching all your acts of infamy? If you do, I am sure that you are deceived; the Devil is trying to deceive you, and destroy your soul. I plead with you before God, to listen to my kind entreaty. I demand in the name of God, freedom for all the race of Adam, and more abundantly that you let your slaves have their liberty; unless you do, the time will come, when you will see your condition, and realize that your case is truly miserable, the wrath of God will surely abide on you, Then you will see your nakedness, and your blindness, and your poverty in the light of God's shining face.
Come let us reason together like Christians, and be kind in so doing. This is the best way to do business of this kind, more especially when we are doing God's service. If you have any desire to be happy in this life, and rejoice with Jesus Christ our Savior, and with all his saints, who have washed their robes and made them white in his blood you
must repent of all these things and turn to God and live a new life. God required repentance in former years. God is the same, and therefore it is your duty to repent, and confess and forsake your sins, and turn do God and live for him who died for you. I appeal to your understanding as a man. I appeal to your reason as a member of the Free-will Baptist Church; do you understand the definition of your profession. I think not. I understand the term free-will to give each person the power of acting at their own pleasure in the sight of the great omniscient eye of Jehovah.
You must remember that I tell you the truth in love and you must obey this truth. Unless you do so you will soon see the infamy you have brought upon your own head by that spirit of avarice and covetousness, which diabolical spirit alone has controlled your judgment, and you have lost sight of every noble principle of humanity, and turned away from God, and have gone after Satan. I am sure the eye of God is upon you. He has a book of record in which all your bloody crimes are registered. O what will be your condition when the grim monster, death, is breaking your tender heart strings! When your nails on those fingers which seized the little children in their infancy, are turning blue; and when your sparkling eyes are sinking in your head; and when your feet that now convey your mortal frame, are cold like clay; when your last hope of recovery is lost in darkness, gloom and despair, it will doubtless be a sad moment to tyrants then; when your deathless spirit must take its flight to meet its final doom.
Receive ye the word of the Lord; Isa. iii 10, 11. Say ye to the righteous that it shall be ill with him; for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe unto the wicked, it shall be ill with him; for the reward of his hands shall be given him.
I thank God for the prospect of the righteous. I see the glorious promises that are held forth to us in the gospel.--Although you may deprive us now of our rights, and earnings, and of all the fruits of our doings, it shall be well with us when we shall hear the welcome applaud, "come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:" But to the wicked, ungodly oppressor, he will say, "depart from me ye cursed,
into everlasting punishment, prepared for the devil and his angels, from the foundation of the world."
I am bound to do all in my power to put down villainy of every description, and stand up for the spread of the Gospel of light.
And for this reason I disregard the opposition of all the wicked, ungodly oppressors, with all their influence. I stand firm: Christ is my rock and my salvation. O Lord, thou God of Daniel! thou who didst deliver the Hebrew children out of the fiery furnace, I thank thee for thy loving kindness, O God; for thou hast delivered me in time of trouble out of the hands of these my enemies, with all their blood-hounds and bull-dogs. Yet thou truly hast been my strength in all my affliction, and sorrow, and grief and pain, which came upon me while I was laying in jail sick, near unto death, but through the mercy of God I have not a doubt or fear. When I read thy promises, I find that they that put their trust in the Lord cannot be confounded. I have not taken this noble God-like stand in self-defence, nor simply in defence of man; but as a Servant of God I have taken it in defence of my Redeemer. Think, He it is that you thus insult. He it is that you treat with so much contempt. While I write, let me direct your attention to the motto of learning knowledge.
N. B. While I write my eye is fixed upon an object of nature. I saw a cat deprive the little helpless robin of its young. I saw the bird in agony, and all the birds appeared to feel the loss of a fellow bird, and sympathize with that poor little robin. Although they were not all robins, yet they were all birds, and possessed the nature of birds, however different in form; they knew it was a bird, though it was of a different color; it was justly entitled to their sympathy. When I can gaze upon the free love, and the kind affection exhibited among the fowls of the air, I asked my Father of heaven and earth, can it be true that man is the worst being of all my creation. It appears clear to my mind that everything has more affection than a slaveholder.
We have this fact established even among our beasts. When we drive a cow away from her calf she is apt to run back to it. We may take the mare away from the colt, and she will run back to it; but you ungodly oppressors are so hard and so wicked, that you sell infants--taking them from fathers, mothers and every right. I cannot describe my feelings when I look around me and see the affection of birds and brutes, it makes me think of my dear Redeemer in his condescension toward suffering humanity. Now if persons all possessed the same spirit of kindness of these things where nature has not been controlled by prejudice, there would not be one found in all our country that could live by robbery or by fraud; if persons all had the spirit of Christ, we would not see poor mothers weeping for their children as we do.--Now we notice the contrast; the cat took the helpless bird: man was guilty of the depredation of taking the helpless child. The cat did not take a cat; but man has taken his fellow man. Stephen Claypool, thou art the man. Thus spake Nathan unto David: 2d Sam.xii 7.
Think of this matter. How can you endure the thought of appearing before that God who cannot look upon sin with the least allowance, with his heart-searching eye. And if you fear offending God, emancipate your slaves!
Have you a desire to make heaven your home, then see to it that you emancipate your slaves!
If you are desirous to be a happy man, emancipate your slaves!
And if you will be honest with God and men, emancipate your slaves!
If you expect to see vital piety increase, emancipate your slaves!
If your intention is to adorn the doctrine of Christ, emancipate your slaves!
If a spark of the love of God is in you, emancipate your slaves!
I kindly entreat you to emancipate your slaves!
I call upon you in the name of Christianity to emancipate your slaves!
If you wish to see the prison house of oppression blasted, emancipate your slaves!
I appeal to you in the name of suffering humanity, emancipate your slaves!
I beseech you in the fear of God, by this entreaty, to emancipate your slaves!
If you ever expect to see your children industrious and enterprising, emancipate your slaves!
If you are desirous to see this Union prosper, emancipate your slaves!
If you are desirous to see the price of your land increase, emancipate your slaves!
If you wish to see millions of God's poor have equality, you must emancipate your slaves!
I plead with you before God to set the example like a Christian before all persons, by emancipating your slaves,--give them their LIBERTY, and make them your friends. Let them become land-holders and tax-payers, and not taxable property and then you have placed them in a condition that will make them industrious, and also an enterprising people. But if you do not believe my kind entreaty, just try the experiment and the natural growth and prosperity of the country will prove the truth of my assertion.
I call your attention to God's instruction, Matth. x 6, 7, 16 20. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel:--And as ye go, preach, saying the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men; for they will scourge you in their synagogues, and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak; for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the spirit of your father which speaketh in you."
The instruction which we have is of great value; it is holy just and true. Even in Marcellus I was dragged from the synagogue; in Stockbridge they hurled rotten eggs at me, and in Fenner I was stoned: in Gallenton I was compelled to mark my path with blood. But God says, "Go into," &c.
We will notice the contrast between the teaching of God and man. Your command reads, go into the kitchen, and preach, saying, servants be good, and obedient to your master and mistress, and love them and serve them; tell them not to take any thing off of the plantation without their master's leave;
and by all means be sure and not spend too much time in secret prayer. God tells us to pray always.
You know very well that you are violating the holy law of God in keeping slaves.
I am not speaking to you in the heat of my passion. I speak deliberately and calmly; not in haste, but with solemnity and godly sincerity, in my illiterate state. I am striving, through great difficulties, to do all I possibly can to advocate justice in the land, and advance the cause of God in bringing about emancipation, so I can return to my native land again, from whence I came. Although it is now barren and unfruitful, I see what it would be if slavery was not existing there. I am truly astonished to see the wide contrast which is now before me between free labor and slave labor. I see in Canada hundreds of fugitives living with their wives and children on their lots, peaceable; yet they wish to return home.!
I leave this place and pass over into the Empire State. Lo! I find a greater contrast; I see on every hill and in every valley, the effect of free labor,--enterprise far beyond all calculation. I find on this little stream, grist mills, and saw mills, paper mills, &c. Shame, shame, on the whiskey stills. I have not forgotten that you once followed that business, making man the curse of his companion, and also of his race,--destroying all the noble powers of the mind, which alone distinguishes man from a brute. I ask what can be the reason of such a distinction between Northern enterprise and virtue, and Southern ignorance and concubinage.
Every thing is flourishing where I am. Here husbands appear to love their wives, and wives reverence their husbands. I do not speak of an individual case; I use this as a common term--a term which it calls for all over the section from whence I came. But they, where I came from, live like a pack of quarrelsome dogs,--who will and who shall,----! Shame, shame, for the rights of a person are not known among slaves, and nabobs who claim them.
I hope, sir, you have ceased to do evil, and learnt to do well; to seek judgment, and to relieve the needy and oppressed; to
judge the fatherless, and plead for the widows. O, friend, come, let us reason together; let us be kind with each other. I will request one thing more in the defence of my own country--that is, let every one loose his own slaves in the fear of God!
I am called upon to reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering, and doctrine: I may in all probability attempt to give the reader some kind of history of my perils in my ministry, in which I have engaged under the blood-stained banner of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But I intend to continue the conflict, till I win the prize that all those shall be blessed, with that continue until the end, to watch and pray, guarding against everything that shall tend to destroy philanthropy among men, wherever we may happen to have our lots cast. I am resolved to see my country free from slavery and from rum. I am resolved to see the day that we can have Bible Missions in our own country. I am aware that you can act your part to send the Bible and the Gospel to Hayti, or to Burman, or to the coast of Africa, to the heathen there, or establish churches there, and admit slaves to be considered the followers of our Savior, and at the same time living in a state of fornication. I know this to be the case among your slaves, and I know that it is the case in all places among you where you have churches established. I write not these things to you in derision of christianity; it is with sorrow and regret that I speak of them. They have been allowed to go on to an alarming extent. I ask you to think about these matters with solemnity, and with christianity to proclaim to all the world that you are sick of slaveholding, and man stealing, and woman whipping, and child selling. I am sure that such a state of things is natural wherever slaveholding is practiced. A nation that is guilty of such highhanded robbery, the Lord hath spoken unto. Hark, hear ye the word of the Lord, O my friend, for I am now going to enter into a scriptural argument. I ask you to follow me in this train of thought.
Mat. iii, 2. "But who may abide the day of his coming, and who shall stand when he appeareth; for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap. 3. And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. 4. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of
old and as in former years. 5. And I will come near to you to judgment, and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me saith the Lord of hosts. 6. For I am the Lord, I change not, therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. 7. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances and have not kept them; return unto me and I will return unto you saith the Lord of hosts.--But ye said, wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God? yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse, for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation."
I ask you to look at yourself and see how you rob. God's gospel will tell. Math. xx, 42. "For I was an hungered and ye gave me no meat, (spiritual meat,) I was thirsty and ye gave me no drink." I here relate to having been wretchedly treated. I ask you to think of it, what do you suppose our feelings must be, knowing that we are hungry, and feel that we are thirsty, seeing ourselves naked and in poverty. I ask you my dear friend, where do you suppose that a human being can find happiness placed in this condition? I tell you there is not any. All is darkness and gloom the most dismal of any thing that mortal man can imagine; the mind is in a state of moral darkness. It is more than I can do to tell what slavery is. There is not any person upon the earth except victims who have felt the misery which slavery inflicts upon persons of all grades, of all colors, from the purest white to the deepest black, of every age, of the old and of the infant. Such is the patriotic institution, or else the organic sin, yea that institution which bids defiance to God and to the government established by the authority of God, which I consider to be far paramount to the profligate, sublime, and peculiar institution of slavery and slaveholding; I must deal plainly and in love. You talk about an organic sin, a sin that all men are bound to uphold; and if there be any that refuse to go the whole hog he is self-righteous or ultra, or fanatic, because he has left the old party. But better is it for us to leave our old friends, and old habits, and every old sin, and every old principle, and every old party, though it may be the most popular party or an organic sin. I ask you if you are to be free from individual responsibility? I regard
every person responsible for the death of all persons that are shot under pretence of law, when God has said thou shalt not kill. I would be understood; when I speak of slaveholders, I speak of them in a scriptural view: he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deed. Hence, he who is guilty of voting for wicked, oppressive men, is responsible for the acts which they are guilty of performing. I believe that God will hold every person perfectly responsible, for by our words we must be justified or condemned. This sir, will condemn you, for you must tell God what you have been doing all your days.--Will you continue to retard the progress of the Redeemer's kingdom? I pray Almighty God to melt your hard heart, and open your blind eyes, and unstop your deaf ears, and prepare your mind for the reception of truth; as it is written, He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and the poor he will save by the power and virtue of truth, which is so beautifully exhibited in Divine inspiration. Luke, vi, 24: "But wo unto you that are rich, for ye have received your consolation. Wo unto you that are full, for ye shall hunger. Wo unto you that laugh now for ye shall mourn and weep." The moral precepts of God's law we understand shall be executed against you.
Dear friend, I find that there is matter in this text. I have hope that you will read the following sentiments I advance with christian candor and godly fear, in faith, believing that God will convict your poor unhappy soul. First, I find that the scribes and pharisees were quite angry, and I suppose that it is quite likely they began to roar and scold like old slaveholders,--filled with indignation because some person did right in relieving the poor and needy,--the man whose right hand was withered. I see he was in need, and those hypocrites knew the poor man was in need; yet we see the wicked looking on. "And the scribes and pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the Sabbath day, that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their thoughts," &c. No doubt these persons talked loudly about goodness and mercy. I suppose those persons were in as wretched a state as I was in when I was fleeing from my brethren in Canada, half starved and almost destitute of clothing, rubbing the ears of corn to cat, which I did on the sabbath; but to return.--"And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor for yours is the kingdom of God.', I don't care about the honor of men, but to honor God is all my theme. "Blessed
are ye that hunger now, for ye shall be filled: Blessed are ye that weep now, for ye shall laugh: Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you and cast out your name as evil for the Son of Man's sake: Rejoice ye in that day and leap for joy, for behold your reward is great in heaven--for in like manner did their fathers unto the prophets."
Glory be to God and to the Lamb, I do rejoice with exceeding great joy; yea, it is with joy unspeakable and full of glory, when I look back upon past history and see what the apostles endured, and when I view the sufferings of the prophets, and then turn my attention to the dear Redeemer, and see his act of condescension, his love, his humiliation to us the poor apostate sons and daughters of Adam. Yea more, when I see his pierced side and his bleeding hands; yea more, I see upon his head a crown of thorns,--and then he must be buffeted and spit upon; yea more, he must drink the gall and vinegar, what has he done, I ask. "I find no fault in him: Crucify him, crucify him!" Oh, hear him exclaim, "My God my God, why hast thou forsaken me!"
But remember, my dear friend, that blood was shed for us; for your sins and my sins, and for the sins of the whole world. Again comes the words of the text: "But wo unto you that are rich, for ye have received your consolation." You have the word of God to seal this solemn and awful fact. Yea, my friends, ye have received your consolation. Alas, what a solemn thought; no more joy beyond this life, if you continue to procrastinate, and say that you know you must free your slaves, but you cannot do it this year. I call upon you as a friend, no longer to delay; your duty is made known to you in this book: "Wo unto you that are full, for ye shall hunger!" And in your state of misery, finding yourself wretched, I have not a doubt but what you will think of my kind request, asking you to take the fetters off of the people of God, in view of the consequences which must follow you, seeing that if you refuse to do this, and will not get rid of the evil, ye have received your consolation. You may laugh now, but ye shall weep and mourn in the day of your calamity. I do hope that you will be wise, and give this production a candid investigation, and then make a wise decision. "Wo unto you that laugh now, for ye shall mourn and weep." Alas! alas!
I find that this fact is referred to by the prophet Isaiah, chap.
xxviii: 7.--"But they also have erred through wine and through strong drink; they are out of the way; the priests and the prophets have erred through strong drink; they are swallowed up of wine; they are out of the way through strong drink.--They err in vision; they stumble in judgment." "For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness," so that there is not any place clean; I cannot get rid of responsibility; I must deal in the plain truth, and in the fear of God I shall strive to apply the balm to every wound that is made by slavery or by rum. I ask wisdom of God, the giver of every good and perfect gift. "Whom shall he teach knowledge, and whom shall he make to understand knowledge? Them that are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts." For, "precept must be upon precept, &c.; line upon line, &c.; here a little and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to his people." A man of God is always prepared for battle; the devil cannot take the advantage of him, for he is not found destitute. He has his equipment on, ready to fight against a host of the enemy.--Isaiah xxvi. 21: "For behold the Lord cometh out of his place, to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. The earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover the slain: Them that ye have slain, shall stand before God and testify against you, for you have condemned and killed the just, and he doth not resist you."
But God will reward wicked persons according to their works: then the earth shall also disclose their bloody crimes; the wickedness that is upheld by ungodly persons that have not got principle enough to save their souls from irretrievable wo, may their nakedness be discovered unto them, that they repent and turn to God, and live for Him who died for us, to bring us up from degradation and restore us again, by his all atoning blood, that we might have access to the banquet of his love, and be made like Him; for then we shall see Him as he is, and dwell in his glorious courts, and we shall then be a class of loving christians, and not one saint or church member selling his brother or his sister, or a pious father, in pretence that God could look upon such a heaven-daring sin, and smile at the poor heart broken mother, which is a christian mother, and ask that mother, "woman why weepest thou!" Ah, I weep not for the wrong that they have inflicted upon me; but I weep because they have treated my
dear Redeemer with such contempt. I know that God is a God of mercy, and he can save me and my poor dear little children; and he is a God of justice, and I know that he will punish the nation that is engaged in the traffic of selling and buying human beings; or in other words, dealing in souls: and may the God of heaven bless your souls and save them forever and ever. My exhortations and reasons why I take the stand I do, is because it is right in the sight of God and an intelligent community.
Yours in love,
Your humble servant,
A. JACKSON, of Kentucky.
Again, my friend, permit me to remark that I do not vindicate the principle of reform, moral or ecclesiastiacl, nor political, because it has the name of reform. I advocate these principles from the fact that I see that the age in which we live does require that every citizen should examine into the rights of every person, to understand when their own are safe. I deny the assertion that men sometimes make, that if the poor, illiterate, crushed sons of our native soil be permitted to say who shall be their law makers or their rulers, they will be the aristocracy of our country. I should not have supposed that an intelligent person would ever have harbored a thought of that kind; but I will admit it may be the case: then we should all be the better. If your theory be correct, which I shall not deny, then I will take you upon your own ground and beat you, admitting that these persons should redeem themselves from their degradation and rise to an eminent state by the restoration of their rights.
Behold the crushed intellect, smothered by aristocracy. I call upon you, reader, to stop. You will soon be arrested and brought before the tribunal bar of God, and then I find there will be no more opportunity for you to delay your suit.--It will be too late for you to attend to this great matter when God shall call you to appear before his shining face. When that penetrating eye is sternly fixed upon thy heart, then it will be made manifest to all the world what you have been
doing by making slaves of millions of those persons here in our country that have a right to be protected according to the Constitution of the United States.
I remark, that in proportion as light continues to increase in this land and nation, the infamy and cruelty must naturally increase, from the fact that the longer a nation continues to procrastinate the more wicked it is; yea, more diabolical and mean--'tis contemptible. Slavery in a land of Liberty! I deny the existence of any such thing: it is absurd--there is not any such thing--there is no reason in such an assertion. I will try to give you some reasons why I take such vehement ground: it is because I know that the two things that are brought to our view--Liberty and Slavery! are antagonists: they cannot exist upon the same soil, or under the same government; they are at war with each other. One is to exclaim to the other, "I will have the country--old Liberty, get off of me!" And then you hear illustrious Liberty exclaim, "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty!" I know that I have got that spirit, and I shall surely triumph by pressing my way on, amid all opposition.
With this spirit I mean to go on, till I see the last person free, and each inhabitant rejoicing with his own wife and children, around him, under his own control, or under a government that will take off all unjust restrictions, and see that the wants of the needy are all supplied by throwing around the strong principle of justice according to reason or righteous laws, that are holy, just, and kind, administered with an eye single to the honor and glory of God. I do believe that a government established upon this principle, would render us a happy people, a healthy people, and also a virtuous and intelligent people, an enterprising and a wealthy people, and if so, then let us have a government upon this principle. It will make every intelligent citizen feel that he has a duty to perform as an inhabitant, and then it will naturally follow as a matter of course, that the greater part of all our community would be striving to understand what our rulers are doing with the public money. This is the duty of every citizen to understand what is their duty, and pry into the proceedings of the government, and see that they administer it according to the Constitution of the United States.
Let me lay before you a fugitive's thoughts under this government. 1st. What business has a class of ungodly men to
that which I have toiled to earn. You tell me the law takes it. I will admit that the law takes it; but tell me, will you, who it is that use it? It is not the law that is so avaricious. The law neither eats or pockets any thing. Why then, I begin to inquire, is the law so foolish and so deeply concerned about that which is none of its business. "O, well, well, the lawyer has to live." I know the lawyer has got to live! I wish to know how the lawyer can live by that thievish law that always has robbed me and half starved me, and raced me down,--pompey and lion, bose and tiger, all in pursuit of me. The lawyer must be a thief if he can live by the corn that I have toiled to make, which I cannot say I have a right to use. Why, because it all belongs to the law let the lawyer take it. I will tell you what I thought, fellow citizens; you are full of hypocrisy, who tell me that the law is a wicked thing, and very tyrannical. I am in the habit of stopping to think.
Tell me a little more about the character of this bloody monster. How did he get into power? Did the tyrannical villain take his long horn and throw the senators and the people's representatives out of the legislative halls? O, no. Well, friend, what fault can you find with a law that you acknowledge is innocent,--was never known to take the President's chair, or kick men out of the Senate? Can the people get rid of national responsibility? I answer in the negative. There is not a person upon the earth that can think what vice is tolerated in that country by the slave power. But I must close my letter, to be continued by your request.
O, let the God of peace comfort your hearts, and save your immortal spirits, even now and forever and forever more.
While I write I have before me a plain testimony of the statements I have been making concerning our national dishonor. I have in my possession a Southern paper, entitled "The Floridan: by S. S. SIBLEY, Tallahasse, Florida, Saturday, September 12, 1846: Vol. xviii, No. 8."
Any person by calling upon me can see the original, which I here have copied, by request it will be seen, by my readers.
RANAWAY from the residence of the subscriber, (at Newport) about the 26th ult. his negro fellow SAM, a light colored mulatto, about five feet eight inches high, and about 40 years old. He walks with a stooping, lounging gait, hesitates and hems when spoken to, and wears whiskers. He speaks with a drawling, up country accent, and is rather an intelligent fellow. He was raised in Early county, Geo., on the Scwhatchee, some twelve miles from Blakely, and was there owned by Mr. John Roe. I will give twenty-five Dollars for his apprehension and delivery to me, or on his being lodged in the Tallahassee Jail; and seventy-five Dollars in addition, for proof to conviction of his being harbored by a white person. It is likely he may have a pass, but it is forged if he has.
JAMES ORMAND.Newport, Fla., August 15, 1846.
I suppose Mr. Ormond will not be mad at us for having complied with the request; but great is the scandal to us as a people claiming the most glorious name of any other nation, and when we pick up a paper to inform our minds, the first we see is one of our citizens advertised because he has walked out where he can be among those in another clime, and under a different form of government. I am glad that our boasted Republic, as you may call it, extends not o'er all the land; for if such a republic could be established, we
should be doomed to live a life of degraded servitude, or vassaled eternally.
COMMITTED to the Leon County Jail, on the 18th inst., a negro man named COOK, about 75 years old. He says he belongs to Thomas Butler; talks bad English. The owner is requested to come forward and take him away, or he will be dealt with according to law.
J. W. SHERWOOD, Jailor.July 26, 1846.
When I see poor old persons, who are old enough to sit down quietly and take comfort in the enjoyment of their early labor, I find that in this glorious land of gospel darkness and oppression, they must be chased, hunted and shot like tigers. It is a disgrace to our nation--a scandal to you as a republic, and a sin in the sight of God,; therefore it is the duty of every person that can write to be up and doing. How can we slumber? I am filled with new zeal when I see these things before my eyes. My God! my God! What shall we come to if these things are to be let pass unrebuked by us ministers of Christ!
AT Troupville, Lowndes County, Georgia, on Monday the 1st ult., a negro fellow, about 5 feet and between 6 and 9 inches high, very straight built, walks quite erect, with a complexion inclined a little to yellow, very intelligent, speaks fluently, countenance inclined to be grave when not speaking, teeth quite small, says his name is ALFRED THOMAS, and also says that he is free, that he has been a sailor, but was brought to Augusta, in this State, by his guardian, who carried him to Florida as a team driver, and was left on foot by his guardian, with little or no money, and directions to return to Augusta, to which place he said (when taken up) he was making his way. The owner or owners of said negro, (if any he have) are requested to come forward, pay expenses, and take him away.
MORGAN G. SWAIN, Jailor.Troupville, Sept. 2,  1836.
What can be more revolting to nature, what must be the condition of that man's heart who gave us the above intelligence.
He informs us the man with a black skin is very intelligent, though our oppressors say we cannot learn any thing; but when it is necessary to publish the true character of a man, then we are informed that these persons are intelligent, and when this is acknowledged by slaveholders themselves, we cannot doubt these things, for we see this fact developed to every honest person. When we see these poor crushed beings make their happy escape, and get an education, we can begin to see and realize to some extent how slavery tends to destroy the intellectual and the perceptive powers which belong to man as the birthright of every intelligent being. But notwithstanding all these rights, we must be hunted and taken up in the highway, brought before wicked rulers, and condemned, cast into jail like thieves, because we cannot show a free pass, as they term it. Although we tell the whole world we are opposed to monarchical government, we cannot be entitled to the rights of citizenship until we land our heads into a monarchical government, and there we are found destitute of all the comforts of life, although we have been toiling for years. O how can any one doubt the wrongs which we are compelled to endure? When you read their advertisements, I ask you what crime under the sun can be committed that these men would not commit, who have given us their names in staring capitals. I am of the opinion that some of you would make as much noise as I do, were you to realize this matter as you should do. And remember, those that are in bonds as bound with them; you would not be found praying for the spread of the gospel and the advancement of Christ's glorious kingdom, and through a wicked prejudice these men cling to these parties which stand connected with men that are so contemptible and worthless as to subscribe their names to these advertisements in our free and boasted republic. I recommend the propriety of taking such persons up for such outrages upon all laws of honor and decency among a civilized people.
And I have now in my possession another document, which contains the following advertisements:
RANAWAY from the subscriber, living on Herring Bay, Ann Arundle County, Md., on Saturday, 28th January, negro man ELIJAH, who calls himself Elijah Cook, is about
21 years of age, well made, of a very dark complexion, has an impediment in his speech, and a scar on his left cheek bone, apparently occasioned by a shot.
J. SCRIVENER.Annapolis, (Md.) Rep. Feb'ry, 1837.
$40 REWARD.--Ranaway from my residence, near Mobile, two negro men, ISAAC and TIM. Isaac is from 25 to 30 years old, dark complexion, scar on side of the head, and also one on the right side of the body, occasioned by a buck shot. Tim is 22 years old, dark complexion, scar on the right cheek, as also another on the back of his neck. Captains and owners of steamboats, vessels, and water crafts of every description, are cautioned against taking them on board, under penalty of the law; and all other persons against harboring or in any manner favoring the escape of said negroes, under like penalty.
$200 REWARD.--Ranaway from the subscriber, about three years ago, a certain negro man named BEN, commonly known by the name of Ben Fox. He is about five feet five or six inches high, chunky made, yellow complexion, and has but one eye. Also, one other negro, by the name of RIGDON, who ranaway on the 8th of this month. He is stout made, tall, and very black, with large lips.
I will give the reward of One Hundred Dollars for each of the above negroes, to be delivered to me or confined in the Jail of Lenoir or Jones County, or for the killing of them so that I see them. Masters of vessels and all others are cautioned against harboring, employing, or carrying them away, under penalty of the law.
W. D. COBB.Lenoir County, N. C., Nov. 12, 1836.
You may call this the-land of the brave,
Or the home of the free;
It is the land of oppression.
You all can well see.
By rule they rob man and make him a slave,
Our captains forbidden to employ men,
Whom God hath gave a different skin,
Bartered for iron and sold off like tin.
By whom is this done?--come make up your mind,
The slave-holder's son his brother will bind.
When I read these names it did not astonish me.--I was once shot at in my native state, when I was hired out. I bless God for preserving from harm then.
Let us look at our christian responsibility, friends, and see if God holds us accountable for these things.
O my christian friends, I feel that I am truly responsible; and doubtless I am not the only person who can feel upon this alarming subject, which some persons tell us is destroying the harmony of the Church. You may think so; but if we must have agreement it must not be by a sacrifice of principle. I will not make any appeal to the sympathy of my readers to act like men.--Because we are cat-hauled, this is not slavery. My father was opossum hauled, and this is worse; but this is not slavery. I will give my author: it was the young man, ELIAS WALL, that did it. But this is not slavery. What is slavery? I will show what it is if you will look at it. You cannot see it until you take off your steel spects, and put on a pair of republican spects. Then you can see plain and clear what this system is. Let your son be locked in a black, dark dungeon, deprived of every ray of light save that which naturally shines through the iron grates. This is slavery; but you say, O your sons are
Not in the black, dark dungeon, Dick;
They are, and I can prove it quick:
Just look at the millions of our race,
Whom these bloody tyrants chase.
See them running o'er your hills,
Upheld--supported by your wills;
They lock these men up in your Jails,
Then pay your sheriff off in bills.
Is this not black and dark indeed,
To rob these persons now in need
In their behalf we all should plead,
Restore that freedom which we need.
Now sustain that glorious prize--
Prepare to meet me in the skies,
Beyond the whip, the grief, the sighs,
Where Christ will wipe his servant's eyes.
If you spurn these principles, my friend,
No assistance can he lend,
You will have no Christ with you in the end,
Unless sinners will attend
Destitute of Heaven and bliss,
To His word, obey His call,
In pain and anguish, with distress.
His free bounty is for all.
What a solemn thought we have when we turn our attention and see our present condition in life. We have blessings spread before us for our enjoyment, yet we see men turn away from Christ--away from God, and all that is endurable. Let us look to our own safety, and to the safety of our glorious Republic! Will you refuse to adhere to this? Can you any longer delay, while these wrongs are heaving in view? Let Reason speak from North to South, and Justice echo from East to West, and bid these men who cherish the name of republicans, to rise and enjoy citizenship among us. To this end, and for this cause, I pray Almighty God to instruct us, now and forever more, &c.
M. G. A. JACKSON.
With a fine composition of his, to show the folly of some wicked persons. By giving you a history of facts in a kind of a poetic style, it will be noticed.
Your hands are full of blood. It appears very evident that God is speaking to us by the mouth of His prophet. I perceive the words of the text are sentimental and applicable to this Nation, and to all who are adding continually to this fountain of blood. Your hands are full of blood. Every person that will not condemn the institution whenever they are informed on this point, is guilty, when found supporting, upholding, and sustaining this sum of all villainy.
There are persons who claim the name of christians, and at the same time will lend their aid in favor of tyranny and oppression, &c.
I know of a truth we can walk by faith, and we must put forth such efforts as the nature of the case requires. And in all places and at all times, under all circumstances, we will speak out against the system of Slavery, and against the use of Rum. These are two of the greatest antagonists we have ever been brought in contact with, and they must and shall be put down. I pronounce them anti-christian as well as anti-republican. This is true, and we must meet it in every spot on our free soil, under our own free laws, and by our own free will in His own way, by His own power, keep your eye on the object. Lose not sight of the great prize, union with God and all good people; but no fellowship with bad persons,--such as tempt God and enslave his image. Who can see these things and call it christian treatment? This is the best that I can do now--keep on thinking, and speaking, and voting. Six Cents, and gone. I will put on your name. Andrew Jackson.
1 The dear slave's blood, behold it flow;
It forms a flood; O see it go;
The sister's tears are dripping down--
For all your sins my God will frown.
2 He will revenge for all such wrong,
You who infringe by armies strong,
And claim the name of being brave,
Still by this fame you bind the slave.
3 While every heart of flesh should feel,
You take a part with men that steal:
May God forgive us all our sins,
And relieve us from all pains.
Through heat and cold I toil for man;
'Tis not for gold, like others can,
But virtue how is all our aim,
Come let us show our country's fame.
Come, ye freemen, show your own fame;
Rise, brave seamen, each right redeem;
Rend asunder those foolish rules,
Make no blunder--spurn such fools.
Men should all spurn such base, wicked, abusive, oppressive wretches.
April 1st. I lectured in the School-house, near Mr. Martin's, to a dense congregation.
All the respectable part of my hearers behaved with respect; but some few poor mean fellows, came into the house stamping, and I continued my remarks, pressing the truth, regardless of the wicked and diabolical ruffians of all my enemies. Some of them cried with a loud voice. I let my God admonish them, by spreading His glorious, pure gospel before every mind, that was willing to receive it and profit thereby.
And by this time the ungodly thought they had completed their object; they had the school-house door broken into many pieces, and beat me on the head with snow balls, and had a rail in the house, but not one man put hands on me. I thanked God and took courage, exhorting all persons to fear no evil; that God would uphold us and protect us from all danger. Alas, how scandalizing to themselves. We had other remarks by my friend Green, &c.
I seen a man,
From the bar-room,
And if I can,
I'll show his doom.
His head I know
Is out of trim;
His acts all show
What ruined him.
It was old gin
Drove out his mind;
It is a sin
To aid this kind.
By your power,
With your votes,
Those who cower
And turn your coats.
Can we not end
This horrid wrong,
And as a friend,
Wield power strong
Is the town;
See the bounty
I see that slavery is a curse;--it is not simply a curse to man because he is black or white, but it curses both. Dear fellow traveler I am sure it is calculated to curse all the human race. Now view it, while it tends to destroy honor and honesty of one, it succeeds in blotting out every principle of virtue and reason in the other class. I ask what can bring any evidence to show us that slavery is not a curse? This fact is too sublime, founded on justice, and upheld by reason, therefore man cannot deny the truth of my statements. I do abhor the diabolical institution, yea, let every body abhor it, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters. Behold this God provoking outrage. All Christians, and lovers of republican principles, should abhor it with a deep and bitter abhorrence, and be found opposing that accursed and soul destroying institution. Many are standing connected with persons who are using all their power in up-holding
this sinful outrage, that is bidding men to continue in sin.
I understand it to be in direct opposition to every thing good. Therefore it conflicts with the law of good men, and if so, it must be put down; yea it shall be overthrown. I speak with confidence, knowing as we all do that we must stand firm, saint-like, yea patriot-like, Christian-like, democratic-like, yes, true republican-like, yea, more sublime, God-like, and then let us look at the result; we see freedom with all its beauty, yea, with glorious, superior rules of right, &c.
And in the way of conclusion I allude to some facts upon which you may rely, and I hope every person will read and understand what God demands. And what are the dictates of common sense and sound reason, in every department in life. We have the ability to understand the relation we hold to each other, and therefore I think it folly for me to consume time in showing you the nature of this vile institution. My dear dying friends and fellow travelers to eternity, I see what this treacherous institution is doing in the land. Do you wish me to show you sir? Yes sir, I am wishing to see what is making so much noise. I am searching after the glorious and the sublime principles of republican security, for I am honestly convinced that we as a nation are ruined and undone forever, unless we take hold with all faith and redeem our civil and religious liberty.--You know we have been driven out of our school house, and our churches have been locked against men who ask the privilege to inform us. And I am determined to see and hear for myself, and act with regard to the sanctification, and the justification of my own soul. All I ask is to see and if you can show me, I will be glad. I can show you quickly, all you wish to see, if you will take off them old pro-slavery specks which you have used until you cannot see through them to discern a man from a mouse--this is a true statement, for in relation to the killing of a mouse there is not any one ever takes notice of it. Neither is
there any person to take notice of slave-killing. But the question is, can any person of good judgment, be foolish enough to act so bad? What benefit is it to kill off their slaves? Sir, I will answer this, if you will tell me what is gained by husbands and wives fighting. There is not any gain, but a great loss. They have lost their standing in society, and also their influence as parents, and worst of all the love of God is gone. And it is their delight, to torment and harrass the feelings of each other for revenge. You have settled this matter. There can not be any answer more appropriate, the fact is sufficient evidence of itself.--And should I do you justice, I would add, all that disregard the rights of the created, cannot have any regard for the Creator. And we all are bound to look into these things. Now the question is what will be the result if we act. I can see there is a great wrong. Yes look, and remember God will look, yes, he will execute justice against thee, whenever your cup is full. All you have to do is well near done. You may consent to the will of wicked ungodly rulers, but against such I do earnestly protest, and will, for they are not competent. If any man cannot live save by fraud and robbery, misery and franticness, ruin is truly standing at the door of every house, yea ruin is making inroads into all the enterprize of our great and noble establishments in this nation. I see its dismal, dark and dangerous effect, therefore I speak decidedly, yes I speak of a reality, and not of an imagination. I am an American born citizen--I live in America, and therefore it is my home. I regard it as such, and stand ever prepared to lend my influence in behalf of my beloved country, as a patriot. I have as strong zeal as any man, my patriotism is not so strong as to crave all this world, and deprive every other man of the right to any soil, and then seize his person in every respect like unto myself. No my spirit of philanthropy has ever taught me to regard the right of every person, and another thing is very essential I find, and not only so, but absolutely necessary to our happiness--for in proportion to the misery we have, just in the same proportion we must all suffer the scandal together, and be reproached as individuals. What a glorious republic we have here in the U. S. A. Wonderful security against all outrages upon the people's rights. Hark, O hark! hear the chains rattling.
What gentleman's horse is loose, look out. What is the matter, do you see anything? I see a large company of slaves just drove into jail over across the street--what a sight--is this all a dream? No, it is a fact? I ask how in the light of reason you can tell me we are elevating men in this nation to high and official stations, who are so contemptible as these persons that virtually consent to every thing like rascality injustice and bloodshed. Suppose we know of a lion and tiger, both in this neighborhood, and the fact is ascertained that all the sheep are in danger of being devoured, pigs not excepted. I see where they go in and tell everybody. I know the very spot where they get in.--John, well why do you stand still then and let all them pigs and sheep be killed? Because I am not able to prevent them from coming in, all the fence is down all along the South side of the field, and I thought it best to pull down this part up north, and then these devouring animals will starve to death, and then you feed them so that they will die quick. Votes are what feed old tyrants. Again we may take another case to elucidate this great matter. Here we have men among us who denominate themselves Liberty men,--and indeed these very men, will not vote for a man unless he is a Liberty party man--this is good--but do we find men true? Yes when it is convenient, but some of this kind of men will cling to the old pro-slavery church, and pay out their money to the devil's under-strapper. The best thing we can do is to remember him that speaks and the work is done.
I have concluded it proper as well as just to give to the world an account of myself.
April 1, 1846. I lectured in Ward Smith's school house. Notwithstanding, the Peace Officer was called upon to keep order, we had a very good time. The drunken, rebellious wretch kept silent.
On the 2d I lectured near Mr. Whoit's. Good order was observed. It was moved and seconded and a vote of the meeting was taken, that we return the speaker a vote of thanks for his eloquent address. It was carried unanimously.
On the 3d I lectured at Hull's Corners, and made it my business to show them our national responsibility, and after I had spoken upon this topic I was about to close my remarks I was requested to continue. I did so. We had a very little annoyance by some few ruffians. One of the friends tried to silence them, but in vain was the effort. I remarked that such things did not interrupt me. I have a class of persons in my meetings that I term niggards.--They will not hear themselves, and them that wish to hear they hinder, and nig them out of their right.
All was silent; I appealed to facts as evidence to expose the wickedness of our United States from the time of our old revolutionary war to the present time. The curse of slavery has been at war with all our institutions, whether moral, political or ecclesiastical arrangements Under those considerations, I looked at the spirit of remonstrance exhibited by the brave men of our nation against taxation, and now what are the people doing, I say fellow citizens; they are taxed worse. In my remarks upon temperance I dwelt upon the Bible against Rum and other strong drink.
On the 5th I preached a discourse from the text, "Make a chain:" Ezek. vii, 23--at the Wandle school-house, not without success. I attended meeting with brother Bars low in the forenoon. In the evening we had a good old
fashioned shout near Mr. Sheffield's in Hannibal. My object was to convince the people of our sufferings. I was successful in gaining some, doubtless.
On the 6th I lectured in McC [illegible] sey's school-house. I had a civil time and large congregation.
On the 7th, lectured in the Canada school-house. We had a little annoyance, while I was treating upon the duty of men's teetotally abstaining from the sin of all strong drink. I can see no distinction in pro-slaveryism and rum-ism. This is the position I occupied and ever have maintained vehemently.
On the 8th, lectured on Broad Ridge to a dense congregation. I related facts on the occasion that received the approbation of all respectable persons.
On the 9th, lectured at the Bracket school-house.
On the 10th, lectured at Hannibalville. I have not any reason to think hard of any class of people at all. I got free access to the hard oppressive characters, and in the fear of God I admonished them. Some remarks were made by a friend, which gratified me. He spoke in behalf of down trodden humanity with much zeal.
On the 11th and 12th, I lectured and preached at Loomis Corners: we did well.
On the 13th, lectured in the Demass school-house. In the conclusion of my remarks I made an inquiry to know if I resembled a horse, an ox, or a sheep; for if the law possessed power to make things of men, it could make any thing of them. I heard a low voice; I understood it distinctly to say, you look like a sheep. In reply, I remarked, we read of a separation which is to take place: When the son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angles with Him: then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory. And before Him shall be gathered all nations; and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: Matt. xxv, 31, 32, 33.--And He shall set the sheep on the right hand, but the goats on the left. Laughter, and some one said you may as well be still now. I continued to make such application as I thought proper.
On the 14th, lectured in the Wilesey school-house. Hear the report: all still and well pleased with my plain principles. I laid before my congregation the horrors of sin--
1st. The sinfulness of using liquor as a beverage. 2d. Exceeding sinfulness of slaveholding. 2d. The weighty ressponsibility which is resting upon us.
After a few striking and heart-searching remarks on these heads, I said I must close; but they requested me to go on: I did so, exposing all manner of intrigue and profligacy, with all their chicanery. Such is the true character of slavery. Then can any honest person support it? No. Why then, I say, why not all the world oppose it? Yes, all the inhabitants of God's footstool should dethrone it. By your acts, with your votes, unless you attend to this great and all important matter soon, we are ruined eternally. What is all your talking and praying going to accomplish while you are found voting in defence of the institution of slavery?
Mr. Williams was called for. He arose and made some very appropriate remarks. He said enough had been offered on the subject, but he would give it his sanction. Then he spoke of my mode of supporting myself by selling books, and thus diffusing light among men. By the request of the congregation we had a few very candid remarks by the Rev. Mr. Armstrong, deliberately pressing upon the congregation the awful responsibility that must follow them, if God holds us accountable, as it has been so beautifully shown by our friend. This brother remarked to the people very kindly that he intended to examine the matter, and see if this outrage cannot be put away from among us. He closed with prayer, asking the blessing of God to crown the labors of servants with success, until all shall be free, and happy in the enjoyment of their God-given rights.
On the 15th, lectured at Wheeler's Corners. I think every person was well pleased.
On the 16th, I lectured at the Hindman's school house. We had a little annoyance. I regret such heathenism in a christian land, or under our form of government, which professes so much republicanism, and yet attempts to gag down a slave.
On the 17th, I had a respectable congregation and good attention, in the Talman District, Oswego town. I can look upon such districts as this with joy, and not with regret, and pray that God may bless them, and save them by the application of Jesus' blood.
On the 18th, lectured at Richards' Corners, and all the respectable part of the inhabitants behaved themselves with decorum; but there was a class of transgressors that acted contemptible in the sight of God and all respectable persons. I called upon them in the name of all that was good and lovely, to repent, confess and forsake their old sins, and turn to God and live. I then continued my remarks: The leader called upon me to stick to the text. I replied to him by a quotation of the text--Eccl. iv, 1: Job returned and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun; and drunkenness is one essential branch of oppression that is tolerated under the sun. I think this is sticking to my text; all is very comprehensive. View the preacher; he viewed all sin. God sent me likewise to preach His gospel against all sin. I cannot throw off responsibility. Hear His command; how forcible; it is, be kind, and behold the tears of such as are oppressed.--I must be plain in my remarks upon this point; and I then referred to the 20,000 of God's poor that were sold from Virginia, by wicked persons, and what a flood of tears was then beheld by the preacher, through faith, and they had no comforter; but they must be beat with clubs and gashed with whips and cow-hides to keep them quiet while heart from heart is rending. This is done to prevent them from being heard to shriek, while heart from heart is rending--nor to be joined again. Solemnity then prevailed; the ruffians left the house with a stamping as they went. I closed my remarks by refuting all objections, and then called upon any person to speak that wished to make any remarks. A neighbor rose to do so, and remarked that he was about as much of a stranger as the brother to whom we had been listening, and he also remarked that he had been hearing the truth, for he had been to the South, and saw a hundred human beings drove into the market, and then taken out and sold, one by one, whilst they were severally exhorted to a virtuous life, one by a father, another by a child, another by a mother, another by a son, another by a little daughter, and some of them by an old victim of the cruel spoilers.
On the 19th, preached in the morning in Hall's District, to a respectable congregation. I expressed the principles of the gospel against rum, slavery, and all other sins in our land.--In the afternoon and evening I addressed meetings at the School-house near David Stevens'--and respectable congregations
attended; good order was observed by the inhabitants. We had some very good remarks from a friend, directly to the point on individual duty in this matterr All was still. I took a vote for another meeting at this house, which was unanimous. The meeting was held, and the citizens attended; all was quiet. I was made acquainted with Mr. Place, a warm friend to his race, and also to God and to the poor bleeding slaves. He open the meeting with prayer. I then repeated the awful vision during a perfect silence. I began my remarks by simple comparison, thinking this would be the best way to convince my hearers that the text was appropriate to the occasion. I then proceeded, "and the city is full of violence." To establish the fact, I referred to Washington City on the simple comparative supposition that we might have a good spring and good watering trough, and we would commence to clean the trough out, but the head of the spring is full of clay and poke, and all other kinds of trash. I represented Washington as the fountain of violence, from which spring gushes forth cruelty and crime, misery and bloodshed. Until it is purified and made good by taking out the clay and filth that is repugnant to all who have not shut their eyes, stopped their ears, hardened their hearts and stiffened their necks against the principles of purity and justice, little progress can be made in rendering the streams sweet and healthful. He that is guilty of establishing so foul a system as that of American slavery, has sunk himself to the lowest depths of degradation in the sight of God and in the estimation of all men who make the laws of God their guide; and all who support such men and measures, are partakers of their guilt. The city is full of violence, for it takes away my liberty, makes me a slave, and compels millions of God's poor to live in a state of concubinage--all chastity lost--virtue with all its beauty lost to such helpless females. I declared this the worst of violence, and cited other facts to prove my text, and closed with these words: Make a chain, for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence. I then gave way for any one to make remarks. The Rev. Mr. Place then rose and remarked that he would not detain the meeting but two minutes; that the subject to him had been deeply interesting, and no doubt had been to every one. He said it was not to be wondered at that a victim of such a cruel wrong should become excited, knowing the wretched condition of the oppressed
millions. He brought a great many truths to bear mightily on the political duty of christians in regard to this subject, and closed with prayer.
I lectured in the Wiltse District on the 21st day of April. I had a very respectable congregation and remarkable good order. I remarked first, that for a person to hold slaves, he or she must disregard God and the laws of God, that are to be the Christian's guide through this world--and when a person has thus thrown off all responsibility, then and not till then, can a person be a slaveholder,--and as soon as a person has thrown off all personal regard for the sake of unjust gain, I ask, what is there then, that is too bad for that man to do? I am of the opinion that a person is in awful circumstances when in this situation, and eternally lost, and if so, I thank God that we have a better guide than to choose between all bad. Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do the work of the devil, or to do evil, to pass laws like those that have ruined millions of promising young persons, and is now trying to ruin as many more by placing them under the bloody flag of this United States, and then set the hard laboring persons of the North to support them in slaveholding that they may be able to stand upon the rights of the poor and helpless.
April 22, I lectured in Sterling, Cayuga county, Lake District, to a large and well behaved congregation.
Text, Eccl. iv, 5: "The fool foldeth his hands together and eateth his own flesh." I first proceeded to establish this fact by supposing a slaveholder to be the fool and I believe that I was successful in this oratory train of reason, without any chicanery, or in other words, sophistry, I clearing up the matter by one or two facts. 1st. Because it should be the object of every person as social beings to elevate man, to make him just what God would have him to be in all things that he does. I here charge you in the fear of God, if thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice, as in Ohio, and not there only, but in Kentucky, marvel not at the matter, for he that is higher than the highest regardeth, and there be higher than they--God alone is greater than all those that call upon unlearned persons to support a law that God has not commanded them to establish under the sun--there is a time wherein one man ruleth over another to his own hurt, and if the fugitive
can understand language to undertake to argue before God, and men that must render an account to God, I ask if there be any that need try to excuse themselves? O no, not any.
April 23, I continued my remarks upon the great question of universal rights in this nation, being as they should be.--I first took the Bible to prove the fact, and then I made some illustrations to show them my views upon the great national outrage perpetrated by these individuals that are so anxious to see our country free. O yes, colonize the colored people,--and slaveholders say, "O, I want the poor things sent home to their own country, and one would give a dollar, and another would give five, and ten was given by an old lady, and and another one hundred, and another one thousand, and a certain man five thousand--and indeed I remember when I had the privilege of attending the lecture in Bowling Green upon the colonization scheme. I could repeat his lecture in substance--if you wish to see your children industrious and enterprising, then colonize your slaves and send them to Liberia--the young slaveholders saying with oaths, that he ought to be killed--if I had him out I would fix him for talking so--and so it went on, but at length the time came when the free colored people were to start--the man did not come--the old slaveholders said the reason was because Mr. Light had runaway and carried off all their money and not any other person.
I then put the question to the congregation, for any person to answer. I then remarked you have more sense than to believe that law can make human beings proverty--then I remarked, if so we will contest the matter. I am the sample, look at me--do I look like a horse, or a sheep, or a hog? if you think so speak--all was still. I remarked, you do not believe that the law can make a man, a thing? I heard a low voice which I understood to say, you look like a horse, I remarked, I am very glad to hear any person that thinks so speak, so that I can tell where they be, and such persons ought to be known--in my opinion they expose themselves in judgment, and I closed by a few remarks applicable to the universal principle of profligacy that is under the name of democracy--that noble name thus treated with contempt by those that profess to love the honored name of democracy--they all talk loud of Liberty and act out, slavery by the old
wicked rule, stick to your party let it do what it may--never mind principle stick to party, and so it has been with the whigs, and I see that unless we come back to our old principles all is lost in gloom, and we as a people shall sink down into everlasting disgrace, and I pray that God may forbid by the power of truth and right. I did not have a large congregation but quiet and good order was observed by nearly all in the congregation. I undertook to prove that a man was incapable of choosing between two evils--my reason was because he is a selfish being, he cannot do anything right according to the government of heaven' I have had no room to complain of any that have got common intelligence, and those that wish to make disturbance were so far beneath the notice of the honor of a person, or the dignity of a respectable gentleman, that I did not pay any attention to them.
April 29, I lectured in the Louis' District. I had a respectable congregation in that place, and at the request of the congregation I tarried in that vicinity and lectured in the same house, the following evening, April 30, I took the ground of uncompromising principle, do right and leave the result with God, let the world say what it may. God has besought us by his word to love, and he requires us to do it; for to obey is better than sacrifice--then let us obey God that we may be strong, yea very strong in the strength of Israel's God. It is he that hath power to quench the flame--he hath delivered me in time of need, I will put my trust in him, for in my time of trouble the Lord brought me off more than conquerror by his grace. And I have been bound, and by ungodly, wicked men.
May 1st, I lectured at the Thompson District. I had good attention, and was requested to address them again.--I complied with the request--spent the Sabbath, May 2d in Louis' District; 3d, rained in the evening--gave them a history of the private evil that is now upheld, &c; 4th, I lectured in the District near Mann's; 5th, in the Thompson District; 6th, at Williams' Corners; 7th, in the Emory District; 8th, in Fulton village to W. Hasmall's congregation; 9th, I remained at Salmons; 11th, lectured near Mr. Dans, where, by request, I remained the 12th and lectured to a dense congregation--was asked how we could have entertainment without rum? I reply to all persons upon the Bible plan--deal the brood to the man not Rum
May 13th, I lectured at Boing's Corners. I attempted to show the effect of Rum, and a certain old man declared that he could prove the system to be just by the Bible. I asserted that the system of Slavery in the United States, as it is now practiced, leads to Rum drinking, and Rum drinking will lead to fornication, and licentiousness, and profligacy in all places under the sun, wherever it may be practiced, among any color, whether white or black. I might well remark that the man who can take sides with the oppressors, are just as bad as the advocates of any organic sin--the old man said he would not enter into a discussion with a nigger. I remarked, since the gentleman has been so faithful to discuss as he has already done this evening, I conclude he considers me a man, and so I wish him to answer me. He refused to do it and held his peace. I remarked to the congregation that Rum drinking had hastened its wicked influence upon persons of good standing, and unless we take a consistent course to get rid of these things, and show to the world that noble spirit of manliness, a noble principle, that cannot be bribed by any contemptible old party prejudice, our profession is vain, and we as a people must fall by our disobedience, unless we return to God; and take hold of the old monster and give him a death blow with truth, shoot him down--aim between his eyes.--We will call the Whig party one eye, and the Democratic party the other, and the national reformers the center of the head, and the votes the shot, and then we will establish ourselves by our principles of duty. God will protect all his people by his grace, and direct them.
May 14, I lectured at the school house near Mr. Kellogg's and good attention was paid; 15th, lectured at little Utica. Here I undertook to prove the outrage of Rum upon a person's natural rights. First to carry out a political scheme--the Rum seller is a political man, a party man, and a Whig or a Democrat, for Liberty men are men that are guided by a pure principle. They will not deal out death at the bar, though it may be the ruin of his own father, or a brother, or a neighbor, or any person that can bring three cents to degrade himself. And to prove the fact I remarked of a truth it is truly necessary for them to make men drunk and then lead them up to the ballot box and hol [illegible] them up to vote with as great zeal as though the man had
sense enough to do his country justice. This fact has not yet been denied and it cannot be denied--it is a fact that we all can see at State and Town Elections--alas, alas! Rum did it, we will confess, and may God forgive such a nation as this. The 16th and 17th, Saturday and Sunday, I held meetings in the District called Dingle Hole and I had a rejoicing time in that place. A man named Webster had a meeting appointed in that place but he did not attend, and I was requested by the consent of the friends to improve the time. I did so by giving them a sermon upon Christian integrity. 19th, I lectured at Wright's District. All was quiet, and the people appeared to be well convinced of duty to God, and I found some of the inhabitants were well pleased with the truth I held forth on that evening;--20th, I lectured at stony Arabia. A dense congregation attended. I remarked that a cannon had been fired at the bloody monster Rum.
May 21st, I attended a temperance meeting at Bridgeport, Madison county. After some remarks made by Mr. D. and C. I was asked by a friend if I was not in the habit of speaking upon the subject of Temperance. I replied I am. I was then requested to take the stand. I did so, and made such remarks as I considered appropriate. A song was called for by a friend, and I gave them the Liberty Rail Road. A vote of the meeting was taken for me to remain the next evening. It was unanimously carried, only one person voting in the negative--I accordingly lectured the following evening. May 23d, I lectured at the red school house. I spoke there again on the 24th, and at five o'clock in the Smith District, and also in the evening; 25th, lectured near Mr. Tuttle's; 26th, near Chapman's--in the above meetings good order was observed.
The 27th I lectured at the meeting house on the Lake shore. A disgusting Rum seller remarked that he had sold more liquor since license had been withheld than before.--I remarked it is just what I have been telling you, we have the proof of the text, this is the reason we must hold on to what we call principle.
28th, lectured at the School-house at State Bridge, to a respectable congregation. 29th, lectured at Lenox Basin.
30th, came to Syracuse, and preached there on the 31st to a dense congregation.
June 4th, lectured to a still congregation at the brick School house in District No. 10. Put up with Mr. Monroe. Lectured on the 6th at a place call Hell's Half acre, and had a very respectable congregation, and some laughter. I must mark a few individus who did not act becomingly, &c.
7th, lectured at the stone Schol-house, near Mr. Bowers'.
On the 8th June, commenced my labors in Tompkins Co., and in my lectures through this county was kindly admitted into the orthodox churches of different denominations until I had arrived at M'Lean; and there I could not have admittance into any of the churches to plead the cause of the dumb, the down trodden and the oppressed. I pray that God may blot out these black deeds at McLean.
On the 8th I lectured at West Groton, to a small congregation; all was still. By a vote of the meeting lectured again in the church in that town to a quiet and attentive congregation. Put up with Jacob Smith.
On the 10th, lectured in the church at Groton Hollow, to a respectable congregation. Again on the 11th in the same place, to a large congregation.
12th, at Peru, in the chapel. 13th, again. Morning of the 14th, a little distance from Mr. Underwood's, in the red School-house; afternoon to an orderly congregation in the Grove; also in the evening in the same district, to a dense and quiet congregation.
15th, returned again to Peru, and lectured to a good congregation.
15th, at Freeville, to a respectable congregation in the house, with some rough characters on the outside. Thought them unworthy of notice.
17th, at Dryden, to an orderly congregation. By unanimous vote I consented to remain, and lectured at the same church to an audience who appeared to be universally satisfied with my explanation. I took the ground that we stand responsible to God and the people with whom we act.
At McLean, on the afternoon of the 21st, preached under the broad canopy of heaven.
22d, lectured noar Mr. Mosier's. Had good order.
23d, in the Parker district. All the civilized part of the community was quiet; but the uncivilized acted ineffably mean. This was in Cortland Co.
24th, at McLean, lectured from John iv, in Scofield's door
yard. The congregation was as quiet as could be expected, considering the wretched stand the professors took in behalf of the devil.
25th, at Port Watson. No disturbance; but I made some illustrations which produced laughter from some.
26th, at Little York, to a respectable congregation at the School-house.
27th, I held a meeting in the North District near Mr. Comeiness'. Full and quiet congregation.
28th, was in Lafayette.
29th, lectured near Mr. Nottingham's in quietness. Returned to Syracuse.
30th, held a meeting at Clinton School-house, 6 miles north of Syracuse; good congregation out, and well behaved.
July 1st it was so wet that I had no meeting. I returned to Syracuse on the 2d July, and found my friends going ahead with unshaken confidence. I left Syracuse after 5 o'clock, and lectured at La Fayette that night; and as I had an opportunity for conveyance, I proceeded to Tully one mile and a half south of the Corners.
3d, lectured northwest of Homer village, in the district near Mr. Crampton's. Went to
Virgil, and had the pleasure of hearing the rights of all the children of God nobly vindicated. I could not hold my peace--and as my soul was full of the spirit of God, I took the opportunity to press more vehemently our national responsibity as citizens. I left that place after 5 o'clock, and that night went to Peru, 12 miles from Homer village. Held meeting in the Grove on the 5th not far from Guthrie's. It was supposed we had between 500 and 600 persons present before noon. In the afternoon it rained. I made a few remarks, and announced to the congregation that I would speak at Peru at 5 o'clock. Had but a few persons out.
6th, held a meeting in District No. 17; had a School-house full, and all was quiet.
7th, addressed a well behaved congregation at Northville.
8th, in the evening, lectured in Aurora, near John Hussey's, to a very respectable congregation.
9th, at Spring Port, to a very good audience.
10th, in the evening, lectured at Seneca Falls. Lectured in the same place on the 11th.
12th, attended a meeting in Geneva.
13th, having received previous invitation from Rev. Silas Hawley, attended an appointment at Penn Yan, in the brick School-house near Mr. Bigelow's, to an attentive congregation. Continued to lecture to good congregations in, or in the neighborhood of that village on the 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th.
18th, lectured at Kinney's Corners, to a good congregation. Heard one whisper very distinctly "that is a damn'd lie." I replied, it is not a damn'd lie, sir; I have not undertook to establish the great temperance reform by lying. I have the word of God to bear witness against the use of strong drink. I then referred to the prophesy: Isaiah v, 11, 21, 22--Wo unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them! Wo unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Wo unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink! I see these men referred to in other places--Proverbs xxvi, 12: Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him. This is the gospel plan to put down all manner of sin, whether it be the sin of intemperance or the sin of slave-holding. The Bible principle is the great principle to use up the wicked, and strengthen the righteous: Sound doctrine is our motto. God give us moral courage as we go along, to wield the sceptre of truth with vigor, till all the powers of darkness here shall cease.
19th, lectured at Penn Yan, to a quiet congregation. Put up with Mr. Bradley.
20th, lectured at Branch Port to great acceptance, to a good congregation, which the minister took an active part in securing for me. He (Mr. McGlashen) pressed the want of labor and the propriety of buying liberally the Narrative, which he had found to be quite entertaining; and I sold very well on that hill, for which my thanks are due the citizens.
21st, lectured at the Benedict School-house to a small congregation, without disturbance.
22d, held a meeting in Todd's neighborhood, with good congregation.
23d, lectured at Italy Hill, to a small audience.
24th, lectured at Prattsburgh, in the Presbyterian church, to a thin congregation, (it being a wet evening.) Very little
annoyance. A song was called for, and I gave them the LIBERTY RAIL-ROAD. I put up with Mr. Jackson.
25th, had a full and quiet audience in the Methodist ch'h, which was generously and cheerfully tendered us. Preached there again on the 26th, to a dense congregation. I directed my remarks, which were well received, against the institution of blood. I then called upon any person who chose to do so, to improve the time. One rose and remarked that we had been listening to the truth, and to the great principle by which men must be governed. After my meeting closed, I attended at the Presbyterian church. The clergyman discharged his duty as I think a faithful watchman should.
27th, went to Bath; was directed to Charles Van Huesen's, and lectured there on the 27th and 28th; and at Avoca on the 29th to a thin congregation.
30th, preached to a dense and orderly congregation in Clisbe district.
31st, attended the Steuben County Convention at Bath. We were not willing to see the Conventiou compromise the principles on which we stand. I then went on to give my reasons simply and plainly, amidst laughter and cheering. I was led to refer to the resolution concerning the laboring class of our citizens.
August 1st, I attended the great celebration at Bath; remained there the 2d, and attended meeting in the Grove.--S. R. Ward gave three good sermons. I urged the necessity of our yielding to this truth, because the author of it is God.
3d, lectured at Urbana to a very good congregation. On the 4th in the Ernest district to a small congregation, who were very attentive and orderly.
5th, lectured in West Tyrone, to a very respectable congregation.
6th, lectured at East Tyrone, to a dense congregation. A man made a remark relative to Mr. Birney's locofocoism. I was ready to meet my friend on this question, although his skin was different from mine. I referred to the libels that were published by some of the whig editors. This made him whist.
7th, went to Wayne Hotel, but my appointment there had not been published, and stopped over night with Mr. Sweet.
I lectured at Kendall Hollow on the 8th: at East Hill on 9th, and at 5 o'clock preached again at Kendall Hollow; 10th, lectured at Irelandville; 11th and 12th, in William Lee's District; 13th in Jefferson; 14th in Mecklenburgh; 15th, went to West Groton, lectured there the 16th, had a very attentive congregation, some remarks made by the Rev. Mr. Sterns. Mr. S. thought the public bound to support any man who will vindicate the claim of God, and if they were not robbers he believed it would be right to give 20 shillings. They laid on the table 48 cents. Went to Syracuse the 17 and back the 18th.
The 19th, lectured twice in Northville--had but a small congregation----Rev. J. Logan and Rev. Joseph Sterns were present and addressed us; 20th, came to Trumansburgh; 21st, lectured in the District near Mr. Davis'; 22d, lectured at Ranneysville; 23d, held a meeting in the red church, and also in the evening; 24th, lectured in the Barber District; 25th, in the Spalding school house; 26th, in the yellow meeting house; 27th, I lectured in Perryville to a dense congregation--had some annoyance; 28th, in the McIntyre school house; 29th, in Cayugaville--had a large congregation; 30th, I preached in the school house on the Lake shore, in the morning, afternoon and evening,--a large number in attendance, some remarks made by others, took a vote of the meeting to know how many thought what I preached to them chicanery and not one vote was given against the position which I sustained. I then took a vote in the affirmative and it carried unanimously. I then exhorted the brethren to develop it in every department of life. The 31st, I lectured in the Van Loon school house to a large audience--some disturbance.
September 1st, I lectured at the Swan school house. I was informed that a certain man remarked that he wished some smart man was there, for he believed I could be used up, and I learned that all the official men of the district were present on the occasion, and not one of them could prove that the rulers had not perjured themselves wheh they have sworn to support the Constitution of the United States, which declares.
ARTICLE IV, Sec. 4. The United States shall guaranty to every State in this Union, a republican form of government and shall protect each of them against invasion.
If I understand the English language our rulers are perjured villains.
2d, lectured again at the Van Loon School-house, to a very good congregation.
3d, lectured in the North Settlement to a middling full house; and afterwards learned the value of pro-slavery piety. I traveled some miles from the meeting, through the rain, and then lodged in an open school-house, wet as I was. O Lord. have mercy upon those mine enemies, that reject all the good things, and turn Thy messenger away.
4th, mostly spent in making arrangements for future lectures.
5th, lectured again at the Van Loon School-house, to a respectable congregation.
6th, preached at the Snyder School house, at 9 o'clock, P. M. to a dense congregation. At half past 11 I preached at Cayuta Lake; at 3, P. M. at the Snyder Settlement; and a second time at Cayutaville at 5 o'clock. Again in the Snyder School-house in the evening. My meetings have all been full to-day, and to-night I am very much fatigued, having footed it 14 miles and preached 5 sermons. Amen.
7th, lectured at Sebrings' Corners to a dense congregation, with but little annoyance.
8th, lectured at North Newfield to a full house, with a little annoyance from a few persons of low character.
9th, lectured at Eufield Centre, to a middling congregation.
10th, lectured at Applegate's Corners to do. do.
12th, lectured at the Cutter School-house, to a small congregation, who were very orderly.
13th, preached to a full house, and good attention was given by a dense assembly. Lectured in the afternoon at the School-house near Mr. Dell's; had a full house, and the meeting voted a unanimous request that I would address them again in the evening, with which I complied.
14th, lectured at the school-house near Mr. Allen's, to a dense and civil congregation.
15th, lectured near Mr. Knowles', to a dense congregation, without annoyance.
16th, lectured in Vannettenville to a dense congregation, occasioning considerable laughter.
18th, lectured on Rumsey Hill, to a full house; had some annoyance from ruffians.
19th, lectured near Mr. Mitchell's, to a full house; some annoyance, but attention by the mass.
20th, preached at Vannettenville, in the forenoon, to a good congregation. Be it remembered, I was informed that my sermon hit in the right spot, and many applauded it while others vacated their seats. In the evening of the same day I lectured again on Rumsey Hill to a dense congregation, amid good behavior.
21st, lectured again in the district near Mr. Mitchell's; had some annoyance.
22d, lectured in the district near Mr. Austin's, to a full house; some laughter.
23d, lectured on Newtown Creek, to a small congregation, without annoyance.
24th, lectured at Horseheads to a small congregation, with solemnity and laughter.
25th, attended meeting in Elmira; had a good time of it. 26th, had another meeting. 27th, I preached two sermons; had good attention. Remained in Elmira lecturing on the 28th and 29th, while the friends were doing my printing.
30th, attended a lecture near Buck's.
October 1st, lectured at Buckville. All the civilized part of the congregation behaved like human beings; the rabble annoyed us.
2d, lectured in Factoryville, to a small, quiet congregation.
3d, lectured in Mill Town, Penn., to a civil congregation.
4th, preached in Mill Town at half past 10 A. M., and at Factoryville at half past 3 P. M. to a good congregation, and in the evening at Mill Town.
5th and 6th, preached in Athens to pretty full congregations, with some annoyance from a few poor heathen, who threw stones against the house. The result was that nearly all the Methodists voted to have me continue the meeting, when all except a few of the disturbers deserted.
8th and 9th, lectured near Dr. Hill's to full houses; slight annoyance on the first day, but none on the second. Remarkable good attention throughout.
10th, arrived at my old station at Towanda. Remained till the 15th, laboring in word with some success, holding forth the strongest inducements I could to my colored friends to strive for an education, &c.
16th, lectured at Terry Town to a dense and quiet house.
17th, lectured at Inghamville, to a good and quiet audience. Also in the forenoon and afternoon of the 18th.
19th, lectured at Frenchtown to a dense and orderly house.
20th, lectured at Braintrim to a full and unannoyed house.
21st, lectured at Skinner Eddy's to a dense and attentive congregation.
22d, lectured at Mahoopany, Wyoming County, Penn., to a full house.
23d, lectured at Forkstown, to a dense congregation; had a good time, and no annoyance.
24th, lectured again in Braintrim, to a full, attentive house.
25th, preached at Little Mahoopany to a dense congregation. Took a vote relative to an evening meeting; carried unanimously in favor, and I preached in the evening without annoyance to a good congregation.
26th, lectured at Little Mahoopany to an attentive and dense congregation.
27th, lectured near Judge Lemon's to a small congregation, many being prevented by the rain from attending.
28th, lectured near Mr. Crawford's, to an attentive and dense congregation.
29th, lectured on Spring Hill, to a dense congregation; no annoyance, but expressions of good feeling even to laughter.
30th, lectured in Marry All to a full house.
31st, lectured in Camp Town to a good and attentive house.
November 1st and 2d, lectured in the district near Mr. Camp's; it rained, and the congregation was small. Had no annoyance; but after dismission some person remarked that if it had not been Sunday he would have discussed the matter, and shown what a desecration of the Sabbath it was, as well as pollution of the house of God; and rather than countenance such proceedings he would see the slaves in fetters eternally. A very intelligent, smart young lady replied that the house had not been desecrated till the gentleman spoke, but he had desecrated the Sabbath and the house of God, and half the congregation appeared to approve her rebuke. I came to the conclusion that my friend was a very pious man, but did not view the matter as I did; but to my disappointment I afterwards learned that the name of this man, who had made so loud an outcry, was Breck, who is confessedly liable to err. I afterwards heard him use uncalled for words, but it was on Tuesday, on my return from Syracuse.
3d, lectured in Duran School-house to a small congregation, many being prevented by the rain from attending.
4th, lectured near Mr. Hines' to a thin, but quiet audience.
5th, lectured at the School-house near Mr. Banes', in East-Herrick, to a good congregation.
6th, went to Oswego; 7th, to Richford; 8th, to Syracuse, where I remained until the 12th.
13th, lectured in Richford to a good congregation; again on the 14th, to a good and attentive house. 15th, preached, and lectured in the evening at the stone School-house, to a full congregation.
16th, lectured in the brick Meeting-house, in Berkshire, to a good congregation.
17th, lectured in Flemingville to a full house.
18th, preached in Oswego, and lectured there on the 19th and 20th, to respectable congregations.
21st, left for Le Roysville, Penn., and on the 22d preached there in the School-house near Mr. Goodell's, to a full congregation. Put up with Mr. De Wolf. 23d, had a full house. 24th, lectured at the School-house near Mr. Goodell's.
26th, had a small congregation at East Erie.
29th, had a considerable congregation in the Whitmore dist.
28th, lectured again in Herrick.
29th, preached in the Whitmore district at 11 o'clock, and at Herrick in the evening.
30th, lectured near Mr. Wells' to a dense congregation.
December 1st, attended a debate; there found my friend Mr. Brink; by his request remained with him a day and night, and was treated with much hospitality and kindness, and I hope that he will soon be brought, with a host of other noble minded men, into Christ's ranks, to do sure work for God against Rum and Slavery.
2d, lectured to a good congregation, and then requested any one who would, to speak. After much reluctance Mr. Camp made some remarks; but Jackson was called for;--some time expired. Mr. Camp had well remarked, they are trying to put the chains on us. I exclaimed, they have got them on. Jackson,--Mr. Jackson,--and some annoyance. Mr. Camp then gave place, and I rose again and remarked, I shall prove my assertion by one simple comparison--the two great parties. I referred to two dogs I once knew--the hound and the bull dog that chased the rabbit, and when they had killed it and began
to fight about the meat, the little black fist eat it up; and while our men in the North are divided and are fighting each other, the Southern slaveholders are the fist,--they eat up all the meat.--Laughter. All the congregation cried out, truth, truth.
3d, lectured quietly in the School-house near Mr. Brush's.
4th, lectured in the Methodist Church in Plattville, to a good congregation.
5th, lectured in Friendville; remained there, and had a full house on the 7th.
8th and 9th, lectured at Forest Lake to a dense congregation, without annoyance.
10th and 11th, was in Montrose; found Mr. Burley at this place, and heard him lecture. I remained and lectured in the Village; learned that the church was not free for us.
12th, lectured in Jesup, in the Methodist chapel, to a very good congregation. Put up with Mr. Huff.
13th, preached in Zion Church, Montrose, to a full house.
15th, lectured in the School-house near Whoit's--full h.
16th, had a good congregation in Baptist church, Liberty.
17th, lectured to a good congregation in Franklin.
18th, lectured in a School-house near Mr. Waters', in Liberty, Penn.
19th and 20th, lectured in the Conklin Presbyterian ch'h to a civil congregation. In this place I found the old prejudice run high, one family setting a side table for me; but they repented befere 1 left.
21st, lectured in the School-house near Mr. Buckalo's, to a full house; was interrupted soon after I commenced by a fat faced man. I remarked I wish for that man's name--I'm going to publish him. He said his name was R. T. Hays, and continued to interrupt the meeting. I admonished him with the word of holy writ. He denied the common relation which God hath established among men. I remarked that I felt very thankful to say this man was not my brother in the flesh, neither a black man outwardly; for it would be truly a shame to see any colored person carry on so among respectable Citizens. Laughter! I can always tell when I throw a stone among dogs, whether I happen to hit one--for he is certain to yell. Laughter! I continued to thunder the powerful truths of the Bible against traitors! showing the character of the man who disturbed
the peace, to be one brought to view in 2d Tim. iii. 13--But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. He left the house, remarking, I have staid here long enough. I replied as he went, resist the devil and he will flee from you. Laughter! Then all was quiet; had no more annoyance.
22d, lectured in the Methodist meeting-house at Conklin. Some trifling objections were made by a person present. 1st, I did not tell the same story. 2d, he said I took a text, and would connect the world with religion; but he said I did better than Frink,
23d, lectured near Mr. Wormer's, to a full house; the people where I put up fixed off a fugitive's table. I can put up with it, and attribute it all to their ignorance.
24th, lectured near Mr. Brown's.
25th, preached at the Great Bend, in Susquehanna Co.,
26th, lectured in red School house, near Mr. McKinney's.
28th and 29th, remained at the Great Bend, preaching and lecturing with great success, and without annoyance.
39th, lectured near Mr. Blatchley's, to a full house.
31st, lectured in Isaac Griggs' district to a full house, and all honorable persons maintained their self-respect: but here, permit me to say, a few persons behaved scandalously. They are known as disturbers of the peace, and I hope their names will be read in history. Isaac Griggs, the father, George Griggs, the son, and a few other boys, moulded in the same or similar moulds, these black hearts I hope will be purified; and this class of men I hope will be civilized by truth and reason.
January 1st, 1847, lectured in Windsor to a good congregation, and without annoyance.
2d, lectured in Mr. Garney's School-room, to a full house.
3d, preached in the afternoon, and in the evening up in Randolph to a dense crowd.
4th, lectured in Higley Hollow to a respectable congregation. Some ruffians from abroad annoyed the meeting.--I learned that Isaac Stevens was one of the number.
5th, lectured the second time in Windsor to a very good and attentive congregation, save the ruffians above mentioned. Some of them continued their disgraceful conduct.
6th, lectured at Mr. Wood's to a good and attentive congregation.
7th and 8th, lectured not far from Mr. Doolittle's. My friends requested me to preach there; had very good attention from all except a very rough, uncivilized person.
9th, had a full house up the river, near the distillery, with good attention from the ladies and gentlemen; but a very black man came in, who I hoped would not think it out of the way for one dark man to claim relationship with another, so I called the black niggard brother, when he thrashed round like a bobtail sheep in fly time; but did not hurt any one save himself. I learned that the black man's name was Steel. They ordered him to sit down, and he finally complied. I remarked to the congregation, that the black niggard told the truth; he is stealing your privilege of hearing this evening. This was done on Saturday evening, 1847, the 9th day of the year.
10th, preached at the School-house near Mr. Manville's, to a dense congregation, twice, and a third time in the evening in the Martin district. I take pleasure in saying that Elder Earll followed with some striking and appropriate remarks.
11th, lectured in the meeting-house on Cole's Hill, to a good congregation. Elder E. again took part.
12th, lectured near my friend Martin's, to a dense congregation. Brother Earll again backed my feeble efforts with truth.
13th, lectured at West Coleville to a full house. Brother E. took vehement ground.
14th, lectured in the Scouten School-house, to a dense congregation; had some beautiful remarks by Elder Earll.
15th, lectured in New Ohio to a good congregation; had a very pleasant time.
16th, lectured in the Merwin district to a dense congregation, without annoyance. The day following I preached twice in the same place, and in the evening at Harpersville. When we arrived in the village the house was dark, which denoted to me a strong prejudice. I groaned in spirit, intending by the strength of goodness in the name of God to break down that false prejudice. I was followed by Elder E.
18th, lectured at Savage's to a dense congregation; remarks were made by several persons, one of whom informed us he had been guilty of voting for a slaveholder, and said he was ashamed to say that he had voted for HENRY CLAY in 1844. The gentleman who made the above remarks was deacon Crofoot. This man is not alone; I find others confessing that sin.
19th, arrived in West Coventry; 20th, in Plymouth; 21st. spoke in Smyrna; 22d, put up with Mr. Lee, in Manlius:
23d, arrived in Syracuse; remained in this village, laboring in word and doctrine, till the 25th, when I visited Christian Hollow and lectured, accompanied by one of the warmest friends of man, brother James Baker, of Washington.
26th, I and my colleague lectured to a good congregation in the stone School-house.
27th, lectured near Mr. Palmer's, to a full house.
January 28, 1847, I lectured in Cardiff to a dense congregation. We had no annoyance. I gave any one the privilege of making remarks against or in favor of what I had spoken. I had not one objector, all appeared well satisfied. I lodged with a very respectable inn-keeper, and found them much astonished at my doctrine, and at my writing. All appeared to be deeply interested in conversation. I remarked another thing. It so happened that in the bar-room one of the company was John T. Thomas, an Indian, and it appeared to be sport to see him dance. They could very freely pay him to play the fool, while they did not think of paying a sober candid man to teach them the way of life and free salvation. And it appears to be one of the highest objects our nation has in view, to employ men to play fool, &c.
29th, lectured in Onondaga Hollow, to a full house.
30th, again returned to Syracuse, and in the afternoon I bid my friends farewell, and leaving for my other arrangements. It was very cold indeed. I was very much fatigued with my journey, and froze my feet, which threw me into such agony that I arose about 2 o'clock in the night, and got some snow and bound my feet up to relive them from pain.
31st, attended meeting in Peterboro, and spoke on duty.
February 1st, lectured in the School-house near Mr. Wood's, to a good congregation.
2d, traveled about 33 miles, and lectured in West Conventry to a full house--all quiet and civil except a few boys. Mr. Lewis, with whom I usually put up, was not in the place. The other gentleman upon whom I called, (Mr. Porter,) was out of health; he could feed me, but having company, could not conveniently lodge me. I told him I could make out at the hotel, and asked him if he would attend the meeting. He thought it not prudent, having a very hard cold, and was apprehensive
that few would come in except some boys to annoy me. He then said if I could not find lodgings at any private house, and came back, they would try to find a place for me, and may be he should come into the meeting. According to his directions I went and found Mr. Phillips in his store; he said he would attend, and did so; but took good care not to invite me home with him. I found the meeting room in darkness, which convinced me that darkness prevailed in the minds of the inhabitants. On closing the meeting, I left for my next appointment. Being much fatigued, I stopped on my journey in a school-house, but finding it cold and quite uncomfortable lying on the hard benches, I rose and resumed my journey until nature failed, having been without food for 24 hours except two meals. I found a splendid mansion, with a good barn near by, where I rested comfortably, and thanked my God that a resting place was open for me in a hay mow: Even so, Lord Jesus, come and protect me. I fell asleep in Jesus' arms. After 4 o'clock I again made my way for the Merwin School-house; it rained and the wind blew hard and broke my umbrella, so that my book got wet. Arrived at Mr. Daniel Hurlburt's 25 minutes after 10 o'clock, and dried my boots and got my breakfast. These people appeared to feel deeply, and sympathise with me: God bless them.
3d, lectured in the Merwin district again, to a good congregation. I learned that it had been announced that a lady was going to be present and prove me an impostor. The person was called for; but it was with me as it was when certain persons called for Baal;--he did not come: And neither came my accuser. Many good remarks were made by others. I again arose by request, and gave a true history of facts, to show from what source I had received my instruction. I assured them I had complied with the true teaching of the holy Bible, and thereby had found God true to me in the sixth trial, and in the 7th he did not forsake me. Amidst the threatenings of wicked men, when darkness and gloom gathered thick over my head and around my bed, my God was ever my strength in weakness and my light in darkness.
4th, I gave the people an address at the Scouten School-house, concerning christian responsibility in view of the judgment, when all things shall declare that God is the living and true God, by whom we live and move and have our being, and to whom our lives should be devoted, and our praises given.
5th, I arrived back again at Cole's Hill, and we had a very good time on the 6th. I can speak of this Convention as being one of the most interesting meetings I ever attended. Notwithstanding we were snow bound to a great extreme, I am opinion that all who attended with us became confirmed Liberty men. I rejoice in God to see the result of my labors of love. From less than 20 on a former trial, Colesville polled above 60 votes. I thank God for doing this glorious work.
7th, preached in the Edson School-house at 2 o'clock, and preached again in Osborn Hollow.
8th and 9th, lectured in North Osborn Hollow. We had a little annoyance, but Providence is faborable yet.
10th and 11th, lectured in South Osborn Hollow to a good aud respectable congregation.
12th, lectured in the School-house where they dismissed the teacher, and voted me in, and all other persons of honor. I had a dense and quiet congregation.
13th, lectured in North Bainbridge, to a full and quiet house.
14th, preached two sermons in the same place, and in the evening at Rockdale to a full house.
15th, lectured in Idumea to a very respectable congregation: but few unpleasant words.
16th, lectured in the School-house near Mr. Warriner's, to a remarkable civil congregation.
17th, addressed a dense congregation in Rogers' Hollow; had a little annoyance, and told the boys if I was in the South, and they were black and did so, I would be very much ashamed of them.
18th, lectured in School h. near Mr. Brown's to a full house.
19th, lectured in Otego, Otsego Co., in the stone School-house, to a full house.
20th, left for Sand Hill, and on my arrival I found myself placed among some true friends and some violent opposers, and before I opened the meeting the candles flashed, and we the people then went into the Baptist ch'h, and had a good time.
21st, preached in Sand Hill School-house, and at 2 o'clock in Unadilla Centre; also at the latter place in the evening.
22d, lectured in the School-house near Mr. Scrambling's, to a quiet congregation.
23d, lectured near Mr. Birdsall's to a good and quiet house.
24th, lectured near Mr. John Blakesley's.
25th, lectured in Christian meeting-house, unmolested.
26th, lectured in the School-house near Sutherland's, to a full house, unmolested. There was one man after meeting present with us, so far below the notice of gentlemen that I will not give room for his name.
27th, lectured in Hunnsville, near David Hurd's, to a full and attentive house. After the meeting a few of the miserable, contemptible class threw a few snow balls, but did no harm.
28th, preached in the village of Otego, and in the evening near Mr. Blakeley's. When I found the door locked I thought it could not be true that the citizens would submit to such an outrage. I was not deceived. We went in, and were commanded to leave the house--but the people regarded not the order; and I found all the audience willing to receive the truth, with the exception of a person named COLE. The name I suppose, signifies black; but this Cole tried to pass for white, and it appeared at this time truly a very black one, and kept up a crackling as though ignited by a liquid gas. I told the congregation it might seem strange to be interrupted by a hot Cole on the Sabbath, but we ought to rejoice that this kind of Cole could do little injury. All we ask is the approbation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in every thing we do, and without doubt we will achieve the victory for which we toil; for by faith we can receive all spiritual and temporal blessings.
March 1st, lectured in the white Meeting-house on the plains of Oneonta. Elder Wing was present, and we had good attention.
2d, lectured in Davenport, Delaware County, near Deacon Slade's.
3d, lectured in the Wolf School-house.
4th, lectured in the School-house near Wm. Richardson's, to a dense congregation. Some interruption: See poetic allusion to the subject on page 118.
5th, lectured in the Presbyterian meeting-house in the village of Oneonta. We had a little annoyance.
6th, lectured in the School-house near Mr. Strat's.
7th, preached twice in the Meeting-house on the Plains.
In a word, I must say, the last few months I found great success in almost every part. We have reason to expect the cause is still moving forward, and universal truth is spreading its glorious light around the world, and among all the inhabitants
thereof: And to this end let every man take hold of the glorious and philanthropic work, and press forward the old car of Freedom through the land.
I have been giving a long course of new lectures, in which it is understood that I do not and will not admit that any person can be a true christian and a slaveholder. Sir, this is my true position, and as soon as I am convinced that a human being can be a disciple of Christ. and traffic in His image, then you have satisfied me that Heaven is inhabited with fornicators, liars, and horse thieves, and that all classes of licentious persons are upheld on the same principle, and are singing songs of praise to the Savior. I had far rather retain a standing among a banditti of horse or other thieves, than thieves who call themselves Christians, and make a loud noise about wickedness, and cry mightily against poor ruined and undone sinners, and mourn over the desolation of our Zion, and sell saints to pay clergymen. O save our Zion! Sell infants and mothers, sundering them apart, to repair our churches. O do save this holy Zion, or R. L. Rebellious Lion. I speak free and frank on this point. I expect it will start the dander; but I am aware it is not a slander. I will expose your secresies; but let repentance keep thee friends.
July 25th, 1847.
April 2d, 1847. I Lectured on War, at New Ohio, and I showed fairly that war was not a new thing in the United States at all, but you ask,
"What is the reason we have not heard it spoken of?"
Because we could not speak for ourselves, and the people whom God called upon to open their mouths for the dumb thought it not best.
After meeting a little boy came up and gave me one cent. The father said he was very anxious to attend the meeting, but would not come without money. I suppose the father and mother were very kind and the child possessed the same disposition.
I will relate a fact which is very revolting to every honest citizen. I refer to a startling scene which took place in McLean county, Illinois, in Bloomington, Blooming Grove. I I was at the house of a true friend, as I fled from my own friends and home. I here became acquainted with Henry Clay. We were both toiling hard for freedom. I am not prepared to give my readers a full account of Mr. Clay. He was a man, but not a black man, neither was he a white man. He could not tell me whether he belonged to the royal family or not. I found his head clear, and his heart warm. I saw him fleeeing as I did. America, what is she doing, why is the wicked part of our citizens all blinded, who is her crushed, and what must be her fate? She is insulting and enslaving men. What men? George Washington, Henry Clay, James Madison, and the sons of our noblest men, or men of distinguished character by name, and I think them as good men in the sight of God as any class of his creation notwithstanding their color. We love what our namesakes loved, Liberty. I say it is valuable, and if it is worth anything it must be paramount, for where the man in this day and age can be brought under the holy and glorious influence of the gospel, we have not any doubts or fears so far as our success is concerned.
The good judgment of intelligent persons is directly opposed to every feature of the whole system of American slavery, with all its kindness to rob God by enslaving ministers and locking them up in jails and state prisons, and oppressing the children of the living and true God. These things should be rebuked, yes they must be openly exposed to the world for the wicked are not fools, neither are they blind. We cannot keep these dark things in the church, and throw the garb of religion around all the rapine of wicked slave owners, and call this piety. I do ask you as members of the American church, to look into this matter. I believe if all is well it cannot do any person any injustice to talk about our glorious, and free institutions in America. We Americans are a class of very noble spirited people. The dignity of our sublime churches must not be exposed by bringing the Holy Bible to test our christian characters, it is too soon for us to quit our dear brethren yet. We are a little opposed to the close application
of these cutting texts. I am a little fearful that to apply the good old Golden rule, it would ruin our fine church, and our minister is a very prudent man, and he will not proclaim anything to destroy the confidence of any of his hearers. We cannot support him now hardly, and if he should come out right square, he would loose all his influence and support. I know he is doing all in his power to keep our church together in this place, but it is hard to see him insulted so by ultraism. I exhort you in the name of God to adhere to the instructions of a friend. You should remember that God has given you the blessed Bible to teach you the way of life eternal. How can any person object to its rule? We all confess it is a good book to guide us through the dark valley and shadow of death. And if so, why not submit to all his laws, and do it quick without delaying this glorious and all important work of Salvation.
I recollect very well of hearing once, a story of a very respectable old judge and a very insulting young lawyer who tried to abuse the judge. A friend of the judge remarked,
"I would not take his abuse."
The honorable judge referred to a little fist dog, with which he was well acquainted. He would bark at the moon when he saw it shining. But the moon did not regard the fist, it continued shining.
And the judge continued to shine by refusing to notice the lawyer. I have no reason to doubt the truth of this statement for I witnessed a similar case once.
I was very busy at work and the pup made a great noise as if he had found a multitude of big elks, and the old lady sent me off in a great hurry to see what the pup was barking at.--The little dog was in the act of drinking, and when he would open his mouth and show his teeth, the other ugly dog would show his teeth. O would men look at self and at the same time think who they were viewing. I think it would be enough to make them fear and tremble, perfectly horrified. What a thought--American freemen voting for men who are guilty of every mean act, even the selling of human beings for support. That is the way is it, for a republican to become respectable. Such respect I do not crave God knows, and if you do, go on. I deprecate such acts.
I think it folly for me to consume time in showing you the nature of this Institution. My dear dying friends and fellow travelers to eternity! I see what this treacherous institution is doing in the land. Do you wish me to show you, sir? Yes, sir, I am wishing to see what is making so much noise. I am searching after the glorious and sublime principle of republican security; for I am honestly convinced that we as a nation are ruined and undone forever, unless we take hold with all faith and redeem our civil and religious liberty. You know we have been drove out of our school-house, and our churches have been locked against men who ask the privilege to inform us. I am determined to see and hear for myself, and act with regard to the justification and sanctification of my own soul.--All I ask is to see; and if you can show me, I will be glad.
I can show you quickly all you wish to see, if you will take off those old pro-slavery spects, which you have used until you cannot see through them to discern a man from a mouse.
This is a true statement; for in relation to the killing of a mouse, there is no one ever takes notice of it.
Neither is there any person to take notice of slave killing.
But the question is, can any person of good judgment be foolish enough to act so bad? What benefit is it to kill off their slaves.
Sir, I will answer this, if you will tell me what is gained by husbands and wives fighting?
There is not any gain, but a great loss. They lose their standing in society, and also their influence as parents--and worst of all, the love of God is lost, and it is their delight to torment and harrass the feelings of each other for revenge.
You have settled this matter; there cannot be any answer more appropriate; the fact is sufficient evidence of itself; and should I do you justice, I would add, all that disregard the rights of the created, cannot have any regard for the Creator.
We are all bound to look into these things. Now the question is, what will be the final result if we act. I can see there is a great wrong.
Yes, look and remember God will look. Yea, he will execute justice against thee. Then, even your cup is full; all you have to do is well near done. You may consent to the will of wicked, ungodly rulers, but against such I do earnestly
protest, and will protest, for they are not competent. If any man cannot live save by fraud, and robbery, and misery, and franticness, ruin is truly standing at the door of every house. Yea, ruin is making inroads into all the enterprises of our great and noble nation. I see its dismal, dark and dangerous effect, and therefore speak decidedly. Yes, I speak of a reality, and not of an imaginary evil. I am an American born citizen; and therefore it is my home. I regard it as such, and stand ever prepared to lend my influence as a patriot in behalf of my beloved country. I have as strong zeal as any man; my patriotism is not so strong as to crave all this world, and deprive every other man of the right to any soil, and then seize the person of a man in every respect like unto myself. No, my spirit of philanthropy has ever taught me to regard the rights of every person, for I find that our happiness essentially depends on the happiness of others; and that in proportion to the sufferings and misery of others, must we collectively and individually suffer reproach. What a glorious republic we have! Wonderful security against outrages upon the people's rights. Hark! O hearken to the rattling of chains! What gentleman's horse is loose? Look out! What is the matter, do you see any thing?
Yes, I see a large company of slaves just driven into the Jail across the street. What a sight! Is this all a dream? No, it is fact! I ask if we are not elevating men to high official station in this boasted republic, who are so contemptible as virtually to consent to every like rascality, injustice and bloodshed? Suppose we knew of a lion and tiger, both in this neighbood, and the fact is ascertained that all the sheep are in danger of being devoured, pigs not excepted. I see where they go in, and tell every body. I know the very spot where they get in. John, well why do you stand still then and let all those pigs and sheep be killed.
Because I am not able to prevent them from coming in; all the fence is down all along the South side of the field, and I thought it best to pull down this part up North, that the sheep and pigs may all runaway, and these devouring animals will starve to death, and then you feed them so that they will die quick. Votes is what feeds tyrants.
Again, we may take another case to elucidate this great matter. Here we have men among us who denominate themselves Liberty men; and indeed these very men will not vote
for a man unless he is a Liberty Party man. This is good, but do we find men true? Yes, when it is convenient; but some of these men cling to the old pro-slavery church, and pay out their money to the devil's understrapper, &c.
The best thing we can do is to remember Him that speaks, and the work is done.
Yes, I am; I cannot deny it, I must confess. But while I acknowledge I wish myself in a heathen land. Yes, so far that the American Bible could not reach me. Why, from the fact if it is so bad a book as the Deacon understands it to be, and if the holy Bible is teaching us to destroy the happiness of each other, I think the less we know concerning the American Board of Missions, and the American piety, the better we are off. All her glorious institutions, are truly and emphatically upheld by injustice and oppression of the very worst kind. O glorious Republic, how are you sustained? By whipping men, and by driving women, under all circumstances, destitute of the hemp linen it would take to make a rich woman what they call a negro towel.
What a sublime government, where men are authorized to sell men, and women claim their equal sister according to law. What a shame! what a scandal! what a wretched disgrace to every inhabitant of the country!
I am bound to expose a few wicked cruel things, and while I speak, I have one request to make. I ask you, reader, to make the application. You will read with candor, and act from principle
I must here mention one fact concerning a lady who once came north and returned again to the slave cursed region of the south under the pretence that she did not desire her freedom. But this very lady informed me that she had a great object in view, when she refused her liberty for two long and dreary years. Her dear husband and poor little children were all slaves and she thought it a privilege to wear the fetter with
them rather than to leave them in slavery. But what a shame, and is this all fiction? No, every word I speak is in reality true. This lady was living with Doct. T. in H--.
I lodged with a Methodist exhorter a short time since. He informed me that he had just made his escape from old T. His friends were all sold. He began to relate the facts in the case but could not explain his wrongs and deprivations. His dear companion was of little use to him when he was at home, and when his mind is directed to the south the thought quickly [illegible] in, O, my wife and children, I cannot speak, it breaks my heart.
March 14th, 1847, in the district commonly called Comstock district, but now denominated Skunk Hollow. Awake, O ye American Citizens, awake!
I have just witnessed a scene such as all the world should know. When I find ladies of respect and gentlemen who regard the truth, denied the right to assemble even to worship God on the Lord's Holy Day, I solemnly protest against it.--Friends and fellow citizens, it is a dangerous outrage upon all civil and religious Liberty. And this is not all, it is also a desecration of the Sabbath day, and the very index to the gallows or the State Prison. And if the fact is established, I ask if it is not time we were all awake and acting against all these heaven daring and God dishonoring outrages which repuditaes all good.
How can you talk so, we are doing something against slavery, and we do not wish to be called pro-slavery.
Dear friends, let me warn you to be true in view of the judgment, and in view of the above facts let me appeal to the heart of every reader of this book to stop and think, O think of the wrongs we poor slaves have to endure. We who live with good men, and kind rich ladies: Yes, members of the Church, who take us with them, as christian class mates and bond servants. Yea more, we hear the minister telling much about the goodness of God,--of His love in stooping so low as to redeem us from the lake of eternal blackness and darkness, misery and wo!
I appeal to you who have been reading the foregoing facts, to stop and consider that all these deprivations that we endure have been inflicted upon us by men of your own choice; and this fact ye have denied, telling us the party nominated these men for office; but ye say they were not the men of our choosing, and since we have such persons placed before us, it is right that we should see to this matter: and we will make the best we can of it by choosing the least of the two evils; yet ye are all the time trying to make us believe that our rulers regard not the principles which you love. Are we to believe you while you continue to elevate oppressive men to office? No, we will not be such fools: I know you have better sense, when you talk freely of the blessing of Liberty; but I am aware that all persons can understand well one part of the harrow which is attached to slavery, while it is matter of moral impossibility for any human being to form an opinion of the torment which poor slaves often undergo.
Every person can perceive at once the nature of slavery. Its first object is to lay its iron grasp upon the victim, and then put the fetters on the mind. O, what can a man think of himself or his race, that are so hardened that they can catch a child from the mother's arms, and for the trifling sum of 100 dollars bid defiance to God and their government, and sell it in spite of all the entreaty of a kind mother. I have before referred you to some things that occurred to me while in the dungeon with Simond and Henry. Simond was the white man, and said he was a free man from Indiana. Henry said he was a slave from Alabama. The following which I learnt from poor old uncle Henry, in regard to his perils in escaping from his oppressors, should induce every one who acknowledges God as the common Father of all mankind, to take a high and decided stand in defence of universal right against oppression in every form.--This man was called little Harry when he was at home. He had been twelve months making his way through difficulties almost insurmountable. He had not any thing on his back, and I could not lay my finger any where on his back without touching a scar. He had a very good knife which he said he had used when finding shoats sleeping,--often killing, skinning
and cutting off a quarter, which he roasted and ate without salt or bread, and the remainder he took along in his knapsack, which I saw in Jail full of grease. His old pantaloons were rags and strings; his feet were bare; he was an object of pity.
This man had three wives taken away and sold into the hands of those wicked, lawless, ungodly slave traders. He said soon after they commenced weeding the cotton, some of the hands being threatened with a flogging, went to the woods. The overseer and James the colored driver, went to hunt them. They took five blood-hounds that were kept to hunt fugitives. As it was difficult to get good trusty dogs, they would borrow hounds to hunt people. I related the fact to uncle Henry and Simond, that where I came from they sent thirty miles after Finney's hounds to catch McFadden's slave Manuel; but he escaped into the free state of Indiana, and was there wounded by a shot, taken back to Bowling Green, Ky., and hanged. I saw the act performed.
But to return; uncle Henry said that his pursuers set their dogs after the men. When they saw the dogs coming they took a tree, and were secure until the men came up and secured them. He said the old man gave a great price for the slut and four puppies, and trained them while they were young to catch slaves. While they were going over the cotton picking for the last time, one of the slaves named Little John, ranaway. The hounds were started upon the man's track, and the overseer and a part of the slaves followed: But in a moment all was still. At this awful moment of soul harrowing suspense, anxiety to see our friend and fleeing victim was depicted in every countenance; but what did they see? Nothing of John--but the hounds in a gore of blood, all over their heads and legs--darkness and the most fearful apprehensions shrouding the rest.
John was not found that night. Early the next morning search was made for the slave. Little John was found, stiff upon the ground, torn and mangled by the hounds, in the cane. His body had been dragged around, and the pieces were found sticking to the snags as though he was a wild hog. Do you hope to see these men at the judgment bar? We shall meet there. And may God in his infinite mercy and wisdom, give us all grace to discover our obligation to each other. Some may remark after reading the above
fact, well, it is too bad, but the boy should not have runaway--it is nothing but a negro any how, and they thus lightly treat this subject. Hark, read this again, and reflect upon this all important topic. See the image of our Lord Jesus Christ, torn in pieces by blood hounds, thus sticking about on the snags. And the entrails of poor John were to be seen clinging to the old cane stubs that had been broken. This young man had a mother and also two sisters on the plantation. Now what could have been the feelings of these dear friends and relations of the murdered John.--None but God can tell.
Uncle Henry informed me that another one of the boys ranaway, and he was chased so hard by the dogs that he took to a tree, but the overseer soon came up and caught him, and carried him back. Now he shall be punished,--the old demon had some forks placed across the man's neck to hold him down, and then some to hold his wrists, and others to confine the ancles. After this poor fellow arose up from being cat-hauled he was then placed in the stocks where he died. I could make your blood run cold by relating facts concerning cruelty, but it is not worth while. Time and paper cannot unfold the dark features of the slave system.--I have a very good opportunity to know from my own experience, and now I feel the effect operating upon me as an individual,--and it is destroying all that can prove beneficial to the race of man.
While I am exposing vice, I will relate a circumstance which took place thirty years ago in Kentucky. There was a woman standing with a child in her arms, and her husband was near--two men walked up laughing and talking--at the time the man was not looking one of them raised his staff and at a blow felled him to the earth, and while he was lying helpless these men handcuffed him and drove him away down to new Orleans. I gazed upon that scene, but was too small to remember it. I am that very child which was taken up for dead, and now publish this bloody crime. I was rolled in water, and bled, and revived, while my mother went the way of all the earth.
Addressed to certain individuals in Richardson district, who distinguished them P. D., March 4th, 1847.
1 I will take my paper and my pen,
And expose those sin polluted men;
Now by this course I know we should
Maintain the just, upright and good.
2 While justice all the time should tell,
Ungodly tyrants tbey shall dwell
Where torment rages all the night,
Because you trample on His right.
3 You spurn the light of gospel day,
And violate in every way;
How solemnly God will 'raign you up,
And give to you that bitter cup.
4 O see the dark and damning deed,
For which our Nation yet will plead;
I find the use here made with powder,
Is to crack around us louder.
5 How true it is that Jesus bled,
That you ungodly should be fed;
O hear the cries and piteous groans
Which He suffered for His sons.
6 What! and shall they wear their yoke?
No, my God, never let thy servants joke;
Is the image of a God in chains,
Or is it not worth His servants' pains.
7 Why say ye the people made a break;
Do you call my uncle James K. Polk a rake?
How many millions can he drag?
He must be a very strong old snag.
8 We see the land abounds in trash;
But never tremble though they flash;
Our honest men lament these things--
Thy tyrants build up wretched Kings
9 Now just as true as I am born,
The drunkard ruffians mob with corn;
O see their low degraded state;
What must be such villains' fate!
10 And when we speak about these wrongs,
Then sing triumphant freedom's songs,
They'll pelt us with light finger stones,
Worse than the half Spanish drones.
11 They'll hop around brisk as a flea--
How small such men appear to me;
They'll fill the stove pipe with old straw,
And loudly boast of our free law.
12 He crammed it in the stove pipe--
Of infamous habits he's the type!
And soon the house was full of smoke;
All poor silly ruffians laugh and joke.
13 Without a doubt it will be seen
Some individuals acted mean;
The eye of One is somewhat keen--
He's ever watching for the fiend.
14 The lines above from facts have grown;
To the readers I have shown,
And all their guilty, wicked acts,
Are worse than any of the blacks.
O who can now forget the slave,
Lying in his chains?
May every freeman stand to save
Them from their pains
Lord, when shall we thy truth regard,
And in thy presence bow;
Dear Lord, and shall we hear thy word,
And all these wrongs allow?
No, never, while the heart can feel,
Can we enjoy peace,
To see old wicked tyrants steal,
And children sold as geese.
How true, it is a horrid shame,
But we will mend this wrong,
Disgraceful to our nation's fame
Till freedom triumph strong.
How can we slumber on in shame,
And drench the land in blood;
Come let us every right redeem,
And spread truth like a flood.
I heard a man speaking against sin and sinners, and among the hundreds were the ministers also. One of the number was a Lion and another a Lamb. The Lion remarked that it would be better for our country if all the meeting houses were burned down: Yes, if all the false ministers were hanging to the steeples, said the Lamb. I think the Lamb could not briefly have been more comprehensive. I remember well how one ugly thing is apt to hate another. When a slave, I was waiting an old mistress, and all at once we heard the puppy making as much noise as though he had found an elk. I was sent in haste to see what the pup had found, and I assure you I was pleased to see him act his part; he had found an outrageous ugly dog, which he could do nothing at all with. The puppy undertook to fight, even in the water; but as soon as I had pacified him all the difficulty was settled. So if we can succeed in pacifying the tyrants, all our other difficulties will be settled. All the fault and error is at our own door, who elevate oppressors. You must be brought to see and feel your guilt as citizens and christians, and then the work is done--Let all persons be careful to examine themselves, and live in peace with each other.