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American Scenes, and Christian Slavery by Ebenezer Davies

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During his recent sojourn in the United States, the Author did not
conceive the intention of writing a book on the subject. All he
contemplated was the publication of a few letters in a London Journal
on which he had been accustomed to rely for intelligence from Europe
when residing in Berbice. So much he was disposed to attempt for
several reasons.

Having entered the States by their most Southern port--that of New
Orleans, and finding himself at once in the midst of Slavery, he had
opportunities of observing that system not often enjoyed by a British
"Abolitionist." As the Pastor, also, of a large congregation, of whom a
great number were but a few years ago held in cruel bondage, he would
naturally look upon the treatment of the same race in America with
keener eyes and feelings more acute than if he had not stood in that

Identified, too, with those persons who represent the principles of the
old Puritans and Nonconformists in England, he would survey the growth
and spread of those principles in their new soil and climate with a
more than common interest. New England, especially, on whose sods the
foot-prints of the Pilgrims had been impressed, and on whose rocks
their early altars had been reared, would be to him hallowed ground.

Travelling, leisurely, as he did, at his own expense, northward from
New Orleans to Boston, and westward as far as Utica,--making a tour of
more than four thousand miles, sometimes known and sometimes unknown,
just as inclination prompted,--representing no public body, bound to no
party, a "Deputation sent by himself,"--he was completely free and
independent in thought and action, and enjoyed advantages for
observation which do not often meet.

It was natural that he should wish to tell his friends in Great
Britain, and in the West Indies, what he had seen and heard. To
denounce what is evil and to commend what is good is at all times
gratifying; in doing which, he sought to describe the men and the
manners of America just as they appeared to him.

Several letters, containing the narrative of a few days spent in New
Orleans, appeared in the _Patriot_. Their favourable reception by the
readers of that journal led to the preparation of the present volume,
in which the letters referred to, having undergone a careful revision,
re-appear, followed by nearly thirty others descriptive of the Author's

Our Transatlantic friends are morbidly sensitive as to the strictures
of strangers. They hate the whole tribe of Travellers and Tourists,
Roamers and Ramblers, Peepers and Proclaimers, and affect to ridicule
the idea of men who merely pass through the country, presuming to give
opinions on things which it is alleged so cursory a view cannot qualify
them fully to understand. Our cousins have, doubtless, had occasional
provocations from the detested race in question; but their feeling on
this point amounts to a national weakness. It is always worth knowing
how we appear to the eyes of others, and what impression the first
sight of us is apt to produce; and this knowledge none can communicate
but the stranger, the tourist, the passer-by. What faults and failings
soever we may have in England, and their "name is legion," by all means
let them be unsparingly exposed by every foreign tourist that treads
upon our soil. Let us be satirized, ridiculed, laughed at, caricatured,
anything, so that we may be shamed out of all that is absurd and
vicious in our habits and customs. In the present instance our Western
kinsmen are described by one, if they will believe his own testimony,
of the most candid and truthful of travellers,--one who has viewed them
and all their institutions, except _one_, with the most friendly eye,
and who deeply regrets that so much of what is lovely and of good
report should be marred and blotted by so much of what is disgraceful
to a great and enlightened people.

As to the performance in a literary point of view, the Author will say
nothing. The public will form their own judgment. If they like it, they
will read; if not, the most seductive preface would not tempt them.


LONDON, _January_ 1, 1849.



Occasion of Visit to the United States--First Impressions of the
Mississippi--Magnitude of that River--Impediment at its Entrance--The
New Harbour--The "Great" and "Fat" Valley--High Pressure Steam-Tug
Frolics--Slave-Auction Facetiae


American Oysters--Becalmed in the Mississippi--Anchor raised--Ship
ashore--Taken off by a Steam Tug--Slave-Sale Advertisements--Runaway
Negroes--Return of Fever--Terrific Storm--Frightful Position--Ashore at
New Orleans--A Ship-Chandler's Store--American Wheels--A
Joltification--The St. Charles's Hotel


New Orleans--The Story of Pauline--Adieu to the St Charles's--Description
of that Establishment--First Sight of Slaves for Sale--Texts for Southern
Divines--Perilous Picture


A Sabbath in New Orleans--The First Presbyterian Church--Expectoration--A
Negro Pew--The Sermon


First Religious Service in America (continued)--A Collection "taken
up"--Rush out--Evening Service--Sketch of the Sermon--Profanation of
the Sabbath--The Monthly Concert for Prayer


"Jack Jones"--A Public Meeting for Ireland--Henry Clay--Other
Speakers--American Feeling in reference to the Irish Famine--A


The Slave-Auction (continued)--"A Fine Young Woman"--A Man and his
Wife--Jim, the Blacksmith--A Family--A Ploughboy--Cornelia--Another
Jim--Tom, the House Boy--Edmund--Tom, and "his reserved rights"--A
Carriage Driver--Margaret and her Child


St. Louis Exchange--Inspection of Human Chattels--Artizan
Slaves--Scenes and Proceedings of the Auction--Sale of the Men


Sale of Women--Second Sabbath in New Orleans--Cricket in front of the
Presbyterian "Church"--The Baptist "Church"--A Peep at an American
Sabbath School--Proceedings in "Church"--A Sermon on "The New
Birth"--Nut-cracking during Sermon--"Close Communion"


Interview with a Baptist Minister--Conversation with a Young Man in the
Baptist Church--The Presbyterian Church, and Dr. Scott again--A Peep at
the House of Representatives of Louisiana--Contrast between the French
and the Americans in the Treatment of their Slaves--Dinner Table in New
Orleans--American Manners


Farewell to New Orleans--Revolting Bargain--"The Anglo Saxon"
Steam-boat--Moderate Fare--Steam Navigation of the Mississippi
--Steam-boat and Railway Literature--Parting View of the
"Crescent City"--Slave Advertisements--Baton Rouge--A Sugar
Estate--Fellow-Passengers--The Ladies' Cabin--A Baptist Minister--A
Reverend Slave-holder


Voyage up the Mississippi (continued)--"Patriarchal" Establishments--The
Red River--Elder Wright--Lynch Law administered by a Preacher--Natchez
--Story of Mary Brown--The Flat Boats of the Mississippi


Voyage up the Mississippi (continued)--Grand Gulph and Big Black
River--Snags--"I belong to myself, Sir"--Vicksburg and Lynch Law--A Man
Overboard--"Drove of Horses, Mules, and Niggers"--Character of
Fellow-Passengers--The Sabbath--Disobedience to Conscience


Voyage up the Mississippi (continued)--The Arkansas--Treatment of the
Indians--M de Tocqueville--"Napoleon" and Lynch Law--Memphis, and its
Advertisements--A Scene witnessed there--The Ohio--Nashville, and Amos


Voyage up the Ohio (continued)--Illinois--Evansville--Owensborough
--Indiana--New Albany--Louisville, and its Cruel Histories--The Grave of
President Harrison--Arrival in Cincinnati--First Impressions--The
Congregational Minister--A Welsh Service


Stay at Cincinnati (continued)--Close of the Welsh Service--The
Governor of Ohio and his Relatives--The "Black Laws"--Governor Bebb's
Hostility to them--Dr. Weed and American Versatility--Private
Lodgings--Introduction to Dr. Beecher and others--A Peep at a
Democratic Meeting


Stay at Cincinnati (continued)--The Democratic Meeting--A Visit to Lane
Seminary--"Public Declamation"--Poem on War--Essay on Education


Visit to Lane Seminary (continued)--Dr. Beecher and his Gun--The
College Library--Dr. Stowe and his Hebrew Class--History of Lane
Seminary--Qualifications for Admission--The Curriculum--Manual
Labour--Expenses of Education--Results--Equality of Professors and


A Sabbath at Cincinnati--The Second Presbyterian Church--Mutilation of
a Popular Hymn--The Rushing Habit--A wrong "Guess"--A German
Sunday-School--Visit to a Church of Coloured People--Engagement at the
Welsh "Church"--Monthly Concert--The Medical College of Ohio--Tea at
the House of a Coloured Minister


Stay at Cincinnati (continued)--The New Roman Catholic Cathedral--The
Rev. C.B. Boynton and Congregationalism--"The Herald of a New
Era"--American Nationality


Stay at Cincinnati (continued)--The Orphan Asylum--A Coloured Man and a
White Fop treated as each deserved--A Trip across to Covington--Mr.
Gilmore and the School for Coloured Children--"The Fugitive Slave to
the Christian"--Sabbath--Mr. Boynton--Dr. Beecher--Lane Seminary
--Departure from Cincinnati


Cincinnati--Its History and Progress--Its Trade and Commerce--Its
Periodical Press--Its Church Accommodation--Its Future Prospects
--Steaming up the Ohio--Contrast between Freedom and Slavery--An
Indian Mound--Splendid Scenery--Coal Hills


Arrival at Pittsburg--Its Trade and Prospects--Temperance-Newspapers
--Trip up the Monongahela to Brownsville--Staging by Night across the
Alleghany Mountains--Arrival at Cumberland--The Railway Carriages of


Journey by Railroad from Cumberland to Baltimore--A Tedious Stoppage--A
Sabbath in Baltimore--Fruitless Inquiry--A Presbyterian Church and Dr.
Plummer--Richmond and its Resolutions--Dr. Plummer's Pro-slavery
Manifesto--The Methodist Episcopal Church


A Sabbath at Baltimore (continued)--A Coloured Congregation--The
Thought of seeing Washington abandoned--Departure from Baltimore
--Coloured Ladies in the Luggage-Van--American Railways--Chesapeak
Bay--Susquehannah--State of Delaware, and Abolition of Slavery
--Philadelphia--Albert Barnes--Stephen Girard's Extraordinary Will


Departure from Philadelphia--A Communicative Yankee--Trenton--The
Mansion of Joseph Bonaparte--Scenes of Brainerd's Labours One Hundred
Years ago--First Impressions of New York--150, Nassau-street--Private
Lodgings--Literary Society--American Lodging houses--A Lecture on
Astronomy--The "Negro Pew" in Dr. Patton's Church


A Presbyterian Church in New York, and its Pastor--The Abbotts and
their Institution--Union Theological Seminary--Dr. Skinner's
Church--New York University--A threatening "Necessity"--Prejudice
against Colour--A Fact connected with Mr. ----'s Church--Another Fact
in Pennsylvania--State of Public Opinion in New York--An Interview with
Dr. Spring--A Missionary Meeting in Dr. Adams's Church


A Visit to Mount Vernon--Dr. Robinson--Welsh Deputation--Queen Anne and
New York--The Sabbath--Preaching at Dr. L----'s--Afternoon Service at
Mr. C----'s--Tea at Dr. L----'s--Evening Service at Mr. ----'s


The Rev. Theodore Sedgwick Wright--His Testimony against Caste--His
Funeral--Drs Cox and Patton--The Service in the House--The
Procession--The Church--The Funeral Oration--Mrs. Wright


Trip to New Haven--Captain Stone and his Tender Feeling--Arrival in New
Haven.--A Call from Dr. Bacon and the Rev. Mr. Dutton--Newspapers--The
Centre Church and Standing Order--The North Church and Jonathan
Edwards, junior


The Spot on which Whitfield preached--Judge Daggett--Governor
Yale--Yale College--The Libraries--Elliot's Indian Bible--Geological
Museum--Dr. Goodrich--Education and Expenses at Yale College--The
Graves of the Regicides


A Fast-Day--Political Sermons--A Church of Coloured People--The
Sabbath--Morning Service--Afternoon ditto and Dr. Hawes--Prayers at
College Chapel--United Service in North Church--The Cemetery--The
"Fathers"--Professor Gibbs--Annual Election--Statistics--Arrival at
Hartford--Mr. Hosmer--Chief Justice--Deaf and Dumb--Charter Oak


The "Retreat"--Introductions to the Insane--Piety and Profanity--
Service in the Fourth Church--Memorials of the Pilgrims--Dr. Bushnell
and his Opinions--The Mother Church and its Burying-Ground--The New
Cemetery--Prejudice against Colour--Mrs. Sigourney--Departure from
Hartford--Worcester and Elihu Burritt--Boston--The Rev. Seth Bliss--The
Cradle of Liberty--Mr. Garrison--Bunker's Hill


Boston (continued)--The Old South--Unitarianism, and Connection between
Church and State--A Welsh Service in an "Upper Room"--Laura Bridgman
and the Wedding Ring--Oliver Caswell--Departure from Boston--John Todd
and his Family--His Congregationalism--Albany and the Delevan
House--Journey to Utica--Remsen and the Welsh People--Dogs made to
churn, and Horses to saw Wood


A Peep at the House of Representatives in Albany--"The Chan is but a
Man," &c.--Sailing down the Hudson--Dr. Spring--His Morning
Sermon--Afternoon Service--Gough the great Lecturer--The Tract House
and Steam-presses--May-day in New York--Staten Island--Immigrants--A
hurried Glance


The May Meetings--Dr. Bushnell's Striking Sermon--Two Anti-Slavery
Meetings--A Black Demosthenes--Foreign Evangelical Society--A New Thing
in the New World--The Home-Missionary Society--Progress and Prospects
of the West--Church of Rome--Departure from New York--What the Author
thinks of the Americans


What the Author thinks of the Americans (continued)--Slavery
--Responsibility of the North--District of Columbia--Preponderance
of the Slave Power--Extermination of the Indians--President Taylor
and his Blood-hounds


Occasion of Visit to the United States--First Impressions of the
Mississippi--Magnitude of that River--Impediment at its Entrance--The
New Harbour--The "Great" and "Fat" Valley--High-Pressure Steam-Tug
Frolics--Slave-Auction Facetiae.

The ill health of my wife, occasioned by long residence amid the sultry
swamps of Guiana, compelled me a few months ago to accompany her on a
visit to the United States of America. Having taken our passage in a
ship to New Orleans, we found ourselves in fifteen days on the
far-famed Mississippi,--the "father of waters." On gazing around, our
first feeling was one of awe, to find ourselves actually ascending that
majestic stream, that great artery of the greatest valley in the world,
leading into the very heart of a continent. The weather was very cold;
the trees on the river's bank were leafless; and the aspect of nature
on every hand told it was winter. What a change! But a fortnight before
we were panting under an almost vertical sun. We found the Mississippi
much narrower than we had anticipated. In some places it is only about
half a mile wide; while below New Orleans it never, I should say,
exceeds a mile in width. This is remarkable, since not less than
fifty-seven large navigable rivers contribute to swell its waters. It
is, however, very deep, and, even at the distance of 500 miles above
New Orleans, is navigated by vessels of 300 tons; nay, at 1,364 miles
from its mouth, it attains an average depth of fifteen feet. In its
course, it waters 2,500 miles of country. Among the rivers that pour
themselves into this immense stream are--the Missouri, which has first
traversed a space of 2,000 miles; the Arkansas, 1,300 miles; the Red
River, 1,000 miles; and the Ohio, 700 miles.

Unfortunately, at the entrance of this noble river, there is a bar
called the Balize, so shallow as hitherto to have seriously interfered
with the navigation of large and deeply-laden vessels. Even for the
cotton trade, a particular construction of ship has been found needful,
with a flatter bottom than usual, in order to pass easily over this
bar, any effort to remove which the rapidity of the stream would render
fruitless. This circumstance, with the want of harbour at the mouth of
the Mississippi, has hitherto operated greatly against the trade with
New Orleans, which is 110 miles up the river. Recently, however, a
magnificent harbour has been discovered between Cat Island and Isle
Apitre, within Lake Borgne, and only ten miles from the coast of the
mainland. This new harbour, easily accessible from the sea, at all
times contains a depth of water varying from thirty to fifty feet, and
is so protected on all sides that vessels may ride with the greatest
safety in the worst weather. From this harbour to Bayou on the mainland
the distance is only twelve miles, and from Bayou to New Orleans
forty-six miles,--making altogether only fifty-eight miles from Cat
Island Harbour to New Orleans; whereas, by the difficult and dangerous
route of the Mississippi, the distance is 110 miles. The importance and
value of such a harbour it is difficult to over-estimate. Its
beneficial effect on the future destiny of the great valley will be

I have said the "great valley," and well it deserves the appellation.
It contains as many square miles, with more tillable ground than the
whole continent of Europe. It measures about 1,341,649 square miles,
and is therefore six times larger than France. And this valley is as
rich as it is extensive. It is the "fat" valley. Never did human eye
behold a finer soil, or more luxuriant productions. The treasures
beneath the surface are as precious as those above. The lead and copper
mines are among the best in the world. Iron and coal also abound.
Building materials, of beauty and strength, adapted to form cottages
for the poor or palaces for the rich, are not wanting. Nature has here
furnished in lavish profusion everything necessary for converting the
wilderness into smiling fields, studded with populous cities.

But we are not yet within the great valley. We are only at its
entrance, sailing up the "father of waters," against the stream, at the
rate of four or five miles an hour. It is usual for sailing-vessels to
be towed by steam-tugs to their destination; but, having a fair breeze,
and no tug at hand, we were indebted to our sails alone. The motion was
exceedingly pleasant, after the tossings we had had in the Gulf of
Mexico. The vessel glided smoothly along, and new objects presented
themselves continually on either hand.

My enjoyment of the scenery, however, was soon marred by an attack of
fever and ague, which sent me below. While I was down, several
steam-tugs towing vessels down the river met us. Their unearthly groans
filled me with terror. Their noise was not that of puff--puff
--puff--puff, like all the other steamers that I had ever
heard, but something composed of a groan, a grunt, and a
growl--deep-drawn, as from the very caverns of Vulcan, and that at
awfully-solemn intervals,--grunt--grunt--grunt--grunt! This
peculiarity, I was told, arose from their "high-pressure" engines. The
sound, thus explained, brought to my recollection all the dreadful
stories of boiler explosions with which the very name of the
Mississippi had become associated in my mind. But (thought I) they have
surely learned wisdom from experience, and are become more skilful or
more cautious than they used to be!

While I was engaged with these reflections, our captain came down, and
handed me a couple of New Orleans papers, which he had just received
from the pilot. Here was a treat; and, feeling a little better, I began
with eagerness to open one of them out. It was the _New Orleans Bee_ of
January 23; and, _horresco referens_, the first thing that caught my
eye was the following paragraph:--

"STEAM-BOAT EXPLOSION.--LOSS OF LIFE.--Captain Haviland, of the
steam-ship 'Galveston,' from Galveston, reports that the tow-boat
'Phoenix,' Captain Crowell, burst her boilers when near the head of the
South-west Pass [which we had but just passed], killing and wounding
about twenty-five in number, seven of whom belonged to the boat, the
_balance_ to a barque she had alongside; carrying away the foremast of
the barque close to her deck, and her mainmast above her cross-trees,
together with all her fore-rigging, bulwarks, and injuring her hull
considerably. The ship 'Manchester,' which she had also alongside, was
seriously injured, having her bulwarks carried away, her longboat
destroyed," &c.

Such was the paragraph, with not a syllable of note or comment on cause
or consequences. It was evidently an every-day occurrence. What
recklessness was here indicated! and how comforting to a sick and
nervous man, now near the very spot of the occurrence, and in a vessel
about to be placed in the same pleasant relation to one of those
grunting monsters as the unfortunate "barque" had but three days before
occupied, with the trifling "balance" of eighteen of her crew "killed
and wounded!"

The fever having left me, I ventured on deck. At this moment one of
these infernal machines came in sight, towing down three large ships.
Instead of having them behind, as on the Thames and Mersey, she (like
the "Phoenix") had one on either side, closely lashed to herself, and
the other only behind. This terrific monster seemed to be carrying them
away arm-in-arm, like two prisoners, to destruction. At all events, it
was a position of familiarity and friendship with the "Sprite of Steam"
of which I did not at all like the idea; and yet we ourselves were
by-and-by to be placed in its perilous embrace!

The dreaded monster gone by, I resumed the perusal of my New Orleans
papers. Now (thought I) I am in a slave country! I wonder whether these
papers will give any indication of the fact. In a little while my eye,
surveying the _Bee_ of January 21, caught sight of an advertisement
signed "N. St. Martin, Sheriff, Parish of St. Charles," and containing
a list of 112 human beings offered for sale! The miserable catalogue
was full of instruction. In drawing it up the humane sheriff became
quite facetious, telling the public that "Frank, 35 years old, American
negro, [was] _good for everything_;" while "Stephen, 46 years old,
[was] _fit for nothing at all_;" that "Salinette, 60 years old,
hospital-nurse, [was] _a good subject, subject to rheumatisms_;" and
that "Peter, American negro-man, 38 years old, [was] _a good cook,
having had two fits of madness_." I will back this against the Dublin
_Hue and Cry_.


American Oysters--Becalmed in the Mississippi--Anchor raised--Ship
ashore--Taken off by a Steam-Tug--Slave-Sale Advertisements--Runaway
Negroes--Return of Fever--Terrific Storm--Frightful Position--Ashore at
New Orleans--A Ship-Chandler's Store--American Wheels--A
Joltification--The St. Charles's Hotel.

The evening closed upon us, sailing pleasantly up the Mississippi.
Having a beautiful moonlight night, we kept on our way. About seven
o'clock we overtook a small fishing-boat laden with oysters. In
consideration of our allowing them--not the oysters, but the
boatmen--to fasten a rope to our vessel, to help them on, they gave us
a generous and refreshing supply. But such oysters! In neither size nor
shape did they resemble those of the Old World. As to size, they were
gigantic,--as to shape, not unlike the human foot. They abound not far
from the mouth of the river, and many men obtain a livelihood by
carrying them up to the New Orleans market. The mode of cooking adopted
in this instance was that of putting them on the fire till the shells
opened. To our taste, they were not in flavour to be compared to the
London oysters; but we did not venture to tell our American captain so.
We had yet, however, to taste the deliciously-cooked oysters of the
northern cities.

About 10 p.m., the breeze having in a great measure died away, our
captain thought it imprudent to attempt to "go a-head" further that
night, and the anchor was cast. We were now fifty miles above the
entrance of the river.

Early next day the anchor was raised, the sails were unfurled, and we
again moved along. About 8 a.m., through the narrowness of the river,
the rapidity of the stream, and other causes, our "smart" captain, who
had chuckled vastly on passing all other ships in the river,--and
especially British ships,--ran his own vessel right ashore! There we
were in a complete "fix," till one of the grunting monsters (coming up
with two vessels--one on each arm, as usual,--and letting them go for a
few minutes,) came to our rescue. Forbidding as was his aspect, we were
very glad to feel a little of his giant power. Of this one I had, of
course, a better view than I had had of any other of the species. It
had, like the rest, two chimneys in front, like perpendicular tusks,
with a ladder between them. The ladder was for the purpose of
ascent,--the ascent for the purpose of elevation,--and the elevation
for the purpose of "look out." The top of the ladder, in short,
rendered the same service as the top of a ship's mast at sea. This
"tug" had also, a little further aft, a funnel-like sort of chimney,
for the emission of steam. The whole structure was--like a forge below,
and a palace above. In the lower story were the boiler, engine, fuel,
&c., all exposed to view; while, the upper contained splendid
apartments for the captain, the engineer, and other officers. The
engineer of that vessel, I understood, had a salary of 250 dollars (50
guineas) per month!

Released from our stranded position, we found ourselves in a few
minutes lashed to the monster's side, and completely in his power. Here
we were, in the same dread position in which the day before we felt
horrified to see others! From some of the officers, our captain
obtained another newspaper. It was the _New Orleans Daily Picayune_ for
January 26. Getting hold of it, I found whole columns of slave-sale
advertisements. A few specimens will illustrate better than any
description the state of things in this "land of liberty!"

"NEGROES FOR SALE.--The subscribers No. 56, Esplanade-street, have just
received a lot of valuable Slaves from Virginia and Maryland,
consisting of Mechanics, Farm Hands, and House Servants, and have made
_arrangements not to be surpassed_ in this market for a _regular
supply_ from the above markets, as also Alabama. We hazard nothing in
saying, if our former friends, and others wishing to purchase good
servants or hands, will give us a call, they shall not be disappointed.

"N.B. All Negroes sold by the undersigned are fully guaranteed.


"56, Esplanade-street."


"FOR SALE.--A likely Mulatto Negress, aged twenty-two years,--she is a
first-rate cook, and a good washer and ironer, besides being a
tolerable good seamstress.


"38, Camp-street."


"SLAVES FOR SALE.--I have just received, and offer for sale, a very
likely lot of Virginia Negroes. Those wishing to purchase will do well
to give me a call at my office, No. 157, Gravier-street, between
Carondelet and Baronne streets. I will be _constantly receiving_
Negroes from Virginia and North Carolina during the winter.



"SLAVES FOR SALE.--No. 165, Gravier-street.--The subscriber has always
on hand a number of Slaves, consisting of House Servants, Field Hands,
and Mechanics, which will be sold low for cash or negotiable paper.
Persons desirous of purchasing will find it to their interest to call
and examine. The subscriber will also receive and sell on consignment
any Negro that may be intrusted to his care.

"He would also respectfully notify persons engaged in the Slave Trade,
that he is prepared to board them and their Slaves on the most
reasonable terms.



"References--J.A. Barelli, C.J. Mansoni."

"ONE HUNDRED NEGROES.--For Sale at No. 13, Moreau-street.--All of which
have just been received from Maryland and Virginia. My old friends, and
others wishing to purchase Slaves, will find it to their interest to
call on me before purchasing elsewhere. Also will receive _large
shipments during the season_ from the above States.


"13, Moreau-street."


Runaway slaves seem to be constantly advertised, with (as in the case
of ship advertisements) a small woodcut figure representing them in the
very act of making their escape. Indeed, almost everything advertised
is accompanied by its picture,--ships, houses, bonnets, boots, leeches,
oysters, and so forth. Even a strayed horse or a strayed cow is
advertised with a picture representing the animal in the very act of
going astray. On the same principle, and in like manner, human chattels
assuming their natural right to go where they please, are advertised
with a woodcut representing them as bending forward in the act of
running, and carrying with them a small bundle containing their scanty
wardrobe,--a pitiable figure! And yet this is done, not to awaken
sympathy, but to excite vigilance, as in the following instances, which
I have picked out of the _Picayune_:--

"ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS REWARD.--The aforesaid sum will be given to any
person who will bring back to the undersigned the negro-girl Eugenia,
and her mulatto child aged two years. Said slave has been purloined or
enticed away by her former owner, Madame Widow Decaux, who secretly
went out of this State on the 12th December, 1846. Said Widow Decaux is
well known in New Orleans as a notorious swindler, having been
prosecuted for having pawned logs of wood to a merchant of this city
instead of dry goods. She has a scar on her forehead, and several
others on her neck, and is accompanied by her aged mother, and her boy
aged ten years.



"Ran away from the subscriber, on the 20th November last, a negro man
named Sandy, about twenty-five years of age, five feet five inches
high, very dark complexion, speaks both French and English, _shows the
mark of the whip very much_. A liberal reward will be paid for his
apprehension, either by confining in any gaol, so that I can secure
him, or his delivery to me at Plaquemine, La.

"W. H. CARR."


And yet the editor of this very paper, in his leading article,
reviewing the past, (that day being the tenth anniversary of its own
existence,) coolly says, "In entering upon our eleventh anniversary,
how different the spectacle! Industry in every quarter of the land
receives its meet reward; Commerce is remunerated by wholesome gains;
_Comfort blesses the toil of the labourer_(!) and Hope encourages the
enterprise of all the industrial classes of our citizens."

As the day advanced, my fever returned; and I was obliged to go below.
A furious tempest arose, so that even our "monster" could scarcely get
along. The lightning flashed, the thunder roared, and the rain fell in
torrents. It was a terrific day! As night approached, our captain told
us the vessel could not then be got any further,--it was about two
miles from the city; and if we particularly wished to go ashore, we
must get ready directly, and go with him in the steam-tug. Anxious for
a good night's rest, on shore we resolved to go. I had to turn out in
that state of profuse perspiration which always succeeds the fever, and
my wife hurriedly selected a few necessary things. Poor thing! she was
almost overwhelmed with the trying circumstances in which she was
placed,--thousands of miles from home--about to enter a place in which
she knew not a single soul--her husband ill, and herself an invalid!
But there was no help for it. Amidst torrents of rain, we made the
fearful transition from the ship to the tug, while both vessels were in
violent agitation. It was done. And now we were in the "monster's" own
bosom, expecting every moment his bowels to burst, and send us into
eternity. The noise of the engine, the grunting of the steam, the
raging of the wind, the pelting of the rain, and the roaring of the
thunder, made it almost impossible to hear anything besides; but I
managed to shout in my wife's ear the natural, though not very
consolatory question, "Were we ever in so fearful a position before?"
"Never!" (and we had had some experience of storms by both land and
sea) was her awe-stricken reply.

We detached ourselves from the sailing-vessel; but, with all the power
of steam, we could scarcely get along. At last the "monster's"
bellowing was hushed,--the tremor ceased,--we were there! But how to
get ashore was still a difficulty. It was about 100 yards off. Planks,
however, were eventually placed so as to enable us to descend from our
lofty "tug" into a ship at anchor, from that into another, from that
again into a third, and from that at length on _terra firma_.

The hour was between 7 and 8 p.m.; and we were taken to a
ship-chandler's store, while our kind captain went to get a chaise for
us. The store was closed; but the owner and three other gentlemen were
there, seated before a comfortable coal fire, apparently enjoying
themselves after the business of the day. They received us very
courteously, and gave us chairs by the fireside. The storm of that day
they told us had done much harm to the shipping, and was severer than
any other they had experienced during the last seven years. While the
conversation was going on, _plash_ made one, _plash_ made another,
_plash_ made a third, by spurting a certain brownish secretion on the
floor! I had often heard of this as an American habit, but always
thought our cousins in this matter (as in many others) were
caricatured. Here, however, was the actual fact, and that in the
presence of a lady! Yet these were apparently very respectable men.

Having waited about a quarter of an hour, anxiously listening for the
rumbling of the expected wheels, I heard in the distance a strange kind
of noise, resembling that of a fire-shovel, a pair of tongs, a poker,
and an iron hoop tied loosely together with a string, and drawn over
the pavement! "What in the world is that?" said I. "It is the chaise,"
was the answer. The vehicle was quickly at the door. In we were
bundled, and orders given to drive us to the "St. Charles's." We
scarcely knew what this "St. Charles's" was; but, as all with whom we
had conversed seemed to take it for granted that we should go thither,
and as any one _saint_ was to us as good as any other, we echoed, "To
the St. Charles's." And now began such a course of jolting as we had
never before experienced. It seemed as if all the gutters and
splash-holes in the universe had been collected together, and we had to
drive over the whole. This continued about half an hour, by which we
learned that we were at first much further from the "St. Charles's"
than we supposed. The machine at last stopped, and we alighted,
thankful to have escaped a complete stoppage of our breath.

We were there. A waiter (he was not to be mistaken,--he bore a family
resemblance to all the waiters of the world) was instantly at the
coach-door, to help us _out_ and to help us _in_. He conducted us into
a lobby, up a flight of stairs, and through a long passage, to a large
saloon, where about 150 ladies and gentlemen were assembled,--some
sitting, some standing, some talking, some laughing, and some playing
with their fingers. But, no! we shrunk back. Thither we would not be
led, all wet and dirty as we were. We begged to be shown into a private
room. The waiter stared, and said he had none to take us to, except I
would first go to the "office." But what was to become of my
fellow-traveller in the meantime? No woman belonging to the
establishment made her appearance, and there my wife was obliged to
stand alone in the passage, whilst I followed the waiter through aisles
and passages, and turnings and twistings, and ups and downs, to a large
saloon, where about 200 gentlemen were smoking cigars! What a sight!
and what a smell! Who can realize the vast idea of 200 mouths, in one
room, pouring forth the fumes of tobacco? I was directed to the
high-priest of the establishment in the "office," or (as I should say)
at the "bar." Without verbally replying to my application, he handed me
a book in which to record my name. Having obeyed the hint, I again
asked my taciturn host if myself and wife could be accommodated. He
then, with manifest reluctance, took the cigar out of his mouth, and
said he had only one room to spare, and that was at the top of the
house. It was "Hobson's choice," and I accepted it. And now for a
journey! Talk of ascending the Monument on Fish-street Hill! what is
that compared to ascending the St. Charles's, at New Orleans? No. 181
was reached at last. The next task was to find my wife, which after
another long and circuitous journey was accomplished. In process of
time fire was made, and "tea for two" brought up. Let me, therefore,
close my letter and enjoy it.


New Orleans--The Story of Pauline--Adieu to the St.
Charles's--Description of that Establishment--First Sight of Slaves for
Sale--Texts for Southern Divines--Perilous Picture.

From No. 181 of the "St. Charles's," we descended, after a good night's
rest, to see some of the lions of the place. Here we are (thought I) in
New Orleans--the metropolis of a great slave country,--a town in which
exist many depots for the disposal of human beings,--the very city
where, a few months ago, poor Pauline was sacrificed as the victim of
lust and cruelty! Unhappy girl! What a tragedy! On the 1st of August
last, I told the horrid tale to my emancipated people in Berbice. Here
it is, as extracted from the _Essex_ (United States) _Transcript_. Read
it, if you please; and then you will have a notion of the feelings with
which I contemplated a city rendered infamous by such a transaction.

"Many of our readers have probably seen a paragraph stating that a
young slave girl was recently hanged at New Orleans for the crime of
striking and abusing her mistress. The religious press of the north has
not, so far as we are aware, made any comments upon this execution. It
is too busy pulling the mote out of the eye of the heathen, to notice
the beam in our nominal Christianity at home. Yet this case, viewed in
all its aspects, is an atrocity which has (God be thanked) no parallel
in heathen lands. It is a hideous offshoot of American Republicanism
and American Christianity! It seems that Pauline--a young and beautiful
girl--attracted the admiration of her master, and being (to use the
words of the law) his "chattel personal to all intents and purposes
whatsoever," became the victim of his lust. So wretched is the
condition of the slave woman, that even the brutal and licentious
regard of her master is looked upon as the highest exaltation of which
her lot is susceptible. The slave girl in this instance evidently so
regarded it; and as a natural consequence, in her new condition,
triumphed over and insulted her mistress,--in other words, repaid in
some degree the scorn and abuse with which her mistress had made her
painfully familiar. The laws of the Christian State of Mississippi
inflict the punishment of death upon the slave who lifts his or her
hand against a white person. Pauline was accused of beating her
mistress,--tried, found guilty, and condemned to die! But it was
discovered on the trial that she was in a condition to become a mother,
and her execution was delayed until the birth of the child. She was
conveyed to the prison cell. There, for many weary months, uncheered by
the voice of kindness, alone, hopeless, desolate, she waited for the
advent of the new and quickening life within her, which was to be the
signal of her own miserable death. And the bells there called to mass
and prayer-meeting, and Methodists sang, and Baptists immersed, and
Presbyterians sprinkled, and young mothers smiled through tears upon
their new-born children,--and maidens and matrons of that great city
sat in their cool verandahs, and talked of love, and household joys,
and domestic happiness; while, all that dreary time, the poor slave
girl lay on the scanty straw of her dungeon, waiting--with what agony
the great and pitying God of the white and black only knows--for the
birth of the child of her adulterous master. Horrible! Was ever what
George Sand justly terms 'the great martyrdom of maternity'--that
fearful trial which love alone converts into joy unspeakable--endured
under such conditions? What was her substitute for the kind voices and
gentle soothings of affection? The harsh grating of her prison
lock,--the mockings and taunts of unfeeling and brutal keepers! What,
with the poor Pauline, took the place of the hopes and joyful
anticipations which support and solace the white mother, and make her
couch of torture happy with sweet dreams? The prospect of seeing the
child of her sorrow, of feeling its lips upon her bosom, of hearing its
feeble cry--alone, unvisited of its unnatural father; and then in a few
days--just when the mother's affections are strongest, and the first
smile of her infant compensates for the pangs of the past--the scaffold
and the hangman! Think of the last terrible scene,--the tearing of the
infant from her arms, the death-march to the gallows, the rope around
her delicate neck, and her long and dreadful struggles, (for,
attenuated and worn by physical suffering and mental sorrow, her slight
frame had not sufficient weight left to produce the dislocation of her
neck on the falling of the drop,) swinging there alive for nearly half
an hour--a spectacle for fiends in the shape of humanity! Mothers of
New England! such are the fruits of slavery. Oh! in the name of the
blessed God, teach your children to hate it, and to pity its victims.
Petty politicians and empty-headed Congress debators are vastly
concerned, lest the 'honour of the country' should be compromised in
the matter of the Oregon Boundary. Fools! One such horrible atrocity as
this murder of poor Pauline 'compromises' us too deeply to warrant any
further display of their patriotism. It would compromise Paradise
itself! An intelligent and philanthropic European gentleman, who was in
New Orleans at the time of the execution, in a letter to a friend in
this vicinity, after detailing the circumstances of the revolting
affair, exclaims, 'God of goodness! God of justice! There must be a
future state to redress the wrongs of this. I am almost tempted to
say--there must be a future state, or no God!'"

On Saturday, the 30th, we set off to seek private lodgings. Led by a
board having on it in large letters the words "Private Boarding," we
"inquired within," found what we wanted, and engaged for eight dollars
per week each. We then went to pay our bill at the "St. Charles's," and
to bring away our carpet-bag. We had been there two nights, had had one
dinner, two teas, and two breakfasts. These meals, as we did not like
to join the hundreds at the "ordinary," were served to us (in a very
_ordinary_ way however) in our bedroom. In fact, the waiting was
miserably done. And yet for this we had the pleasure of paying eleven
dollars,--say _L2. 6s._! We gladly bade adieu to the "St. Charles's."
It suited neither our taste nor our pocket. Nevertheless, it is a
magnificent concern. The edifice was finished in 1838 by a company, and
cost 600,000 dollars. The gentlemen's dining-room is 129 feet by 50,
and is 22 feet high; having four ranges of tables, capable of
accommodating 500 persons. The ladies' dining-room is 52 feet by 36.
The house contains 350 rooms, furnishing accommodation for between 600
and 700 guests; and it was quite full when we were there. The front is
adorned with a projecting portico, supported by six fine Corinthian
columns, resting upon a rustic basement. The edifice is crowned with a
large dome, forty-six feet in diameter, having a beautiful Corinthian
turret on the top. This dome is the most conspicuous object in the
city. Viewed from a distance, it seems to stand in the same relation to
New Orleans as St. Paul's to London. The furniture of this immense
establishment cost 150,000 dollars. A steam-engine, producing a very
disagreeable tremor, is constantly at work in the culinary department.

While on our way to get the remainder of our baggage from the ship, we
came upon a street in which a long row, or rather several rows, of
black and coloured people were exposed in the open air (and under a
smiling sun) for sale! There must have been from 70 to 100, all young
people, varying from 15 to 30 years of age. All (both men and women)
were well dressed, to set them off to the best advantage, as is always
the case at these sales. Several of the coloured girls--evidently the
daughters of white men--had their sewing-work with them, as evidence of
their skill in that department. The whole were arranged under a kind of
verandah, having a foot-bench (about six inches high) to stand upon,
and their backs resting against the wall. None were in any way tied or
chained; but two white men ("soul-drivers," I suppose) were sauntering
about in front of them, each with a cigar in his mouth, a whip under
his arm, and his hands in his pockets, looking out for purchasers. In
its external aspect, the exhibition was not altogether unlike what I
have sometimes seen in England, when some wandering Italian has ranged
against a wall his bronzed figures of distinguished men,--Shakspeare,
Napoleon, Wellington, Nelson, &c. It was between twelve and one in the
day; but there was no crowd, not even a single boy or girl looking
on,--so common and every-day was the character of the scene. As we
moved along in front of this sable row, one of the white attendants
(though my wife had hold of my arm) said to me, with all the
_nonchalance_ of a Smithfield cattle-drover, "Looking out for a few
niggers this morning?" Never did I feel my manhood so insulted. My
indignation burned for expression. But I endeavoured to affect
indifference, and answered in a don't-care sort of tone, "No, I am not
particularly in want of any to-da--." I could scarcely finish the
sentence. Emotion choked my utterance. I passed on, gazing at the troop
of degraded human beings, till my eyes became so filled with tears that
I was compelled to turn my face another way. Though I anticipated such
scenes, and had tried to prepare my mind for them, yet (now that they
were actually before me) I was completely overcome, and was obliged to
seek a place to sit down while I composed my feelings. With what
sentiments my companion beheld the scene, I will leave you to

It was Saturday morning; and with my professional habits, I naturally
thought of the many divines in that very city, who were at that moment
shut up in their studies, preparing their discourses for the morrow. I
wished I had them all before me. I could have given every one of them a
text to preach upon. I would have said, "Gentlemen, see there! and
blush for your fellow-citizens. See there! and never again talk of
American liberty. See there! and lift up your voices like so many
trumpets against this enormity. See there! and in the face of
persecution, poverty, imprisonment, and (if needs be) even death
itself, bear your faithful testimony, and cease not until this foul
stain be wiped away from your national escutcheon. Dr. S----, to-morrow
morning let this be your text,--'Where is Abel, thy brother?' Dr.
II----, let your discourse be founded on Exod. xxi. 16: 'And he that
stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he
shall surely be put to death.' You, the Rev. Mr. C----, let your gay
and wealthy congregation be edified with a solemn and impressive sermon
on Is. lviii. 6: 'Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the
bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the
oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?' And you, the Rev. Mr.
H----, let your hearers have a full and faithful exposition of that law
which is 'fulfilled in one word, even in this, Thou shalt love thy
neighbour as thyself.'"

In the afternoon of the same day, as I walked along one of the
principal streets, I saw a flag issue from a fine large public building
to invite "ladies and gentlemen" to see "the magnificent picture of the
departure of the Israelites from Egypt,"--the canvas containing 2,000
square feet, and 2,000,000 of figures! How significant! It would have
been still more so, if the number of "figures" had been 3,000,000
instead of 2,000,000. What an "abolition" picture! It must have been
worse than "Jacob and his Sons," which was expunged from a catalogue of
the American Sunday-School Union, because, in reprehending the sale of
Joseph to the merchants, it reflected upon the _internal_ slave-trade!
Surely such exhibitions will affect the safety of the "peculiar


A Sabbath in New Orleans--The First Presbyterian Church--Expectoration
--A Negro Pew--The Sermon.

Think of a Sabbath in New Orleans! Curious to know how people did
really pray and preach, with slavery and slave-trading in their vilest
forms around them, I set off in search of the "First Presbyterian
Church." It is a beautiful building; seldom, if ever, had I seen a
place of worship the exterior of which I liked so much. Being a quarter
of an hour too soon, I had opportunity for some preliminary researches.
Wishing to see whether there was a "Negro Pew," I went into the
gallery, and took a seat on the left side of the organ. The "church" I
found as beautiful inside as out. Instead of a pulpit, there was a kind
of platform lined with crimson, which looked very nice. Most of the
pews below, and some above, were lined with the same material. A
splendid chandelier, having many circles of glass brilliants, was
suspended from the ceiling. Altogether, the "church" was a very neat
and graceful structure,--capable, as I learned, of accommodating about
1,500 people. But the floor--the floor! What a drawback! It was stained
all over with tobacco juice! Faugh! Those Southern men are the most
filthy people in that respect I ever met with. They are a great
"spitting" community. To make it still more revolting to luckless
travellers, this nasty habit is generally attended with noises in the
throat resembling the united growling of a dozen mastiffs.

While the congregation was assembling, a greyheaded,
aristocratic-looking old negro came up into the gallery, walked along
"as one having authority," and placed himself in a front pew on the
right-hand side of the pulpit. Two black women shortly followed, taking
their seats in the same region. Others succeeded, till ultimately there
were from forty to fifty of the sable race in that part of the gallery.
Not one white was to be seen among the blacks, nor one black among the
whites. There, then, was the "Negro Pew!" It was the first time even my
West India eyes ever beheld a distinction of colour maintained in the
house of God!

At eleven o'clock precisely, a man of tall but stooping figure and dark
complexion, about forty years of age, muffled up in a cloak, took his
stand at the bottom of the pulpit or platform stairs. It was Dr. S----.
He appeared to beckon to some one in the congregation. A tall, lank old
gentleman, with a black cravat, and shirt-collar turned over it _a
l'Americain_, stepped forward, and, ascending the steps before the
Doctor, occupied one of the two chairs with which the rostrum was
furnished, the Doctor taking the other. I supposed him to be one of the
elders, going to give out the hymns, or to assist in the devotional
exercises. At this moment the organ--a fine-toned instrument--struck
up, and the choir sang some piece--known, I presume, only to
themselves, for no others joined in it. This prelude I have since found
is universal in America. In all places of worship provided with an
organ, a "voluntary" on that instrument is the first exercise. In the
present instance the choir had no sooner ceased than the Doctor stood
up, having his cloak still resting upon his shoulders, and stretched
forth his right hand. At this signal all the people stood up, and he
offered a short prayer. "Where is Abel, thy brother?" thought I, during
this address to the Father of the spirits of all flesh. He then read
the 23rd and 24th Psalms. "Where is Abel, thy brother?" was still
ringing in my ears. The 33rd Psalm was then sung. "Where is Abel, thy
brother?" was still heard (by me at least) louder than the swelling
tones of the organ. The singing done, of which the choir still had an
entire monopoly, the Doctor read the 14th chapter of Mark; and as he
read the awful story of our Lord's betrayal, I could not help thinking
that the only difference between some of the Southern slave-dealers and
Judas was, that had they been in his place, they would have made a
"smarter" bargain. The reading, though free from affectation, was not
by any means in the best style. The chapter finished, the tall elder
(as I took him to be) prayed,--the congregation standing. The prayer
was short and appropriate, and the language tolerably correct; but the
tone and pronunciation were queer. I supposed them to indicate some
provincialism with which I was not acquainted. Along with that peculiar
nasal sound for which nearly all Americans are distinguished, there was
in the voice a mixture of coaxing and familiarity which was a little
offensive; still, as a "layman's" exercise, it was very good. He prayed
for "every grace and Christian virtue." Amen, ejaculated I,--then your
slaves will soon be free. He prayed for "our nation and rulers." He
prayed that "the great blessings of Civil and Religious Liberty which
we enjoy may be handed down to future generations." "Looking out for a
few niggers this morning?" thought I. He also prayed for "the army and
navy, and our fellow-citizens now on the field of battle," in allusion
to the Mexican War.--The prayer ended, Dr. S---- gave out another hymn.
During the whole of the service, I may here remark, there was a good
deal of going in and out, talking, whispering, spitting, guttural
turbulence, &c. At first there were about a dozen white boys in my
neighbourhood, who seemed as if they belonged to the Sabbath-school;
but, having no teacher to look after them, and enjoying the full swing
of liberty, they had before sermon all disappeared.

After the singing, Dr. S---- made several announcements,--amongst
others, that the monthly concert to pray for the success of Foreign
Missions would be held there to-morrow evening, when several speakers
would address the meeting. By all means (said I to myself), and I'll
try to be present. He also told his people that the Rev. ----. ------,
(from some place in Kentucky,--the particulars I did not catch,) was
in the city, as a deputation from the ladies, to solicit subscriptions
for the erection of a new church that was greatly needed.

The tall man in the black neckcloth then rose, and, to my surprise and
disappointment, read a text. It was I Cor. iii. 21: "For all things are
yours." I imagine _he_ was the deputation from the Kentuckian ladies.

After a few introductory remarks explanatory of the context, he
proposed to inquire what are the things which "enter into"
("constitute," we should say) the inheritance of God's people. Slaves
(said I to myself) are a part of the inheritance of "God's people,"
both here and in Kentucky: I wonder if he will notice that.

The first thing, I observe (said he), that enters into the inheritance
of God's people, is the living ministry--"Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas."
To illustrate the value of this blessing, he referred to the imaginary
Elixir of Life, the Philosopher's Stone, and the Universal Panacea. If
such things really existed, what a high value would men set upon them!
But here was something of incomparably higher worth. In order to form
an estimate of its value, he led his hearers to imagine the entire loss
of the living ministry. Secondly, the "world" belongs to God's people.
It is sustained for their sake, and therefore sinners are indebted to
God's people for the preservation of their lives. To prove this he
referred to the words of our Lord, "Ye are the salt of the earth." In
speaking of the preserving nature of salt, he supposed the sea to be
without salt.

How pestilential then! But as it is, how salubrious the air that has
swept over it! He also referred to another case. There was once (said
he) a ship in a tremendous storm; the crew and passengers--about 270 in
number--were at their wits' end; nothing appeared before them but a
watery grave. On board of that ship was a poor prisoner, bound in
chains. He was deemed to be of the filth of the world, and the
off-scouring of all things. To that poor prisoner the angel of the Lord
came, and told him what must be done to save the life of every one on
board. The angel's directions were obeyed, and all were preserved.
Thus, for the sake of one of God's people, were 270 lives spared. He
offered another illustration. Three men came to converse with Abraham,
on the plains of Mamre. They told him that God was about to destroy
five cities. Abraham began to intercede for them. The preacher
recapitulated the wondrous story of this intercession and its success,
as further proving that ungodly men owe the preservation of their lives
to the presence and prayers of the people of God. The parable of the
tares was also cited, as illustrating the same position. "Let both grow
together until the harvest." Imagine (said he) all the people of God
removed from the face of the earth--no heart to love Him--no tongue to
praise Him,--there would be no reason why the earth should be continued
in existence another moment. In the light of this subject, see how
great a privilege it is to have pious relatives. "Life" also was, in
the third place, a part of the inheritance of the child of God, because
during it he makes a provision for eternity. He dwelt on the richness
of the treasure which God's people are laying up. Suppose (said he) any
of you were making money at the rate of fifty dollars an hour,--(I dare
say you do so sometimes, reflected I, when you get a good price for
your "niggers,")--how rich you would soon be! and how anxious that not
a single hour should be lost! But the child of God is laying up
treasure at a faster rate than this. Every time he works for God, he is
laying it up. The Christian's treasure is also of the right kind, and
laid up in the right place. If any of you were going to emigrate to
another country, you would be anxious to know what sort of money was
current in that country, and to get yours changed into it. The
Christian's treasure is the current coin of eternity. It is also in the
right place. Where would you like to have your treasure? Why, at home.
The Christian's treasure is at home--in his Father's house. Life is his
also, because during it he fights the battles of the Lord. Here the
preacher made an approving reference to the war against the Mexicans;
and I strongly suspect that this view of the Christian's inheritance
was dragged in for the very purpose. We fight (said he) under the eye
of the General. We fight with a certainty of victory. Death too was, in
the fourth place, a portion of the Christian's inheritance. To the
people of God curses are made blessings, and to those who are not his
people blessings are made curses. So sickness, persecution, and death
are made blessings to the saints. Death to the Christian is like an
honourable discharge to the soldier after the toil and the danger of
the field of strife. But that illustration (said he) is too feeble: I
will give you another. Imagine, on a bleak and dreary mountain, the
humble dwelling of two old people. They are bending under the weight of
years. Amidst destitution and want, they are tottering on the verge of
the grave. A messenger comes, and tells them of a relative who has
died, and left them a large inheritance,--one by which every want will
be supplied, and every desire realized,--one that will, the moment they
touch it with the soles of their feet, make them young again: he
points, moreover, to the very chariot that is to convey them thither.
Would this be bad news to those old people? Now, such is death to the
child of God. The cord is cut, and the spirit takes its flight to the
abodes of the blest. Or take another illustration. A stage-coach was
once upset. Many of the passengers were in great danger. One man
snatched a little babe from among the wheels, and laid it down in a
place of safety on the roadside. Twenty years after the same man was
travelling in a stage, on the same road, and telling those around him
about the accident which had taken place a long time before. A young
lady, sitting opposite, was listening to the narrative with eager
interest, and at last she burst out with rapture, "Is it possible that
I have at last found my deliverer? I was that little babe you rescued!"
Something like this will be the disclosures that death will make.
Having thus illustrated the inheritance of the people of God, let me
ask you (said he) who are not his people--what will all these things be
to you, if you die without Christ? The living ministry? The world?
Life? Death? Having spoken briefly, with power and pathos, on each of
these particulars, he very coolly and deliberately turned to Rev. xxii.
17, and read, "The Spirit and the Bride say, Come; and let him that
heareth say, Come," &c., &c., and closed abruptly, with neither an Amen
nor an invocation of any kind.

Such was the first sermon I heard in the United States. It was
thoroughly evangelical and good; but I listened to it with mingled
feelings. It was painful to think that such a ministry could co-exist
with slavery. The creed it is evident may be evangelical, while there
is a woful neglect of the duties of practical piety.


First Religious Service in America (continued)--A Collection "taken
up"--Rush out--Evening Service--Sketch of the Sermon--Profanation of
the Sabbath--The Monthly Concert for Prayer.

After sermon Dr. S. gave out a hymn, and told the congregation that the
collection for the support of the "beneficiaries" of that church would
be "taken up" that morning; adding that, in consequence of this
collection not having been made at the usual time (in May last), some
of the young men who were preparing for the ministry, and dependent on
that congregation for food and clothing, were now in great want. He
also suggested that, if any present were unprepared with money, they
might put in a slip of paper, with their name, address, and the amount
of their contribution, and some one would call upon them.

The collection was "taken up" during the singing, At the last verse the
congregation stood up. The benediction was pronounced, with
outstretched arm, by the Doctor; and the moment he uttered the "Amen!"
all rushed out of the place as fast as they could. This rushing is a
characteristic of the Americans. It is seen in their approach to the
dining-table, as well as in a hundred other instances. I suppose it is
what they call being "smart," and "going a-head."

In the evening I went again to the same "church." The introductory part
was shorter and more simple than in the morning. The Doctor's prayer
(seven or eight minutes long) was admirable. I wished some dry, prosy
petitioners in England could have heard it. It was devout,
comprehensive, and to the point. All classes of men--but one--were
remembered in it. The slaves were not mentioned,--their freedom was not
prayed for!

The Doctor gave us to understand that he was about to deliver the fifth
of a series of lectures to young men in great cities. The text was,
"The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath;" the
subject, "The importance of the Sabbath to young men in great cities."

The text (he observed) involved the principle, that man was not made to
observe certain ceremonies and obey certain precepts, but that the
observance of rites and laws was enjoined for man's own sake. This
principle applied to the institution of the Sabbath. The body, the
intellect, the affections--all required the rest which the Sabbath
affords. The experiment had been abundantly tried; and it had been
invariably found that more could be done, in every department of
labour, with the regular observance of the Sabbath as a day of rest
than without it. The farmer, the student, the legislator, had all tried
it. Man could no more do without the Sabbath than he could do without
sleep. Writers on slavery, however they differed on other points, were
all agreed on this,--that the withholding of the Sabbath from the
slaves in the West Indies, together with the other cruelties inflicted
upon them, had materially shortened their lives! (How telescopic, by
the way, are our views with regard to evils at a distance! West India
slavery never wore the hideous features which slavery presents in the
Southern States of America. Slavery even in Cuba, with all its horrors,
is far milder than in the United States.) France once presented a
fearful example of what a nation would be without a Sabbath. The
testimonies of Drs. Spurzheim and Rush were cited in confirmation; also
that of a respectable merchant in New York, well known to the preacher,
who, after the observation and experience of twenty-five years in that
city, declared that of those who kept their counting-houses open on the
Sabbath not one had escaped insolvency. A poor boy was apprenticed to
an apothecary in a large city. To increase his wages and encourage his
efforts, his master gave him a recipe and materials for making blacking
on his own account. The blacking was made, and placed in pots in the
shop window; but day after day passed, and no purchaser appeared. One
Sunday morning, while the shop was open for medicine, before the hour
of public service, a person came in, and asked for a pot of blacking.
The boy was in the very act of stretching out his hand to reach it,
when he reflected it was the Lord's-day. Falteringly, he told the
customer it was the Sabbath, and he could not do it. After this the boy
went to church. The Tempter there teased him about his folly in losing
a customer for his blacking: the boy held in reply that he had done
right, and, were the case to occur again, he would do just the same. On
Monday morning, as soon as he had taken down the shutters, a person
came in, and bought every pot of blacking there was; and the boy found
that, after deducting the cost of materials, he had cleared one dollar.
With more faith and fortitude than some of you possess (said the
preacher), he went and took that dollar--the first he had ever
earned--to the Bible Society. That poor boy is still living, and is now
a wealthy man.

The preacher said he knew a man, in his own native State of Tennessee,
who on his arrival in America had nothing but a pocket Bible; but he
made two resolutions,--1st. That he would honour the Sabbath; 2nd. That
he would remember his mother. The first dollar he got he sent to her,
and declared that he would never forget the Sabbath and his mother. He
also was now a wealthy man.

The punishment of Sabbath-breaking was sure, though not immediate. Like
the punishment of intemperance or impurity, it would come. Here the
celebrated testimony of Sir Matthew Hale was adduced. Dr. Johnson's
rules respecting the Sabbath were read, with the observation that no
doubt he owed much of his celebrity to their observance. Wilberforce
had declared that, at one period of his life, parliamentary duties were
so heavy that he would certainly have sunk under them, had it not been
for the rest the Sabbath afforded. But the Sabbath was not merely a day
of rest,--it was a day for improvement. Where there was no Sabbath, all
was bad. The inhabitants of Scotland and New England were distinguished
for industry and mental vigour; and they were equally distinguished for
observance of the Sabbath. The universal observance of the same day was
of great importance. It guarded against neglect. It told upon the
ungodly, as was shown by an eloquent induction of circumstances,--the
shops closed--the sound of the church-going bell--the throngs of decent
worshippers going to and fro, &c.

Young men in great cities (it was observed) were in great danger,
chiefly from example. They met with those who were older in sin than
themselves--who prided themselves on knowing where the best oysters
were sold, the cheapest horses to be hired, or the cheapest boats to be
engaged for the Sunday's excursion. Young men were ready to think, "If
I don't do this, I may do something worse." The fallacy and danger of
this mode of reasoning were exposed. It might be employed to excuse any
sin. Public places of amusement were highways to destruction. Ah! how
those old people in that little cottage--surrounded with a stone
wall--on the hill side--far away--would weep, if they knew their son
was treading on the verge of these burning craters! Familiarity with
Sabbath-breaking destroyed the sense of guilt. The young medical
student when he first visited the dissecting-room, and the soldier when
he first stood on the field of battle, were sensible of misgivings,
against which repetition only made them proof,--each gradually losing
his first sensations.

The desecration of the Sabbath was a greater evil to society than any
tyrant could inflict. How would any infringement of civil rights be
resisted! Here was an infringement with consequences infinitely more
injurious; and yet the press were dumb dogs, and the pulpit itself was
not guiltless!

This masterly discourse was read, but read in such a manner as to lose
none of its effect. It occupied upwards of an hour. My irresistible
impression as I listened was, _There is a man of God!_ Truly a light
shining in a dark place; for, as I returned to my lodgings, I found the
coffee-houses, oyster-saloons, and theatres all open, just as on any
other day, only more thronged with customers. How much such discourses
are needed in this place, I leave you to judge from the following
extract from the _New Orleans Guide_:--

"The greatest market-day is Sunday. At break of day the gathering
commences,--youth and age--beauty and not so beautiful--all colours,
nations, and tongues are co-mingled in one heterogeneous mass of
delightful confusion. The traveller who leaves the city without
visiting one of the popular markets on Sunday morning has suffered a
rare treat to escape him."

On the evening of the next day, being the first Monday in the month, I
went to the "Concert" for prayer, which had been announced the day
before. It was held in a vestry or a school-room under the church.
About sixty or seventy persons were in attendance. When I got there,
they were singing the last verse of

"O'er the gloomy Mils of darkness," &c.

A gentleman then gave an address. His object was to show that extensive
fields were open in various parts of the world for the introduction of
the Gospel. There was nothing clerical in his appearance, and he
boggled a great deal; but, as he said "We, the ministers of the
Gospel," I inferred that he was the pastor of some other Presbyterian
church in the city. Behind the desk, where sat Dr. S----, was hung up a
missionary map of the world, drawn on canvas, and illuminated from
behind. It was an excellent device. All missionary prayer-meetings
should be furnished with one. Those parts where the Gospel is already
preached were light, the realms of Heathenism dark, the lands of Popery
red, and so forth.

After the address, the pastor called upon "Brother Franklin" to "lead
in prayer." The phrase was new to me, but I liked it,--it was
appropriate. The prayer was scriptural and good, as was that also of
another brother. The second prayed that the war, in which they were
then as a nation engaged, might be overruled for good, and "be the
means of introducing the Gospel and free institutions to a neighbouring
republic." Free institutions, indeed! (I said to myself): if you
conquer, I fear it will be the means of introducing slavery where now
it is not! After this prayer the pastor, having delivered a very short
address, gave out a hymn, and said that while they were singing Brother
such-a-one would "take up the collection,"--a phrase which seems to
indicate a greater degree of preparation on the part of the people than
our "make a collection." The Americans suppose it to be already made,
and nothing remains but to take it up. The good brother came round with
an old hat to receive contributions for the cause of missions. The
pastor then closed with a short prayer and the benediction. Upon the
whole, there were indications of a considerable degree of
warm-heartedness in reference to the missionary cause, and especially
of tender sympathy and affection towards missionaries themselves. As
one of the tribe, I found it rather difficult to preserve my _incog_.
There were present about half-a-dozen black people, some on the right
and some on the left of the pastor--"the place of honour!"


"Jack Jones"--A Public Meeting for Ireland--Henry Clay--Other
Speakers--American Feeling in reference to the Irish Famine--A

On that dreadful day, the 28th of January, on which we arrived in New
Orleans, Jack Jones, a Welshman, was drowned in the Mississippi, in a
generous effort to save another man from a watery grave. In that effort
he succeeded, but at the cost of his own life. On the 2nd of February
there was an advertisement in the papers, in which his friends offered
a reward for the recovery of the body. Where was the corporation, or
some one of the municipalities? for the papers make a continual
reference to first, second, and third municipalities. Was there no
public body, either civil or humane, to come forward on such an
occasion? Had "Jack Jones" gone to the war, and butchered a score or
two of harmless Mexicans, he would have been loaded with honours; but
he _saved_ a human being, close to the metropolis of the South, and his
body was left to perish like that of a dog--for aught the citizens
cared. I felt proud of my countryman. All honour to "Jack Jones!" May
none of Cambria's sons perish in a cause less noble!

On the evening of the 4th of February I attended a public meeting for
the relief of the Irish. It was held in the New Commercial Exchange,
and was the first public meeting I had had an opportunity of attending
in America. The Commercial Exchange is a fine large building, supported
by pillars, and containing an area on the ground floor that would
accommodate about 1,500 people. It is but ill-adapted for a public
meeting, having no seats or benches. I found about 800 gentlemen
present, but no ladies. Nor was that to be wondered at; for out of the
800, about 799 were spitting, 600 smoking cigars, 100 chewing tobacco,
and perhaps 200 both chewing and smoking at the same time, for many of
those people chew one end of the cigar while burning the other. There
was a large platform, and a great number of gentlemen were upon it.
Governor Johnson was the president, assisted by lots of
vice-presidents. When I entered, a tall old gentleman, with rather high
cheek bones, and a voice somewhat tremulous and nasal, was speaking. He
descanted, in a second or third rate style, on the horrors of famine in
Ireland,--its horrors especially as seen in the family. Coming to a
period, he said, "It is under these circumstances that I want you to
put your hands into your pockets, and pull out something, and throw it
into the lap of starving Ireland!" This caused the most tremendous
cheering I ever heard,--"bravo--bravo--bravo,--whoo--hoo--whoo!" The
last sound was to me altogether new. Not having learned phonography, I
can give you no adequate notion of it; but it was a combination of the
owl's screech and the pig's scream. The favoured orator continued his
speech a little longer, and at the close there was a storm of applause
ten times more terrific than the former. And who was the speaker? It
was none other, as I subsequently ascertained, than the celebrated
Henry Clay! In departing from the tone of eulogy in which it is
fashionable to speak of him, I may be charged with a want of taste and
discrimination. That I cannot help. My simple object in these letters
is to tell how Transatlantic men and manners appeared to my eye or ear.
Before I went to America my respect for Henry Clay was very great. I am
sorry to say it is not so now. I have closely examined his conduct in
reference to "the peculiar institution," and find it to have been
that--not of a high-minded statesman and true philanthropist--but of a
trimming, time-serving partisan. He has been a main pillar of slavery;
and as the idol of the Whig party, a great stumbling-block in the way
of those who sought the overthrow of that system. The man of whom I
have thus freely, yet conscientiously expressed myself, is nevertheless
thus spoken of in the _New Englander_, a quarterly review of high
character now open before me:--"We intend to speak in the praise of
Henry Clay. His place among the great men of our country is permanently
fixed. He stands forth prominent above the politicians of the hour, in
the midst of the chosen few who are perpetual guardians of the interest
and of the honour [slavery?] of the nation. The foundations of his fame
are laid deep and imperishable, and the superstructure is already
erected. It only remains that the mild light of the evening of life be
shed around it."

The cheering at the close of Mr. Clay's speech merged into an awful
tempest of barking. I could compare it to nothing else,--500 men
barking with all their might! I thought it was all up with the
meeting--that all was lost in incurable confusion; and yet the
gentlemen on the platform looked down upon the raging tempest below
with calmness and composure, as a thing of course. Amidst the noise I
saw a middle-aged gentleman, rising on the platform, deliberately take
off his top-coat, and all was hushed--except at the outskirts of the
assembly, where a great trade in talking and tobacco was constantly
carried on. This gentleman's name was S.S. Prentiss, Esq.; and the
barking, it was now evident, consisted of calling out Prentiss!
--Prentiss!--Prentiss! with all their might, on the top of the
voice, and with an accent, sharp and rising, on the first syllable.

This gentleman gave us to understand that he was a lawyer--that he had
often appeared before his fellow-citizens on former occasions (those
occasions he briefly enumerated); but that the present was the most
painful of all. He expatiated largely, and with great vehemence of tone
and action, on the miseries of famine as experienced in
Ireland,--talked much of their own glorious and free country--("Looking
out for a few niggers this morning?" occurred to me),--and made some
severe reflections--not, I admit, altogether undeserved--on the
Government of England. This man was fluent, though turgid. He seemed
resolved to _act_ the orator throughout, and certainly to me appeared
in point of talent far--far a-head of Henry Clay. Bravos and hoohoos in
abundance greeted Mr. Prentiss. He spoke long; but the noise of the
suburbs prevented my hearing so perfectly as I wished.

The cheering at the close of this speech merged into barking as before.
In this instance it was Hunt!--Hunt!--Hunt! that they called for. The
president (standing) showed them a sheet of paper, containing probably
a list of subscriptions, and smiled coaxingly to intimate that he
wished that to be read. But it would not do. Hunt!--Hunt!--Hunt! was
still the cry; and the democracy, as before, carried the day.

By this time the atmosphere of the room had become so poisoned with
smoking that I could endure it no longer. I had not only the general
atmosphere to bear, but special puffs, right in my face, accompanying
the questions and remarks which, in that free meeting, of free
citizens, in a free country, were freely put to me by the free-and-easy
gentlemen around. The meeting resulted in the raising of 15,000 dollars
for the relief of the Irish. The sum was handed by the American
Minister in London to Lord John Russell; and a note from his Lordship,
acknowledging the gift, has gone the round of the papers on both sides
of the Atlantic. The subject of relief to Ireland was subsequently, in
many ways and places, brought under my notice; and while I have been
delighted in many instances with the display of pure and noble
generosity, it was too evident that much of what was done was done in a
spirit of self-glorification over a humbled and afflicted rival. It was
a fine opportunity to feed the national vanity, and to deal hard blows
to England. Not that I was sorry to see those blows, or to feel them.
They drew no blood, and were a hundred times more efficacious than if
they had. I felt that there was much in the conduct of England towards
her unhappy sister-isle for which she deserved the severest
castigation. But I must protest against the form of putting the case,
which was very common throughout the United States: "You are shocked at
our slavery; and yet you have horrors of ten times greater magnitude,
in the Irish famine at your own doors." In this way the Irish famine,
was a God-sent sort of a salvo for the slave-holder's conscience, so
soothing and grateful to his tortured feelings that he was but too
happy to pay for it by a contribution for the relief of Ireland.

In consequence of the following advertisement in the _Picayune_, I
screwed up my feelings, and resolved for once at least in my life to
see a slave-auction. I was the more disposed to attend this, as it was
distinctly stated that they would be sold in families. I should not
therefore have to behold the wife torn away from the husband, the
husband from the wife, the parent from the child, or the child from the
parent, as is so commonly done.

"COTTON-FIELD HANDS.--By Beard, Calhoun, and Co., auctioneers.--Will be
sold at auction, on Friday, the 5th inst., at 12 o'clock, at Bank's
Arcade, thirty-seven Field Slaves; comprising eighteen from one
plantation, and fourteen from another. All acclimated Negroes. To be
sold in Families. Full particulars at sale."

"F. 4."

Setting off a few minutes before 12, after about half-a-dozen
inquiries, and as many "guessing" answers, I found "Bank's Arcade." It
was very near the Presbyterian church, in which I had heard such
excellent sermons on the preceding Sabbath. It was a large open
building: one side occupied as a bar for the retail of strong drinks,
and the other fitted up for auctioneering purposes,--there being
conveniences for three or four of the trade to exercise their vocation
at the same time. One end was used for the sale of books and other
publications, chiefly novels; and the other for the exhibition of fancy

As I got in at one end, I heard a voice--with that peculiar, twirling,
rapid, nasal twang, which marks the Transatlantic auctioneer--say, "400
dollars for this fine young woman--only 400 dollars--420, only
420--430--440, only 440 dollars offered for this fine young woman." By
this time I had got in front of the performer, and had a full view of
the whole affair. And sure enough she was a "fine young woman," about
twenty-three years of age, neatly dressed, not quite----But the scene
shall form the subject of my next letter.


The Slave-Auction (continued)--"A Fine Young Woman"--A Man and his
Wife--Jim, the Blacksmith--A Family--A Ploughboy--Cornelia--Another
Jim--Tom, the House-Boy--Edmund--Tom, and "his reserved rights"--A
Carriage Driver--Margaret and her Child.

Yes, she _was_ a "fine young woman," about 23 years of age, neatly
dressed, not black, but slightly coloured. The auctioneer was a
sleek-looking fellow, with a face that indicated frequent and familiar
intercourse with the brandy-bottle. He stood upon a platform, about
four feet high. Behind him was a table, at which a clerk sat to record
the sales. High above was a semi-circular board, on which were written
in large letters "Beard, Calhoun, and Co." In front, standing upon a
chair, exposed to the gaze of a crowd of men, stood the "fine young
woman." She had an air of dignity even in that degrading position.
Around were twenty or thirty more of the sable race, waiting their

"440 dollars only offered," continued the coarse and heartless
auctioneer; "450, thank you; 460, 460 dollars only offered for this
excellent young woman--470 only, 470--480, 480 dollars only
offered--490--500 dollars offered--going for 500 dollars--once, going
for 500 dollars--503 dollars--going for 503 dollars--going--once
--twice--gone for 503 dollars. She is yours, sir," pointing
to the highest bidder. She stepped down, and disappeared in the custody
of her new proprietor.

A man and his wife, both black, were now put up. They were made to
ascend the platform. "Now, how much for this man and his wife? Who
makes an offer? What say you for the pair? 550 dollars offered--560
dollars only; 560 dollars," &c., &c., till some one bidding 600
dollars--he added, "Really, gentlemen, it is throwing the people
away--going for 600 dollars; going--once--twice--gone for 600 dollars.
They are yours, sir."

Jim, a blacksmith, about 30 years of age, was the next. He stood on the
chair in front. "Now, who bids for Jim? He is an excellent blacksmith;
can work on a plantation, and make his own tools; in fact, can turn his
hand to anything. The title is good,"--(Is it, indeed? breathed
I,)--"and he is guaranteed free from all the vices and maladies
provided against by law. Who bids for him? 600 dollars bid for him
--625 dollars--650 dollars," and so on to 780. "'Pon my soul,
gentlemen, this is throwing the man away; he is well worth 1,200
dollars of anybody's money; 790 dollars only offered for him--going for
790 dollars;--going--once--twice--gone for 790 dollars."

The next "lot" was a family, consisting of the husband, a man slightly
coloured, about 30 years of age, the wife about 25, quite black, and
reminding me forcibly of an excellent woman in my own congregation, a
little girl about 4 years of age, and a child in the arms. They were
told to mount the platform. As they obeyed, I was attracted by a little
incident, which had well nigh caused my feelings to betray me. Never
shall I forget it. Parents of England, let me tell it you, and enlist
your sympathies on behalf of oppressed and outraged humanity. It was
that of a father helping up, by the hand, _his own little girl to be
exposed for sale_. "Now, who bids for this family? Title
good--guaranteed free from the vices and maladies provided against by
law. The man is an excellent shoemaker--can turn his hand to
anything,--and his wife is a very good house-servant. Who bids for the
lot? 500 dollars bid for them--600 dollars--only 600 dollars--700
dollars offered for them." But the price ultimately mounted up to 1,125
dollars.--"Going for 1,125 dollars--once--twice--gone for 1,125

The next was a black boy, 16 years of age. He mounted the chair, not
the platform. "Now, gentlemen, here is an excellent ploughboy. Who bids
for him? Thank you,--400 dollars bid for him--425," and so on to 550
dollars. "Why, look at him; he is a powerful-limbed boy; he will make a
very large strong man." He was knocked down at 625 dollars.

"The next I have to put up, gentlemen, is a young piece of city
goods--the girl Cornelia. She is 18 years of age, a good washer and
ironer, but not a very good cook. She is well known in the city, and
has always belonged to some of the best families." By this time
Cornelia was standing upon the chair. "Now, gentlemen, who bids for
this girl? She is sold for no fault, but simply for want of money. Who
bids for this excellent washer and ironer?" At this moment one of the
"gentlemen," standing in front of her, deliberately took his
walking-stick, and, with the point of it, lifted up her clothes as high
as the knee. I afterwards saw this same man walking arm-in-arm with his
white wife in the street. "500 dollars offered for her--530 dollars."
She went for 580.

Here let me state, once for all, that I took notes on the spot. Those
around me no doubt thought I was deeply interested in the state of the
slave-market, and wishful to convey the most accurate information to my
slave-breeding and soul-driving correspondents at a distance. Had my
real object and character been discovered, I gravely doubt whether I
should have left that "great" and "free" city alive!

The next "lot" were Jim, his wife, and two children, one about three,
and the other about two years of age,--all on the platform. They were
said to be excellent cotton-field hands, title good, and so forth; but,
somehow, there were no bidders.

A boy about ten years of age, a fine intelligent-looking little fellow,
was now made to mount the chair. "Now, who bids for Tom? an excellent
house-boy, a 'smart' young lad; can wait well at table--title
good--guaranteed free from all the vices and maladies provided against
by law. Who bids for him?" The bidding began, at 350 dollars, and ended
at 425.

"I have now to put up the boy Edmund, thirty-two years of age, an
excellent cotton-field hand. Who bids for the boy Edmund?" At this
moment a gentleman, who, like most of those present, appeared to be a
sort of speculator in slaves, stepped forward, and examined with his
hands the boy's legs, especially about the ankles, just as I have seen
horse-dealers do with those animals at fairs. There were, however, no
bidders; and Edmund was put down again.

The next that mounted the chair was a shrewd-looking negro, about
thirty-five years of age. "Now, gentlemen, who bids for Tom? He is an
excellent painter and glazier, and a good cook besides; title good;
sold for no fault, except that his owner had hired him at 25 dollars a
month, and Tom would not work. An excellent painter and glazier, and a
good cook besides. His only fault is that he has a great idea of his
own reserved rights, to the neglect of those of his master." This was
said with a waggish kind of a leer, as if he thought he had said a very
smart thing in a very smart way. 300 dollars were first offered for
him; but poor Tom went for 350. "Now, sir," said the man-seller to Tom,
with a malicious look, "you'll go into the country." He was bought by
one of the speculators, who no doubt would sell him again for double
the amount. Tom, as he descended from the chair, gave a look which
seemed to say, "I care not whither I go; but my own reserved rights
shall not be forgotten!"

A girl of seventeen years of age, somewhat coloured, was the next put
up. She was "an excellent washer and getter-up of linen." She was also
"a tolerably good cook." But there were no bidders; and the auctioneer
said, "Really, gentlemen, I have a great deal of business to do in my
office: I cannot lose any more time here, as you are not disposed to
bid." And so ended the exhibition.

I was now at leisure to observe that a strange noise which I had heard
for some time proceeded from another auctioneer, engaged in the same
line of business at the other end of the room. As I approached, I saw
him with a young coloured man of about twenty-two years of age,
standing on his left hand on the platform. What a sight! Two men
standing together, and the one offering the other for sale to the
highest bidder! In the young man's appearance there was something very
good and interesting. He reminded me forcibly of an excellent young man
of the same colour in my own congregation. 430 dollars were offered for
him; but, as he was a good carriage driver, and worth a great deal
more, only he had not had time to dress himself for the sale, being
industrious, sober, and _no runaway_ (said with significant emphasis),
the bidding ran up to 660 dollars. Here one of the bidders on the
auctioneer's right hand asked him something aside; to which he
answered, loudly and emphatically, "_Fully guaranteed in every
respect_;" and then said to the young man, "Turn this way, and let the
gentleman see you," He was sold for 665 dollars.

The next was a very modest-looking young mulatto girl, of small
features and slender frame, with a little child (apparently not more
than a year old) in her arms, evidently the daughter of a white man.
"Now, who bids for Margaret and her child?" Margaret! my own dear
mother's name. "Margaret and her child!" What should I have been this
day, if _that_ Margaret "and her child" Ebenezer had been so treated?
Who can think of his own mother, and not drop a tear of sympathy for
this mother--so young, so interesting, and yet so degraded? "Now,
gentlemen, who bids for Margaret and her child? She is between sixteen
and seventeen years of age, and is six months gone in pregnancy of her
second child: I mention the last circumstance, because you would not
think it to look at her,--it is right, however, that you should know.
She cooks well, sews well, washes well, and irons well. Only 545
dollars! Really, gentlemen, it's throwing the girl away; she is well
worth 800 dollars of any man's money. She'll no doubt be the mother of
a great many children; and that is a consideration to a purchaser who
wants to raise a fine young stock. Only 545 dollars offered for her!"
No higher offer being made, she was sent down,--it was no sale. Let us
breathe again.


St. Louis Exchange--Inspection of Human Chattels--Artizan
Slaves--Scenes and Proceedings of the Auction--Sale of the Men.

Finding that another slave-auction was to be held at noon next day in
the St. Louis Exchange, I resolved to attend. The day was dull and
dirty. "Please, sir," said I to the first man I met, "to tell me where
St. Louis Exchange is?" "Don't know, sir." I walked on a little
further, and tried again. "Please to direct me to St. Louis Exchange?"
"Can't; but it's somewhere in that direction," pointing with his
finger. "Is this the way to St. Louis Exchange?" I asked a third. "I
guess it is," was the curt and characteristic reply. "How far is it?"
"Three blocks further on; then turn to your right; go a little way
down, and you will find it on your left." I went as directed, and came
to an immense building--a kind of hotel. There were nearly a dozen
entrances, all leading into one vast saloon, where I found about 200
gentlemen,--some drinking, some eating, some smoking, some reading,
some talking, and all spitting. One end of the saloon was fitted up as
a refreshment place, similar to those on railway stations in England.
But I could see nothing like preparations for a sale.

On looking around I perceived a large door in two halves, with spring
hinges, leading as it were further into the building. I pushed one half
open, and found myself in a spacious circular hall,--its roof, ending
in a dome, supported by a suitable number of massive columns. The floor
was tastefully paved with black and white marble, and all the light
came from the dome. Some 100 gentlemen were sauntering about, and now
and then turning to several groupes of black people to ask them
questions. This place was evidently fitted up for auctioneering
purposes, and seemed peculiarly adapted for man-selling. At equal
distances were a dozen elevated desks for the chief actors, each with a
small platform in front for the exhibition of the articles of sale.

It was a quarter to twelve, by the clock that faced the entrance door,
when I got in. Anxious to know what kind of questions were put to the
slaves, I pushed myself into the knots of intending purchasers, just as
if I had been one of them. The inquiries, I found, related to place of
birth, subsequent removals, competency for work, and so forth. The
answers presented a fearful view of the extent to which the internal
slave-trade is carried on. Most of the slaves said they had been
"raised" in Virginia and Kentucky. To avoid the suspicion of being a
spy, I resolved to put a few questions too. I found myself at the
establishment where those named in the advertisement which had drawn me
thither were to be disposed of. A pile of handbills--each containing an
exact copy of the advertisement, and a French translation--was lying on
the platform. Taking one up, I observed the name of "Squires, a
carpenter." Assuming all the confidence I could muster, I said, "Which
is Squires?" "I'm here, sir." "You are a carpenter, are you not?" "Yes,
sir," (with a very polite bow). "And what can you do?" "I can trim a
house, sir, from top to bottom." "Can you make a panelled door?" "Yes,
Sir." "Sash windows?" "Yes, sir." "A staircase?" "Yes, sir." I gave a
wise and dignified nod, and passed on to another groupe. In my
progress, I found by one of the platforms a middle-aged black woman,
and a mulatto girl of perhaps eighteen crouching by her side. "Are you
related to each other?" I said. "No, sir." "Have you lived long in the
city?" I said to the younger. "About two years, sir; but I was 'raised'
in South Carolina." "And why does your owner sell you?" "Because I
cannot cut--she wants a cutter--I can only sew." I then returned to the
groupe at platform No. 1.

The clock was striking twelve; and, before it had finished, the vast
dome reverberated with the noise of half-a-dozen man-sellers bawling at
once, disposing of God's images to the highest bidders. It was a
terrible din. But, at our platform, business proceeded rather
leisurely. Two gentlemen ascended the desk: the one of a light
complexion, about fifty-five years of age, rather fat, whiskers and
beard smoothly shaven off; the other, a Frenchified-looking young man,
about twenty-five years of age, of dark complexion, with green
spectacles to hide some deformity of the eye, no whiskers, but a large
quantity of beard on the lower chin. The elderly man, whom I took to be
the notary public mentioned in the advertisement, read the terms of
sale; then the dark auctioneer, stroking his bearded chin, proceeded to

"Now, gentlemen, let me sell you Jacob. He is twenty-six years of
age--a first-rate carpenter and wheelwright--_Jacob age d'environ 26
ans, charpentier et charron de la premiere ordre_--guaranteed free from
the vices and maladies provided against by law--_garanti exempt des
vices et des maladies prevus par la loi_. How much for Jacob? _Combien
pour Jacob?_" He was run up from 1,000 dollars, and was going for
1,175, when the fat old gentleman offered 1,200, at which he was
knocked down. "Now, gentlemen," said the fat man, with deliberation and
emphasis, "the 1,200 dollars was my bid, and therefore Jacob is not
sold. He is well worth 1,800 dollars."

At this performance, be it observed, the chief actor uttered everything
first in English, and then in French, in the same breath, thereby
giving the proceedings a most strange and comical sound.

Abraham, although on the advertisement, was not present.

Sancho, a black man, twenty-seven years of age, was the next in order.
He was described as "an excellent carpenter--_excellent
charpentier_--can do anything but fine work--fully guaranteed free from
the maladies and vices provided against by law;" and, as nobody would
bid higher, he also was bought in by the fat man at 1,025 dollars.

George, a black man, twenty-seven years of age, was the next to mount
the platform. George kept his eyes fixed upon the dome, as if he felt
above looking down on the grovelling creatures beneath him. He was a
stout-built, thick-set man, who evidently felt to the very core the
degradation to which he was exposed. "Now, gentlemen, let me sell you
George--a first-rate bricklayer--_excellent poseur de briques_--bears
an excellent character--only he absconded once from his master for a
few days. How much do you offer for him?" The bidding began at 500
dollars; but George, like his predecessors, was bought in at 980 by the
fat man, who protested him to be well worth 1,500.

Squires--whom I questioned about doors, sash-windows, and
staircases--was next put up. He was said to be twenty-eight years of
age; but I think he was nearer forty. On his forehead was a deep scar,
occasioned by some severe cut. He appeared to be a very good-tempered
man, and by his smiling looks seemed to say, "Buy me, and I'll serve
you well." "What will you offer for Squires, gentlemen?--an excellent
carpenter--can trim a house--all but the very fine work--bears an
excellent character--is fully guaranteed," &c. &c. "Who bids for
Squires?" Poor fellow! he was sold for 900 dollars.

Sancho was put up again, the fat man observing that he had made a
mistake in offering a reserve bid for him--that he would be sold
without reserve. He was put up at 600 dollars. The biddings gradually
ascended to 900, and there stood, till, after a considerable
expenditure of the Frenchman's breath and talent, Sancho was knocked
down at 900 dollars, though when first put up 1,025 had been offered
for him.

John, a black man, twenty-five years of age, "an excellent French and
American cook--_excellent cuisinier Francais et Americain_," was put up
at 600 dollars, and, after the usual quantity of the Frenchman's
eloquence, (accompanied, as in all other cases, by the constant rubbing
of his tuft of chin-beard with the left hand, while in the right he
flourished a fine massive gold pencil-case and a sheet of paper,)
fetched 775 dollars, at which price he was knocked down to one Robert

Silas also, a black boy, fifteen years of age, a house-servant, with a
large scar on the right cheek, was sold for 670 dollars to Robert
Murphy; who likewise became the purchaser of Scipio, a black man about
twenty-four years of age, "an excellent cook, fully warranted in every
respect," for 705 dollars.

"Now, gentlemen," resumed the green-spectacled auctioneer, still
stroking his cherished tuft of long black beard,--"now, gentlemen, let
me sell you Samson! He is twenty-six years of age--an excellent
house-servant--guaranteed free," &c. &c. "What do you offer for
Samson?" Poor Samson fell into the hands of the Philistines at 710

Sam, the next on the list, was not present. Ben was therefore put up.
He was a fine buckish young fellow, about twenty-one. His complexion
was lighter than that of a mulatto, and his hair was not at all
crisped, but straight, and of a jet black. He was dressed in a good
cloth surtout coat, and looked altogether far more respectable and
intelligent than most of the bidders. He was evidently a high-minded
young man, who felt deeply the insulting position he was made to
occupy. Oh! that I could have whispered in his ear a few words of
sympathy and comfort. He stood on the platform firm and erect, his eyes
apparently fixed on the clock opposite. "Now, gentlemen, what do you
offer for Ben?" said the Frenchified salesman; "a first-rate
tailor--only twenty-one years of age." 700 dollars proved to be the
estimated value of this "excellent tailor."

Charles (not in the catalogue) was now offered. He was a black man, of
great muscular power, said to be twenty-eight years of age. He had, it
was admitted, absconded once from his master! At this intelligence the
countenances of the bidders fell. He had evidently gone down at least
20 per cent. in value. Though offered at 300 dollars, however, he rose
to 640, at which price he was sold.

The "ladies" were yet to be exhibited. "Elizabeth" (my own dear
sister's name) was the first. But I reserve this part of the scene for
another letter.


Sale of Women--Second Sabbath in New Orleans--Cricket in front of the
Presbyterian "Church"--The Baptist "Church"--A Peep at an American
Sabbath-School--Proceedings in "Church"--A Sermon on "The New
Birth"--Nut-cracking during Sermon--"Close Communion."

You shall now learn how men buy and sell women in America. "Elizabeth"
was the first who was made to mount the platform. She was a very
genteel-looking girl, about eighteen years of age, evidently the
daughter of a white man, and said to be "a good seamstress and
house-servant--_excellente couturiere et domestique de maison_." 600
dollars was the first bid, and 810 the last, at which price (about
170_l._) Elizabeth--so young and so interesting--was sold!

"Susan," too, was a mulatto--the daughter of a white man. She was
short, dumpy, and full-faced, about sixteen years of age, "a plain
seamstress and house-servant." She appeared exceedingly modest, and
kept her eyes on the floor in front of the platform. On that floor, as
usual, the filthy dealers in human flesh were ever and anon pouring
forth immense quantities of tobacco juice. For Susan the first bid was
500 dollars, and the highest 700 (nearly 150_l._), at which she was
"knocked down." But the fat old man, as before, in his peculiar
drawling nasal tones, said, "The 700 dollars was my bid, and therefore
Susan is not sold." Poor Susan was very sad and gloomy.

"Betsy," another "plain seamstress and house-servant," about sixteen
years of age, also the daughter of a white man, had a fine intelligent
eye, and her effort to restrain her feelings was evidently great. The
offers, however, not suiting, the auctioneer closed the exhibition,
which had lasted an hour.

The next day being the Sabbath, I took it into my head to find out the
Baptist Church. They are all "churches" in America. It was not far from
the Presbyterian place of worship. In passing the latter, I saw (as on
the previous Sabbath) about forty or fifty boys in the square in front
playing at cricket. A number of grave-looking gentlemen were standing
under the portico of the church, looking on with apparent
complacency,--not one attempting either to check these juvenile
Sabbath-breakers, or to allure them to occupations more suitable to the

The Baptist Church is a small place, about 60 feet by 30, without

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