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Clotel; or, The President's Daughter by William Wells Brown

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MORE than two hundred years have elapsed since the first cargo of
slaves was landed on the banks of the James River, in the colony
of Virginia, from the West coast of Africa. From the introduction
of slaves in 1620, down to the period of the separation of the
Colonies from the British Crown, the number had increased to five
hundred thousand; now there are nearly four million. In fifteen
of the thirty-one States, Slavery is made lawful by the
Constitution, which binds the several States into one

On every foot of soil, over which Stars and Stripes wave, the
Negro is considered common property, on which any white man may
lay his hand with perfect impunity. The entire white population
of the United States, North and South, are bound by their oath to
the constitution, and their adhesion to the Fugitive Slaver Law,
to hunt down the runaway slave and return him to his claimant,
and to suppress any effort that may be made by the slaves to gain
their freedom by physical force. Twenty-five millions of whites
have banded themselves in solemn conclave to keep four millions of
blacks in their chains. In all grades of society are to be found
men who either hold, buy, or sell slaves, from the statesmen and
doctors of divinity, who can own their hundreds, down to the
person who can purchase but one.

Were it not for persons in high places owning slaves, and thereby
giving the system a reputation, and especially professed
Christians, Slavery would long since have been abolished. The
influence of the great "honours the corruption, and chastisement
doth therefore hide his head." The great aim of the true friends
of the slave should be to lay bare the institution, so that the
gaze of the world may be upon it, and cause the wise, the prudent,
and the pious to withdraw their support from it, and leave it to
its own fate. It does the cause of emancipation but little good
to cry out in tones of execration against the traders, the
kidnappers, the hireling overseers, and brutal drivers, so long
as nothing is said to fasten the guilt on those who move in a
higher circle.

The fact that slavery was introduced into the American colonies,
while they were under the control of the British Crown, is a
sufficient reason why Englishmen should feel a lively interest in
its abolition; and now that the genius of mechanical invention has
brought the two countries so near together, and both having one
language and one literature, the influence of British public
opinion is very great on the people of the New World.

If the incidents set forth in the following pages should add
anything new to the information already given to the Public
through similar publications, and should thereby aid in bringing
British influence to bear upon American slavery, the main object
for which this work was written will have been accomplished.


22, Cecil Street, Strand, London.

































"Why stands she near the auction stand,
That girl so young and fair?
What brings her to this dismal place,
Why stands she weeping there?"

WITH the growing population of slaves in the Southern States of
America, there is a fearful increase of half whites, most of
whose fathers are slaveowners and their mothers slaves. Society
does not frown upon the man who sits with his mulatto child upon
his knee, whilst its mother stands a slave behind his chair. The
late Henry Clay, some years since, predicted that the abolition
of Negro slavery would be brought about by the amalgamation of
the races. John Randolph, a distinguished slaveholder of
Virginia, and a prominent statesman, said in a speech in the
legislature of his native state, that "the blood of the first
American statesmen coursed through the veins of the slave of the
South." In all the cities and towns of the slave states, the real
Negro, or clear black, does not amount to more than one in every
four of the slave population. This fact is, of itself, the best
evidence of the degraded and immoral condition of the relation of
master and slave in the United States of America. In all the
slave states, the law says:--"Slaves shall be deemed, sold [held],
taken, reputed, and adjudged in law to be chattels personal in the
hands of their owners and possessors, and their executors,
administrators and assigns, to all intents, constructions, and
purposes whatsoever. A slave is one who is in the power of a
master to whom he belongs. The master may sell him, dispose of
his person, his industry, and his labour. He can do nothing,
possess nothing, nor acquire anything, but what must belong to
his master. The slave is entirely subject to the will of his
master, who may correct and chastise him, though not with unusual
rigour, or so as to maim and mutilate him, or expose him to the
danger of loss of life, or to cause his death. The slave, to
remain a slave, must be sensible that there is no appeal from his
master." Where the slave is placed by law entirely under the
control of the man who claims him, body and soul, as property,
what else could be expected than the most depraved social
condition? The marriage relation, the oldest and most sacred
institution given to man by his Creator, is unknown and
unrecognised in the slave laws of the United States. Would that
we could say, that the moral and religious teaching in the slave
states were better than the laws; but, alas! we cannot. A few
years since, some slaveholders became a little uneasy in their
minds about the rightfulness of permitting slaves to take to
themselves husbands and wives, while they still had others
living, and applied to their religious teachers for advice; and
the following will show how this grave and important subject was

"Is a servant, whose husband or wife has been sold by his or her
master into a distant country, to be permitted to marry again?"

The query was referred to a committee, who made the following
report; which, after discussion, was adopted:--

"That, in view of the circumstances in which servants in this
country are placed, the committee are unanimous in the opinion,
that it is better to permit servants thus circumstanced to take
another husband or wife."

Such was the answer from a committee of the "Shiloh Baptist
Association;" and instead of receiving light, those who asked the
question were plunged into deeper darkness! A similar question
was put to the "Savannah River Association," and the answer, as
the following will show, did not materially differ from the one
we have already given:--

"Whether, in a case of involuntary separation, of such a character
as to preclude all prospect of future intercourse, the parties
ought to be allowed to marry again."


"That such separation among persons situated as our slaves are, is
civilly a separation by death; and they believe that, in the
sight of God, it would be so viewed. To forbid second marriages
in such cases would be to expose the parties, not only to stronger
hardships and strong temptation, but to church-censure for acting
in obedience to their masters, who cannot be expected to
acquiesce in a regulation at variance with justice to the slaves,
and to the spirit of that command which regulates marriage among
Christians. The slaves are not free agents; and a dissolution by
death is not more entirely without their consent, and beyond their
control than by such separation."

Although marriage, as the above indicates, is a matter which the
slaveholders do not think is of any importance, or of any binding
force with their slaves; yet it would be doing that degraded
class an injustice, not to acknowledge that many of them do
regard it as a sacred obligation, and show a willingness to obey
the commands of God on this subject. Marriage is, indeed, the
first and most important institution of human existence--the
foundation of all civilisation and culture--the root of church
and state. It is the most intimate covenant of heart formed
among mankind; and for many persons the only relation in which
they feel the true sentiments of humanity. It gives scope for
every human virtue, since each of these is developed from the
love and confidence which here predominate. It unites all which
ennobles and beautifies life,--sympathy, kindness of will and
deed, gratitude, devotion, and every delicate, intimate feeling.
As the only asylum for true education, it is the first and last
sanctuary of human culture. As husband and wife, through each
other become conscious of complete humanity, and every human
feeling, and every human virtue; so children, at their first
awakening in the fond covenant of love between parents, both of
whom are tenderly concerned for the same object, find an image of
complete humanity leagued in free love. The spirit of love which
prevails between them acts with creative power upon the young
mind, and awakens every germ of goodness within it. This
invisible and incalculable influence of parental life acts more
upon the child than all the efforts of education, whether by
means of instruction, precept, or exhortation. If this be a true
picture of the vast influence for good of the institution of
marriage, what must be the moral degradation of that people to
whom marriage is denied? Not content with depriving them of all
the higher and holier enjoyments of this relation, by degrading
and darkening their souls, the slaveholder denies to his victim
even that slight alleviation of his misery, which would result
from the marriage relation being protected by law and public
opinion. Such is the influence of slavery in the United States,
that the ministers of religion, even in the so-called free
states, are the mere echoes, instead of the correctors, of public
sentiment. We have thought it advisable to show that the present
system of chattel slavery in America undermines the entire social
condition of man, so as to prepare the reader for the following
narrative of slave life, in that otherwise happy and prosperous

In all the large towns in the Southern States, there is a class
of slaves who are permitted to hire their time of their owners,
and for which they pay a high price. These are mulatto women, or
quadroons, as they are familiarly known, and are distinguished
for their fascinating beauty. The handsomest usually pays the
highest price for her time. Many of these women are the
favourites of persons who furnish them with the means of paying
their owners, and not a few are dressed in the most extravagant
manner. Reader, when you take into consideration the fact, that
amongst the slave population no safeguard is thrown around
virtue, and no inducement held out to slave women to be chaste,
you will not be surprised when we tell you that immorality and
vice pervade the cities of the Southern States in a manner
unknown in the cities and towns of the Northern States. Indeed
most of the slave women have no higher aspiration than that of
becoming the finely-dressed mistress of some white man. And at
Negro balls and parties, this class of women usually cut the
greatest figure.

At the close of the year, the following advertisement appeared in a
newspaper published in Richmond, the capital of the state of
Virginia:--"Notice: Thirty-eight Negroes will be offered for sale
on Monday, November 10th, at twelve o'clock, being the entire
stock of the late John Graves, Esq. The Negroes are in good
condition, some of them very prime; among them are several
mechanics, able-bodied field hands, ploughboys, and women with
children at the breast, and some of them very prolific in their
generating qualities, affording a rare opportunity to any one who
wishes to raise a strong and healthy lot of servants for their
own use. Also several mulatto girls of rare personal qualities:
two of them very superior. Any gentleman or lady wishing to
purchase, can take any of the above slaves on trial for a week,
for which no charge will be made." Amongst the above slaves to be
sold were Currer and her two daughters, Clotel and Althesa; the
latter were the girls spoken of in the advertisement as "very
superior." Currer was a bright mulatto, and of prepossessing
appearance, though then nearly forty years of age. She had hired
her time for more than twenty years, during which time she had
lived in Richmond. In her younger days Currer had been the
housekeeper of a young slaveholder; but of later years had been a
laundress or washerwoman, and was considered to be a woman of
great taste in getting up linen. The gentleman for whom she had
kept house was Thomas Jefferson, by whom she had two daughters.
Jefferson being called to Washington to fill a government
appointment, Currer was left behind, and thus she took herself to
the business of washing, by which means she paid her master, Mr.
Graves, and supported herself and two children. At the time of the
decease of her master, Currer's daughters, Clotel and Althesa,
were aged respectively sixteen and fourteen years, and both, like
most of their own sex in America, were well grown. Currer early
resolved to bring her daughters up as ladies, as she termed it,
and therefore imposed little or no work upon them. As her
daughters grew older, Currer had to pay a stipulated price for
them; yet her notoriety as a laundress of the first class enabled
her to put an extra price upon her charges, and thus she and her
daughters lived in comparative luxury. To bring up Clotel and
Althesa to attract attention, and especially at balls and
parties, was the great aim of Currer. Although the term "Negro
ball" is applied to most of these gatherings, yet a majority of
the attendants are often whites. Nearly all the Negro parties in
the cities and towns of the Southern States are made up of
quadroon and mulatto girls, and white men. These are democratic
gatherings, where gentlemen, shopkeepers, and their clerks, all
appear upon terms of perfect equality. And there is a degree of
gentility and decorum in these companies that is not surpassed by
similar gatherings of white people in the Slave States. It was at
one of these parties that Horatio Green, the son of a wealthy
gentleman of Richmond, was first introduced to Clotel. The young
man had just returned from college, and was in his twenty-second
year. Clotel was sixteen, and was admitted by all to be the most
beautiful girl, coloured or white, in the city. So attentive was
the young man to the quadroon during the evening that it was
noticed by all, and became a matter of general conversation;
while Currer appeared delighted beyond measure at her daughter's
conquest. From that evening, young Green became the favourite
visitor at Currer's house. He soon promised to purchase Clotel, as
speedily as it could be effected, and make her mistress of her
own dwelling; and Currer looked forward with pride to the time
when she should see her daughter emancipated and free. It was a
beautiful moonlight night in August, when all who reside in
tropical climes are eagerly gasping for a breath of fresh air,
that Horatio Green was seated in the small garden behind Currer's
cottage, with the object of his affections by his side. And it
was here that Horatio drew from his pocket the newspaper, wet from
the press, and read the advertisement for the sale of the slaves
to which we have alluded; Currer and her two daughters being of
the number. At the close of the evening's visit, and as the young
man was leaving, he said to the girl, "You shall soon be free and
your own mistress."

As might have been expected, the day of sale brought an unusual
large number together to compete for the property to be sold.
Farmers who make a business of raising slaves for the market were
there; slave-traders and speculators were also numerously
represented; and in the midst of this throng was one who felt a
deeper interest in the result of the sale than any other of the
bystanders; this was young Green. True to his promise, he was
there with a blank bank check in his pocket, awaiting with
impatience to enter the list as a bidder for the beautiful slave.
The less valuable slaves were first placed upon the auction
block, one after another, and sold to the highest bidder.
Husbands and wives were separated with a degree of indifference
that is unknown in any other relation of life, except that of
slavery. Brothers and sisters were torn from each other; and
mothers saw their children leave them for the last time on this

It was late in the day, when the greatest number of persons were
thought to be present, that Currer and her daughters were brought
forward to the place of sale.--Currer was first ordered to ascend
the auction stand, which she did with a trembling step. The slave
mother was sold to a trader. Althesa, the youngest, and who was
scarcely less beautiful than her sister, was sold to the same
trader for one thousand dollars. Clotel was the last, and, as was
expected, commanded a higher price than any that had been offered
for sale that day. The appearance of Clotel on the auction block
created a deep sensation amongst the crowd. There she stood, with
a complexion as white as most of those who were waiting with a
wish to become her purchasers; her features as finely defined as
any of her sex of pure Anglo-Saxon; her long black wavy hair done
up in the neatest manner; her form tall and graceful, and her
whole appearance indicating one superior to her position. The
auctioneer commenced by saying, that "Miss Clotel had been
reserved for the last, because she was the most valuable. How
much, gentlemen? Real Albino, fit for a fancy girl for any one.
She enjoys good health, and has a sweet temper. How much do you
say?" "Five hundred dollars." "Only five hundred for such a girl
as this? Gentlemen, she is worth a deal more than that sum; you
certainly don't know the value of the article you are bidding
upon. Here, gentlemen, I hold in my hand a paper certifying that
she has a good moral character." "Seven hundred." "Ah; gentlemen,
that is something like. This paper also states that she is very
intelligent." "Eight hundred." "She is a devoted Christian, and
perfectly trustworthy." "Nine hundred." "Nine fifty." "Ten."
"Eleven." "Twelve hundred." Here the sale came to a dead stand.
The auctioneer stopped, looked around, and began in a rough
manner to relate some anecdotes relative to the sale of slaves,
which, he said, had come under his own observation. At this
juncture the scene was indeed strange. Laughing, joking,
swearing, smoking, spitting, and talking kept up a continual hum
and noise amongst the crowd; while the slave-girl stood with
tears in her eyes, at one time looking towards her mother and
sister, and at another towards the young man whom she hoped would
become her purchaser. "The chastity of this girl is pure; she has
never been from under her mother's care; she is a virtuous
creature." "Thirteen." "Fourteen." "Fifteen." "Fifteen hundred
dollars," cried the auctioneer, and the maiden was struck for
that sum. This was a Southern auction, at which the bones,
muscles, sinews, blood, and nerves of a young lady of sixteen
were sold for five hundred dollars; her moral character for two
hundred; her improved intellect for one hundred; her
Christianity for three hundred; and her chastity and virtue for
four hundred dollars more. And this, too, in a city thronged with
churches, whose tall spires look like so many signals pointing to
heaven, and whose ministers preach that slavery is a God-ordained
institution! What words can tell the inhumanity, the atrocity,
and the immorality of that doctrine which, from exalted office,
commends such a crime to the favour of enlightened and Christian
people? What indignation from all the world is not due to the
government and people who put forth all their strength and power
to keep in existence such an institution? Nature abhors it; the
age repels it; and Christianity needs all her meekness to forgive
it. Clotel was sold for fifteen hundred dollars, but her purchaser
was Horatio Green. Thus closed a Negro sale, at which two
daughters of Thomas Jefferson, the writer of the Declaration of
American Independence, and one of the presidents of the great
republic, were disposed of to the highest bidder!

"O God! my every heart-string cries,
Dost thou these scenes behold
In this our boasted Christian land,
And must the truth be told?

"Blush, Christian, blush! for e'en the dark,
Untutored heathen see
Thy inconsistency; and, lo!
They scorn thy God, and thee!"



"My country, shall thy honoured name,
Be as a bye-word through the world?
Rouse! for, as if to blast thy fame,
This keen reproach is at thee hurled;
The banner that above the waves,
Is floating o'er three million slaves."

DICK WALKER, the slave speculator, who had purchased Currer and
Althesa, put them in prison until his gang was made up, and then,
with his forty slaves, started for the New Orleans market. As
many of the slaves had been brought up in Richmond, and had
relations residing there, the slave trader determined to leave
the city early in the morning, so as not to witness any of those
scenes so common where slaves are separated from their relatives
and friends, when about departing for the Southern market. This
plan was successful; for not even Clotel, who had been every day
at the prison to see her mother and sister, knew of their
departure. A march of eight days through the interior of the
state, and they arrived on the banks of the Ohio river, where
they were all put on board a steamer, and then speedily sailed
for the place of their destination.

Walker had already advertised in the New Orleans papers, that he
would be there at a stated time with "a prime lot of able bodied
slaves ready for field service; together with a few extra ones,
between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five." But, like most who
make a business of buying and selling slaves for gain, he often
bought some who were far advanced in years, and would always try
to sell them for five or ten years younger than they actually
were. Few persons can arrive at anything like the age of a Negro,
by mere observation, unless they are well acquainted with the
race. Therefore the slave-trader very frequently carried out this
deception with perfect impunity. After the steamer had left the
wharf, and was fairly on the bosom of the Father of Waters,
Walker called his servant Pompey to him, and instructed him as to
"getting the Negroes ready for market." Amongst the forty Negroes
were several whose appearance indicated that they had seen some
years, and had gone through some services. Their grey hair and
whiskers at once pronounced them to be above the ages set down in
the trader's advertisement. Pompey had long been with the trader,
and knew his business; and if he did not take delight in
discharging his duty, he did it with a degree of alacrity, so
that he might receive the approbation of his master. "Pomp," as
Walker usually called him, was of real Negro blood, and would
often say, when alluding to himself, "Dis nigger is no countefit;
he is de genewine artekil." Pompey was of low stature, round
face, and, like most of his race, had a set of teeth, which for
whiteness and beauty could not be surpassed; his eyes large, lips
thick, and hair short and woolly. Pompey had been with Walker so
long, and had seen so much of the buying and selling of slaves,
that he appeared perfectly indifferent to the heartrending scenes
which daily occurred in his presence. It was on the second day of
the steamer's voyage that Pompey selected five of the old slaves,
took them in a room by themselves, and commenced preparing them
for the market. "Well," said Pompey, addressing himself to the
company, "I is de gentman dat is to get you ready, so dat you
will bring marser a good price in de Orleans market. How old is
you?" addressing himself to a man who, from appearance, was not
less than forty.

"If I live to see next corn-planting time I will either be
forty-five or fifty-five, I don't know which."

"Dat may be," replied Pompey; "But now you is only thirty years
old; dat is what marser says you is to be."

"I know I is more den dat," responded the man.

"I knows nothing about dat," said Pompey; "but when you get in de
market, an anybody axe you how old you is, an you tell 'em
forty-five, marser will tie you up an gib you de whip like smoke.
But if you tell 'em dat you is only thirty, den he wont."

"Well den, I guess I will only be thirty when dey axe me,"
replied the chattel.

"What your name?" inquired Pompey.

"Geemes," answered the man.

"Oh, Uncle Jim, is it?"


"Den you must have off dem dare whiskers of yours, an when you
get to Orleans you must grease dat face an make it look shiney."
This was all said by Pompey in a manner which clearly showed that
he knew what he was about.

"How old is you?" asked Pompey of a tall, strong-looking man.

"I was twenty-nine last potato-digging time," said the man.

"What's your name?"

"My name is Tobias, but dey call me 'Toby.'"

"Well, Toby, or Mr. Tobias, if dat will suit you better, you is
now twenty-three years old, an no more. Dus you hear dat?"

"Yes," responded Toby.

Pompey gave each to understand how old he was to be when asked by
persons who wished to purchase, and then reported to his master
that the "old boys" were all right. At eight o'clock on the
evening of the third day, the lights of another steamer were seen
in the distance, and apparently coming up very fast. This was a
signal for a general commotion on the Patriot, and everything
indicated that a steamboat race was at hand. Nothing can exceed
the excitement attendant upon a steamboat race on the Mississippi
river. By the time the boats had reached Memphis, they were side
by side, and each exerting itself to keep the ascendancy in point
of speed. The night was clear, the moon shining brightly, and the
boats so near to each other that the passengers were calling out
from one boat to the other. On board the Patriot, the firemen
were using oil, lard, butter, and even bacon, with the wood, for
the purpose of raising the steam to its highest pitch. The blaze,
mingled with the black smoke, showed plainly that the other boat
was burning more than wood. The two boats soon locked, so that
the hands of the boats were passing from vessel to vessel, and
the wildest excitement prevailed throughout amongst both
passengers and crew. At this moment the engineer of the Patriot
was seen to fasten down the safety-valve, so that no steam should
escape. This was, indeed, a dangerous resort. A few of the boat
hands who saw what had taken place, left that end of the boat for
more secure quarters.

The Patriot stopped to take in passengers, and still no steam was
permitted to escape. At the starting of the boat cold water was
forced into the boilers by the machinery, and, as might have been
expected, one of the boilers immediately exploded. One dense fog
of steam filled every part of the vessel, while shrieks, groans,
and cries were heard on every hand. The saloons and cabins soon
had the appearance of a hospital. By this time the boat had
landed, and the Columbia, the other boat, had come alongside to
render assistance to the disabled steamer. The killed and scalded
(nineteen in number) were put on shore, and the Patriot, taken in
tow by the Columbia, was soon again on its way.

It was now twelve o'clock at night, and instead of the passengers
being asleep the majority were ambling in the saloons. Thousands
of dollars change hands during a passage from Louisville or St.
Louis to New Orleans on a Mississippi steamer, and many men, and
even ladies, are completely ruined.

"Go call my boy, steward," said Mr. Smith, as he took his cards
one by one from the table. In a few moments a fine looking,
bright-eyed mulatto boy, apparently about fifteen years of age,
was standing by his master's side at the table. "I will see you,
and five hundred dollars better," said Smith, as his servant
Jerry approached the table.

"What price do you set on that boy?" asked Johnson, as he took a
roll of bills from his pocket.

"He will bring a thousand dollars, any day, in the New Orleans
market," replied Smith.

"Then you bet the whole of the boy, do you?"


"I call you, then," said Johnson, at the same time spreading his
cards out upon the table.

"You have beat me," said Smith, as soon as he saw the cards.
Jerry, who was standing on top of the table, with the bank notes
and silver dollars round his feet, was now ordered to descend
from the table.

"You will not forget that you belong to me," said Johnson, as the
young slave was stepping from the table to a chair.

"No, sir," replied the chattel.

"Now go back to your bed, and be up in time to-morrow morning to
brush my clothes and clean my boots, do you hear?"

"Yes, sir," responded Jerry, as he wiped the tears from his eyes.

Smith took from his pocket the bill of sale and handed it to
Johnson; at the same time saying, "I claim the right of redeeming
that boy, Mr. Johnson. My father gave him to me when I came of
age, and I promised not to part with him."

"Most certainly, sir, the boy shall be yours, whenever you hand me
over a cool thousand," replied Johnson. The next morning, as the
passengers were assembling in the breakfast saloons and upon the
guards of the vessel, and the servants were seen running about
waiting upon or looking for their masters, poor Jerry was
entering his new master's stateroom with his boots.

"Who do you belong to?" said a gentleman to an old black man, who
came along leading a fine dog that he had been feeding.

"When I went to sleep last night, I belonged to Governor Lucas;
but I understand dat he is bin gambling all night, so I don't
know who owns me dis morning." Such is the uncertainty of a
slave's position. He goes to bed at night the property of the man
with whom he has lived for years, and gets up in the morning the
slave of some one whom he has never seen before! To behold five
or six tables in a steamboat's cabin, with half-a-dozen men
playing at cards, and money, pistols, bowie-knives, all in
confusion on the tables, is what may be seen at almost any time
on the Mississippi river.

On the fourth day, while at Natchez, taking in freight and
passengers, Walker, who had been on shore to see some of his old
customers, returned, accompanied by a tall, thin-faced man,
dressed in black, with a white neckcloth, which immediately
proclaimed him to be a clergyman. "I want a good, trusty woman
for house service," said the stranger, as they entered the cabin
where Walker's slaves were kept.

"Here she is, and no mistake," replied the trader.

"Stand up, Currer, my gal; here's a gentleman who wishes to see if
you will suit him."

Althesa clung to her mother's side, as the latter rose from her

"She is a rare cook, a good washer, and will suit you to a T, I am

"If you buy me, I hope you will buy my daughter too," said the
woman, in rather an excited manner.

"I only want one for my own use, and would not need another," said
the man in black, as he and the trader left the room. Walker and
the parson went into the saloon, talked over the matter, the bill
of sale was made out, the money paid over, and the clergyman left,
with the understanding that the woman should be delivered to him
at his house. It seemed as if poor Althesa would have wept
herself to death, for the first two days after her mother had
been torn from her side by the hand of the ruthless trafficker in
human flesh. On the arrival of the boat at Baton Rouge, an
additional number of passengers were taken on board; and, amongst
them, several persons who had been attending the races. Gambling
and drinking were now the order of the day. Just as the ladies and
gentlemen were assembling at the supper-table, the report of a
pistol was heard in the direction of the Social Hall, which caused
great uneasiness to the ladies, and took the gentlemen to that
part of the cabin. However, nothing serious had occurred. A man
at one of the tables where they were gambling had been seen
attempting to conceal a card in his sleeve, and one of the party
seized his pistol and fired; but fortunately the barrel of the
pistol was knocked up, just as it was about to be discharged, and
the ball passed through the upper deck, instead of the man's
head, as intended. Order was soon restored; all went on well the
remainder of the night, and the next day, at ten o'clock, the
boat arrived at New Orleans, and the passengers went to the
hotels and the slaves to the market!

"Our eyes are yet on Afric's shores,
Her thousand wrongs we still deplore;
We see the grim slave trader there;
We hear his fettered victim's prayer;
And hasten to the sufferer's aid,
Forgetful of our own 'slave trade.'

"The Ocean 'Pirate's' fiend-like form
Shall sink beneath the vengeance-storm;
His heart of steel shall quake before
The battle-din and havoc roar:
The knave shall die, the Law hath said,
While it protects our own 'slave trade.'

"What earthly eye presumes to scan
The wily Proteus-heart of man?--
What potent hand will e'er unroll
The mantled treachery of his soul!--
O where is he who hath surveyed
The horrors of our own 'slave trade?'

"There is an eye that wakes in light,
There is a hand of peerless might;
Which, soon or late, shall yet assail
And rend dissimulation's veil:
Which will unfold the masquerade
Which justifies our own 'slave trade.'"



WE shall now return to Natchez, where we left Currer in the hands
of the Methodist parson. For many years, Natchez has enjoyed a
notoriety for the inhumanity and barbarity of its inhabitants,
and the cruel deeds perpetrated there, which have not been
equalled in any other city in the Southern States. The following
advertisements, which we take from a newspaper published in the
vicinity, will show how they catch their Negroes who believe in
the doctrine that "all men are created free."

"NEGRO DOGS.--The undersigned, having bought the entire pack of
Negro dogs (of the Hay and Allen stock), he now proposes to catch
runaway Negroes. His charges will be three dollars a day for
hunting, and fifteen dollars for catching a runaway. He resides
three and one half miles north of Livingston, near the lower
Jones' Bluff Road.

"Nov. 6, 1845."

"NOTICE.--The subscriber, Lying on Carroway Lake, on Hoe's Bayou,
in Carroll parish, sixteen miles on the road leading from Bayou
Mason to Lake Providence, is ready with a pack of dogs to hunt
runaway Negroes at any time. These dogs are well trained, and are
known throughout the parish. Letters addressed to me at
Providence will secure immediate attention. My terms are five
dollars per day for hunting the trails, whether the Negro is
caught or not. Where a twelve hours' trail is shown, and the
Negro not taken, no charge is made. For taking a Negro,
twenty-five dollars, and no charge made for hunting.

"Nov. 26, 1847."

These dogs will attack a Negro at their master's bidding and
cling to him as the bull-dog will cling to a beast. Many are
the speculations, as to whether the Negro will be secured alive
or dead, when these dogs once get on his track. A slave hunt took
place near Natchez, a few days after Currer's arrival, which was
calculated to give her no favourable opinion of the people. Two
slaves had run off owing to severe punishment. The dogs were put
upon their trail. The slaves went into the swamps, with the hope
that the dogs when put on their scent would be unable to follow
them through the water. The dogs soon took to the swamp, which
lies between the highlands, which was now covered with water,
waist deep: here these faithful animals, swimming nearly all the
time, followed the zigzag course, the tortuous twistings and
windings of these two fugitives, who, it was afterwards
discovered, were lost; sometimes scenting the tree wherein they
had found a temporary refuge from the mud and water; at other
places where the deep mud had pulled off a shoe, and they had not
taken time to put it on again. For two hours and a half, for four
or five miles, did men and dogs wade through this bushy, dismal
swamp, surrounded with grim-visaged alligators, who seemed to look
on with jealous eye at this encroachment of their hereditary
domain; now losing the trail--then slowly and dubiously taking it
off again, until they triumphantly threaded it out, bringing them
back to the river, where it was found that the Negroes had
crossed their own trail, near the place of starting. In the
meantime a heavy shower had taken place, putting out the trail.
The Negroes were now at least four miles ahead.

It is well known to hunters that it requires the keenest scent and
best blood to overcome such obstacles, and yet these persevering
and sagacious animals conquered every difficulty. The
slaves now made a straight course for the Baton Rouge and Bayou
Sara road, about four miles distant.

Feeling hungry now, after their morning walk, and perhaps
thirsty, too, they went about half a mile off the road, and ate a
good, hearty, substantial breakfast. Negroes must eat, as well as
other people, but the dogs will tell on them. Here, for a moment,
the dogs are at fault, but soon unravel the mystery, and bring
them back to the road again; and now what before was wonderful,
becomes almost a miracle. Here, in this common highway--the
thoroughfare for the whole country around through mud and through
mire, meeting waggons and teams, and different solitary
wayfarers, and, what above all is most astonishing, actually
running through a gang of Negroes, their favourite game, who were
working on the road, they pursue the track of the two Negroes;
they even ran for eight miles to the very edge of the plain--the
slaves near them for the last mile. At first they would fain
believe it some hunter chasing deer. Nearer and nearer the
whimpering pack presses on; the delusion begins to dispel; all at
once the truth flashes upon them like a glare of light; their
hair stands on end; 'tis Tabor with his dogs. The scent becomes
warmer and warmer. What was an irregular cry, now deepens into
one ceaseless roar, as the relentless pack rolls on after its
human prey. It puts one in mind of Actaeon and his dogs. They
grow desperate and leave the road, in the vain hope of shaking
them off. Vain hope, indeed! The momentary cessation only adds
new zest to the chase. The cry grows louder and louder; the yelp
grows short and quick, sure indication that the game is at hand.
It is a perfect rush upon the part of the hunters, while the
Negroes call upon their weary and jaded limbs to do their best,
but they falter and stagger beneath them. The breath of the
hounds is almost upon their very heels, and yet they have a vain
hope of escaping these sagacious animals. They can run no longer;
the dogs are upon them; they hastily attempt to climb a tree, and
as the last one is nearly out of reach, the catch-dog seizes him
by the leg, and brings him to the ground; he sings out lustily
and the dogs are called off. After this man was secured, the one
in the tree was ordered to come down; this, however, he refused
to do, but a gun being pointed at him, soon caused him to change
his mind. On reaching the ground, the fugitive made one more
bound, and the chase again commenced. But it was of no use to run
and he soon yielded. While being tied, he committed an
unpardonable offence: he resisted, and for that he must be made
an example on their arrival home. A mob was collected together,
and a Lynch court was held, to determine what was best to be done
with the Negro who had had the impudence to raise his hand
against a white man. The Lynch court decided that the Negro
should be burnt at the stake. A Natchez newspaper, the Free
Trader, giving an account of it says,

"The body was taken and chained to a tree immediately on the banks
of the Mississippi, on what is called Union Point. Faggots were
then collected and piled around him, to which he appeared quite
indifferent. When the work was completed, he was asked what he had
to say. He then warned all to take example by him, and asked the
prayers of all around; he then called for a drink of water, which
was handed to him; he drank it, and said, 'Now set fire--I am
ready to go in peace!' The torches were lighted, and placed in
the pile, which soon ignited. He watched unmoved the curling flame
that grew, until it began to entwine itself around and feed upon
his body; then he sent forth cries of agony painful to the ear,
begging some one to blow his brains out; at the same time surging
with almost superhuman strength, until the staple with which the
chain was fastened to the tree (not being well secured) drew out,
and he leaped from the burning pile. At that moment the sharp
ringing of several rifles was heard: the body of the Negro fell a
corpse on the ground. He was picked up by some two or three, and
again thrown into the fire, and consumed, not a vestige remaining
to show that such a being ever existed."

Nearly 4,000 slaves were collected from the plantations in the
neighbourhood to witness this scene. Numerous speeches were made
by the magistrates and ministers of religion to the large
concourse of slaves, warning them, and telling them that the same
fate awaited them, if they should prove rebellious to their
owners. There are hundreds of Negroes who run away and live in
the woods. Some take refuge in the swamps, because they are less
frequented by human beings. A Natchez newspaper gave the
following account of the hiding-place of a slave who had been

"A runaway's den was discovered on Sunday, near the Washington
Spring, in a little patch of woods, where it had been for several
months so artfully concealed under ground, that it was detected
only by accident, though in sight of two or three houses, and near
the road and fields where there has been constant daily passing.
The entrance was concealed by a pile of pine straw, representing
a hog-bed, which being removed, discovered a trap-door and steps
that led to a room about six feet square, comfortably ceiled with
plank, containing a small fire-place, the flue of which was
ingeniously conducted above ground and concealed by the straw.
The inmates took the alarm, and made their escape; but Mr. Adams
and his excellent dogs being put upon the trail, soon run down
and secured one of them, which proved to be a Negro-fellow who
had been out about a year. He stated that the other occupant was
a woman, who had been a runaway a still longer time. In the den
was found a quantity of meal, bacon, corn, potatoes, &c. and
various cooking utensils and wearing apparel."--Vicksburg
Sentinel, Dec. 6th, 1838.

Currer was one of those who witnessed the execution of the slave
at the stake, and it gave her no very exalted opinion of the
people of the cotton growing district.



"How sweetly on the hill-side sleeps
The sunlight with its quickening rays!
The verdant trees that crown the steeps,
Grow greener in its quivering blaze."

ABOUT three miles from Richmond is a pleasant plain, with here and
there a beautiful cottage surrounded by trees so as scarcely to
be seen. Among them was one far retired from the public roads,
and almost hidden among the trees. It was a perfect model of rural
beauty. The piazzas that surrounded it were covered with clematis
and passion flower. The pride of China mixed its oriental looking
foliage with the majestic magnolia, and the air was redolent with
the fragrance of flowers, peeping out of every nook and nodding
upon you with a most unexpected welcome. The tasteful hand of art
had not learned to imitate the lavish beauty and harmonious
disorder of nature, but they lived together in loving amity, and
spoke in accordant tones. The gateway rose in a gothic arch, with
graceful tracery in iron work, surmounted by a cross, round which
fluttered and played the mountain fringe, that lightest and most
fragile of vines. This cottage was hired by Horatio Green for
Clotel, and the quadroon girl soon found herself in her new home.

The tenderness of Clotel's conscience, together with the care her
mother had with her and the high value she placed upon virtue,
required an outward marriage; though she well knew that a union
with her proscribed race was unrecognised by law, and
therefore the ceremony would give her no legal hold on Horatio's
constancy. But her high poetic nature regarded reality rather
than the semblance of things; and when he playfully asked how she
could keep him if he wished to run away, she replied, "If the
mutual love we have for each other, and the dictates of your own
conscience do not cause you to remain my husband, and your
affections fall from me, I would not, if I could, hold you by a
single fetter." It was indeed a marriage sanctioned by heaven,
although unrecognised on earth. There the young couple lived
secluded from the world, and passed their time as happily as
circumstances would permit. It was Clotel's wish that Horatio
should purchase her mother and sister, but the young man pleaded
that he was unable, owing to the fact that he had not come into
possession of his share of property, yet he promised that when he
did, he would seek them out and purchase them. Their first-born
was named Mary, and her complexion was still lighter than her
mother. Indeed she was not darker than other white children.
As the child grew older, it more and more resembled its mother.
The iris of her large dark eye had the melting mezzotints, which
remains the last vestige of African ancestry, and gives that
plaintive expression, so often observed, and so appropriate to
that docile and injured race. Clotel was still happier after the
birth of her dear child; for Horatio, as might have been
expected, was often absent day and night with his friends in the
city, and the edicts of society had built up a wall of separation
between the quadroon and them. Happy as Clotel was in Horatio's
love, and surrounded by an outward environment of beauty, so well
adapted to her poetic spirit, she felt these incidents with
inexpressible pain. For herself she cared but little; for
she had found a sheltered home in Horatio's heart, which the world
might ridicule, but had no power to profane. But when she looked
at her beloved Mary, and reflected upon the unavoidable and
dangerous position which the tyranny of society had awarded her,
her soul was filled with anguish. The rare loveliness of the
child increased daily, and was evidently ripening into most
marvellous beauty. The father seemed to rejoice in it with
unmingled pride; but in the deep tenderness of the mother's eye,
there was an indwelling sadness that spoke of anxious thoughts and
fearful foreboding. Clotel now urged Horatio to remove to France
or England, where both her [sic] and her child would be free, and
where colour was not a crime. This request excited but little
opposition, and was so attractive to his imagination, that he
might have overcome all intervening obstacles, had not "a change
come over the spirit of his dreams." He still loved Clotel; but
he was now becoming engaged in political and other affairs which
kept him oftener and longer from the young mother; and ambition
to become a statesman was slowly gaining the ascendancy over him.

Among those on whom Horatio's political success most depended was
a very popular and wealthy man, who had an only daughter. His
visits to the house were at first purely of a political nature;
but the young lady was pleasing, and he fancied he discovered in
her a sort of timid preference for himself. This excited his
vanity, and awakened thoughts of the great worldly advantages
connected with a union. Reminiscences of his first love kept
these vague ideas in check for several months; for with it was
associated the idea of restraint. Moreover, Gertrude, though
inferior in beauty, was yet a pretty contrast to her rival. Her
light hair fell in silken ringlets down her shoulders, her blue
eyes were gentle though inexpressive, and her healthy cheeks were
like opening rosebuds. He had already become accustomed to the
dangerous experiment of resisting his own inward convictions; and
this new impulse to ambition, combined with the strong temptation
of variety in love, met the ardent young man weakened in moral
principle, and unfettered by laws of the land. The change wrought
upon him was soon noticed by Clotel.



"What! mothers from their children riven!
What! God's own image bought and sold!
Americans to market driven,
And barter'd as the brute for gold."--Whittier.

NOT far from Canal-street, in the city of New Orleans, stands a
large two story flat building surrounded by a stone wall twelve
feet high, the top of which is covered with bits of glass, and so
constructed as to prevent even the possibility of any one's
passing over it without sustaining great injury. Many of the
rooms resemble cells in a prison. In a small room near the
"office" are to be seen any number of iron collars, hobbles,
handcuffs, thumbscrews, cowhides, whips, chains, gags, and yokes.
A back yard inclosed by a high wall looks something like the
playground attached to one of our large New England schools, and
in which are rows of benches and swings. Attached to the back
premises is a good-sized kitchen, where two old Negresses are at
work, stewing, boiling, and baking, and occasionally wiping the
sweat from their furrowed and swarthy brows.

The slave-trader Walker, on his arrival in New Orleans, took up
his quarters at this slave pen with his gang of human cattle: and
the morning after, at ten o'clock, they were exhibited for sale.
There, first of all, was the beautiful Althesa, whose pale
countenance and dejected look told how many sad hours she had
passed since parting with her mother at Natchez. There was a poor
woman who had been separated from her husband and five children.
Another woman, whose looks and manner were expressive of deep
anguish, sat by her side. There, too, was "Uncle Geemes," with his
whiskers off, his face shaved clean, and the grey hair plucked
out, and ready to be sold for ten years younger than he was. Toby
was also there, with his face shaved and greased, ready for
inspection. The examination commenced, and was carried on in a
manner calculated to shock the feelings of any one not devoid of
the milk of human kindness. "What are you wiping your eyes for?"
inquired a fat, red-faced man, with a white hat set on one side
of his head, and a cigar in his mouth, of a woman who sat on one
of the stools. "I s'pose I have been crying." "Why do you cry?"
"Because I have left my man behind." "Oh, if I buy you I will
furnish you with a better man than you left. I have lots of young
bucks on my farm." "I don't want, and will never have, any other
man," replied the woman. "What's your name?" asked a man in a
straw hat of a tall Negro man, who stood with his arms folded
across his breast, and leaning against the wall. "My name is
Aaron, sir." "How old are you?" "Twenty-five." "Where were you
raised?" "In old Virginny, sir." "How many men have owned you?"
"Four." "Do you enjoy good health?" "Yes, sir." "How long did you
live with your first owner?" "Twenty years." "Did you ever run
away?" "No, sir." "Did you ever strike your master?" "No, sir."
"Were you ever whipped much?" "No, sir, I s'pose I did not
deserve it." "How long did you live with your second master?"
"Ten years, sir." "Have you a good appetite?" "Yes, sir." "Can
you eat your allowance?" "Yes, sir, when I can get it." "What were
you employed at in Virginia?" "I worked in de terbacar feel." "In
the tobacco field?" "Yes, sir." "How old did you say you were?"
"I will be twenty-five if I live to see next sweet potater digging
time." "I am a cotton planter, and if I buy you, you will have to
work in the cotton field. My men pick one hundred and fifty
pounds a day, and the women one hundred and forty, and those who
fail to pick their task receive five stripes from the cat for
each pound that is wanting. Now, do you think you could keep up
with the rest of the bands?" "I don't know, sir, I 'spec I'd have
to." "How long did you live with your third master?" "Three
years, sir." "Why, this makes you thirty-three, I thought you told
me you was only twenty five?" Aaron now looked first at the
planter, then at the trader, and seemed perfectly bewildered. He
had forgotten the lesson given him by Pompey as to his age, and
the planter's circuitous talk (doubtless to find out the slave's
real age) had the Negro off his guard. "I must see your back, so
as to know how much you have been whipped, before I think of
buying," said the planter. Pompey, who had been standing by
during the examination, thought that his services were now
required, and stepping forward with a degree of officiousness,
said to Aaron, "Don't you hear de gentman tell you he want to
zamon your limbs. Come, unharness yeself, old boy, an don't be
standing dar." Aaron was soon examined and pronounced "sound";
yet the conflicting statement about the age was not satisfactory.

Fortunate for Althesa she was spared the pain of undergoing such
an examination. Mr. Crawford, a teller in one of the banks, had
just been married, and wanted a maid-servant for his wife; and
passing through the market in the early part of the day, was
pleased with the young slave's appearance and purchased her, and
in his dwelling the quadroon found a much better home than often
falls to the lot of a slave sold in the New Orleans market. The
heartrending and cruel traffic in slaves which has been so often
described, is not confined to any particular class of persons. No
one forfeits his or her character or standing in society, by
buying or selling slaves; or even raising slaves for the market.
The precise number of slaves carried from the slave-raising to the
slave-consuming states, we have no means of knowing. But it must
be very great, as more than forty thousand were sold and taken
out of the state of Virginia in one year. Known to God only is
the amount of human agony and suffering which sends its cry from
the slave markets and Negro pens, unheard and unheeded by man, up
to his ear; mothers weeping for their children, breaking the
night-silence with the shrieks of their breaking hearts. From
some you will hear the burst of bitter lamentation, while from
others the loud hysteric laugh, denoting still deeper agony.
Most of them leave the market for cotton or rice plantations,

"Where the slave-whip ceaseless swings,
Where the noisome insect stings,
Where the fever demon-strews
Poison with the falling dews,
Where the sickly sunbeams glare
Through the hot and misty air."



"What! preach and enslave men?
Give thanks--and rob thy own afflicted poor?
Talk of thy glorious liberty, and then
Bolt hard the captive's door."--Whittier.

THE Rev. John Peck was a native of the state of Connecticut, where
he was educated for the ministry, in the Methodist persuasion.
His father was a strict follower of John Wesley, and spared no
pains in his son's education, with the hope that he would one day
be as renowned as the great leader of his sect. John had scarcely
finished his education at New Haven, when he was invited by an
uncle, then on a visit to his father, to spend a few months at
Natchez in the state of Mississippi. Young Peck accepted his
uncle's invitation, and accompanied him to the South. Few young
men, and especially clergymen, going fresh from a college to the
South, but are looked upon as geniuses in a small way, and who
are not invited to all the parties in the neighbourhood. Mr. Peck
was not an exception to this rule. The society into which he was
thrown on his arrival at Natchez was too brilliant for him not to
be captivated by it; and, as might have been expected, he
succeeded in captivating a plantation with seventy slaves, if not
the heart of the lady to whom it belonged. Added to this, he
became a popular preacher, had a large congregation with a snug
salary. Like other planters, Mr. Peck confided the care of his
farm to Ned Huckelby, an overseer of high reputation in his
way. The Poplar Farm, as it was called, was situated in a
beautiful valley nine miles from Natchez, and near the river
Mississippi. The once unshorn face of nature had given way, and
now the farm blossomed with a splendid harvest, the neat cottage
stood in a grove where Lombardy poplars lift their tufted tops
almost to prop the skies; the willow, locust, and horse-chestnut
spread their branches, and flowers never cease to blossom. This
was the parson's country house, where the family spent only two
months during the year.

The town residence was a fine villa, seated upon the brow of a
hill at the edge of the city. It was in the kitchen of this house
that Currer found her new home. Mr. Peck was, every inch of him,
a democrat, and early resolved that his "people," as he called his
slaves, should be well fed and not overworked, and therefore laid
down the law and gospel to the overseer as well as the slaves.

"It is my wish," said he to Mr. Carlton, an old school-fellow, who
was spending a few days with him, "it is my wish that a new
system be adopted on the plantations in this estate. I believe
that the sons of Ham should have the gospel, and I intend that my
Negroes shall. The gospel is calculated to make mankind better,
and none should be without it." "What say you," replied Carlton,
"about the right of man to his liberty?" "Now, Carlton, you have
begun again to harp about man's rights; I really wish you could
see this matter as I do. I have searched in vain for any authority
for man's natural rights; if he had any, they existed before the
fall. That is, Adam and Eve may have had some rights which God
gave them, and which modern philosophy, in its pretended reverence
for the name of God, prefers to call natural rights. I can
imagine they had the right to eat of the fruit of the trees of
the garden; they were restricted even in this by the
prohibition of one. As far as I know without positive assertion,
their liberty of action was confined to the garden. These were
not 'inalienable rights,' however, for they forfeited both them
and life with the first act of disobedience. Had they, after
this, any rights? We cannot imagine them; they were condemned
beings; they could have no rights, but by Christ's gift as king.
These are the only rights man can have as an independent isolated
being, if we choose to consider him in this impossible position,
in which so many theorists have placed him. If he had no rights,
he could suffer no wrongs. Rights and wrongs are therefore
necessarily the creatures of society, such as man would establish
himself in his gregarious state. They are, in this state, both
artificial and voluntary. Though man has no rights, as thus
considered, undoubtedly he has the power, by such arbitrary rules
of right and wrong as his necessity enforces." "I regret I cannot
see eye to eye with you," said Carlton. "I am a disciple of
Rousseau, and have for years made the rights of man my study; and
I must confess to you that I can see no difference between white
men and black men as it regards liberty." "Now, my dear Carlton,
would you really have the Negroes enjoy the same rights with
ourselves?" "I would, most certainly. Look at our great
Declaration of Independence; look even at the constitution of our
own Connecticut, and see what is said in these about liberty." "I
regard all this talk about rights as mere humbug. The Bible is
older than the Declaration of Independence, and there I take my
stand. The Bible furnishes to us the armour of proof, weapons of
heavenly temper and mould, whereby we can maintain our ground
against all attacks. But this is true only when we obey its
directions, as well as employ its sanctions. Our rights
are there established, but it is always in connection with our
duties. If we neglect the one we cannot make good the other. Our
domestic institutions can be maintained against the world, if we
but allow Christianity to throw its broad shield over them. But
if we so act as to array the Bible against our social economy,
they must fall. Nothing ever yet stood long against Christianity.
Those who say that religious instruction is inconsistent with our
peculiar civil polity, are the worst enemies of that polity. They
would drive religious men from its defence. Sooner or later, if
these views prevail, they will separate the religious portion of
our community from the rest, and thus divided we shall become an
easy prey. Why, is it not better that Christian men should hold
slaves than unbelievers? We know how to value the bread of life,
and will not keep it from our slaves."

"Well, every one to his own way of thinking," said Carlton, as he
changed his position. "I confess," added he, "that I am no great
admirer of either the Bible or slavery. My heart is my guide: my
conscience is my Bible. I wish for nothing further to satisfy me
of my duty to man. If I act rightly to mankind, I shall fear
nothing." Carlton had drunk too deeply of the bitter waters of
infidelity, and had spent too many hours over the writings of
Rousseau, Voltaire, and Thomas Paine, to place that appreciation
upon the Bible and its teachings that it demands. During this
conversation there was another person in the room, seated by the
window, who, although at work upon a fine piece of lace, paid
every attention to what was said. This was Georgiana, the only
daughter of the parson. She had just returned from Connecticut,
where she had finished her education. She had had the opportunity
of contrasting the spirit of Christianity and liberty in New
England with that of slavery in her native state, and had
learned to feel deeply for the injured Negro. Georgiana was in
her nineteenth year, and had been much benefited by a residence
of five years at the North. Her form was tall and graceful; her
features regular and well defined; and her complexion was
illuminated by the freshness of youth, beauty, and health. The
daughter differed from both the father and his visitor upon the
subject which they had been discussing, and as soon as an
opportunity offered, she gave it as her opinion, that the Bible
was both the bulwark of Christianity and of liberty. With a smile
she said, "Of course, papa will overlook my differing from him,
for although I am a native of the South, I am by education and
sympathy, a Northerner." Mr. Peck laughed and appeared pleased,
rather than otherwise, at the manner in which his daughter had
expressed herself.

From this Georgiana took courage and said, "We must try the
character of slavery, and our duty in regard to it, as we should
try any other question of character and duty. To judge justly of
the character of anything, we must know what it does. That which
is good does good, and that which is evil does evil. And as to
duty, God's designs indicate his claims. That which accomplishes
the manifest design of God is right; that which counteracts it,
wrong. Whatever, in its proper tendency and general effect,
produces, secures, or extends human welfare, is according to the
will of God, and is good; and our duty is to favour and promote,
according to our power, that which God favours and promotes by
the general law of his providence. On the other hand, whatever in
its proper tendency and general effect destroys, abridges, or
renders insecure, human welfare, is opposed to God's will, and is
evil. And as whatever accords with the will of God, in any
manifestation of it should be done and persisted in, so
whatever opposes that will should not be done, and if done, should
be abandoned. Can that then be right, be well doing--can that obey
God's behest, which makes a man a slave? which dooms him and all
his posterity, in limitless Generations, to bondage, to unrequited
toil through life? 'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.'
This single passage of Scripture should cause us to have respect
to the rights of the slave. True Christian love is of an
enlarged, disinterested nature. It loves all who love the Lord
Jesus Christ in sincerity, without regard to colour or condition."
"Georgiana, my dear, you are an abolitionist; your talk is
fanaticism," said Mr. Peck in rather a sharp tone; but the
subdued look of the girl, and the presence of Carlton, caused the
father to soften his language. Mr. Peck having lost his wife by
consumption, and Georgiana being his only child, he loved her too
dearly to say more, even if he felt displeased. A silence followed
this exhortation from the young Christian. But her remarks had
done a noble work. The father's heart was touched; and the
sceptic, for the first time, was viewing Christianity in its true

"I think I must go out to your farm," said Carlton, as if to break
the silence. "I shall be pleased to have you go," returned Mr.
Peck. "I am sorry I can't go myself, but Huckelby will show you
every attention; and I feel confident that when you return to
Connecticut, you will do me the justice to say, that I am one who
looks after my people, in a moral, social, and religious point of
view." "Well, what do you say to my spending next Sunday there?"
"Why, I think that a good move; you will then meet with Snyder,
our missionary." "Oh, you have missionaries in these parts, have
you?" "Yes," replied Mr. Peck; "Snyder is from New York, and is
our missionary to the poor, and preaches to our 'people' on
Sunday; you will no doubt like him; he is a capital
fellow." "Then I shall go," said Carlton, "but only wish I had
company." This last remark was intended for Miss Peck, for whom
he had the highest admiration.

It was on a warm Sunday morning, in the month of May, that Miles
Carlton found himself seated beneath a fine old apple tree, whose
thick leaves entirely shaded the ground for some distance round.
Under similar trees and near by, were gathered together all the
"people" belonging to the plantation. Hontz Snyder was a man of
about forty years of age, exceedingly low in stature, but of a
large frame. He had been brought up in the Mohawk Valley, in the
state of New York, and claimed relationship with the oldest Dutch
families in that vicinity. He had once been a sailor, and had all
the roughness of character that a sea-faring man might expect to
possess; together with the half-Yankee, half-German peculiarities
of the people of the Mohawk Valley. It was nearly eleven o'clock
when a one-horse waggon drove up in haste, and the low squatty
preacher got out and took his place at the foot of one of the
trees, where a sort of rough board table was placed, and took his
books from his pocket and commenced.

"As it is rather late," said he, "we will leave the singing and
praying for the last, and take our text, and commence
immediately. I shall base my remarks on the following passage of
Scripture, and hope to have that attention which is due to the
cause of God:--'All things whatsoever ye would that men should do
unto you, do ye even so unto them'; that is, do by all mankind
just as you would desire they should do by you, if you were in
their place and they in yours.

"Now, to suit this rule to your particular circumstances, suppose
you were masters and mistresses, and had servants under you, would
you not desire that your servants should do their business
faithfully and honestly, as well when your back was turned as while
you were looking over them? Would you not expect that they should
take notice of what you said to them? that they should behave
themselves with respect towards you and yours, and be as careful of
everything belonging to you as you would be yourselves? You are
servants: do, therefore, as you would wish to be done by, and you
will be both good servants to your masters and good servants to God,
who requires this of you, and will reward you well for it, if you do
it for the sake of conscience, in obedience to his commands.

"You are not to be eye-servants. Now, eye-servants are such as
will work hard, and seem mighty diligent, while they think
anybody is taking notice of them; but, when their masters' and
mistresses' backs are turned they are idle, and neglect their
business. I am afraid there are a great many such eye-servants
among you, and that you do not consider how great a sin it is to
be so, and how severely God will punish you for it. You may easily
deceive your owners, and make them have an opinion of you that
you do not deserve, and get the praise of men by it; but remember
that you cannot deceive Almighty God, who sees your wickedness
and deceit, and will punish you accordingly. For the rule is,
that you must obey your masters in all things, and do the work
they set you about with fear and trembling, in singleness of
heart as unto Christ; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but
as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
with good-will doing service as to the Lord, and not as to men.

"Take care that you do not fret or murmur, grumble or repine at
your condition; for this will not only make your life
uneasy, but will greatly offend Almighty God. Consider that it
is not yourselves, it is not the people that you belong to, it is
not the men who have brought you to it, but it is the will of God
who hath by his providence made you servants, because, no doubt,
he knew that condition would be best for you in this world, and
help you the better towards heaven, if you would but do your duty
in it. So that any discontent at your not being free, or rich, or
great, as you see some others, is quarrelling with your heavenly
Master, and finding fault with God himself, who hath made you
what you are, and hath promised you as large a share in the
kingdom of heaven as the greatest man alive, if you will but
behave yourself aright, and do the business he hath set you about
in this world honestly and cheerfully. Riches and power have
proved the ruin of many an unhappy soul, by drawing away the
heart and affections from God, and fixing them on mean and sinful
enjoyments; so that, when God, who knows our hearts better than
we know them ourselves, sees that they would be hurtful to us,
and therefore keeps them from us, it is the greatest mercy and
kindness he could show us.

"You may perhaps fancy that, if you had riches and freedom, you
could do your duty to God and man with greater pleasure than you
can now. But pray consider that, if you can but save your souls
through the mercy of God, you will have spent your time to the
best of purposes in this world; and he that at last can get to
heaven has performed a noble journey, let the road be ever so
rugged and difficult. Besides, you really have a great advantage
over most white people, who have not only the care of their daily
labour upon their hands, but the care of looking forward and
providing necessaries for to-morrow and next day, and of clothing
and bringing up their children, and of getting food and raiment
for as many of you as belong to their families, which
often puts them to great difficulties, and distracts their minds
so as to break their rest, and take off their thoughts from the
affairs of another world. Whereas you are quite eased from all
these cares, and have nothing but your daily labour to look
after, and, when that is done, take your needful rest. Neither is
it necessary for you to think of laying up anything against old
age, as white people are obliged to do; for the laws of the
country have provided that you shall not be turned off when you
are past labour, but shall be maintained, while you live, by
those you belong to, whether you are able to work or not.

"There is only one circumstance which may appear grievous, that I
shall now take notice of, and that is correction.

"Now, when correction is given you, you either deserve it, or you
do not deserve it. But whether you really deserve it or not, it
is your duty, and Almighty God requires that you bear it
patiently. You may perhaps think that this is hard doctrine; but,
if you consider it right, you must needs think otherwise of it.
Suppose, then, that you deserve correction, you cannot but say
that it is just and right you should meet with it. Suppose you do
not, or at least you do not deserve so much, or so severe a
correction, for the fault you have committed, you perhaps have
escaped a great many more, and are at last paid for all. Or
suppose you are quite innocent of what is laid to your charge,
and suffer wrongfully in that particular thing, is it not possible
you may have done some other bad thing which was never
discovered, and that Almighty God who saw you doing it would not
let you escape without punishment one time or another? And ought
you not, in such a case, to give glory to him, and be thankful
that he would rather punish you in this life for your
wickedness than destroy your souls for it in the next
life? But suppose even this was not the case (a case hardly to be
imagined), and that you have by no means, known or unknown,
deserved the correction you suffered, there is this great comfort
in it, that, if you bear it patiently, and leave your cause in
the hands of God, he will reward you for it in heaven, and the
punishment you suffer unjustly here shall turn to your exceeding
great glory hereafter.

"Lastly, you should serve your masters faithfully, because of
their goodness to you. See to what trouble they have been on your
account. Your fathers were poor ignorant and barbarous creatures
in Africa, and the whites fitted out ships at great trouble and
expense and brought you from that benighted land to Christian
America, where you can sit under your own vine and fig tree and
no one molest or make you afraid. Oh, my dear black brothers and
sisters, you are indeed a fortunate and a blessed people. Your
masters have many troubles that you know nothing about. If the
banks break, your masters are sure to lose something. If the
crops turn out poor, they lose by it. If one of you die, your
master loses what he paid for you, while you lose nothing. Now let
me exhort you once more to be faithful."

Often during the delivery of the sermon did Snyder cast an anxious
look in the direction where Carlton was seated; no doubt to see
if he had found favour with the stranger. Huckelby, the
overseer, was also there, seated near Carlton. With all Snyder's
gesticulations, sonorous voice, and occasionally bringing his
fist down upon the table with the force of a sledge hammer, he
could not succeed in keeping the Negroes all interested: four or
five were fast asleep, leaning against the trees; as many more
were nodding, while not a few were stealthily cracking, and
eating hazelnuts. "Uncle Simon, you may strike up a
hymn," said the preacher as he closed his Bible. A moment more,
and the whole company (Carlton excepted) had joined in the well
known hymn, commencing with

"When I can read my title clear
To mansions in the sky."

After the singing, Sandy closed with prayer, and the following
questions and answers read, and the meeting was brought to a

"Q. What command has God given to servants concerning obedience to
their masters?--A. 'Servants, obey in all things your masters
according to the flesh, not with eye-service as men-pleasers,
but in singleness of heart, fearing God.'

"Q. What does God mean by masters according to the flesh?--A.
'Masters in this world.'

"Q. What are servants to count their masters worthy of?-- A. 'All

"Q. How are they to do the service of their masters?--A. 'With good
will, doing service as unto the Lord, and not unto men.'

"Q. How are they to try to please their masters?--A. 'Please him
well in all things, not answering again.'

"Q. Is a servant who is an eye-servant to his earthly master an
eye-servant to his heavenly master?--A. 'Yes.'

"Q. Is it right in a servant, when commanded to do any thing, to
be sullen and slow, and answer his master again?--A. 'No.'

"Q. If the servant professes to be a Christian, ought he not to be
as a Christian servant, an example to all other servants of love
and obedience to his master?--A. 'Yes.'

"Q. And, should his master be a Christian also, ought he not on
that account specially to love and obey him?--A. 'Yes.'

"Q. But suppose the master is hard to please, and threatens and
punishes more than he ought, what is the servant to do?--A. 'Do
his best to please him.'

"Q. When the servant suffers wrongfully at the hands of his
master, and, to please God, takes it patiently, will God reward
him for it?--A. 'Yes.'

"Q. Is it right for the servant to run away, or is it right to
harbour a runaway?--A. 'No.'

"Q. If a servant runs away, what should be done with him?--A. 'He
should be caught and brought back.'

"Q. When he is brought back, what should be done with him?--
A. 'Whip him well.'

"Q. Why may not the whites be slaves as well as the blacks?--
A. 'Because the Lord intended the Negroes for slaves.'

"Q. Are they better calculated for servants than the whites?--
A. 'Yes, their hands are large, the skin thick and tough, and they
can stand the sun better than the whites.'

"Q. Why should servants not complain when they are whipped?--
A. 'Because the Lord has commanded that they should be whipped.'

"Q. Where has He commanded it?--A. 'He says, He that knoweth his
master's will, and doeth it not, shall be beaten with many

"Q. Then is the master to blame for whipping his servant?--A. 'Oh,
no! he is only doing his duty as a Christian.'"

Snyder left the ground in company with Carlton and Huckelby, and
the three dined together in the overseer's dwelling. "Well," said
Joe, after the three white men were out of hearing, "Marser
Snyder bin try hesef to-day." "Yes," replied Ned; "he want to show
de strange gentman how good he can preach." "Dat's a new sermon
he gib us to-day," said Sandy. "Dees white fokes is de very
dibble," said Dick; "and all dey whole study is to try to fool de
black people." "Didn't you like de sermon?" asked Uncle Simon.
"No," answered four or five voices. "He rared and pitched enough,"
continued Uncle Simon.

Now Uncle Simon was himself a preacher, or at least he thought so,
and was rather pleased than otherwise, when he heard others
spoken of in a disparaging manner. "Uncle Simon can beat dat
sermon all to pieces," said Ned, as he was filling his
mouth with hazelnuts. "I got no notion of dees white fokes, no
how," returned Aunt Dafney. "Dey all de time tellin' dat de Lord
made us for to work for dem, and I don't believe a word of it."
"Marser Peck give dat sermon to Snyder, I know," said Uncle
Simon. "He jest de one for dat," replied Sandy. "I think de people
dat made de Bible was great fools," said Ned. "Why?" Uncle Simon.
"'Cause dey made such a great big book and put nuttin' in it, but
servants obey yer masters." "Oh," replied Uncle Simon, "thars more
in de Bible den dat, only Snyder never reads any other part to
us; I use to hear it read in Maryland, and thar was more den what
Snyder lets us hear." In the overseer's house there was another
scene going on, and far different from what we have here described.



"No seeming of logic can ever convince the American people, that
thousands of our slave-holding brethren are not excellent,
humane, and even Christian men, fearing God, and keeping His
commandments."--Rev. Dr. Joel Parker.

"You like these parts better than New York," said Carlton to
Snyder, as they were sitting down to dinner in the overseer's
dwelling. "I can't say that I do," was the reply; "I came here
ten years ago as missionary, and Mr. Peck wanted me to stay, and I
have remained. I travel among the poor whites during the week and
preach for the niggers on Sunday." "Are there many poor whites in
this district?" "Not here, but about thirty miles from here, in
the Sand Hill district; they are as ignorant as horses. Why it
was no longer than last week I was up there, and really you would
not believe it, that people were so poor off. In New England,
and, I may say, in all the free states, they have free schools,
and everybody gets educated. Not so here. In Connecticut there is
only one out of every five hundred above twenty-one years that
can neither read nor write. Here there is one out of every eight
that can neither read nor write. There is not a single newspaper
taken in five of the counties in this state. Last week I was at
Sand Hill for the first time, and I called at a farmhouse. The
man was out. It was a low log-hut, and yet it was the best house
in that locality. The woman and nine children were there, and the
geese, ducks, chickens, pigs, and children were all
running about the floor. The woman seemed scared at me when I
entered the house. I inquired if I could get a little dinner, and
my horse fed. She said, yes, if I would only be good enough to
feed him myself, as her 'gal,' as she called her daughter, would
be afraid of the horse. When I returned into the house again from
the stable, she kept her eyes upon me all the time. At last she
said, 'I s'pose you ain't never bin in these parts afore?' 'No,'
said I. 'Is you gwine to stay here long?' 'Not very long,' I
replied. 'On business, I s'pose.' 'Yes,' said I, 'I am hunting up
the lost sheep of the house of Israel.' 'Oh,' exclaimed she,
'hunting for lost sheep is you? Well, you have a hard time to find
'em here. My husband lost an old ram last week, and he ain't found
him yet, and he's hunted every day.' 'I am not looking for
four-legged sheep,' said I, 'I am hunting for sinners.' 'Ah'; she
said, 'then you are a preacher.' 'Yes,' said I. 'You are the
first of that sort that's bin in these diggins for many a day.'
Turning to her eldest daughter, she said in an excited tone, 'Clar
out the pigs and ducks, and sweep up the floor; this is a
preacher.' And it was some time before any of the children would
come near me; one remained under the bed (which, by the by, was
in the same room), all the while I was there. 'Well,' continued
the woman, 'I was a tellin' my man only yesterday that I would
like once more to go to meetin' before I died, and he said as he
should like to do the same. But as you have come, it will save us
the trouble of going out of the district.'" "Then you found some
of the lost sheep," said Carlton. "Yes," replied Snyder, "I did
not find anything else up there. The state makes no provision for
educating the poor: they are unable to do it themselves, and they
grow up in a state of ignorance and degradation. The men hunt and
the women have to go in the fields and labour." "What is
the cause of it?" inquired Carlton. "Slavery," answered Snyder,
slavery,--and nothing else. Look at the city of Boston; it pays
more taxes for the support of the government than this entire
state. The people of Boston do more business than the whole
population of Mississippi put together. I was told some very
amusing things while at Sand Hill. A farmer there told me a story
about an old woman, who was very pious herself. She had a husband
and three sons, who were sad characters, and she had often prayed
for their conversion but to no effect. At last, one day while
working in the corn-field, one of her sons was bitten by a
rattlesnake. He had scarce reached home before he felt the poison,
and in his agony called loudly on his Maker.

"The pious old woman, when she heard this, forgetful of her son's
misery, and everything else but the glorious hope of his
repentance, fell on her knees, and prayed as follows--'Oh! Lord,
I thank thee, that thou hast at last opened Jimmy's eyes to the
error of his ways; and I pray that, in thy Divine mercy, thou
wilt send a rattlesnake to bite the old man, and another to bite
Tom, and another to bite Harry, for I am certain that nothing but
a rattlesnake, or something of the kind, will ever turn them from
their sinful ways, they are so hard-headed.' When returning home,
and before I got out of the Sand Hill district, I saw a funeral,
and thought I would fasten my horse to a post and attend. The
coffin was carried in a common horse cart, and followed by fifteen
or twenty persons very shabbily dressed, and attended by a man
whom I took to be the religious man of the place. After the
coffin had been placed near the grave, he spoke as follows,--

"'Friends and neighbours! you have congregated to see this lump
of mortality put into a hole in the ground. You all
know the deceased--a worthless, drunken, good-for-nothing
vagabond. He lived in disgrace and infamy, and died in
wretchedness. You all despised him--you all know his brother Joe,
who lives on the hill? He's not a bit better though he has
scrap'd together a little property by cheating his neighbours. His
end will be like that of this loathsome creature, whom you will
please put into the hole as soon as possible. I won't ask you to
drop a tear, but brother Bohow will please raise a hymn while we
fill up the grave.'"

"I am rather surprised to hear that any portion of the whites in
this state are in so low a condition." "Yet it is true," returned

"These are very onpleasant facts to be related to ye, Mr.
Carlton," said Huckelby; "but I can bear witness to what Mr.
Snyder has told ye." Huckelby was from Maryland, where many of
the poor whites are in as sad a condition as the Sand Hillers of
Mississippi. He was a tall man, of iron constitution, and could
neither read nor write, but was considered one of the best
overseers in the country. When about to break a slave in, to do a
heavy task, he would make him work by his side all day; and if
the new hand kept up with him, he was set down as an able bodied
man. Huckelby had neither moral, religious, or political
principles, and often boasted that conscience was a matter that
never "cost" him a thought. "Mr. Snyder ain't told ye half about
the folks in these parts," continued he; "we who comes from more
enlightened parts don't know how to put up with 'em down here.
I find the people here knows mighty little indeed; in fact, I may
say they are univarsaly onedicated. I goes out among none on 'em,
'cause they ain't such as I have been used to 'sociate with. When
I gits a little richer, so that I can stop work, I tend to go
back to Maryland, and spend the rest of my days." "I wonder the
Negroes don't attempt to get their freedom by physical force." "It
ain't no use for 'em to try that, for if they do, we puts 'em
through by daylight," replied Huckelby. "There are some desperate
fellows among the slaves," said Snyder. "Indeed," remarked
Carlton. "Oh, yes," replied the preacher. "A case has just taken
place near here, where a neighbour of ours, Mr. J. Higgerson,
attempted to correct a Negro man in his employ, who resisted, drew
a knife, and stabbed him (Mr. H.) in several places. Mr. J. C.
Hobbs (a Tennessean) ran to his assistance. Mr. Hobbs stooped to
pick up a stick to strike the Negro, and, while in that position,
the Negro rushed upon him, and caused his immediate death. The
Negro then fled to the woods, but was pursued with dogs, and soon
overtaken. He had stopped in a swamp to fight the dogs, when the
party who were pursuing him came upon him, and commanded him to
give up, which he refused to do. He then made several efforts to
stab them. Mr. Roberson, one of the party, gave him several blows
on the head with a rifle gun; but this, instead of subduing, only
increased his desperate revenge. Mr. R. then discharged his gun
at the Negro, and missing him, the ball struck Mr. Boon in the
face, and felled him to the ground. The Negro, seeing Mr. Boon
prostrated, attempted to rush up and stab him, but was prevented
by the timely interference of some one of the party. He was then
shot three times with a revolving pistol, and once with a rifle,
and after having his throat cut, he still kept the knife firmly
grasped in his hand, and tried to cut their legs when they
approached to put an end to his life. This chastisement was given
because the Negro grumbled, and found fault with his master for
flogging his wife." "Well, this is a bad state of affairs indeed,
and especially the condition of the poor whites," said Carlton.
"You see," replied Snyder, "no white man is respectable in
these slave states who works for a living. No community
can be prosperous, where honest labour is not honoured. No
society can be rightly constituted, where the intellect is not
fed. Whatever institution reflects discredit on industry,
whatever institution forbids the general culture of the
understanding, is palpably hostile to individual rights, and to
social well-being. Slavery is the incubus that hangs over the
Southern States." "Yes," interrupted Huckelby; "them's just my
sentiments now, and no mistake. I think that, for the honour of
our country, this slavery business should stop. I don't own any,
no how, and I would not be an overseer if I wern't paid for it."



"In many ways does the full heart reveal
The presence of the love it would conceal;
But in far more the estranged heart lets know
The absence of the love, which yet it fain would show."

AT length the news of the approaching marriage of Horatio met the
ear of Clotel. Her head grew dizzy, and her heart fainted within
her; but, with a strong effort at composure, she inquired all the
particulars, and her pure mind at once took its resolution.
Horatio came that evening, and though she would fain have met him
as usual, her heart was too full not to throw a deep sadness over
her looks and tones. She had never complained of his decreasing
tenderness, or of her own lonely hours; but he felt that the mute
appeal of her heart-broken looks was more terrible than words. He
kissed the hand she offered, and with a countenance almost as sad
as her own, led her to a window in the recess shadowed by a
luxuriant passion flower. It was the same seat where they had
spent the first evening in this beautiful cottage, consecrated to
their first loves. The same calm, clear moonlight looked in
through the trellis. The vine then planted had now a luxuriant
growth; and many a time had Horatio fondly twined its sacred
blossoms with the glossy ringlets of her raven hair. The rush of
memory almost overpowered poor Clotel; and Horatio felt too much
oppressed and ashamed to break the long deep silence. At length,
in words scarcely audible, Clotel said: "Tell me, dear
Horatio, are you to be married next week?" He dropped her hand as
if a rifle ball had struck him; and it was not until after long
hesitation, that he began to make some reply about the necessity
of circumstances. Mildly but earnestly the poor girl begged him
to spare apologies. It was enough that he no longer loved her, and
that they must bid farewell. Trusting to the yielding tenderness
of her character, he ventured, in the most soothing accents, to
suggest that as he still loved her better than all the world, she
would ever be his real wife, and they might see each other
frequently. He was not prepared for the storm of indignant
emotion his words excited. True, she was his slave; her bones,
and sinews had been purchased by his gold, yet she had the heart
of a true woman, and hers was a passion too deep and absorbing to
admit of partnership, and her spirit was too pure to form a
selfish league with crime.

At length this painful interview came to an end. They stood
together by the Gothic gate, where they had so often met and
parted in the moonlight. Old remembrances melted their souls.
"Farewell, dearest Horatio," said Clotel. "Give me a parting
kiss." Her voice was choked for utterance, and the tears flowed
freely, as she bent her lips toward him. He folded her
convulsively in his arms, and imprinted a long impassioned kiss on
that mouth, which had never spoken to him but in love and
blessing. With efforts like a death-pang she at length raised her
head from his heaving bosom, and turning from him with bitter
sobs, "It is our last. To meet thus is henceforth crime. God
bless you. I would not have you so miserable as I am. Farewell.
A last farewell." "The last?" exclaimed he, with a wild shriek.
"Oh God, Clotel, do not say that"; and covering his face with his
hands, he wept like a child. Recovering from his
emotion, he found himself alone. The moon looked down upon him
mild, but very sorrowfully; as the Madonna seems to gaze upon her
worshipping children, bowed down with consciousness of sin. At
that moment he would have given worlds to have disengaged himself
from Gertrude, but he had gone so far, that blame, disgrace, and
duels with angry relatives would now attend any effort to obtain
his freedom. Oh, how the moonlight oppressed him with its
friendly sadness! It was like the plaintive eye of his forsaken
one, like the music of sorrow echoed from an unseen world. Long
and earnestly he gazed at that cottage, where he had so long
known earth's purest foretaste of heavenly bliss. Slowly he
walked away; then turned again to look on that charmed spot, the
nestling-place of his early affections. He caught a glimpse of
Clotel, weeping beside a magnolia, which commanded a long view of
the path leading to the public road. He would have sprung toward
her but she darted from him, and entered the cottage. That
graceful figure, weeping in the moonlight, haunted him for years.
It stood before his closing eyes, and greeted him with the
morning dawn. Poor Gertrude, had she known all, what a dreary lot
would hers have been; but fortunately she could not miss the
impassioned tenderness she never experienced; and Horatio was the
more careful in his kindness, because he was deficient in love.
After Clotel had been separated from her mother and sister, she
turned her attention to the subject of Christianity, and received
that consolation from her Bible that is never denied to the
children of God. Although it was against the laws of Virginia,
for a slave to be taught to read, Currer had employed an old free
Negro, who lived near her, to teach her two daughters to read and
write. She felt that the step she had taken in resolving
never to meet Horatio again would no doubt expose her to his
wrath, and probably cause her to be sold, yet her heart was too
guileless for her to commit a crime, and therefore she had ten
times rather have been sold as a slave than do wrong. Some months
after the marriage of Horatio and Gertrude their barouche rolled
along a winding road that skirted the forest near Clotel's
cottage, when the attention of Gertrude was suddenly attracted by
two figures among the trees by the wayside; and touching Horatio's
arm, she exclaimed, "Do look at that beautiful child." He turned
and saw Clotel and Mary. His lips quivered, and his face became
deadly pale. His young wife looked at him intently, but said
nothing. In returning home, he took another road; but his wife
seeing this, expressed a wish to go back the way they had come.
He objected, and suspicion was awakened in her heart, and she
soon after learned that the mother of that lovely child bore the
name of Clotel, a name which she had often heard Horatio murmur in
uneasy slumbers. From gossiping tongues she soon learned more
than she wished to know. She wept, but not as poor Clotel had
done; for she never had loved, and been beloved like her, and her
nature was more proud: henceforth a change came over her feelings
and her manners, and Horatio had no further occasion to assume a
tenderness in return for hers. Changed as he was by ambition, he
felt the wintry chill of her polite propriety, and sometimes, in
agony of heart, compared it with the gushing love of her who was
indeed his wife. But these and all his emotions were a sealed
book to Clotel, of which she could only guess the contents. With
remittances for her and her child's support, there sometimes came
earnest pleadings that she would consent to see him again; but
these she never answered, though her heart yearned to do so.
She pitied his young bride, and would not be tempted to
bring sorrow into her household by any fault of hers. Her earnest
prayer was, that she might not know of her existence. She had not
looked on Horatio since she watched him under the shadow of the
magnolia, until his barouche passed her in her rambles some months
after. She saw the deadly paleness of his countenance, and had he
dared to look back, he would have seen her tottering with
faintness. Mary brought water from a rivulet, and sprinkled her
face. When she revived, she clasped the beloved child to her
heart with a vehemence that made her scream. Soothingly she
kissed away her fears, and gazed into her beautiful eyes with a
deep, deep sadness of expression, which poor Mary never forgot.
Wild were the thoughts that passed round her aching heart, and
almost maddened her poor brain; thoughts which had almost driven
her to suicide the night of that last farewell. For her child's
sake she had conquered the fierce temptation then; and for her
sake, she struggled with it now. But the gloomy atmosphere of
their once happy home overclouded the morning of Mary's life.
Clotel perceived this, and it gave her unutterable pain.

"Tis ever thus with woman's love,
True till life's storms have passed;
And, like the vine around the tree,
It braves them to the last."



"My tongue could never learn sweet soothing words,
But now thy beauty is propos'd, my fee,
My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to speak."


JAMES CRAWFORD, the purchaser of Althesa, was from the green
mountains of Vermont, and his feelings were opposed to the
holding of slaves. But his young wife persuaded him into the idea
that it was no worse to own a slave than to hire one and pay the
money to another. Hence it was that he had been induced to
purchase Althesa. Henry Morton, a young physician from the same
state, and who had just commenced the practice of his profession
in New Orleans, was boarding with Crawford when Althesa was
brought home. The young physician had been in New Orleans but a
few weeks, and had seen very little of slavery. In his own
mountain home he had been taught that the slaves of the Southern
states were Negroes, if not from the coast of Africa, the
descendants of those who had been imported. He was unprepared to
behold with composure a beautiful young white girl of fifteen in
the degraded position of a chattel slave. The blood chilled in
his young heart as he heard Crawford tell how, by bartering with
the trader, he had bought her for two hundred dollars less than
he first asked. His very looks showed that the slave girl had the
deepest sympathy of his heart. Althesa had been brought up by her
mother to look after the domestic concerns of her cottage in
Virginia, and knew well the duties imposed upon her. Mrs.
Crawford was much pleased with her new servant, and often made
mention of her in the presence of Morton. The young man's
sympathy ripened into love, which was reciprocated by the
friendless and injured child of sorrow. There was but one course
left; that was, to purchase the young girl and make her his wife,
which he did six months after her arrival in Crawford's family.
The young physician and his wife immediately took lodgings in
another part of the city; a private teacher was called in, and
the young wife taught some of those accomplishments which are
necessary for one's taking a position in society. Dr. Morton soon
obtained a large practice in his profession, and with it
increased in wealth--but with all his wealth he never would own a
slave. Mrs. Morton was now in a position to seek out and redeem
her mother, whom she had not heard of since they parted at
Natchez. An agent was immediately despatched to hunt out the
mother and to see if she could be purchased. The agent had no
trouble in finding out Mr. Peck: but all overtures were
unavailable; he would not sell Currer. His excuse was, that she
was such a good housekeeper that he could not spare her. Poor
Althesa felt sad when she found that her mother could not be
bought. However, she felt a consciousness of having done her duty
in the matter, yet waited with the hope that the day might come
when she should have her mother by her side.



"Here we see God dealing in slaves; giving them to his own
favourite child [Abraham], a man of superlative worth, and as a
reward for his eminent goodness."--Rev. Theodore Clapp, of New

ON Carlton's return the next day from the farm, he was overwhelmed
with questions from Mr. Peck, as to what he thought of the
plantation, the condition of the Negroes, Huckelby and Snyder;
and especially how he liked the sermon of the latter. Mr. Peck was
a kind of a patriarch in his own way. To begin with, he was a man
of some talent. He not only had a good education, but was a man
of great eloquence, and had a wonderful command of language. He
too either had, or thought he had, poetical genius; and was often
sending contributions to the Natchez Free Trader, and other
periodicals. In the way of raising contributions for foreign
missions, he took the lead of all others in his neighbourhood.
Everything he did, he did for the "glory of God," as he said: he
quoted Scripture for almost everything he did. Being in good
circumstances, he was able to give to almost all benevolent
causes to which he took a fancy. He was a most loving father, and
his daughter exercised considerable influence over him, and owing
to her piety and judgment, that influence had a beneficial effect.
Carlton, though a schoolfellow of the parson's, was nevertheless
nearly ten years his junior; and though not an avowed infidel,
was, however, a freethinker, and one who took no note of
to-morrow. And for this reason Georgiana took peculiar interest
in the young man, for Carlton was but little above thirty and
unmarried. The young Christian felt that she would not be living
up to that faith that she professed and believed in, if she did
not exert herself to the utmost to save the thoughtless man from
his downward career; and in this she succeeded to her most
sanguine expectations. She not only converted him, but in placing
the Scriptures before him in their true light, she redeemed those
sacred writings from the charge of supporting the system of
slavery, which her father had cast upon them in the discussion
some days before.

Georgiana's first object, however, was to awaken in Carlton's
breast a love for the Lord Jesus Christ. The young man had often
sat under the sound of the gospel with perfect indifference. He
had heard men talk who had grown grey bending over the Scriptures,
and their conversation had passed by him unheeded; but when a
young girl, much younger than himself, reasoned with him in that
innocent and persuasive manner that woman is wont to use when she
has entered with her whole soul upon an object, it was too much
for his stout heart, and he yielded. Her next aim was to vindicate
the Bible from sustaining the monstrous institution of slavery.
She said, "God has created of one blood all the nations of men,

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