Part 4 out of 5
than I do; but I am poor, and the restrictions which I am under
allow me no privileges. You had all better take your meat in the
morning-if you won't take soup-and try to cook it, or get Jane to do
it for you. I will give you some coffee and bread from my own table,
to-night, and you better say as little about it as possible, for if
Grimshaw hears it, he may lock you up."
"Do, I shall be very thankful, for we are really suffering from
hunger, in our cell, and I pay you when I get money from Captain,"
said Manuel, manifesting his thankfulness at the jailer's kindness.
"I will send it up in a few minutes, but you needn't trouble
yourself about pay-I wouldn't accept it!" said the jailer; and as
good as his word, he sent them up a nice bowl of coffee for each,
and some bread, butter, and cheese. They partook of the humble fare,
with many thanks to the donor. Having despatched it, they seated
themselves upon the floor, around the faint glimmer of a tin lamp,
while Copeland read the twentieth and twenty-first chapters of the
Acts of the Apostles. Copeland was a pious negro, and his behaviour
during his imprisonment enlisted the respect of every one in jail.
Singular as the taste may seem, he had his corner in the cell
decorated with little framed prints. Among them we noticed one of
the crucifixion, and another of the Madonna. After reading the
chapters, they retired to their hard beds. About nine o'clock the
next morning, Daley came to the door with a piece of neck meat, so
tainted and bloody that its smell and looks more than satisfied the
"Here it is, boys," said he; "yer four pound, but ye's better take
soup, cos ye'll niver cook that bone, anyhow."
"Do you think we're like dogs, to eat such filth as that? No! I'd
rather starve!" said Manuel.
"Indeed, an' ye'll larn to ate any thing win ye'd be here a month.
But be dad, if ye don't watch number one about here, ye's won't get
much nohow," replied Daley, dropping the bloody neck upon the floor,
and walking out.
"Better take it," said Copeland. "There's no choice, and hunger
don't stand for dainties, especially in this jail, where everybody
is famished for punishment. If we don't eat it, we can give it to
some of the poor prisoners up-stairs."
"While I have good ship-owners, and a good Captain, I never will eat
such stuff as that; oh! no," returned Manuel.
The meat was laid in a corner for the benefit of the flies; and when
dinner time arrived, the same hard extreme arrived with it-bread and
water. And nobody seemed to have any anxieties on their behalf; for
two of them had written notes to their Captains, on the day
previous, but they remained in the office for want of a messenger to
carry them. Fortunately, Jane called upon them in the afternoon, and
brought a nice dish of rice and another of homony.
We will here insert a letter we received from a very worthy friend,
who, though he had done much for the Charleston people, and been
repaid in persecutions, was thrown into jail for a paltry debt by a
ruthless creditor. Cleared by a jury of twelve men, he was held in
confinement through the wretched imperfection of South Carolina law,
to await nearly twelve months for the sitting of the "Appeal Court,"
more to appease the vindictiveness of his enemies than to satisfy
justice, for it was well understood that he did not owe the debt.
His letter speaks for itself. Charleston Jail, March 31, '52.
MY DEAR FRIEND,--I could not account for your absence during the
last few days, until this morning, when Mr. F***** called upon me
for a few moments, and from him I learnt that you had been quite
unwell. If you are about to-morrow, do call upon me; for a more
dreary place, or one where less regard is paid to the calls of
humanity, cannot be found among the nations of the earth.
Such is the ordinary condition of suffering within this
establishment, that men, and even women, are forced to all kinds of
extremes to sustain life; and, to speak what experience has taught
me, crime is more increased than reduced by this wretched system.
There seems to be little distinction among the prisoners, and no
means to observe it, except in what is called Mount Rascal on the
third story. Pilfering is so common, that you cannot leave your room
without locking your door. The jailer is a good, kind-hearted old
man, very often giving from his own table to relieve the wants of
debtors, many of whom repay him with ingratitude. I have suffered
many privations from shipwreck and cold, but never until I came to
South Carolina was I compelled to endure imprisonment and subsist
several days upon bread and water.
Talk about chivalry and hospitality! How many men could join with me
and ask, "Where is it?" But why should I demur, when I see those
abroad who have been driven from this State to seek bread; when I
hear the many voices without tell of struggling to live, for want of
system in mechanical employment, and when I look upon several within
these sombre walls who are even worse than me. Here is a physician,
with a wife and large family, committed for a debt which he was
unable to pay. His father's name stands among the foremost of the
State--a General of distinction, who offered his life for her in
time of war, and whose name honors her triumphs, and has since
graced the councils of state.
General Hammond, whose name occupies such a conspicuous place in the
military history of South Carolina. The father's enthusiasm for his
country's cause led him to sacrifice his all, and by it he entailed
misfortune upon his descendants. When I consider the case of
Shannon, whose eleven years and seven months' imprisonment for debt,
as it was called, but which eventually proved to be a question
turning upon technicalities of law, gave him, body and soul, to the
vindictiveness of a persecutor, whose unrelenting malignity was kept
up during that long space of time. It was merely a breach of
limitation between merchants, the rights of which should be governed
by commercial custom. Shannon had, amassed about twenty thousand
dollars by hard industry; his health was waning, and he resolved to
retire with it to his native county. The gem proved too glaring for
the lynx eye of a "true Carolinian," who persuaded him to invest his
money in cotton. Moved by flattering inducements, he authorized a
factor to purchase for him upon certain restrictions, which,
unfortunately for himself, were not drawn up with regard to legal
enforcement-one of those singular instruments between a merchant and
an inexperienced man which a professional quibbler can take
advantage of. Cotton was at the tip-top, and very soon Shannon was
presented with an account of purchase, and draft so far beyond his
limits, that he demurred, and rejected the purchase entirely; but
some plot should be laid to entrap him. The factor undertook the
force game, notified him that the cotton was held subject to his
order, and protested the draft for the appearance of
straightforwardness. Cotton shortly fell to the other extreme, the
lot was "shoved up" for sale on Shannon's account, Shannon was sued
for the balance, held to bail, and in default committed to prison.
His confinement and endurance of it would form a strange chapter in
the history of imprisonment for debt. Carrying his money with him,
he closed the door of his cell, and neither went out nor would allow
any one but the priest to enter for more than three years; and for
eleven years and seven months he paced the room upon a diagonal line
from corner to corner, until he wore the first flooring, of two-and-
a-quarter-inch pine, entirely through.
I might go on and tell of many others, whose poverty was well known,
and yet suffered years of imprisonment for debt; but I find I have
digressed. I must relate an amusing affair which took place this
morning between Manuel Pereira, the steward of the English brig
Janson, which put into this port in distress, and the jailer. He is
the man about whom so much talk and little feeling has been
enlisted--a fine, well-made, generous-hearted Portuguese. He is
olive-complexioned--as light as many of the Carolinians--intelligent
and obliging, and evidently unaccustomed to such treatment as he
Manuel appeared before the jailer's office this morning with two
junks of disgusting-looking meat, the neck-bones, tainted and
bloody, in each hand. His Portuguese ire was up. "Mister Poulnot,
what you call dis? In South Carolina you feed man on him, ah? In my
country, ah yes! we feed him to dog. What you call him? May-be
somethin' what me no know him. In South Carolina, prison sailor when
he shipwreck, starve him on nosin', den tell him eat this, ah! I
sails 'round ze world, but never savage man gives me like zat to
eat! No, I starve 'fore I eat him, be gar! Zar, you take him," said
he, throwing the pieces of meat upon the floor in disdain.
"Meat! Yes, it's what's sent here for us. You mustn't grumble at me;
enter your complaints to the sheriff, when he comes," said the
jailer, with an expression of mortification on his countenance.
"Meat, ah! You call dat meat in South Carolina? I call him
bull-neck, not fit for dog in my country. I see, when Capitan come,
vat he do," said Manuel, turning about and going to his room in a
"You'd better be careful how you talk, or you may get locked up when
the sheriff comes."
It seems that the Captain had received a note from him, addressed by
one of the white prisoners on the same floor, and reached the jail
just as Manuel had ascended the stairs. He rang the bell and
requested to see Manuel.
"Manuel Pereira?" inquired the jailer.
"Yes," said the Captain, "he is my steward."
He heard the Captain's voice, and immediately returned to the lobby.
The tears ran down his cheeks as soon as he saw his old protector.
"Well, Manuel, I am glad to see you, but sorry that it is in
imprisonment. Tell me what is the matter. Don't they use you well
here?" inquired the Captain.
Stepping within the office door, he caught up the pieces of meat,
and bringing them out in his hands, held them up. "There, Capitan,
that no fit for man, is it?" said he. "Law send me prison, but law
no give not'ing to eat. What I do dat people treat me so? Ah,
Capitan, bull neck, by gar, yes-bull born in South Carolina, wid two
neck. Ils sont r‚duits … l'extr‚mit‚," said he, concluding with
"That cannot be; it's against the law to kill bulls in South
Carolina," interrupted the jailer jocosely.
"Must be. I swear he bull-neck, 'cas he cum every day just like him.
Bull born wid one neck no cum so many. What I get for breakfast,
Capitan, ah?--piece bad bread. What I get for dinner, ah?--bull-neck.
Yes, what I get for supper, too?--piece bread and bucket o' water.
May-be he bad, may be he good, just so he come. You think I live on
dat, Capitan?" said he, in reply to the Captain's questions.
The Captain felt incensed at such treatment, and excused himself for
not calling before; yet he could not suppress a smile that stole
upon his countenance in consequence of Manuel's quaint earnestness.
"That is certainly strange fare for a human being; but the supper
seems rather a comical one. Did you drink the bucket of water,
Manuel?" inquired the Captain, retaining a sober face.
"Capitan, you know me too well for dat. I not ask 'em nozin' what he
no get, but I want my coffee for suppe'. I no eat him like zat,"
throwing the putrid meat upon the floor again.
"Hi, hi! That won't do in this jail. You're dirtying up all my
floor," said the jailer, calling a negro boy and ordering him to
carry the bull-necks, as Manuel called them, into the kitchen.
"You call him dirt, ah, Miser Jailer? Capitan, just come my room; I
shown him," said Manuel, leading the way up-stairs, and the Captain
followed. A sight at the cell was enough, while the sickly stench
forbid him to enter beyond the threshold. He promised Manuel that he
would provide for him in future, and turning about suddenly,
retreated into the lower lobby.
"Jailer, what does all this mean? Do you allow men to starve in a
land of plenty, and to suffer in a cell like that?" asked the
Captain in a peremptory tone.
"I feel for the men, but you must enter your complaints to the
sheriff-the ration of the jail is entirely in his hands."
"But have you no voice in it, by which you can alleviate their
"Not the least! My duty is to keep every thing-every thing to
rights, as far as people are committed. You will find the sheriff in
his office, any time between this and two o'clock," said the jailer.
And the Captain left as suddenly as he came.
You will think I have written you an essay, instead of a letter
inviting you to come and see me. Accept it for its intention, and
excuse the circumstances. Your obedient servant,
THE CAPTAIN'S INTERVIEW WITH MR. GRIMSHAW.
THE appearance of things at the jail was forlorn in the extreme. The
Captain knew the integrity of Manuel, and not only believed his
statement, but saw the positive proofs to confirm them. He repaired
to the sheriff's office, and inquiring for that functionary, was
pointed to Mr. Grimshaw, who sat in his large chair, with his feet
upon the table, puffing the fumes of a very fine-flavored Havana, as
unconcerned as if he was lord in sovereignty over every thing about
the city. "I am captain of the Janson, and have called to inquire
about my steward?" said the Captain.
"Ah! yes,--you have a nigger fellow in jail. Oh! by-the-by, that's
the one there was so much fuss about, isn't it?" said Mr. Grimshaw,
"It is an imperative duty on me to seek the comfort of my officers
and crew," said the Captain. "I received a note from my steward,
this morning,--here it is, (handing him the note,) you can read it.
He requested me to call upon him at the jail, where I lost no time
in going, and found what he stated there to be too true. How is it!
From the great liberality of tone which everywhere met my ears when
I first arrived, I was led to believe that he would be made
comfortable; and that the mere confinement was the only feature of
the law that was a grievance. Now I find that to be the only
tolerable part of it. When a man has committed no crime, and is
imprisoned to satisfy a caprice of public feeling, it should be
accompanied with the most favoring attendants. To couple it with the
most disgraceful abuses, as are shown here, makes it exceedingly
repugnant. If we pay for confining these men, and for their living
while they are confined, in God's name let us get what we pay for!"
The reader will observe that Mr. Grimshaw was a man of coarse
manners and vulgar mind, with all their traces preserved on the
outer man. He looked up at the Captain with a presumptuous frown,
and then said, "Why, Mr. Captain, how you talk! But that kind o'
talk won't do here in South Carolina. That nigger o' yourn gives us
a mighty site of trouble, Captain. He doesn't seem to understand
that he must be contented in jail, and live as the other prisoners
do. He gets what the law requires, and if he gives us any further
trouble, we shall lock him up in the third story."
"You cannot expect him to be contented, when you furnish the means
of discontent. But I did not come here to argue with you, nor to ask
any thing as a favour, but as a right. My steward has been left to
suffer! Am I to pay for what he does not get? Or am I to pay you for
the pretence, and still be compelled to supply him on account of the
owners? You must excuse my feelings, for I have had enough to
provoke them!" returned the Captain.
"That business is entirely my own! He gets what the State allows,
and I provide. Your steward never wrote that note; it was dictated
by some of them miserable white prisoners. I can hear no complaints
upon such cases as them. If I were to listen to all these
nonsensical complaints, it would waste all my time. I wish the devil
had all the nigger stewards and their complaints; the jail's in a
fuss with them all the time. I can hear nothing further, sir-nothing
further!" said Grimshaw emphatically, interrupting the Captain as he
attempted to speak; at which the Captain became so deeply incensed,
that he relieved his feelings in that sort of plain English which a
Scotchman can best bestow in telling a man what he thinks of his
"You must remember, sir, you are in the office of the sheriff of the
county-parish, I mean,--and I am, sir, entitled to proper respect.
Begone!--avaunt! you have no right to come here and traduce my
character in that way. You musn't take me for a parish beadle," said
Grimshaw, contorting the unmeaning features of his visage, and
letting fly a stream of tobacco juice in his excitement.
"If you have no laws to give me justice, you have my opinion of your
wrongs," returned the Captain, and taking his hat, left the office
with the intention of returning to the jail. On reflection, he
concluded to call upon Colonel S--, which he did, and finding him in
his office, stated the circumstances to him.
"These things are the fruits of imbecility; but I am sorry to say
there is no relief from them. We are a curious people, and do a
great many curious things according to law, and leave a great many
things undone that the law and lawmakers ought to do. But I will go
with you to the jail, and whatever my influence will effect is at
your service," said the Colonel, putting on his hat, and
accompanying the Captain to the jail.
Mr. Grimshaw had forestalled them, and after having given the jailer
particular instructions to lock Manuel up if he made any further
complaint, and to carry out his orders upon the peril of his
situation, met them a few steps from the outer gate, on his return.
"There, Captain!" said Grimshaw, making a sort of halt, "I have
given the jailer particular orders in regard to your grumbling
Neither the Captain nor Colonel S--took any notice of his remarks,
and passed on into the jail. Colonel S--interceded for the man,
explaining the circumstances which had unfortunately brought him
there, and begged the jailer's kind consideration in his behalf. The
jailer told them what his orders had been, but promised to do as far
as was in his power, and to see any thing that was sent to him
After leaving the jail, Colonel S--proposed a walk, and they
proceeded along a street running at right angles with the jail,
until they came to a corner where a large brick building was in
process of erection. The location was not in what might strictly be
called "the heart of the city," nor was it in the suburbs.
Carpenters and masons, both black and white, were busily employed in
their avocations, and from the distance all seemed fair and moving
with despatch. As they approached nearer, cries and moans sounded
upon the air, and rose high above the clatter of the artisans' work.
The Captain quickened his pace, but the colonel, as if from a
consciousness of the effect, halted, and would fain have retraced
his steps. "Come!" said the Captain, "let us hasten-they are killing
somebody!" They approached the building, and entered by an open door
in the basement. The passage, or entry-way, was filled with all
sorts of building materials; and on the left, another door opened
into a long basement apartment, with loose boards laid upon the
floor-joists overhead. Here in this dark apartment was the suffering
object whose moans had attracted their attention. A large billet of
wood, about six feet long and three feet square, which had the
appearance of being used for a chopping-block, laid near. A poor
negro man, apparently advanced in years, was stripped naked and bent
over the block, in the shape of a horse-shoe, with his hands and
feet closely pinioned to stakes, driven in the ground on each side.
His feet were kept close together, and close up to the log, while he
was drawn over, tight by the hands, which were spread open. Thus,
with a rope around his neck, tied in a knot at the throat, with each
end carried to the pinion where his hands were secured, his head and
neck were drawn down to the tightest point. The very position was
enough to have killed an ordinary human being in less than six
hours. His master, a large, robust man, with a strong Irish brogue,
started at their appearance, as if alarmed at the presence of
intruders, while holding his hand in the attitude of administering
another blow. "There! you infernal nigger; steal again, will you?"
said he, frothing at the mouth with rage--with his coat off, his
shirt-sleeves rolled up, and his face, hands, arms and shirt-bosom
so bespattered with blood, that a thrill of horror ran through the
Captain. On the ground lay several pieces of hoop, broken and
covered with blood, while he held in his hand another piece, (which
he had torn from a lime-cask,) reeking with blood, presenting the
picture of a murderer bestained with the blood of his victim. But
the poor sufferer's punishment had wasted his strength,--his moans
had become so faint as to be scarcely perceptible. His posteriors
were so cut and mangled that we could compare them to nothing but a
piece of bullock's-liver, with its tenacity torn by craven dogs. His
body was in a profuse perspiration, the sweat running from his neck
and shoulders, while the blood streamed from his bruises, down his
legs, and upon some shavings on the ground. Just at this moment a
boy brought a pail of water, and set it down close by the tyrant's
feet. "Go away, boy!" said he, and the, boy left as quick as
possible. The Captain stood dismayed at the bloody picture.
"Unmerciful man!" said the colonel in a peremptory tone; "what have
you been doing here? You fiend of hell, let the man up! You own
slaves to bring disgrace upon us in this manner! Epithets of
contempt and disgust are too good for you. It is such beasts as you
who are creating a popular hatred against us, and souring the
feelings of our countrymen. Let the man up instantly; the very
position you have him in is enough to kill him, and, if I'm not
mistaken, you've killed him already."
"Indeed, he's me own property, and it's yerself won't lose a
ha'penny if he's kilt. An' I'll warrant ye he's cur't of stalin'
better than the man beyant at the wurk'o'se would be doin' if. Bad
luck to the nager, an' it's the second time he'd be doin' that same
thing," said he, as unconcernedly as if he had just been killing a
"I'll 'your own' you, you miserable wretch! Your abuse and cruel
treatment of your slaves is becoming a public thing; and if you
a'n't very careful, something will be done about it before council.
If they are your own, you must not treat them worse than dogs; they
have feeling, if you have no compassion. Be quick! release him at
once!" demanded the colonel, feeling the man's wrist and head.
The tyrant vent deliberately to work, unloosing the cords. This
provoked the colonel still more, and taking his knife from his
pocket, he severed the cords that bound his hands and feet, while as
suddenly the Captain sprang with his knife and severed those that
bound his hands and neck. "Stop, Captain, stop! take no part," said
the colonel, with a significant look.
"Gintlemen, I wish yes wouldn't interfere with my own business,"
said the master.
"Take him up, you villanous wretch! I speak to you as you deserve,
without restraint or respect," again the colonel repeated.
He called to the boy who was bringing the pail of water when they
entered. He came forward, and taking the poor fellow by the
shoulders, this beast in human form cried out, "Get up now, ye
miserable thief, ye." The poor fellow made a struggle, but as the
black man raised his head-which seemed to hang as a dead
weight-exhaustion had left him without strength, and he fell back
among the bloody shavings like a mutilated mass of lifeless flesh.
"None of your humbugging; yer worth a dozen dead niggers anyhow,"
said he, taking up the pail of water and throwing nearly half of it
over him; then passing the bucket to the black man and ordering him
to get more water and wash him down; then to get some saltpetre and
a sponge to sop his flesh.
"Well," said the colonel, "I have seen a good deal of cruelty to
slaves, but this is the most beastly I have ever beheld. If you
don't send for a doctor at once, I shall report you. That man will
die, to a moral certainty. Now, you may depend upon what I say-if
that man dies, you'll feel the consequences, and I shall watch you
"Sure I always takes care of me own niggers, an' it's himself that
won't be asked to do a stroke of work for a week, but have the same
to git well in," said the tyrant as the colonel and Captain were
"God be merciful to us, and spare us from the savages of mankind.
That scene, with its bloody accompaniment, will haunt me through
life. Do your laws allow such things?" said the Captain, evidently
"To tell the truth, Captain," said the colonel, "our laws do not
reach them. These men own a few negroes, which, being property, they
exercise absolute control over; a negro's testimony being invalid,
gives them an unlimited power to abuse and inflict punishment;
while, if a white man attempts to report such things, the cry of
'abolitionist' is raised against him, and so many stand ready to
second the cry, that he must have a peculiar position if he does not
prejudice his own interests and safety. I am sorry it is so; but it
is too true, and while it stigmatizes the system, it works against
ourselves. The evil is in the defects of the system, but the remedy
is a problem with diverse and intricate workings, which, I own, are
beyond my comprehension to solve. The reason why I spoke to you as I
did when you cut the pinions from the man's hands, was to give you a
word of precaution. That is a bad man. Negroes would rather be sold
to a sugar plantation in Louisiana any time than be sold to him. He
soon works them down; in two years, fine, healthy fellows become
lame, infirm, and sickly under him; he never gives them a holiday,
and seldom a Sunday, and half-starves them at that. If his feelings
had been in a peculiar mood at the instant you cut that cord, and he
had not labored under the fear of my presence, he would have raised
a gang of his stamp, and with the circumstance of your being a
stranger, the only alternative for your safety would have been in
your leaving the city."
"That vagabond has beaten the poor creature so that he will die; it
can't be otherwise," said the Captain.
"Well, no; I think not, if he is well taken care of for a week or
so; but it's a chance if that brute gives him a week to get well.
When proud-flesh sets in, it is very tedious; that is the reason, so
far as the law is concerned, that the lash was abolished and the
paddle substituted--the former mangled in the manner you saw just
now, while the latter is more acute and bruises less. I have seen a
nigger taken from the paddle-frame apparently motionless and
lifeless, very little bruised, and not much blood drawn; but he
would come to and go to work in three or four days," said the
colonel as they passed along together.
We would print the name of this brute in human form, that the world
might read it, were it not for an amiable wife and interesting
family, whose feelings we respect. We heard the cause of this cruel
torture a short time after, which was simply that he had stolen a
few pounds of nails, and this fomented the demon's rage. In the
manner we have described, this ferocious creature had kept his
victim for more than two hours, beating him with the knotty hoops
taken from lime-casks. His rage would move at intervals, like gusts
of wind during a gale. Thus, while his feelings raged highest, he
would vent them upon the flesh of the poor pinioned wretch; then he
would stop, rest his arm, and pace the ground from wall to wall, and
as soon as his passion stormed, commence again and strike the blows
with all his power, at the same time keeping the black boy standing
with a bucket of water in his hand ready to pour upon the wretch
whenever signs of fainting appeared. Several times, when the copious
shower came over him, it filled his mouth, so that his cries
resounded with a gurgling, death-like noise, that made every
sensation chill to hear it. During this space of time, he inflicted
more than three hundred blows. Our information is from the man who
did his master's bidding--poured the water--and dared not say, "Good
massa, spare poor Jacob." We visited the place about a month
afterward, on a pretext of examining the basement of the building,
and saw the unmistakable evidences of civilized torture yet
remaining in the ground and upon the shavings that were scattered
"Captain, you must not judge the institution of slavery by what you
saw there; that is only one of those isolated cases so injurious in
themselves, but for which the general character of the institution
should not be held answerable," said the colonel.
"A system so imperfect should be revised, lest innocent men be made
to suffer its wrongs," said the Captain.
They continued their walk through several very pretty parts of the
city, where fine flowering gardens and well-trimmed hedges were
nicely laid out; these, however, were not the habitations of the
"old families." They occupied parts of the city designated by
massive-looking old mansions, exhibiting an antiqueness and mixed
architecture, with dilapidated court-yards and weather-stained
walls, showing how steadfast was the work of decay.
The colonel pointed out the many military advantages of the city,
which would be used against Uncle Sam if he meddled with South
Carolina. He spoke of them ironically, for he was not possessed of
the secession monomania. He had been a personal friend of Mr.
Calhoun, and knew his abstractions. He knew Mr. McDuffie; Hamilton,
(the transcendant, of South Carolina fame;) Butler, of good
component parts-eloquent, but moved by fancied wrongs; Rhett,
renouncer of that vulgar name of Smith, who hated man because he
spoke, yet would not fight because he feared his God; and betwixt
them, a host of worthies who made revenge a motto; and last, but not
least, great Quattlebum, whose strength and spirit knows no bound,
and brought the champion Commander, with his enthusiastic devotion,
to lead unfaltering forlorn hopes. But he knew there was deception
in the political dealings of this circle of great names.
Returning to the market, they took a social glass at Baker's, where
the colonel took leave of the Captain; and the latter, intending to
repair to his vessel, followed the course of the market almost to
its lowest extreme. In one of the most public places of the market,
the Captain's attention was attracted by a singular object of
mechanism. It seemed so undefined in its application, that he was
reminded of the old saying among sailors when they fall in with any
indescribable thing at sea, that it was a "fidge-fadge, to pry the
sun up with in cloudy weather." It was a large pedestal about six
feet high, with a sort of platform at the base for persons to stand
upon, supplied with two heavy rings about eight inches apart. It was
surmounted by an apex, containing an iron shackle long enough for a
sloop-of-war's best bower chain, and just, beneath it was a
nicely-turned moulding. About three feet from the ground, and twelve
inches from the pedestal, were two pieces of timber one above the
other, with a space of some ten inches between them, the upper one
set about five inches nearest the pedestal, also containing two
rings, and both supported by posts in the ground. Above the whole
was a framework, with two projecting timbers supplied with rings,
and standing about fourteen inches in a diagonal direction above the
big ring in the apex of the shaft. It was altogether a curious
instrument, but it designated the civilization of the age, upon the
same principle that a certain voyager who, on landing in a distant
country, discovered traces of civilization in the decaying remains
of an old gallows.
He viewed the curious instrument for some time, and then turning to
an old ragged negro, whose head and beard were whitened with the
flour of age, said, "Well, old man, what do you call that?"
"Why, massa, him great t'ing dat-what big old massa judge send
buckra-man to get whip, so color foke laugh when 'e ketch 'im on de
back, ca' bim; an' massa wid de cock-up hat on 'e head put on big
vip jus' so," said the old negro.
It was the whipping-post, where white men, for small thefts, were
branded with ignominy and shame.
"Are you a slave, old man?" inquired the Captain.
The old man turned his head aside and pulled his ragged garments, as
if shame had stung his feelings.
"Do, good massa-old Simon know ye don'e belong here-give him piece
of 'bacca," replied the hoary-headed veteran evidently intending to
evade the question. The Captain divided his "plug" with him, and
gave him a quarter to get more, but not to buy whiskey. "Tank-e,
massa, tank-e; he gone wid ole Simon long time."
"But you haven't answered my question; I asked you if you were a
"Ah! massa, ye don'e know him how he is, ah ha! ha! I done gone now.
Massa Pringle own 'im once, but 'im so old now, nobody say I own
'im, an' ole Simon a'n't no massa what say I his fo' bacon. I don't
woff nofin' nohow now, 'cos I ole. When Simon young-great time
'go-den massa say Simon his; woff touzan' dollars; den me do eve'
ting fo' massa just so. I prime nigga den, massa; now I woff nosin',
no corn and bacon 'cept what 'im git from Suke-e. She free; good
massa make her free," said he.
"How old are you, old man?" inquired the Captain.
"Ah, Massa Stranger, ye got ole Simon da! If me know dat, den 'im
know somefin' long time ago, what buckra-man don' larn. I
con'try-born nigger, massa, but I know yonder Massa Pringle house
fo' he built 'im." Just at this moment several pieces of cannon and
other ordnance were being drawn past on long, low-wheeled drays.
"Ah, massa, ye don'e know what 'em be," said the old negro, pointing
to them. "Dem wa' Massa South Ca'lina gwan to whip de 'Nited States
wid Massa Goberna' order 'em last year, an 'e jus' come. Good masse
gwan' to fight fo' we wid 'em." The poor old man seemed to take a
great interest in the pieces of ordnance as they passed along, and
to have inherited all the pompous ideas of his master. The negroes
about Charleston have a natural inclination for military tactics,
and hundreds of ragged urchins, as well as old daddies and mammies,
may be seen following the fife and drum on parade days.
"Then I suppose you've a home anywhere, and a master nowhere, old
man?" said the Captain, shaking him by the hand, as one who had worn
out his slavery to be disowned in the winter of life.
COPELAND'S RELEASE, AND MANUEL'S CLOSE CONFINEMENT.
THE Captain of the Janson, finding that no dependence was to be
placed upon the statements of the officials, after returning to his
vessel, gave orders that Tommy should be sent to the jail every day
with provisions for Manuel. The task was a desirable one for Tommy,
and every day about ten o'clock he might be seen trudging to the
jail with a haversack under his arm. There were five stewards
confined in the cell, and for some days previous to this attention
on the part of the Captain they had been reduced to the last stage
of necessity. The quantity may be considered as meagre when divided
among so many, but added to the little things brought in by Jane,
and presents from several of the crew of the Janson, they got along.
Still it was a dependence upon chance and charity, which any
casual circumstance might affect. For several days they made
themselves as contented and happy as the circumstances would admit;
and always being anxious to enjoy the privilege of their time in the
yard, they would leave their cell together, and mix with the
prisoners of their own color under the stoop.
After a few days, they found that their cell had been entered, and
nearly all their provisions stolen. Not contented with this, the act
was repeated for several days, and all the means they provided to
detect the thief proved fruitless. The jailer made several searches
through their remonstrances, but without effecting any thing. They
kept their provisions in a little box, which they locked with a
padlock; but as Daley had the keys of the cell, they had no means of
locking the door. At length Manuel set a trap that proved effectual.
One morning Tommy came puffing into the jail with a satchel over his
back. "I guess Manuel won't feel downhearted when he sees this--do
you think he will?" said the little fellow, as he put the satchel
upon the floor and looked up at the jailer. "An' I've got some
cigars, too, the Captain sent, in my pocket," said he, nodding his
head; and putting his hand into a side-pocket, pulled out one and
handed it to the jailer.
"Ah! you are a good little fellow-worth a dozen of our boys. Sit
down and rest yourself," said the jailer, and called a monstrous
negro wench to bring a chair and take the satchel up to the cell.
Then turning to the back-door, he called Manuel; and, as if
conscious of Tommy's arrival, the rest of the stewards followed. He
sprang from the chair as soon as he saw Manuel, and running toward
him, commenced telling him what he had got in the satchel and at
the same time pulled out a handful of segars that the Captain had
sent for himself. Manuel led the way up-stairs, followed by Tommy
and the train of stewards. Tommy opened the satchel, while Manuel
laid the contents, one by one, on the table which necessity had
found in the head of a barrel.
"Now eat, my friends, eat just as much as you want, and then I'll
catch the thief that breaks my lock and steals my meat. I catch
him," said Manuel. After they had all done, he locked the balance up
in his box, and sent everybody down-stairs into the yard, first
covering himself with two mattrasses, and giving orders to Copeland
to lock the door after him. Every thing was ready to move at the
word. In this position he remained for nearly half an hour. At
length he heard a footstep approach the door, and then the lock
clink. The door opened slowly, and the veritable Mr. Daley limped
in, and taking a key from his pocket, unlocked the little box, and
filling his tin pan, locked it, and was walking off as independent
as a wood-sawyer, making a slight whistle to a watch that was
stationed at the end of the passage. "It's you, is it?" said Manuel,
suddenly springing up and giving him a blow on the side of the head
that sent him and the contents of the pan into a promiscuous pile on
the floor. Daley gathered himself up and made an attempt to reach
the door, but Manuel, fearing what might be the consequence if the
other prisoners came to his assistance, shut the door before him and
fastened it on the inside.
"Bad luck to yer infernal eyes, will ye strike a white man, ye nager
ye, in a country like this same?" said Daley, as he was gathering
himself up. This incensed Manuel's feelings still more. To have
insult added to injury, and a worthless drunkard and thief abuse
him, was more than he could bear. He commenced according to a
sailor's rule of science, and gave Daley a systematic threshing,
which, although against the rules of the jail, was declared by
several of the prisoners to be no more than he had long deserved. As
may have been expected, Daley cried lustily for help, adding the
very convenient item of murder, to make his case more alarming.
Several persons had crowded around the door, but none could gain
admittance. The jailer had no sooner reached the door, than (most
unfortunately for Manuel) he was called back to the outer door, to
admit Mr. Grimshaw, who had just rung the bell. The moment he
entered, Daley's noise was loudest, and reached his ears before he
had gained the outside gate. He rushed up-stairs, followed by the
jailer, and demanded entrance at the cell door, swearing at the top
of his voice that he would break it in with an axe if the command
was not instantly obeyed.
The door opened, and Manuel stood with his left hand extended at
Daley. "Come in, gentlemen, I catch him, one rascal, what steal my
provision every day, and I punish him, what he remember when I
Daley stood trembling against the wall, bearing the marks of serious
injury upon his face and eyes. "At it again, Daley? Ah! I thought
you had left off them tricks!" said the jailer.
Daley began to tell a three-cornered story, and to give as many
possible excuses, with equally as many characteristic bulls in them.
"I don't want to hear your story, Daley," said Mr. Grimshaw. "But,
Mr. Jailer, I command you to lock that man up in the third story,"
pointing to Manuel. "I don't care what the circumstances are. He's
given us more trouble than he's worth. He tried to pass himself off
for a white man, but he couldn't come that, and now he's had the
impudence to strike a white man; lock him up! lock him up!! and keep
him locked up until further orders from me. I'll teach him a lesson
that he never learnt before he came to South Carolina; and then let
Consul Mathew sweat over him, and raise another fuss if he can."
"If he's guilty of violating the rules of the jail, Daley is guilty
of misdemeanour, and the thieving has been aggravatingly continued.
If we put one, we must put both up," said the jailer.
"Just obey my orders, Mr. Jailer. I will reprimand Daley to-morrow.
I shall just go to the extent of the law with that feller," said
"You may lock me up in a dungeon, do with me as you will, if the
power is yours; but my feelings are my own, and you cannot crush
them. I look to my consul, and the country that has protected me
around the world, and can protect me still," said Manuel, resigning
himself to the jailer, whose intentions he knew to be good.
Poor little Tommy stood begging and crying for his friend and
companion, for he heard Mr. Grimshaw give an imperative order to the
jailer not to allow visitors into his cell. "Never mind, Tommy, we
shall soon meet again, and sail companions for the old owners. Don't
cry; the jailer will let you see me to-morrow," said Manuel.
"No, I can't do that; you heard my orders; I must obey them. I
should like to do it, but it's out of my power," returned the
jailer, awaiting with a bunch of keys in his hand.
Manuel turned to the little fellow, and kissing him as he would an
affectionate child, bade him adieu, and ascended, the steps leading
to the third story (Mount Rascal) in advance of the jailer, to be
confined in a dark, unhealthy cell, there to await the caprice of
one man. To describe this miserable hole would be a task too
harrowing to our feelings. We pass it for those who will come after
us. He little thought, when he shook the hand of his little
companion, that it was the last time he should meet him for many
months, and then only to take a last parting look, under the most
painful circumstances. But such is the course of life!
Copeland had received notice to hold himself in readiness, as his
vessel would be ready for sea the next morning. He was not long in
getting his few things in order, and when morning came he was on
hand, prepared to bound from the iron confines of the Charleston
jail, like a stag from a thicket. As he bade good-by to his
fellow-prisoners in the morning, he said, "This is my last
imprisonment in Charleston. I have been imprisoned in Savannah, but
there I had plenty to eat, comfortable apartments, and every thing I
asked for, except my liberty. Never, so long as I sail the water,
shall I ship for such a port as this again." He requested to see
Manuel, but being refused, upon the restraint of orders, he left the
jail. It was contrary to law; and thus in pursuing his vocation
within the limits of South-Carolina, his owners were made to pay the
following sum, for which neither they nor the man who suffered the
imprisonment received any compensation. "Contrary to Law." Schooner
"Oscar Jones," Captain Kelly, For William H. Copeland, Colored
Seaman. To Sheriff of Charleston District. 1852,
To Arrest, $2; Registry, $2, $4.00 To Recog. $1.31; Constable, $1,
2.31 To Commitment and Discharge, 1.00 To 15 Days' Jail Maintenance
of Wm. H. Copeland, at 80 cts. per day, 4.50 Received payment,
$11.81 J. D--, Per Charles E. Kanapeaux, Clerk.
God save the sovereignty of South Carolina, and let her mercy and
hospitality be known on earth!
IMPRISONMENT OF JOHN PAUL, AND JOHN BAPTISTE PAMERLIE.
IN order to complete the four characters, as we designed in the
outset, we must here introduce the persons whose names fill the
caption. The time of their imprisonment was some two months later
than Manuel's release; but we introduce them here for the purpose of
furnishing a clear understanding of the scenes connected with
John Paul was a fine-looking French negro, very dark, with
well-developed features, and very intelligent,--what would be called
in South Carolina, "a very prime feller." He was steward on board of
the French bark Senegal, Captain--. He spoke excellent French and
Spanish, and read Latin very well,--was a Catholic, and paid
particular respect to devotional exercises,--but unfortunately he
could not speak or understand a word of English. In all our
observation of different characters of colored men, we do not
remember to have seen one whose pleasant manner, intelligence, and
civility, attracted more general attention. But he could not
comprehend the meaning of the law imprisoning a peaceable man
without crime, and why the authorities should fear him, when he
could not speak their language. He wanted to see the city-what sort
of people were in it-if they bore any analogy to their good old
forefathers in France; and whether they had inherited the same
capricious feelings as the descendants of the same generation on the
other side of the water. There could be no harm in that; and
although he knew something of French socialism, he was ignorant of
Carolina's peculiar institutions, her politics, and her fears of
abolition, as a "Georgia cracker"
A sort of semi-civilized native, wearing a peculiar homespun dress;
with a native dialect strongly resembling many of the Yorkshire
phrases. They are generally found located in the poorer parishes and
districts, where their primitive-looking cabins are easily
designated from that of the more enterprising agriculturist. But few
of them can read or write,--and preferring the coarsest mode of
life, their habits are extremely dissolute. Now and then one may be
found owning a negro or two,--but a negro would rather be sold to
the torments of hell, or a Louisiana sugar-planter, than to a
Georgia cracker. You will see them approaching the city on
market-days, with their travelling-cart, which is a curiosity in
itself. It is a two-wheeled vehicle of the most primitive
description, with long, rough poles for shafts or thills. Sometimes
it is covered with a blanket, and sometimes with a white rag, under
which are a few things for market, and the good wife, with sometimes
one or two wee-yans; for the liege lord never fails to bring his
wife to market, that she may see the things of the city. The
dejected-looking frame of some scrub-breed horse or a half-starved
mule is tied (for we can't call it harnessed) between the thills,
with a few pieces of rope and withes; and, provided with a piece of
wool-tanned sheep-skin, the lord of the family, with peculiar
dress, a drab slouched hat over his eyes, and a big whip in his
hand, mounts on the back of the poor animal, and placing his feet
upon the thills to keep them down, tortures it through a heavy,
sandy road. The horses are loaded so much beyond their strength,
that they will stop to blow, every ten or fifteen minutes, while the
man will sit upon their backs with perfect unconcern. Remonstrate
with them in regard to the sufficient draught added to the
insupportable weight upon their backs, and they will immediately
commence demonstrating how he can draw easier when there is an
immense weight upon his back. The husband generally exchanges his
things for whiskey, rice, and tobacco, while the wife buys calico
and knick-knacks. Sometimes they get "a right smart chance o'
things" together, and have a "party at home," which means a blow-out
among themselves. Sometimes they have a shucking, which is a great
affair, even. among the little farmers in Upper Georgia, where,
only, corn-shuckings are kept up with all the spice of old custom,
and invitations are extended to those at a distance of ten or
fifteen miles, who repay the compliment with their presence, and
join in the revelry. There are two classes of the cracker in
Georgia, according to our observation, differing somewhat in their
dialect, but not in their habits. One is the upper, and the other
the low country, or rather what some call the "co-u-n-try-b-o-r-n"
cracker. The up-country cracker gives more attention to farming,
inhabits what's known as the Cherokee country and its vicinity, and
is designated by the sobriquet of "wire-grass man." would be of
Greek. Like his predecessors in confinement, he fell into the hands
of the veritable Dunn, without the assistance of his friend Duse, as
he called him; but had it not been for the timely appearance of a
clerk in the French consul's office, who explained the nature of the
arrest, in his native tongue, Mr. Dunn would have found some trouble
in making the arrest. Already had the officers and crew of the bark
gathered around him, making grimaces, and gibbering away like a
flock of blackbirds surrounding a hawk, and just ready to pounce.
"Don't I'se be tellin' yees what I wants wid 'im, and the divil a
bit ye'll understand me. Why don't yees spake so a body can
understand what yees be blatherin' about. Sure, here's the paper,
an' yees won't read the English of it. The divil o' such a fix I was
ever in before wid yer John o' crapue's an' yer chatter. Ye say
we-we-we; sure it's but one I wants. Ah! whist now, captain, and
don't ye be makin' a bother over it. Shure, did ye niver hear o'
South Carolina in the wide world? An' ye bees travellin' all over
it, and herself's such a great State, wid so many great gintlemen in
it," said Dunn, talking his green-island Greek to the Frenchman.
"We, we! mon Dieu, ah!" said the Frenchman.
"Ah, shure there ye are again. What would I be doin' wid de 'hole o'
yees? It's the nager I want. Don't ye know that South Carolina don't
allow the likes o' him to be comin ashore and playing the divil wid
her slaves," continued Dunn, stretching himself up on his lame leg.
The clerk stepped up at this moment. "It's 'imself'll be telling yes
all about it, for yer like a parcel of geese makin' a fuss about a
goslin." Mr. Dunn had got his Corkonian blood up; and although the
matter was explained, he saw the means at hand, and fixed his
feelings for a stiff compensation. The clerk, after explaining to
the captain, turned to John Paul and addressed him. As soon as he
was done, John commenced to pack up his dunnage and get money from
the captain, as if he was bound on an Arctic Expedition. Dunn's eyes
glistened as he saw the money passing into Paul's hand; but he was
not to be troubled with the dunnage, and after hurrying him a few
times, marched him off. He went through the regular system of
grog-shop sponging; but his suavity and willingness to acquiesce in
all Mr. Dunn's demands, saved him some rough usage. There was this
difference between John Paul and Manuel, that the former, not
understanding the English language, mistook Dunn's deception for
friendship, and moved by that extreme French politeness and warmth
of feeling, which he thought doing the gentleman par excellence;
while the latter, with a quicker perception of right and wrong, and
understanding our language, saw the motive and disdained its
nefarious object. For when Paul arrived at the jail he was minus a
five-dollar gold-piece, which his very amiable official companion
took particular care of, lest something should befall it. Poor John
Paul! He was as harmless as South Carolina's secession and
chivalry-two of the most harmless things in the world, not excepting
As soon as he entered the jail and found that the jailer could speak
French, he broke out in a perfect tornado of enthusiasm. "Je serai
charm‚ de lier connaissance avec un si amiable compagnon," said he,
and continued in a strain so swift and unabated that it would have
been impossible for an Englishman to have traced the inflections.
The jailer called Daley, and telling him to take his blanket, the
State's allotment, ordered him shown to his cell. Daley took the
blanket under his arm and the keys in his hand, and Paul soon
followed him upstairs to be introduced to his cell. "There, that's
the place for yees. We takes the shine off all ye dandy niggers whin
we gets ye here. Do ye see the pair of eyes in the head o' me?" said
Daley, pointing to his blackened eyes; "an' he that done that same
is in the divil's own place above. Now, if ye have ever a drap of
whiskey, don't be keepin' it shy, an' it'll be tellin' ye a good
"Ah! mon Dieu! Cela fait dresser les cheveux … la tˆte," said Paul,
shrugging his shoulders.
"Bad luck to the word of that I'd be understandin' at all, at all.
Can't ye spake so a body'd understand what ye'd mane?"
"C'est ma grande consolation d'avoir. * * * Les Etats-Unis est une
mod‚le de perfection r‚publicaine," said he, taking the blanket from
Daley and throwing it upon the floor. He was but a poor companion
for his fellow-prisoners, being deprived of the means to exercise
his social qualities. He went through the same course of suffering
that Manuel did; but, whether from inclination or necessity, bore it
with more Christian fortitude, chanting vespers every morning, and
reading the Latin service every evening. The lesson which Manuel
taught Daley proved of great service to Paul, who gave Daley the
jail-ration which it was impossible for him to eat, and was saved
from his pilfering propensities. Thus, after John Paul had suffered
thirty-five days' imprisonment, in mute confinement, to satisfy the
majesty of South Carolina, he was released upon the following
conditions, and taken to his vessel at early daylight, lest he
should see the city or leave something to contaminate the slaves.
"Contrary to law." State vs. "Contrary to law." French bark
"Senegal," Capt.--For John Paul, Colored Seaman. To Sheriff
July 18, 1852. To Arrest, $2; Registry, $2, $4.00" "Recog. $1.31;
Constable, $1, 2.31" "Commitment and discharge, 1.00" "35 Days'
Maintenace of John Paul, at 30 cents per day, 10.50
Recd. payment, $17.81 J. D--, S. C. D. Per Chs. E. Kanapeaux, Clerk.
A very nice item of disbursements to present to the owners-a premium
paid for the advanced civilization of South Carolina!
We have merely noticed the imprisonment of John Paul, our limits
excluding the details. We must now turn to a little, pert, saucy
French boy, eleven years old, who spoke nothing but Creole French,
and that as rotten as we ever heard lisped. The French bark Nouvelle
Amelie, Gilliet, master, from Rouen, arrived in Charleston on the
twenty-ninth of July. The captain was a fine specimen of a French
gentleman. He stood upon the quarter-deck as she was being
"breasted-in" to the wharf, giving orders to his men, while the
little child stood at the galley looking at the people upon the
wharf, making grimaces and pointing one of the crew to several
things that attracted his attention. Presently the vessel hauled
alongside of the dock, and Dusenberry, with his companion Dunn, who
had been watching all the movements of the vessel from a
hiding-place on the wharf, sprang out and boarded her ere she had
touched the piles.
The "nigger," seeing Dusenberry approach him, waited until he saw
his hand extended, and then, as if to save himself from impending
danger, ran aft and into the cabin, screaming at the top of his
voice. The crew began to run and move up into close quarters. The
issue was an important one, and rested between South Carolina and
the little "nigger." Dusenberry attempted to descend into the cabin.
"Vat you vant wid my John, my Baptiste? No, you no do dat, 'z my
cabin; never allow stranger go down 'im," said the captain, placing
himself in the companionway, while the little terrified nigger
peeped above the combing, and rolled his large eyes, the white
glowing in contrast, from behind the captain's legs. In this
tempting position the little darkie, knowing he was protected by the
captain and crew, would taunt the representative of the State with
his bad French. Dunn stood some distance behind Dusenberry, upon the
deck, and the mission seemed to be such a mystery to both captain
and crew, that their presence aroused a feeling of curiosity as well
as anxiety. Several of the sailors gathered around him, and made
antic grimaces, pointing their fingers at him and swearing, so that
Dunn began to be alarmed by the incomprehensible earnestness of
their gibberish, turned pale, and retreated several steps, to the
infinite amusement of those upon the wharf.
Vat 'e do, ah, you vant 'im? Vat you do vid 'im ven zu gets him, ah?
Cette affaire d‚licate demande," said one of the number, who was
honored with the title of mate, and who, with a terrific black
moustache and beard, had the power of contorting his face into the
most repugnant grimaces. And, at the moment, he drew his
sheath-knife and made a pretended plunge at Dunn's breast, causing
him to send forth a pitiful yell, and retreat to the wharf with
quicker movements than he ever thought himself capable of.
"Il n'y a pas grand mal … cela," said the Frenchman, laughing at
Dunn as he stood upon the capsill of the wharf.
"Bad luck to ye, a pretty mess a murderous Frinchmin that ye are. Do
yees be thinkin' ye'd play that trick in South Carolina? Ye'll get
the like o' that taken out o' ye whin yer before his honor in the
mornin'," said Dunn.
Dusenberry had stood parleying with the captain at the
companion-door, endeavoring to make the latter understand that it
was not a case which required the presence of the silver oar. There
is a prevailing opinion among sailors, that no suit in Admiralty can
be commenced, or seaman arrested while on board, without the
presence of the silver oar. And thus acting upon this impression,
the captain and officers of the Nouvelle Amelie contended for what
they considered a right. The mate and crew drew closer and closer
toward Dusenberry, until he became infected with the prevailing
alarm. "Captain, I demand your protection from these men, in the
name of the State of South Carolina," said he.
"Who he? De State Souf Ca'lina, vat I know 'bout him, ah? Bring de
silver oar when come take my man. II y a de la malhomm‚, tet‚ dans
sou proc‚s," said Captain Gilliet, turning to his mate.
"Avaunt! avaunt!" said the big man with the large whiskers, and they
all made a rush at Dusenberry, and drove him over the rail and back
to the wharf, where he demanded the assistance of those anxious
spectators, for and in the name of the State. It was a right good
vaudeville comique, played in dialogue and pantomime. The point of
the piece, which, with a little arrangement, might have made an
excellent production, consisted of a misunderstanding between an
Irishman and a Frenchman about South Carolina, and a law so peculiar
that no stranger could comprehend its meaning at first and as
neither could understand the language of the other, the more they
explained the more confounded the object became, until, from piquant
comique, the scene was worked into the appearance of a tragedy. One
represented his ship, and to him his ship was his nation; the
other represented South Carolina, and to him South Carolina was the
United States; and the question was, which had the best right to the
The spectators on the wharf were not inclined to move, either not
wishing to meddle themselves with South Carolina's affairs-wanting
larger game to show their bravery-or some more respectable officer
to act in command. The little darkie, seeing Dusenberry driven to
the wharf, ran to the gangway, and protruding his head over the
rail, worked his black phiz into a dozen pert expressions, showing
his ivory, rolling the white of his eyes, and crooking his finger
upon his nose in aggravating contempt.
"Shure, we'll turn the guard out and take ye an' yer ship, anyhow.
Why don't yees give the nager up dasently, an' don't be botherin'.
An' isn't it the law of South Carolina, be dad; an' be the mortis,
ye'd be getting' no small dale of a pinalty for the same yer doin',"
A gentleman, who had been a silent looker-on, thinking it no more
than proper to proffer his mediation, perceiving where the
difficulty lay, stepped on board and introducing himself to the
captain, addressed him in French, and explained the nature of the
proceeding. The captain shook his head for some time, and shrugged
his shoulders. "La police y est bien administr‚e," said he, with an
air of politeness; and speaking to his mate, that officer again
spoke to the men, and Dusenberry was told by the gentleman that he
could come on board. Without further ceremony, he mounted the rail
and made a second attempt at the young urchin, who screamed and ran
into the cook's galley, amid the applause of the seamen, who made
all sorts of shouts inciting him to run, crying out, "Run, Baptiste!
run, Baptiste!" In this manner the little darkie kept the officer at
bay for more than fifteen minutes, passing out of one door as the
officer entered the other, to the infinite delight of the crew. At
length his patience became wearied, and as he was about to call Dunn
to his assistance, the captain came up, and calling the child to
him-for such he was-delivered him up, the little fellow roaring at
the top of his voice as the big officer carried him over the rail
under his arm. This ended the vaudeville comique on board of the
French bark Nouvelle Amelie, Captain Gilliet.
The dignity of the State was triumphant, and the diminutive nigger
was borne off under the arm of its representative. What a beautiful
theme for the painter's imagination! And how mutely sublime would
have been the picture if the pencil of a Hogarth could have touched
it. The majesty of South Carolina carrying a child into captivity!
After carrying John Baptiste about halfway up the wharf, they put
him down, and made him "trot it" until they reached the Dutch
grog-shop we have described in the scene with Manuel. Here they
halted to take a "stiff'ner," while Baptiste was ordered to sit down
upon a bench, Dunn taking him by the collar and giving him a hearty
shake, which made the lad bellow right lustily. "Shut up, ye whelp
of a nigger, or ye'll get a doz for yeer tricks beyant in the ship,"
said Dunn; and after remaining nearly an hour, arguing politics and
drinking toddies, Mr. Dunn got very amiably fuddled, and was for
having a good-natured quarrel with every customer that came; into
the shop. He laboured under a spirit-inspired opinion that they must
treat or fight; and accordingly would attempt to reduce his opinions
to practical demonstrations. At length the Dutchman made a courteous
remonstrance, but no sooner had he done it, than Dunn drew his
hickory stick across the Dutchman's head, and levelled him upon the
floor. The Dutchman was a double-fisted fellow, and springing up
almost instantly, returned the compliment. Dusenberry was more
sober, and stepped in to make a reconciliation; but before he had
time to exert himself, the Dutchman running behind the counter, Dunn
aimed another blow at him, which glanced from his arm and swept a
tin drench, with a number of tumblers on it, into a smash upon the
floor. This was the signal for a general mel‚e, and it began in
right earnest between the Dutch and the Irish,--for the Dutchman
called the assistance of several kinsmen who were in the front
store, and Dunn, with the assistance of Dusenberry, mustered
recruits from among a number of his cronies, who were standing at a
corner on the opposite side, of the street. Both came to the rescue,
but the O'Nales and Finnegans outnumbering the Dutch, made a
Donnybrook onset, disarming and routing their adversaries, and
capsizing barrels, boxes, kegs, decanters, and baskets of onions,
into one general chaos,--taking possession of the Dutchman's
calabash, and proclaiming their victory with triumphant shouts.
They had handcuffed the boy Baptiste as soon as they entered the
store, and in the midst of the conflict he escaped without being
observed, and ran for his vessel, handcuffed, and crying at the top
of his voice. He reached the Nouvelle Amelie, to the consummate
surprise of the officers and crew, and the alarm of pedestrians as
he passed along the street. "Mon Dieu!" said the mate, and taking
the little fellow to the windlass-bits, succeeded in severing the
handcuffs with a cold-chisel, and sent him down into the forecastle
to secrete himself.
When Dunn's wild Irish had subsided, Dusenberry began to reason with
him upon the nature of the affair, and the matter was reconciled
upon the obligations that had previously existed, and a promise to
report no violations of the ordinances during a specified time.
Looking around, Dunn exclaimed, "Bad manners till ye, Swizer, what
a' ye done with the little nager? Where did ye put him?--Be dad,
Duse, he's gone beyant!" An ineffectual search was made among
barrels and boxes, and up the old chimney. "Did ye see him?"
inquired Dunn, of a yellow man that had been watching the affray at
the door, while Dusenberry continued to poke with his stick among
the boxes and barrels.
"Why, massa, I sees him when he lef de doo, but I no watch him 'till
'e done gone," said the man.
Dunn was despatched to the vessel in search, but every thing there
was serious wonderment, and carried out with such French nav‹et‚,
that his suspicions were disarmed, and he returned with perfect
confidence that he was not there. A search was now made in all the
negro-houses in the neighborhood; but kicks, cuts, and other abuses
failed to elicit any information of his whereabouts. At length Dunn
began to feel the deadening effects of the liquor, and was so
muddled that he could not stand up; then, taking possession of a bed
in one of the houses, he stretched himself upon it in superlative
contempt of every thing official, and almost simultaneously fell
into a profound sleep. In this manner he received the attention of
the poor colored woman whose bed he occupied, and whom he had abused
in searching for the boy. In this predicament, Dusenberry continued
to search alone, and kept it up until sundown, when he was
constrained to report the case to the sheriff, who suspended Mr.
Dunn for a few days. The matter rested until the next morning, when
the case of the little saucy nigger vs. South Carolina was renewed
with fresh vigor. Then Mr. Grimshaw, accompanied by Dusenberry,
proceeded to the barque, and there saw the boy busily engaged in the
galley. Mr. Grimshaw went on board, followed by Duse, and
approaching the cabin door, met the captain ascending the stairs.
"Captain, I want that nigger boy of yourn, and you may just as well
give him up peaceably," said he.
"Yes, monsieur,--but you no treat 'im like child wen you get 'im,"
said the captain. Retiring to the cabin, and bringing back the
broken manacles in his hand, he held them up to Mr. Grimshaw, "You
put such dem thing on child like 'im, in South Carolina, ah? What
you tink 'im be, young nigger, ox, horse, bull, ah! what? Now you
take'e him! treat him like man, den we no 'struct to laws wat South
Carolina got," continued he.
Mr. Grimshaw thanked the captain, but made no reply about the
manacles; taking them in his hand, and handing the boy over into the
charge of Dusenberry. In a few minutes he was ushered into the
sheriff's office, and the important points of his dimensions and
features noted in accordance with the law. We are not advised
whether the pert characteristics of his nature were
emblazoned,--if they were, the record would describe a singular
specimen of a frightened French darkie, more amusing than judicial.
But John Baptiste Pamerlie passed the ordeal, muttering some rotten
Creole, which none of the officials could understand, and was
marched off to the jail, where the jailer acted as his interpreter.
Being so small, he was allowed more latitude to ware and haul than
the others, while his peculiar bon point and pert chatter afforded a
fund of amusement for the prisoners, who made him a particular butt,
and kept up an incessant teasing to hear him jabber. The second day
of his imprisonment he received a loaf of bread in the morning, and
a pint of greasy water, misnamed soup. That was the allowance when
they did not take meat. He ran down-stairs with the pan in hand,
raising an amusing fuss, pointing at it, and spitting out his Creole
to the jailer. He was disputing the question of its being soup, and
his independent manner had attracted a number of the prisoners. Just
at the moment, the prison dog came fondling against his legs, and to
decide the question, quick as thought, he set the pan before him;
and as if acting upon an instinctive knowledge of the point at
issue, the dog put his nose to it, gave a significant scent, shook
his head and walked off, to the infinite delight of the prisoners,
who sent forth a shout of acclamation. Baptiste left his soup, and
got a prisoner, who could speak Creole, to send for his captain, who
came on the next morning and made arrangements to relieve his
condition from the ship's stores. The following day he whipped one
of the jailer's boys in a fair fight; and on the next he killed a
duck, and on the fourth he cut a white prisoner. Transgressing the
rules of the jail in rejecting his soup-violating the laws of South
Carolina making it a heinous offence for a negro to strike or insult
a white person--committing murder on a duck--endeavoring to get up a
fandango among the yard niggers, and trying the qualities of cold
steel, in a prisoner's hand, thus exhibiting all the versatility of
a Frenchman's genius with a youthful sang-froid, he was considered
decidedly dangerous, and locked up for formal reform. Here he
remained until the seventeenth of August, when it was announced that
the good barque Nouvelle Amelie, Captain Gilliet, was ready for sea,
and he was forthwith led to the wharf between two officers, and
ordered to be transferred beyond the limits of the State, the
Captain paying the following nice little bill, of costs. "Contrary
to Law." "French Barque Nouvelle Amelie, Captain Gilliet, from
Rouen, For John Baptiste Pamerlie, Colored Seaman. 1852. To Sheriff
of Charleston District. August 26th, To Arrest, $2; Registry, $2, $4.00"
"Recog. 1.31; Constable, $1, 2.31"
"Commitment and Discharge, 1.00"
"20 days' Jail Maintenance of John Baptiste Pamerlie, at 30 cts.
per day, $6.00
"Received payment, 13.31 J. D., S. C. D. Per Charles E. Kanapeaux,
Thus ended the scene. The little darkie might have said when he was
in jail, "Je meurs de faim, et l'on ne m'apport‚ rien;" and when he
left, "Il est faufite avec les chevaliers d'industrie."
THE JANSON CONDEMNED.
WE must now return to Manuel. He was in close confinement, through
Mr. Grimshaw's orders. Tommy continued to bring him food from day to
day, but was not allowed to see him. The mate and several of the
crew were also refused admittance to him. This was carrying power to
an unnecessary limit, and inflicting a wanton punishment without
proper cause, at the same time exhibiting a flagrant disrespect for
personal feelings. Tommy did not report the affair to the Captain,
lest it should be misconstrued, and worse punishment be inflicted;
but when the men were refused, they naturally mistrusted something,
and made inquiries of the jailer, who readily gave them all the
information in his power concerning the affair, and his orders. This
they reported to the Captain, who immediately repaired to the
consul's office, where he found Mr. Mathew reading a note which he
had just received from Manuel. It stated his grievances in a clear
and distinct manner, and begged the protection of that government
under whose flag he sailed, but said nothing about his provisions.
The consul, accompanied by the Captain, proceeded to the sheriff's
office, but could get no satisfaction. "I never consider
circumstances when prisoners violate the rules of the jail,--he must
await my orders! but I shall keep him closely confined for two
weeks, at least," said Mr. Grimshaw.
This incensed the consul still more, for he saw the manner in which
a clique of officials were determined to show their arbitrary power.
It was impossible for him to remain indifferent to this matter,
affecting, as it did, the life and liberty of his fellow-countryman.
He could invoke no sympathy for the man, and the extent of
punishment to which he had been subjected was evidently excited by
vindictive feelings. He applied for a writ of habeas corpus,--but
mark the result.
The Captain proceeded to the jail, and demanded to see his steward;
the jailer hesitating at first, at length granted his permission. He
found Manuel locked up in a little, unwholesome cell, with scarcely
a glimmer of light to mark the distinction of day and night; and so
pale and emaciated, that had he met him in the street he should
scarcely have recognised him. "Gracious God! What crime could have
brought such an excess of punishment upon you?" inquired the
Manuel told him the whole story; and, added to that, the things
which had been sent to him during the seven days he had been
confined in that manner, had seldom reached him. He had lost his
good friend Jane, and the many kind acts which she was wont to
bestow upon him, and had been compelled to live upon bread and water
nearly the whole time, suffering the most intense hunger. Upon
inquiry, it was ascertained that the few things sent to make him
comfortable had been intrusted to Daley to deliver, who appropriated
nearly the whole of them to his own use, as a sort of retaliatory
measure for the castigation he received from Manuel. He had not
failed to carry him his pan of soup at twelve o'clock every day, but
made the "choice bits" serve his own digestion. The jailer felt the
pain of the neglect, and promised to arrange a safer process of
forwarding his things by attending to it himself, which he did with
all the attention in his power, when Manuel's condition became more
tolerable. The Captain told Manuel how his affairs stood-that he
should probably have to leave him in charge of the consul, but to
keep up good spirits; that he would leave him plenty of means, and
as soon as his release was effected, to make the best of his way to
Scotland and join the old owners. And thus he left him, with a heavy
heart, for Manuel did read in his countenance what he did not speak.
The Janson had been discharged, a survey held upon the cargo,
protest extended, and the whole sold for the benefit of whom it
might concern. Necessary surveys were likewise held upon the hull,
and finding it so old and strained as to be unworthy of repair, it
was condemned and sold for the benefit of the underwriters. Thus the
register "de novo" was given up to the consul, the men discharged,
and paid off according to the act of William IV., which provides
that each man shall receive a stipend to carry him to the port in
Great Britain from which he shipped, or the consul to provide
passage for him, according to his inclination, to proceed to a point
where the voyage would be completed. The consul adopted the best
means in his power to make them all comfortable and satisfied with
their discharge. Their several register-tickets were given up to
them, and one by one left for his place of destination; Tommy and
the second mate only preferring to remain and seek some new voyage.
The old chief mate seemed to congratulate himself in the
condemnation of the unlucky Janson. He shipped on board an English
ship, laden with cotton and naval stores, and just ready for sea.
When he came on board to take a farewell of the Captain, he stood
upon deck, and looking up at the dismantled spars, said, "Skipper, a
shadow may save a body after all. I've always had a presentment that
this unlucky old thing would serve us a trick. I says to meself that
night in the Gulf, 'Well, old craft, yer goin' to turn yer old ribs
into a coffin, at last,' but I'll praise the bridge that carries me
safe over, because I've an affection for the old thing after all,
and can't part without saying God bless her, for it's an honest
death to die in debt to the underwriters. I hope her old bones will
rest in peace on terra-firma. Good-by, Captain,--remember me to
Manuel; and let us forget our troubles in Charleston by keeping away
GEORGE THE SECESSIONIST, AND HIS FATHER'S SHIPS.
AS we have said, the second mate and little Tommy remained to seek
new voyages. Such was the fact with the second mate; but Tommy had
contracted a violent cold on the night he was locked up in the
guard-house, and had been a subject for the medicine-chest for some
time; and this, with his ardent attachment for Manuel, and hopes to
join him again as a sailing companion, was the chief inducement for
his remaining. The Captain gave them accommodations in the cabin so
long as he had possession of the ship, which afforded the means of
saving their money, of which Tommy had much need; for
notwithstanding he received a nice present from the consul, and
another from the Captain, which, added to the few dollars that were
coming to him for wages, made him feel purse-proud, though it was
far from being adequate to sustain him any length of time, or to
protect him against any sudden adversity.
The Captain had not seen little George, the secessionist, since his
assurance that he would make every thing right with Mr. Grimshaw,
and have Manuel out in less than twenty-four hours. It was now the
fourteenth of April, and the signs of his getting out were not so
good as they were on the first day he was committed, for the vessel
being condemned, if the law was carried to the strictest literal
construction, Manuel would be tied up among the human things that
are articles of merchandise in South Carolina. He was passing from
the wharf to the consul's office about ten o'clock in the morning,
when he was suddenly surprised in the street by little George, who
shook his hand as if he had been an old friend just returned after a
long absence. He made all the apologies in the world for being
called away suddenly, and consequently, unable to render that
attention to his business which his feelings had prompted. Like all
secessionists, George was very fiery and transitory in his feelings.
He expressed unmeasurable surprise when the Captain told him the
condition of his man in the old jail. "You don't say that men are
restricted like that in Charleston? Well, now, I never was in that
jail, but it's unsuited to the hospitality of our society," said he.
"Your prison groans with abuses, and yet your people never hear
them," replied the Captain.
George seemed anxious to change the subject, and commenced giving
the Captain a description of his journey to the plantation, his
hunting and fishing, his enjoyments, and the fat, saucy, slick
niggers, the fine corn and bacon they had, and what they said about
massa, ending with an endless encomium of the "old man's" old
whiskey, and how he ripened it to give it smoothness and flavor. His
description of the plantation and the niggers was truly wonderful,
tantalizing the Captain's imagination with the beauties of a growing
principality in itself. "We have just got a new vessel added to our
ships, and she sails for the Pedee this afternoon. We got the right
stripe of a captain, but we have made him adopt conditions to be
true to the secession party. As soon as I get another man, we'll
despatch her in grand style, and no mistake."
The Captain thought of his second mate, and suggested him at once.
"Just the chap. My old man would like him, I know," said George, and
they returned directly to the Janson, where they found the second
mate lashing his dunnage. The proposition was made and readily
accepted. Again the Captain parted with little George, leaving him
to take the mate to his father's office, while he pursued his
business at the consul's.
George led the mate into the office. "Here, father, here's a man to
go in our vessel," said he. The old man looked upon him with a
serene importance, as if he was fettered with his own greatness.
"My shipping interests are becoming very extensive, my man; I own
the whole of four schooners, and a share in the greatest steamship
afloat-I mean screw-ship, the South Carolina--you've heard of her, I
suppose?" said the old man.
Jack stood up with his hat in his hand, thinking over what he meant
by big interests, and "reckoning he hadn't seen the establishment of
them ship-owners about Prince's Dock, what owned more ships apiece
than there were days in the month."
"Now, my man," continued the old man, "I'm mighty strict about my
discipline, for I want every man to do his duty for the interests of
the owners. But how many dollars do you want a month, my man?"
"Nothing less than four pounds starling; that's twenty dollars your
currency, if I reckon right," said Jack, giving his hat a twirl upon
"Wh-e-w! you belong to the independent sailors. You'll come down
from that afore you get a ship in this port. Why, I can get a good,
prime nigger feller sailor for eight dollars a month and his feed."
Jack concluded not to sail in any of the old man's big ships, and
said, "Yes, I joined them a long time ago, and I ha'n't regretted
it, neither; wouldn't pull a bow-line a penny less. I don't like
drogging, no-how. Good morning, sir," said he, putting on his hat.
and backing out of the door.
"I wish you'd a' taken a chance with my father, old fellow; he'd a'
made you captain afore a year," said George, as he was leaving the
"The like o' that don't signify. I've been skipper in the West Ingie
trade years ago. There isn't much difference between a nigger and a
schooner's captain," said Jack, as he walked off to the Janson,
preparatory to taking lodgings ashore.
That afternoon about five o'clock, a loud noise was heard on board a
little schooner, of about sixty tons' register, that lay in a bend
of the wharf a few lengths ahead of the Janson. Captain Thompson and
his second mate were seated on a locker in the cabin, conversing
upon the prospects ahead, when the noise became so loud that they
ran upon deck to witness the scene.
George stood upon the capsill of the wharf, with mortification
pictured in his countenance. "Well, captain, you needn't make so
much noise about it; your conduct is decidedly ungentlemanly. If you
don't wish to sail in father's employ, leave like a gentleman," said
George, pulling up the corners of his shirt-collar.
It was the great craft that George had distended upon, and the
veritable captain of the right stripe, who promised to toe the mark
according to secession principles, but made no stipulations for the
nigger feed that was the cause of the excitement. The captain, a
Baltimore coaster, and accustomed to good feed in his vessels at
home, had been induced by a large representations to take charge of
the craft and run her in the Pedee trade, bringing rice to
Charleston. On being told the craft was all ready for sea, he
repaired on board, and, to his chagrin, found two black men for a
crew, and a most ungainly old wench, seven shades blacker than
Egyptian darkness, for a cook. This was imposition enough to arouse
his feelings, for but one of the men knew any thing about a vessel;
but on examining the stores, the reader may judge of his feelings,
if he have any idea of supplying a vessel in a Northern port, when
we tell him that all and singular the stores consisted of a shoulder
of rusty Western bacon, a half-bushel of rice, and a jug of
molasses; and this was to proceed the distance of a hundred miles,
But to add to the ridiculous farce of that South Carolina notion,
when he remonstrated with them, he was very indifferently told that
it was what they always provided for their work-people.
"Take your' little jebacca-boat and go to thunder with her," said
the captain, commencing to pick up his duds.
"Why, captain, I lent you my gun, and we always expect our captains
to make fresh provision of game as you run up the river," said
"Fresh provisions, the devil!" said the captain. "I've enough to do
to mind my duty, without hunting my living as I pursue my voyage,
like a hungry dog. We don't do business on your nigger-allowance
system in Maryland." And here we leave him, getting one of the
negroes to carry his things back to his boarding-house.
A few days after the occurrence we have narrated above little Tommy,
somewhat recovered from his cold, shipped on board a little
centre-board schooner, called the Three Sisters, bound to the Edisto
River for a cargo of rice. The captain, a little, stubby man, rather
good looking, and well dressed, was making his maiden voyage as
captain of a South Carolina craft. He was "South Carolina born,"
but, like many others of his kind, had been forced to seek his
advancement in a distant State, through the influence of those
formidable opinions which exiles the genius of the poor in South
Carolina. For ten years he had sailed out of the port of Boston, had
held the position of mate on two Indian voyages under the well-known
Captain Nott, and had sailed with Captain Albert Brown, and received
his recommendation, yet this was not enough to qualify him for the
nautical ideas of a pompous South Carolinian.
Tommy got his baggage on board, and before leaving, made another
attempt at the jail to see his friend Manuel. He presented himself
to the jailer, and told him how much he wanted to see his old friend
before he left. The jailer's orders were imperative. He was told if
he came next week he would see him; that he would then be released,
and allowed to occupy the cell on the second floor with the other
stewards. Recognising one of the stewards that had joined with them
when they enjoyed their social feelings around the festive barrel,
he walked into the piazza to meet him and bid him good-by. While he
stood shaking hands with him, the poor negro
The name of this poor fellow was George Fairchild. After being sent
to the workhouse to receive twenty blows with the paddle when he was
scarcely able to stand, he was taken down from the frame and
supported to the jail, where he remained several weeks, fed at a
cost of eighteen cents a day. His crime was "going for whiskey at
night," and the third offence; but there were a variety of pleadings
in his favor. His master worked his negroes to the very last tension
of their strength, and exposed their appetites to all sorts of
temptation, especially those who worked in the night-gang. His
master flogged him once, while he was in the jail, himself, giving
him about forty stripes with a raw hide on the bare back: not
satisfying his feelings with this, he concluded to send him to New
Orleans. He had an affectionate wife and child, who were forbidden
to see him. His master ordered that he should be sent to the
workhouse and receive thirty-nine paddles before leaving, and on the
morning he was to be shipped, his distressed wife, hearing the sad
news, came to the jail; but notwithstanding the entreaties of
several debtors, the jailer could not allow her to come in, but
granted, as a favor, that she should speak with him through the
grated door. The cries and lamentations of that poor woman, as she
stood upon the outside, holding her bond-offspring in her arms,
taking a last sorrowing farewell of him who was so dearly cherished
and beloved, would have melted a heart of stone. She could not
embrace him, but waited until he was led out to torture, when she
threw her arms around him, and was dragged away by a ruffian's hand.
Poor George Fairchild! We heard him moaning under the acute pain of
the paddle, and saw him thrust into a cart like a dog, to be shipped
as a bale of merchandise for a distant port. who had suffered with
him in the guard-house came up and saluted him with a friendly
recognition. Some two weeks had passed since the occurrence, and yet
his head presented the effects of bruising, and was bandaged with a
cloth. "Good young massa, do give me a' fo' pence, for Is'e mose
starve," he said in a suppliant tone. Tommy put his hand into his
pocket, and drawing out a quarter, passed it to the poor fellow, and
received his thanks. Leaving a message for Manuel that he would be
sure to call and see him when he returned, he passed from the house
of misery and proceeded to his vessel.
The captain of the schooner had been engaged by parties in
Charleston, who simply acted as agents for the owners. He had been
moved to return to Charleston by those feelings which are so
inherent in our nature, inspiring a feeling for the place of its
nativity, and recalling the early associations of childhood. Each
longing fancy pointed back again, and back he came, to further
fortune on his native soil. His crew, with the exception of Tommy,
consisted of three good, active negroes, one of whom acted as pilot
on the Edisto River. Accustomed to the provisioning of Boston ships,
he had paid no attention to his supplies; for, in fact, he only took
charge of the little craft as an accommodation to the agents, and
with the promise of a large vessel as soon as he returned; and
sailing with a fine stiff breeze, he was far outside the light when
the doctor announced dinner. "What have you got that's good, old
chap?" said he to the cook.
"Fust stripe, Massa Cap'en. A right good chance o' homony and bacon
fry," returned the negro.
"Homony and what? Nothing else but that?"
"Why, massa! gracious, dat what Massa Whaley give all he cap'en, an'
he tink 'em fust-rate," said the negro.
As they were the only whites on board, the captain took little Tommy
into the cabin with him to sit at the same table; but there was too
much truth in the negro's statement, and instead of sitting down to
one of those nice dinners which are spread in Boston ships, both
great and small, there, on a little piece of pine board, swung with
a preventer, was a plate of black homony covered with a few pieces
of fried pork, so rank and oily as to be really repulsive to a
common stomach. Beside it was an earthen mug, containing about a
pint of molasses, which was bedaubed on the outside to show its
quality. The captain looked at it for a minute, and then taking up
the iron spoon which stood in it, and letting one or two spoonfuls
drop back, said, "Old daddie, where are all your stores? Fetch them
"Gih, massa! here 'em is; 'e's jus' as Massa Stoney give 'em," said
the negro, drawing forth a piece of rusty and tainted bacon,
weighing about fifteen pounds, and, in spots, perfectly alive with
motion; about a half-bushel of corn-grits; and a small keg of
molasses, with a piece of leather attached to the bung.
"Is that all?" inquired the captain peremptorily.
"Yes, massa, he all w'at 'em got now, but git more at Massa Whaley
plantation win 'em git da."
"Throw it overboard, such stinking stuff; it'll breed pestilence on
board," said the captain to the negro, (who stood holding the
spoiled bacon in his hand, with the destructive macalia dropping on
the floor,) at the same time applying his foot to the table, and
making wreck of hog, homony, molasses, and plates.
"Gih-e-wh-ew! Massa, I trow 'im o'board, Massa Whaley scratch 'em
back, sartin. He tink 'em fust-rate. Plantation nigger on'y gits
bacon twice week, Massa Cap'en," said he, picking up the wreck and
carrying it upon deck, where it was devoured with great gusto by the
negroes, who fully appreciated the happy God-send.
The captain had provided a little private store of crackers, cheese,
segars, and a bottle of brandy, and turning to his trunk, he opened
it and drew them out one by one, passing the crackers and cheese to
Tommy, and imbibing a little of the deacon himself, thus satisfying
the cravings of nature. Night came on; they were crossing the bar
and approaching the outlet of the Edisto, which was broad in sight;
but there was neither coffee. nor tea on board, and no prospect of
supper-nothing but a resort to the crackers and cheese remained, the
stock of which had already diminished so fast, that what was left
was treasured among the things too choice to be eaten without
limitation. They reached the entrance, and after ascending a few
miles, came to anchor under a jut of wood that formed a bend in the
river. The baying of dogs during the night intimated the vicinity of
a settlement near, and in the morning the captain sent one of the
negroes on shore for a bottle of milk. "Massa, dat man what live
yonder ha'n't much no-how, alwa's makes 'em pay seven-pence," said
the negro. Sure enough it was true; notwithstanding he was a planter
of some property, he made the smallest things turn to profit, and
would charge vessels going up the river twelve and a half cents per
bottle for milk.
The captain had spent a restless night, and found himself blotched
with innumerable chinch-bites; and on examining the berths and
lockers, he found them swarming in piles. Calling one of the black
men, he commenced overhauling them, and drew out a perfect
storehouse of rubbish, which must have been deposited there, without
molestation, from the day the vessel was launched up to the present
time, as varied in its kinds as the stock of a Jew-shop, and rotten
with age. About nine o'clock they got under weigh again, and
proceeding about twenty miles with a fair wind and tide, they came
to another point in the river, on which a concourse of men had
assembled, armed to the teeth with guns, rifles, and knives. As he
passed up, they were holding parley with a man and boy in a canoe a
few rods from the shore. At every few minutes they would point their
rifles at him, and with threatening gestures, swear vengeance
against him if he attempted to land. The captain, being excited by
the precarious situation of the man and his boy, and anxious to
ascertain the particulars, let go his anchor and "came to" a few
Scarcely had his anchor brought up than he was hailed from the shore
by a rough-looking man, who appeared to be chief in the manouvre,
and who proved to be no less a personage than a Mr. S--k, a wealthy
"Don't take that man on board of your vessel, at the peril of your
life, captain. He's an abolitionist," said he, accompanying his
imperative command with a very Southern rotation of oaths.
The man paddled his canoe on the outside of the vessel, and begged
the captain "for God's sake to take him on board and protect him;
that an excitement had been gotten up against him very unjustly, and
he would explain the circumstances if he would allow him to come on
"Come on board," said the captain. "Let you be abolitionist or what
you will, humanity will not let me see you driven out to sea in that
manner; you would be swamped before you crossed the bar."
He came on board, trembling and wet, the little boy handing up a
couple of carpet-bags, and following him. No sooner had he done so,
than three or four balls whizzed past the captain's head, causing
him to retreat to the cabin. A few minutes intervened, and he
returned to the deck.
"Lower your boat and come on shore immediately," they cried out.
The captain, not at all daunted, lowered his boat and went on shore.
"Now, gentlemen, what do you want with me?" said he, when S--k
stepped forward, and the following dialogue ensued:--
"Who owns that vessel, and what right have you to harbor a d--d
"I don't know who owns the vessel; I know that I sail her, and the
laws of God and man demand that I shall not pass a man in distress,
especially upon the water. He protests that he is not, and never was
an abolitionist; offers to prove it if you will hear him, and only
asks that you allow him to take away his property," rejoined the
"What! then you are an abolitionist yourself?"
"No, sir. I'm a Southern-born man, raised in Charleston, where my
father was raised before me."
"So much, so good; but just turn that d--d scoundrel ashore as quick
as seventy, or we'll tie your vessel up and report you to the
Executive Committee, and stop your getting on more freight on the
"That I shall not do. You should have patience to investigate these
things, and not allow your feelings to become so excited. If I turn
him and his son adrift, I'm answerable for their lives if any
accident should occur to them," rejoined the captain.
"Are you a secessionist, captain, or what are your political
principles? You seem determined to protect abolitionists. That
scoundrel has been associating with a nigger, and eating at his
house ever since he has been here."
"Yes, yes, and we'll be d--d if he isn't an abolitionist," joined in
a dozen voices, "for he dined at Bill Webster's last Sunday on a
wild-turkey. Nobody but an infernal abolitionist would dine with a
"As for politics, I never had much to do with them, and care as
little about secession as I do about theology; but I like to see men
act reasonably. If you want any thing more of me, you will find me
at Colonel Whaley's plantation to-morrow." Thus saying, he stepped
into his boat and returned on board of his vessel. Just as he was
getting under-weigh again, whiz! whiz! whiz! came three shots, one
in quick succession after the other, the last taking effect and
piercing the crown of his hat, at which they retired out of sight.
Fearing a return, he worked his vessel about two miles farther up
and came to anchor on the other side of the channel, where he waited
the return of the tide, and had an opportunity to put his affrighted
passengers on board a schooner that was passing down, bound to
The secret of such an outrage is told in a few words. The man was a
timber-getter from the vicinity of New Bedford, Massachusetts, who,
with his son, a lad about sixteen years of age, had spent several
winters in the vicinity of the Edisto, getting live-oak, what he
considered a laudable enterprise. He purchased the timber on the
stump of the inhabitants, at a price which left him very little
profit, and had also been charged an exorbitant price for every
thing he got, whether labor or provisions; and so far had that
feeling of South Carolina's self-sufficiency been carried out
against him in all its cold repulsiveness, that he found much more
honesty and true hospitality under the roof of a poor colored man.
This so enraged some of the planters, that they proclaimed against
him, and that mad-dog cry of abolitionist was raised against him.
His horse and buggy, books and papers were packed up and sent to
Charleston-not, however, without some of the most important of the
latter being lost. His business was destroyed, and he and his child
taken by force, put into a little canoe with one or two carpet-bags,
and sent adrift. In this manner they had followed him two miles down
the river, he begging to be allowed the privilege of settling his
business and leave respectably-they threatening to shoot him if he
attempted to near the shore, or was caught in the vicinity. This was
his position when the captain found him. He proceeded to Charleston,
and laid his case before James L. Petigru, Esq., United States
District Attorney, and, upon his advice, returned to the scene of
"war on the banks of the Edisto," to arrange his business; but no
sooner had he made his appearance than he was thrown into prison,
and there remained when we last heard of him.
This is one of the many cases which afford matter for exciting
comment for the editors of the Charleston Mercury and the Courier,
and which reflect no honor on a people who thus set law and order at
A SINGULAR RECEPTION.
IT was about ten o'clock on the night of the fifteenth of April when
the schooner "Three Sisters" lay anchored close alongside of a dark
jungle of clustering brakes that hung their luxuriant foliage upon
the bosom of the stream. The captain sat upon a little box near the
quarter, apparently contemplating the scene, for there was a
fairy-like beauty in its dark windings, mellowed by the shadowing
foliage that skirted its borders in mournful grandeur, while stars
twinkled on the sombre surface.
The tide had just turned, and little Tommy, who had rolled himself
up in a blanket and laid down close to the captain, suddenly arose.
"Captain, did you hear that?" said he.
"Hark! there it is again," said the captain. "Go and call the
men,--we must get under weigh."
It was a rustling noise among the brakes; and when little Tommy went
forward to call the men, two balls came whistling over the quarter,
and then a loud rustling noise indicated that persons were
retreating. The captain retired to the cabin and took Tommy with
him, giving orders to the negro pilot to stand to the deck, get her
anchor up, and let her drift up stream with the tide, determined
that if they shot any person, it should be the negroes, for whose
value they would be held answerable. Thus she drifted up the stream,
and the next morning was at the creek at Colonel Whaley's
A number of ragged negroes came down to the bank in high glee at the
arrival, and making sundry inquiries about corn and bacon. One old
patriarchal subject cried out to the pilot, "Ah, Cesar, I 'now'd ye
wah cumin'. Massa, an' young Massa Aleck, bin promis' bacon mor' den
week, gess he cum' now."
"Got sum corn, but ven ye gets bacon out o' dis craf' ye kotch
wesel, dat a'n't got no hair on 'im," said Cesar.
The scene around was any thing but promising-disappointing to the
captain's exalted ideas of Colonel Whaley's magnificent plantation.
The old farm-house was a barrack-like building, dilapidated, and
showing no signs of having lately furnished a job for the painter,
and standing in an arena surrounded by an enclosure of rough slats.
Close examination disclosed fragments of gardening in the arena, but
they showed the unmistakable evidences of carelessness. At a short
distance from this was a cluster of dirty-looking negro-huts, raised
a few feet from the ground on palmetto piles, and strung along from
them to the brink of the river were numerous half-starved cattle
and hogs, the latter rooting up the sod.
It was now nearly slack water, on a high flood, and the schooner lay
just above the bend of the creek. Presently a large, portly-looking
man, dressed like as Yorkshire farmer, came, to the bank, and in a
stentorious voice ordered the captain to haul into the creek at
once! The manner in which the order was given rather taxed the
captain's feelings, yet he immediately set his men to work heaving
up the anchor and carrying out "a line" to warp her in. But that
slow motion with which negroes execute all orders, caused some
delay, and no sooner had he, begun to heave on the line than the
tide set strong ebb and carried him upon the lower point, where a
strong eddy, made by the receding water from the creek, and the
strong undertow in the river, baffled all his exertions. There she
stuck, and all the warps and tow-lines of a seventy-four, hove by
the combined strength of the plantation, would not have started her.
When the tide left, she careened over toward the river, for there
was no means at hand to shore her up.
One of the drivers went up and reported "Massa captain got 'im ship
ashore," and down came Colonel Whaley, with all the pomp of seven
lord mayors in his countenance. "What sort of a feller are you to
command a ship? I'd whip the worst nigger on the plantation, if he
couldn't do better than that. Rig a raft out and let me come o'
board that vessel!" said he, accompanying his demands with a volley
of vile imprecations that would have disgraced St. Giles'.
"Do you know who you're talking to? You mus'n't take me for a
nigger, sir! I know my duty, if you don't good manners," rejoined
"Do you know who owns that ship? you impudent feller, you! Take the
sails off her, immediately-at once! or I'll shoot you, by heavens!"
he bawled out again.
"Why didn't you say mud-scow? Call such a thing as this a ship? I
don't care who owns her, I only know it's a disgrace to sail her;
but I've got the papers, and you may help yourself. When you pay me
for my time, and give me something for myself and these men to eat,
you may take your old jebac--car-boat,--but you don't put a foot
aboard her till you do!"
This made the colonel rage worse. "I'll teach you a lesson how you
disobey my orders. Go get my rifle, Zeke," said the colonel, turning
to an old negro who stood close by. And then calling to the men on
board, he ordered them to take charge of the vessel and take the
sails off her at once.
"Don't you move a hand to unbend a sail, Cesar! I don't know that
man ashore there. This vessel is mine until further orders from the
persons who shipped me," rejoined the captain with an imperative
demand to his men.
"Why, la! massa, he own em dis ere vessel, an' he shoot em sartin if
we done do him; ye done know dat massa, as I does," said Cesar.
"Don't touch a hand to those sails, I command one and all of you.
There's two can play at shooting, and I'll shoot you if you disobey
my orders." Then turning to those on shore, he warned them that he
would shoot the first nigger that attempted to make a raft to come
on board. The reader will observe that the poor negroes were in a
worse dilemma than the captain; goaded on the one side by a ruthless
master, who claims ownership and demands the execution of his
orders, while on the other extreme the hired master proclaims his
right, and warns them against the peril of varying one iota from his
commands. Here the clashing feelings of arbitrary men come together,
which have placed many a good negro in that complex position, that
he would be punished by one master for doing that which he would
have been punished by the other if he had left undone.
It may be said to the colonel's credit, he did not return, rifle in
hand, nor did the captain see him afterward; but a young gentleman,
a son, who represented the father, came to the bank about an hour
after the occurrence, and making a lame apology for his father's
temper, requested the captain to come on shore. The latter had
concluded to await the return of the tide, run the vessel back to
Charleston, report his reception, and deliver the vessel up to the
agents; but on further consideration, there was nothing to eat on
board, and what could he do? He went on shore, and held a parley
with the young man, whom he found much more inclined to respect his
color. "Your father took me for a nigger, and as such he presumed
upon the dignity of his plantation. Now I know my duty, and have
sailed in the finest ships and with the best masters in the country.
All I want is proper respect, something to eat, what there is coming
to me, and my passage paid back to Charleston by land. No! I will
not even request so much as that; give me something to eat, and my
passage to Charleston, and you may do what you please with the
vessel, but I shall deliver the papers to nobody but the persons who
shipped me. And I shall want you to see this little boy attended to,
for he's quite sick now," said the captain, pointing to Tommy, and
calling him to him.