Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 249 pages of information about Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.
I tried to put away from me the painful thought that such a foul wrong could have been done to us.  I said to myself, “Surely there must be some justice in man;” then I remembered, with a sigh, how slavery perverted all the natural feelings of the human heart.  It gave me a pang to look on my light-hearted boy.  He believed himself free; and to have him brought under the yoke of slavery, would be more than I could bear.  How I longed to have him safely out of the reach of its power!

XXVIII.  Aunt Nancy.

I have mentioned my great-aunt, who was a slave in Dr. Flint’s family, and who had been my refuge during the shameful persecutions I suffered from him.  This aunt had been married at twenty years of age; that is, as far as slaves can marry.  She had the consent of her master and mistress, and a clergyman performed the ceremony.  But it was a mere form, without any legal value.  Her master or mistress could annul it any day they pleased.  She had always slept on the floor in the entry, near Mrs. Flint’s chamber door, that she might be within call.  When she was married, she was told she might have the use of a small room in an outhouse.  Her mother and her husband furnished it.  He was a seafaring man, and was allowed to sleep there when he was at home.  But on the wedding evening, the bride was ordered to her old post on the entry floor.

Mrs. Flint, at that time, had no children; but she was expecting to be a mother, and if she should want a drink of water in the night, what could she do without her slave to bring it?  So my aunt was compelled to lie at her door, until one midnight she was forced to leave, to give premature birth to a child.  In a fortnight she was required to resume her place on the entry floor, because Mrs. Flint’s babe needed her attentions.  She kept her station there through summer and winter, until she had given premature birth to six children; and all the while she was employed as night-nurse to Mrs. Flint’s children.  Finally, toiling all day, and being deprived of rest at night, completely broke down her constitution, and Dr. Flint declared it was impossible she could ever become the mother of a living child.  The fear of losing so valuable a servant by death, now induced them to allow her to sleep in her little room in the out-house, except when there was sickness in the family.  She afterwards had two feeble babes, one of whom died in a few days, and the other in four weeks.  I well remember her patient sorrow as she held the last dead baby in her arms.  “I wish it could have lived,” she said; “it is not the will of God that any of my children should live.  But I will try to be fit to meet their little spirits in heaven.”

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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.